Research – Cruise Ship Illness Cases Surpass 2019 Levels – What It Means

Cruise Hive

Recorded outbreaks of gastrointestinal illnesses have been reported aboard 12 cruises so far in 2023, already surpassing the total number of outbreaks in 2019, the last year of full data available. Does this mean that cruises have become unhealthier or at higher risk for such outbreaks?

12 Outbreaks in Less Than 5 Months

Only five months into 2023, a dozen outbreaks of gastrointestinal illnesses aboard cruise ships have been reported to the Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

UK – Large rise of E. coli O26 infections noted in England

Food Safety News

An increase in a type of E. coli over the past decade has prompted scientists to warn of an emerging threat to public health in England.

While part of the rise is because of better detection of non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) in labs, there is evidence more people are actually getting sick.

Researchers looked at STEC O26:H11 clonal complex (CC) 29 in England. Between January 2014 and December 2021, 834 human isolates from 724 patients belonging to CC29 were sequenced at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).

STEC O26:H11 notifications in 2021 were eight times higher than those recorded in 2014. Diagnoses of STEC O26 in England have increased each year from 19 in 2014 to 144 in 2021. Most cases were female and the highest proportion belonged to the 0 to 5 age group, found the study in the Journal of Infection.

Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS) was diagnosed in 40 cases and three children died. HUS is a severe complication associated with E. coli infections that causes kidney failure.

Researchers estimate Campylobacter costs in Germany

Food Safety News

Campylobacter infection and related illness is associated with a substantial economic burden in Germany, according to a study.

Researchers analyzed the use of health care and direct and indirect costs of Campylobacter and care-intensive long-lasting health issues of patients from health insurance data with 26 million members in Germany.

Claims data of insurants with at least one Campylobacter diagnosis in 2017 were provided, of which 9,945 were included in the analysis published in the journal Plos One.

This showed a lower rate of Campylobacter diagnoses than German surveillance data for 2017 but with similar age, gender, and regional distribution. According to both the surveillance and claims data, rates were lowest in the 5 to 14 age group and highest for females aged 20 to 24.

Some people developed post-infectious reactive arthritis, Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and/or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Research – Investigating the Impacts of UVC Radiation on Natural and Cultured Biofilms: An assessment of Cell Viability



Biofilms are conglomerates of cells, water, and extracellular polymeric substances which can lead to various functional and financial setbacks. As a result, there has been a drive towards more environmentally friendly antifouling methods, such as the use of ultraviolet C (UVC) radiation. When applying UVC radiation, it is important to understand how frequency, and thus dose, can influence an established biofilm. This study compares the impacts of varying doses of UVC radiation on both a monocultured biofilm consisting of Navicula incerta and field-developed biofilms. Both biofilms were exposed to doses of UVC radiation ranging from 1626.2 mJ/cm2mJ/cm2 to 9757.2 mJ/cm2mJ/cm2 and then treated with a live/dead assay. When exposed to UVC radiation, the N. incerta biofilms demonstrated a significant reduction in cell viability compared to the non-exposed samples, but all doses had similar viability results. The field biofilms were highly diverse, containing not only benthic diatoms but also planktonic species which may have led to inconsistencies. Although they are different from each other, these results provide beneficial data. Cultured biofilms provide insight into how diatom cells react to varying doses of UVC radiation, whereas the real-world heterogeneity of field biofilms is useful for determining the dosage needed to effectively prevent a biofilm. Both concepts are important when developing UVC radiation management plans that target established biofilms.

Canada – Uruthira brand Plain Chilli Powder recalled due to Bacillus cereus



Plain Chilli Powder
Food – Microbial Contamination – Other
What to do

Do not use, sell, serve or distribute the affected products.


Affected products


Uruthira brand Plain Chilli Powder recalled due to Bacillus cereus.

The recalled products have been sold in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec.

USA – Taco Bell employee infected with Hepatitis A; county in Washington issues health alert

Food Safety News

Health officials in Snohomish County, WA, are warning people who ate at two Taco Bell locations to monitor themselves for signs of hepatitis A infections and get vaccinated if they are not already.

“People who ate food from the Taco Bell at 2727 Broadway on May 22-23 or the Taco Tell at 303 91st Avenue NE in Lake Stevens on May 23 should contact their healthcare provider or public health,” according to the warning from the Snohomish County Health Department.

An employee who worked at both locations has tested positive for hepatitis A. The confirmed case appears to have been infected during international travel. The Snohomish County Health Department is working with the business to identify other workers who were potentially exposed and connect them with prevention information as well as resources for vaccination and post-exposure prophylaxis, as needed.

