Research – Contamination by Meat Juice When Shopping for Packages of Raw Poultry

Journal of Food Protection Campylobacter kswfoodworld

Raw poultry products often are contaminated with Salmonella and Campylobacter, and these bacteria can be transmitted through meat juice on the packages. An observational study was conducted to assess consumer exposure to meat juice during shopping and to quantify the transmission of meat juice from poultry packages to hands and other surfaces. Ninety-six participants completed the shopping study; 402 swabs were collected and analyzed for the presence of meat juice by an immunoassay. Overall, meat juice was detected on 61% of poultry package surfaces, 34% of shoppers’ hands, 41% of grocery bags, 60% of kitchen surfaces, and 51% of food item surfaces. When meat juice was detected on the purchased poultry packages, the chance of the meat juice being on the shopper’s hands, grocery bags, food items, and kitchen surfaces was significantly higher (P < 0.005) compared with packages on which meat juice was not present. Shoppers who had poultry wrapped separately during checkout had a significantly lower (P < 0.05) chance of meat juice on the food items. However, using plastic bags and wrapping poultry separately did not significantly reduce the likelihood of meat juice on kitchen surfaces at home due to consumers’ practices of repackaging before storage. Results suggested that the transfer of meat juice through direct contact with the poultry packages is a major concern during shopping and should be prevented.

Research – Prevalence of Human Noroviruses in Commercial Food Establishment Bathrooms

Journal of Food Protection

Although transmission of human norovirus in food establishments is commonly attributed to consumption of contaminated food, transmission via contaminated environmental surfaces, such as those in bathrooms, may also play a role. Our aim was to determine the prevalence of human norovirus on bathroom surfaces in commercial food establishments in New Jersey, Ohio, and South Carolina under nonoutbreak conditions and to determine characteristics associated with the presence of human norovirus. Food establishments (751) were randomly selected from nine counties in each state. Four surfaces (underside of toilet seat, flush handle of toilet, inner door handle of stall or outer door, and sink faucet handle) were swabbed in male and female bathrooms using premoistened macrofoam swabs. A checklist was used to collect information about the characteristics, materials, and mechanisms of objects in bathrooms. In total, 61 (1.5%) of 4,163 swabs tested were presumptively positive for human norovirus, 9 of which were confirmed by sequencing. Some factors associated with the presence of human norovirus included being from South Carolina (odd ratio [OR], 2.4; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2 to 4.9; P < 0.05) or New Jersey (OR, 1.7; 95% CI, 0.9 to 3.3; 0.05 < P < 0.10), being a chain establishment (OR, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.1 to 3.3; P < 0.05), being a unisex bathroom (versus male: OR, 2.0; 95% CI, 0.9 to 4.1; 0.05 < P < 0.10; versus female: OR, 2.6; 95% CI, 1.2 to 5.7; P < 0.05), having a touchless outer door handle (OR, 3.3; 95% CI, 0.79 to 13.63; 0.05 < P < 0.10), and having an automatic flush toilet (OR, 2.5, 95% CI, 1.1 to 5.3; 0.05 < P < 0.10). Our findings confirm that the presence of human norovirus on bathroom surfaces in commercial food establishments under nonoutbreak conditions is a rare event. Therefore, routine environmental monitoring for human norovirus contamination during nonoutbreak periods is not an efficient method of monitoring norovirus infection risk.

Research – Legionella Conference 2018: Controlling This Deadly Bacteria Will Take a Village

Outbreak News Today legionellac

Controlling Legionnaires’ disease will require a universal, preventive-based approach by a bevy of stakeholders ranging from building owners to hospital administrators, from public health officials to policymakers, and from scientists to water system engineers.

In other words, it’s going to take a village to get a handle on the deadliest waterborne disease in the United States, participants heard recently at Legionella Conference 2018 in Baltimore, co-sponsored by NSF International and the National Science Foundation.

Incidence of Legionnaires’ disease – a severe lung illness caused by Legionella bacteria inhaled from water distribution and premise plumbing systems – has jumped more than 300 percent since 2000. Yet preventative efforts, conference speakers said, are being hampered by a lack of awareness and inconsistent planning, testing and management of building water systems. There are more than 5 million commercial buildings in the United States.

