Research – Pulsed light treatment of dried parsley: reduction of artificially inoculated Salmonella spp. and impact in given quality parameters

Journal of Food Protection

Dried parsley is regularly contaminated with foodborne pathogens, especially Salmonella (S.) spp. Application of contaminated ingredients in ready-to-eat dishes without further thermal treatment represents a considerable health risk. This study examines the suitability of pulsed light as a novel decontamination method of Salmonella spp. in dried parsley, the impact on selected quality parameters (chlorophyll content, phenolic compounds, color, odor) and product characters (temperature, aw-value). Samples were inoculated with one of three Salmonella isolates (S. Cerro or one of two isolates of S. Agona) at two contamination levels of 103 or 107 CFU/g and treated under various experimental factors, including distance to the light source and exposure time, resulting in fluences in the range of 1.8 – 19.9 J/cm2. At selected parameter settings (9.8 and 13.3 J/cm2), the effect of prolonged storage time (48 h) of inoculated samples prior to treatment on the reduction of S. Cerro was examined. Samples treated at the same fluences were also stored for 35 days at 22 – 25 °C. The three Salmonella isolates were significantly reduced by pulsed light (p < 0.05). Reduction factors ranged between 0.3 – 5.2 log CFU with varying sensitivities of the isolates. In general, increasing fluences (depending on exposure time and distance to the light source) resulted in increasing reductions of Salmonella spp. However, on closer examination, exposure time and distance to the light source in detail had a varying influence on the reduction of the different Salmonella isolates. Decreasing reduction factors were observed by increasing the contamination level and prolonging storage time of inoculated samples prior to treatment. No undesirable changes in quality parameters and sensory analysis were detectable at fluences of 9.8 and 13.3 J/cm2, indicating that pulsed light may be a suitable alternative for the decontamination of dried parsley.

Research – Staphylococcal (Staph) Food Poisoning


MRSA Staphylococcus KSW Food World

Staph food poisoning is a gastrointestinal illness caused by eating foods contaminated with toxins produced by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus (Staph) bacteria.

About 25% of people and animals have Staph on their skin and in their nose. It usually does not cause illness in healthy people, but Staph has the ability to make toxins that can cause food poisoning.

People who carry Staph can contaminate food if they don’t wash their hands before touching it. If food is contaminated with Staph, the bacteria can multiply in the food and produce toxins that can make people ill. Staph bacteria are killed by cooking, but the toxins are not destroyed and will still be able to cause illness.

Foods that are not cooked after handling, such as sliced meats, puddings, pastries, and sandwiches, are especially risky if contaminated with Staph.

Food contaminated with Staph toxin may not smell bad or look spoiled.

What are the symptoms of Staph food poisoning?

  • Staph food poisoning is characterized by a sudden start of nausea, vomiting, and stomach cramps. Most people also have diarrhea.
  • Symptoms usually develop within 30 minutes to 8 hours after eating or drinking an item containing Staph toxin, and last no longer than 1 day. Severe illness is rare.
  • The illness cannot be passed from one person to another.

How do I know if I have Staph food poisoning?

You can suspect Staph food poisoning based on the type of symptoms and their fast resolution. Although laboratory tests can detect toxin-producing Staph in stool, vomit, and foods, these tests are usually not ordered except during an outbreak. If you think you might have Staph food poisoning and are experiencing severe symptoms, contact your health care provider.

Research – Resistance levels still high in bacteria causing foodborne infections


A sizeable proportion of Salmonella and Campylobacter bacteria is still resistant to antibiotics commonly used in humans and animals, as in previous years, says a report released today by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

In humans, high proportions of resistance to ciprofloxacin, an antibiotic commonly used to treat several types of infections, were reported in a specific Salmonella type known as S. Kentucky (82.1%). In recent years, S. Enteritidis resistant to nalidixic acid and/or ciprofloxacin has been increasingly reported in several countries. The increasing occurrence of fluoroquinolone and/or quinolone resistance in these types of Salmonella probably reflects the spread of particularly resistant strains.

In Campylobacter, resistance to ciprofloxacin is now so common in most countries that this antimicrobial has limited use in treatment of Campylobacter infections in humans.

However, the report also includes some positive findings. Over the period 2015-2019, a decline in resistance to ampicillin and tetracyclines has been observed in Salmonella isolates from humans in eight and eleven Member States respectively.

A decreasing trend has also been observed in the prevalence of extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)- producing E. coli in samples from food producing animals from 13 Member States between 2015 and 2019. This is an important finding as particular strains of ESBL-producing E. coli are responsible for serious infections in humans.