For two weeks after exposure a vaccination is effective from keeping the liver virus from developing. Therefore it is crucial for anyone who ate at the restaurants on the exposure dates to check their vaccination records.

Viet Nam – HCMC botulism patient dies before receiving antitoxin sent from Switzerland


The World Health Organization has dispatched rare drug to HCMC to treat patients critically ill with botulism after eating pork bologna and fermented food, but one died shortly after it arrived.

Sent from Switzerland, six vials of botulism antitoxin heptavalent (BAT) arrived on Wednesday to be administered to the three men, aged 18, 26 and 45, the Ministry of Health said.

Two of them are under treatment at Cho Ray Hospital and the other at Gia Dinh Hospital.

But the 45-year-old patient at Gia Dinh died on Wednesday night before he was injected with the drug, the hospital announced Thursday morning.

Produced by Emergent BioSolutions Canada Inc., the drug effectively neutralizes all known botulinum nerve toxin serotypes. Without it, botulism patients could be paralyzed permanently.

Between May 13 and 20 six people in Thu Duc City suffered from botulinum poisoning, five after eating pork bologna sold by street vendors and one due to eating a type of fermented food.

Quebec – Absence of information necessary for the safe consumption of cheeses packaged and sold by Groupe Adonis inc. – Raw Milk


QUEBEC CITY , May 24, 2023 /CNW/ –  The Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation (MAPAQ), in collaboration with Groupe Adonis Inc., is notifying people considered vulnerable (pregnant women, people with weakened immune systems, children and the elderly) not to consume the products indicated in the table below, because the mention “made of raw milk” which is required does not appear on the packaging.

Product name


Affected lot



Units sold until May 24,


The products that are the subject of this warning were offered for sale until May 24, 2023 inclusively, in all Adonis establishments in the province. The cheeses were wrapped in clear plastic wrap. The label of the products included, in addition to their name, the mention “Groupe Adonis inc . “.

The retailer has agreed with MAPAQ to issue this warning as a precautionary measure. In addition, people deemed vulnerable (designated above) who have one of these products in their possession are advised not to consume it. They should return it to the establishment where they bought it, use it in a cooked dish that will be cooked until it reaches a safe cooking temperature of 74°C, or throw it away.

It should be noted that no case of illness associated with the consumption of these foods has been reported to MAPAQ to date.

 Additional information

The Ministry publishes various information documents concerning food safety. Interested persons can consult the FoodThis link will open in a new window. section of the Government of Quebec website. They also have the option of registering online to receive, by e-mail, the food recallThis link will open in a new window. notices published by the Ministry Finally, it is possible to follow “MAPAQfoods” on Twitter at the following address: link will open in a new window. .

Risk Classification: Class 1

Reference number: 4735

USA – Health officials confirm an outbreak of Salmonella infections linked to Boston Restaurants

Food Safety News

Laboratory testing has shown that dozens of people have Salmonella infections linked to two Mexican restaurants in Boston.

There are now 45 confirmed patients, up from 33 earlier this week, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Patients report eating at Los Amigos Mexican Grill taquerias in Brighton Center and West Roxbury. Of the 45 confirmed patients, 29 are from Boston. Additional illnesses have been reported but have not yet been confirmed with lab tests.

The two restaurants have been closed by authorities who have cited health code violations. The Los Amigos Mexican Grill taquerias in Brighton Center and West Roxbury have also had their permits to operate temporarily suspended.

Belgium – SPANISH TAPAS SKEWER (270G) & TAPAS PLATTER (+-360G) – Salmonella


Wildvermeersch BV recall
Problem: possible presence of Salmonella.

In agreement with the FASFC, Wildvermeersch BV is withdrawing the products “SPANISH TAPAS BROCHETTE (270G)” & “TAPAS PLATTER (+-360G)” from sale and recalling them from consumers due to the possible presence of Salmonella.

Wildvermeersch BV asks its customers not to consume these products and to return them to the point of sale in which they were purchased, where they will be refunded to you.

Description of products:

– Use-by date (BBD) (“Use by”): 05/25/2023 and 05/26/23
– Batch number: 23136
– Sale period: from 05/18/2023 to 05/26/2023
– Type of packaging: plastic tray in a protected atmosphere
– Weight: 270g
The product was distributed via Okay stores.

– Product name TAPAS PLATTER
– Use-by date (BBD) (“Use by”): 05/25/2023
– Batch number: 23136
– Sale period: from 05/18/2023 to 05/25 /2023
– Type of packaging: plastic tray in a protected atmosphere
– Weight: 360g
The product was distributed via Colruyt stores.

For further information , contact:

Vermeersch Kristof: 050 45 14 14 /