Research – Are Fountains & Ornamental Water Features a Legionnaires’ Disease Risk?

Legionella Control legionellac

Are water features a Legionnaires’ disease risk?

Legionella bacteria, which causes Legionnaires’ disease is present in naturally-occurring water sources, but it can develop at alarming rates in fountains and ornamental water features if the conditions are right, and if they are not treated correctly.

If the premises you maintain or look after includes a decorative water fountain or other type of water feature, it is essential you are aware of the potential dangers such water systems pose to you, your colleagues and visitors. This awareness ensures you can take appropriate steps to minimise the risks and so keep people safe.

Australia – 7 dead, 1 miscarriage: New control measures to be set up on Australian rockmelon farms

Barf Blog

In April, thousands of rockmelons were left to rot in paddocks near Geraldton on the Western Australian coast, record low prices and lost markets meant they were simply not worth picking.

Grower Carol Metcalf said the rows of rotting melons were the result of the listeria outbreak on a rockmelon farm more than 3,500 kilometres away in New South Wales.

Under a new plan released this week, all rockmelon farms in Australia will be inspected and work will be undertaken on each individual farm to ensure that the highest standards are implemented and maintained.

At the time of the outbreak on February this year, the NSW Food Authority speculated that the most likely cause of the listeria outbreak was contaminated soil possibly not being properly washed off the skin of the fruit.

In addition it was thought that a weather event may have increased the listeria bacteria on the product.

But the formal investigation into the cause of the outbreak has not been completed by the NSW Food Authority and therefore the official report on the cause has still not been released.


Research – Evaluation of an Environmental Monitoring Program for the Microbial Safety of Air and Surfaces in a Dairy Plant Environment

Journal of food Protection

Microbiological hazards can occur when foodstuffs come into contact with contaminated surfaces or infectious agents dispersed by air currents in the manufacturing environment. An environmental monitoring program (EMP) is a critical aspect of sustainable and safe food manufacturing used to evaluate the effectiveness of the microbial controls in place. An effective EMP should be based on risk analysis, taking into account previous sampling history to determine the selection of the sampling points, the scope of the test, and the frequency of analysis. This study involved evaluation of the environmental monitoring regime and microbiological status of a medium-sized dairy plant manufacturing food ingredients, e.g., proteins, milk powders, and dairy fats. The data specific to microbial tests (n = 3,468), recorded across 124 fixed sampling locations over a 2-year period (2014 to 2015) from air (n = 1,787) and surfaces (n = 1,681) were analyzed. The aim of this study was to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the EMP in a select dairy processing plant. The results of this study outline the selection of sampling locations, the scope of the test, and the frequency of analysis. An analysis of variance revealed subsections of the manufacturing areas with high risk factors, especially the packaging subsection specified for bulk packaging, the atomizer, and the fluidized bed. The temporal and spatial analysis showed the potential to reduce or relocate the monitoring effort, most notably related to total coliforms and Staphylococcus aureus, across the dairy plant due to homogeneity across the sampling subsections with little or no deviations. The results suggest a need to reevaluate the current EMP and the corrective action plan, especially with regard to detection of pathogens. Recommendations for optimization of the EMP are presented to assist the dairy industry with reviewing and revising the control measures and hazard assessment with regard to existing contamination issues.

Research – Inactivation of Microorganisms in Foods by Ohmic Heating: A Review

Journal of Food Protection

Ohmic heating (OH) is an alternative food processing technology for effectively inactivating microorganisms that depends on the heat that has been generated when electrical current passes directly through food material. The advantages of OH for microbial inactivation include shorter heating time, more uniform heat distribution inside food, reduced nutrition losses, and higher energy efficiency. This review presents some published information regarding the inactivation of microorganisms by OH, including the major factors that influence the inactivation effectiveness of OH, the inactivation of vegetative cells and spores in foods by OH, the inactivation mechanisms of OH, and the challenges and prospects of OH for food processing. This information will improve the understanding of OH for inactivation of microorganisms and promote the application of OH in the food industry.

USA – Beef pastrami recalled after company discovers curing problem

Food Safety News

An Iowa company is recalling more than a ton of beef pastrami after a consumer complaint spurred tests that showed enough curing solution may not have been used during production.

Agri Star Meat and Poultry LLC of Postville, IA, reported the problem to the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) Thursday, according to the recall notice.

“The problem was discovered on June 20 after the firm received a consumer complaint about product discoloration. The firm conducted an investigation and product testing and determined that not all products contained an adequate amount of the curing solution,” the recall notice states.

Research – Ruminant and chicken: important sources of Campylobacteriosis in France

Poultry Med

Campylobacter spp. are regarded as the most common foodborne bacterial zoonosis in Europe, despite potential underestimation due to underreporting of cases. In France, C. jejuni is responsible for nearly 80% of human infections while C. coli accounts for around 15%. The economic burden of campylobacteriosis has been estimated to 2.4 billion euros annually in Europe, with estimates of £50 million in 2008–2009 in the United Kingdom and 82 million euros in the Netherlands in 2011.Pathogen source attribution studies are a useful tool for identifying reservoirs of human infection. Based on Multilocus Sequence Typing (MLST) data, such studies have identified chicken as a major source of C. jejuni human infection. The use of whole genome sequence-based typing methods offers potential to improve the precision of attribution beyond that which is possible from 7 MLST loci. Using published data and 156 novel C. jejuni genomes sequenced in this study, the researchers performed probabilistic host source attribution of clinical C. jejuni isolates from France using three types of genotype data: comparative genomic fingerprints; MLST genes; 15 host segregating genes previously identified by whole genome sequencing. Consistent with previous studies, chicken was an important source of campylobacteriosis in France (31–63% of clinical isolates assigned). There was also evidence that ruminants are a source (22–55% of clinical isolates assigned), suggesting that further investigation of potential transmission routes from ruminants to human would be useful.

RASFF Alert – STEC E.coli – Frozen Herb Mix with Parsley

kswfoodworld food safety poisoning

RASFF-shigatoxin-producing Escherichia coli (stx1+, stx2+ /25g) in frozen herb mixes containing parsley from Germany in Germany