Combined resistance to two critically important antimicrobials – fluoroquinolones and third generation cephalosporines in Salmonella and fluoroquinolones and macrolides in Campylobacter – remains low. These critically important antimicrobials are commonly used to treat serious infections from Salmonella and Campylobacter in humans.

The rate of E. coli bacteria in samples from food producing animals that respond to all antimicrobials tested also increased. This was observed in nine Member States over the period 2014-2019.

The report was based on antimicrobial resistance monitoring data collected by Member States as part of their EU regulatory obligations and jointly analysed by EFSA and ECDC with the assistance of external contractors.

Research – A cross-border outbreak of Salmonella Bareilly cases confirmed by whole genome sequencing, Czech Republic and Slovakia, 2017 to 2018


spp. are the third most common cause of bacterial food-borne illnesses worldwide and the second most commonly reported zoonotic agents in the European Union (EU). The bacterial genus  consists of  and  species. More than 2,500 serotypes of  have been identified so far , many of them commonly infecting animals (e.g. poultry, pigs, cattle) and humans. The distribution of predominant serovars in each country are affected by changes in the global food and livestock trade, international travel, and human migration.

 subsp.  serovar Bareilly ( Bareilly) belongs to the C1 serogroup (antigenic formula 6, 7, 14: y: 1,5) and was first identified in India in 1928. In the United Kingdom (UK), 31% of all  Bareilly human cases identified between 2005 and 2009 were attributed to travel from India. Since 2004,  Bareilly has most commonly been isolated from spices. Contaminated mung bean seeds were the likely source of a  Bareilly outbreak in the UK in 2010, with total of 231 cases. In an outbreak of salmonellosis in the United States, which comprised 410 cases of  Bareilly across 28 states and the District of Columbia, tuna scrape imported from India was identified to be the source using whole genome sequencing (WGS)-based methods.

Since 2016,  Bareilly has been among the top 20  serotypes associated with human diseases in the European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA) . Between 2006 and 2016,  Bareilly was among the top 25 serotypes detected in humans in the Czech Republic, with the annual incidence ranging from 0.04 to 0.23 per 100,000 inhabitants (data from the Czech national electronic communicable diseases notification system). According to data from the Czech national control programme for  in poultry,  Bareilly was identified in broiler flocks with a prevalence of up to 0.06%.

Salmonellosis has been a mandatory notifiable disease in both the Czech Republic and Slovakia since 1951. Regional public health officers notify case-based data to the national electronic communicable diseases notification system (EpiDat/ISIN in the Czech Republic and the Epidemic Intelligence Information System (EPIS) in Slovakia). Both systems record data on all cases that meet the definition of a confirmed case in accordance with the European Commission Implementing Decision 2119/98/EC. The information on  serovar, which is provided by routine microbiological laboratories handling human samples, is included in the reporting systems. These laboratories typically test for a limited spectrum of serovars only, and  Bareilly is usually not included. The Czech and Slovak National Reference Laboratories (NRLs) (the Czech NRL is a part of the National Institute of Public Health in Prague, the Slovak NRL is part of the Public Health Authority in Bratislava) provide serotyping of less common serovars and confirm results from routine microbiological laboratories on request.

There are several options to confirm the relatedness of  isolates in laboratories. Macro-restriction analysis followed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) is usually a suitable method for the detection and investigation of  outbreaks. However, in some cases, it does not provide sufficient discriminatory power to distinguish outbreak isolates. Therefore, WGS-based typing methods are now increasingly applied as molecular epidemiology tools to assist in outbreak investigations.

Denmark – Risk of Salmonella in the Supplement REMEMBER Psyllium Stomach Balance Basic (capsules)


Orkla Care A / S is recalling a batch of the dietary supplement REMEMBER Psyllium Stomach Balance Basic (capsules) due to the risk of salmonella in the product.

Recalled Foods , Published: April 9, 2021

What foods:
REMEMBER Psyllium Stomach Balance Basic (capsules) 
Best before date: 30.09.2023
Batch number: 505433
Sold in:
Specialty stores and pharmacies
Company recalling:
Orkla Care A / S
Risk of salmonella in the product.
There is a risk of infection with salmonella. The symptoms include diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, fever and vomiting.
Advice for consumers:
The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration advises consumers to deliver the product back to the store where it was purchased or to discard it.

