USA – FDA Investigates Shigella Illnesses Linked to Imported Raw Oysters

FDA 

May 21, 2019

Audience

  • Consumers who recently experienced symptoms of foodborne illness after eating raw oysters
  • Restaurants that sell raw oysters in California, Nevada, New York, and Arizona

Product

  • Oysters harvested from Estero El Cardon, Baja California Sur, Mexico
  • Oysters were distributed primarily to California, Nevada, New York, and Arizona
  • Oysters were sold to wholesale distributors with direct sales to restaurants and not to grocery retail outlets.

Purpose

Consumers should not purchase oysters marketed as being harvested from Estero El Cardon, in Baja California Sur, Mexico from restaurants. Consumers who have recently experienced symptoms of foodborne illness should contact their healthcare provider and report their symptoms and receive care.

Restaurants and retailers should not serve oysters from the Estero El Cardon harvest area in Baja California Sur, Mexico. Restaurants and retailers should dispose of any products with harvest tags that indicate a growing area of Estero El Cardon by throwing them away.

Symptoms of Shigella Illness (Shigellosis)

Shigella is a bacterium that spreads from contaminated feces. It often spreads through unclean water that an infected person has been in. Food can become contaminated when handled by an infected person who did not use proper hand hygiene after going to the bathroom, or if contaminated water is used in the process of growing or preparing the food.

Symptoms of shigellosis generally develop within 8 hours or up to about 2 days. Although shigellosis is often mild and goes away by itself in a week or less, it can become very serious in some cases. Severe cases can be treated with certain antibiotics. Symptoms of shigellosis may include watery stool that may have blood, pus, or mucus in it, vomiting, cramping, and fever. Young children, the elderly, and people with a weak immune system are more likely than others to develop severe illness.

If you suspect you have symptoms of shigellosis, contact a health professional.

Ireland – Recall of a Batch of Holland and Barrett Lucky Liquorice Roots Due to Ochratoxin A

FSAI

Summary
Category 2: For Information
Alert Notification: 2019.19
Product: Holland & Barrett good stuff lucky liquorice root, pack size: 100g
Batch Code: 130567, ‘best-before’ end: January 2020
Country Of Origin: Azerbaijan

Message:

A high level of ochratoxin A was detected in the above batch of liquorice roots. Ochratoxin A is a toxin which is produced by fungi growing on the plant material. Consumers who have the implicated batch should dispose of it or return it to Holland & Barrett.

Lucky_liquorice

Argentina -Argentina reports two Clostridium botulism cases linked to hummus

Outbreak News Today

cdc clost spore

Image CDC

Two people from Villa Urquiza have contracted botulism and health officials have linked it to consumption of hummus, according to a Perfil report (computer translated).

According to the report, the packaged hummus was from a a firm that marketed -without any type of authorization- vegan products in its Buenos Aires neighborhood of Palermo.

The two female patients, aged 25 and 32, presented Thursday with symptoms compatible with botulism: blurred vision, difficulty in swallowing, muscle weakness, muscle fatigue, among others. Both are hospitalized in the intensive care unit of Sanatorium Güemes.

The Buenos Aires Ministry of Health began an epidemiological investigation and prevention and control measures were implemented. It was determined that the cases of intoxication were associated with the product: “Hummus, organic chickpea, Tsuki Macro Vegan brand”.

Philippines – Food poisoning sickens 100s at Bukidnon event

Outbreak News Today

Philippines officials are reported an outbreak of suspected food poisoning in Bukidnon province in the  Northern Mindanao region.

It is reported that 233 delegates of the 8th National Youth Convention held by the Seventh Day Adventists at the Center of Ecological Development and Recreation (CEDAR) in Impasog-ong experienced vomited and loose-bowel movements with fever.

Some patients were transported to hospitals in Malaybalay for treatment, while others were locally by the Rural Health Unit.

A Department of Health response team was sent to the area.

Cambodia – Villagers poisoned in two separate cases over weekend

Khmer Times

One person was killed and about 40 others were injured over the weekend after they consumed wild mushrooms and salted crabs in Preah Sihanouk and Battambang provinces.

Seng Nong, director of the Preah Sihanouk Provincial Referral Hospital, yesterday said five people working at the special economic zone were sent to hospital on Friday after they consumed mushrooms, noting that one of the victims died.

“According to them, they used mushrooms in their cooking, and after eating, they began vomiting and having difficulty breathing,” Mr Nong said. “We suspect they had been poisoned by the mushrooms because they ate nothing else but those mushrooms.”

USA – Kwik Trip Del Monte Vegetable Trays Linked to Salmonella Outbreak in WI and MN

Food Poisoning Bulletin

A new Kwik Trip Del Monte vegetable tray outbreak has sickened three people in Wisconsin and one person in Minnesota with Salmonella food poisoning, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health. Last year, a cyclospora outbreak that was linked to Del Monte vegetable trays, also sold at Kwik Trip and Kwik Star locations in the upper Midwest, sickened at least 250 people.

Research – ECDC TECHNICAL REPORT Proficiency test for Listeria monocytogenes whole genome assembly

ECDC ecdclogo

Executive summary
Within its mission to operate EU surveillance networks, ECDC supports the integration of whole genome sequencing (WGS) data into surveillance and multi-country outbreak investigations of foodborne diseases including listeriosis as one of the priority diseases. To evaluate the inter-laboratory reproducibility and portability of Listeria monocytogenes genome assemblies, ECDC organised a proficiency test for national public health reference laboratories with WGS typing capabilities in the EU/EEA, as well as EFSA and the EU Reference Laboratory for L. monocytogenes.
This report presents the results of the proficiency test. Each participant received a total of 15 sets of raw sequence reads, which were to be assembled by one or more pipelines of their choice. The resulting assemblies were then compared to the reference assembly generated by ECDC on several quality metrics. There were 16 participants, submitting results for 29 pipelines. Twelve participants, including 10 of the 14 participating public health reference laboratories, had at least one concordant pipeline for Illumina reads. The other participants were provided with individual feedback on possibilities to improve their pipeline(s). Participants with a concordant pipeline are recommended to use that for their own analyses as well as for any sharing of assemblies with other organisations including ECDC. For EU-level surveillance purposes ECDC will only accept assemblies generated with a concordant pipeline. Any new pipelines or updates to existing pipelines should go through the same proficiency testing before being used for sharing data with ECDC. For outbreak investigation purposes when more detailed analysis can be needed, raw sequence reads are proposed to be shared instead of or in addition to assemblies for isolates included in the cluster. For Ion Torrent reads, it was not possible to establish concordance. ECDC suggests that any countries producing
these reads share not only the reads with other organisations but also the extracted allele sequences for at least the core genome in the form of a fasta file. This was shown to produce acceptable results and allows other organisations, including ECDC, to perform their allele calling as with any regular assembly. It was also found that the assembly process can be used to remove low-level contamination. Conversely, low-level
contamination can give rise to much longer assembly lengths than the expected length due to the presence of a
large number of very small contigs with very low quality. It is recommended that assembly pipelines include
removal of such small and unreliable contigs, ideally in a way that still alerts the user to the likely presence of
low-level contamination.
EU laboratories that have installed a new or updated pipeline are welcome to have its concordance assessed by
ECDC at any time.