Research – Exotic dried fruits caused Salmonella Agbeni outbreak with severe clinical presentation, Norway, December 2018 to March 2019


Non-typhoid salmonellosis is a gastrointestinal infection characterised by diarrhoea, nausea and occasionally vomiting and fever. In 2017, 20 confirmed salmonellosis cases per 100,000 population were reported in the European Union (EU), making it the second most commonly reported food-borne infection [1]. In Norway, it is mandatory to report all cases of salmonellosis to the Norwegian Surveillance System for Communicable Diseases (MSIS), and the medical microbiology laboratories submit  isolates to the National Reference Laboratory for Enteropathogenic Bacteria (NRL) at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) for confirmation and molecular epidemiological surveillance by whole genome sequencing (WGS). The incidence rate was 18 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2018

The majority of cases are travel-related, as Norway has few known domestic reservoirs. The dominating serotypes detected are  Typhimurium and  Enteritidis. Outbreaks involving different serovars of  are observed irregularly in Norway, with four national outbreaks reported in 2018.

On Tuesday 12 February 2019, the NRL identified a cluster of four  Agbeni isolates, identical by WGS. Previously, this rare serotype of  had only been reported from a few sporadic cases in Norway and from a few outbreaks in the United States (US) and Canada. The cases resided in different municipalities in Norway. The following week, three more cases were detected. The initial interviews indicated a dried fruit mix product as the possible source of the outbreak. The NIPH initiated an outbreak investigation in collaboration with the Norwegian Food Safety Authority (NFSA) and the Norwegian Veterinary Institute (NVI) to identify the source of the outbreak and implement control measures.

This article describes the outbreak investigation and public health measures, and the finding that consumption of a ready-to-eat snack product of dried exotic fruits caused the outbreak of  Agbeni in Norway.

Italy – BLACK PEPPER wild boar salami – Salmonella


Brand : IT 645 – L CE

Name : BLACK PEPPER wild boar salami

Reason for reporting : Recall due to microbiological risk

Publication date : 8 April 2021



Hong Kong – Officials investigate ciguatoxin poisoning cases

Outbreak News Today

Hong Kong health officials report investigating a suspected ciguatoxin poisoning cases affecting two people.

The case involves two females, aged 34 and 66 respectively, who developed symptoms of ciguatoxin poisoning including abdominal pain and diarrhea about six to seven hours after consuming a marine fish for dinner at home on April 5. The latter patient also developed perioral numbness and attended the Accident and Emergency Department of Kwong Wah Hospital the next day. She was admitted for further management. Both patients are in a stable condition.

Initial inquiries revealed that the fish consumed was bought from a fish stall in Yeung Uk Road Market, Tsuen Wan, on April 4.

Switzerland – Early detection for food safety


For sustainable assurance of food safety and the prevention of fraud, the FSVO identifies newly emerging risks to the health of Switzerland’s population. Early detection of this kind allows appropriate action to be taken in real time.


The FSVO compiles the most important food safety information every month.

Monitoring developments in the field of food safety is an essential task of early detection. This is why the FSVO summarises and evaluates the main information in Seismo Info. The publication is sent out by newsletter.

The aim of early detection for food safety is to identify and assess potential risks of food to the health of consumers.

The FSVO distinguishes between different types of risk:

  • Microbiological risks in foodstuffs and food fraud and deception
  • Chemical risks in foodstuffs and commodities
  • Nutrition-related risks

Monitoring system

The detection of newly emerging risks requires vigilant monitoring of societal and ecological changes, technological developments, economic trends and political conditions.

To perform these tasks, the FSVO manages an early detection system for food safety. This system considers information from a variety of sources, as well as the opinion of experts from the federal government, the cantons, industry and universities. The FSVO is also part of an international network that regularly shares information on new risks, assesses these risks and discusses the action to be taken.

Information and communication

The information gathered is compiled in the ADURA database, which can be accessed by federal and cantonal experts and to some extent also by the public.

The FSVO summarises and evaluates the main information every month in Seismo Info. The publication is communicated via the «Food safety and nutrition» newsletter (Subscription in French, German or Italian).

«Briefing letters» are short summaries of issues. They are characterised by in-depth research on a specific topic. Their purpose is to draw attention to hazards or risks that could endanger food safety in the medium to long term.

Anyone can contribute to early detection by submitting information to Specialists check the information and incorporate it into the ADURA database or Seismo Info as appropriate.

Legionella risks during the coronavirus pandemic



Employers, the self-employed and people in control of premises, such as landlords, have a duty to protect people by identifying and controlling risks associated with legionella.

If your building was closed or has reduced occupancy during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, water system stagnation can occur due to lack of use, increasing the risks of Legionnaires’ disease.

You should review your risk assessment and and manage the legionella risks when you:

If the water system is still used regularly, maintain the appropriate measures to prevent legionella growth.

You can find out what Legionnaires’ disease is, where it comes from, how people get it and symptoms and treatment by reading our guidance What is Legionnaires’ disease?.