USA – Multistate Outbreak of Burkholderia cepacia Complex Infections Associated with the Use of Medline Remedy Essentials No-Rinse Cleaning Foam



Update May 21, 2018

CDC is collaborating with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), state and local health departments, and healthcare facilities to investigate a recent outbreak of Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc) infections. As of May 21, 2018, CDC confirmed 15 cases of Bcc infections associated with use of Medline (Northfield, IL) Remedy Essentials No-Rinse Cleansing Foam. Seven infections were in patients in Pennsylvania, seven were in California, and one was in New Jersey. These patients were already hospitalized for acute conditions and acquired the infections while hospitalized.

As of May 8, 2018 FDA is advising health professionals and consumers to avoid using all lots of Medline Remedy Essentials No-Rinse Cleansing foam, manufactured by Shadow Holdings dba Bocchi Laboratories (Santa Clarita, CA), as these products might be contaminated with Bcc. Shadow Holdings dba Bocchi Laboratories has recalled certain lots of the product.

The FDA is investigating this matter further to determine whether any additional products or lots may present a risk to consumers.

B. cepacia complex bacteria are environmental pathogens. Infections can be transmitted through infection control lapses, including indirect contact via environmental surfaces. Person-to-person transmission is possible but less common. B. cepacia complex bacteria can grow in aqueous environments, can exhibit resistance to preservatives, and can cause contamination of liquid medications or other liquid products. These factors have led to previous healthcare-associated outbreaks of B. cepacia complex. For additional information on B. cepacia complex bacteria please visit: Burkholderia cepacia in Healthcare Settings(

Report adverse reactions or quality problems experienced with the use of this product to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program either online, by regular mail or by fax.

The product recall notice and list of products can be found here: Medline Canada, Corp. recalls Remedy Essentials Foaming Cleanser

FDA Alert May 7, 2018 – Multistate Outbreak of Burkholderia cepacia Infections Associated with the Use of Medline Remedy Essentials No-Rinse Cleaning Foam  

Additional updates will be posted as they become available.

Sweden – Four Deaths – Listeria monocytogenes – Linked to Mashed Potato Machine

The Local

Products from a food producer in western Sweden have been recalled after they were linked to a deadly outbreak of listeria.

There have been four deaths in Västra Götaland, in western Sweden, that experts have linked to the listeria bacteria.

Experts at the Centre for Communicable Disease Control (Smittskydd) stressed that all those who passed away were elderly people or affected by other illnesses.

In other words, they said it was impossible to confirm that listeriosis, the disease caused by listeria bacteria, was responsible for the deaths.

But the group behind the meals and the local region are not taking any chances, issuing a recall for potentially contaminated products across the region.

The group behind the products, Food Company, released a statement with information about the items that were affected and their expiration dates. See the full list here.

The items have an expiration date between May 16th and 25th.

All items – single portion, pre-cooked and chilled packet meals – contained mashed potatoes, with the company explaining that the machine that made the mash was responsible for the bacteria outbreak.

It added that the machine has since been removed from the production factory.

“This machine has been discarded and is no longer at our factory. We take the event seriously and will implement a number of measures to prevent this from happening again,” the company said in a statement.

While listeria is typically harmless to the vast majority of the population, it can be dangerous for the elderly, pregnant women, or those suffering from illness.

USA – Ziyad Brand Tahini recalled due to Salmonella risk

kswfoodworld Salmonella

Image CDC

Outbreak News Today 


Ziyad Brothers Importing is voluntarily recalling certain lot codes of Ziyad Brand Tahini because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

The product was distributed nationwide and is sold in 8, 16, and 32 ounce and half gallon jars. The jars are labelled “Tahini Sesame Paste.” Lot codes and use by/expiration dates are printed on the white jar cap. ( See Link above for the codes)

No illnesses have been reported to-date in connection with the Ziyad Brand Tahini.

USA – Salmonella outbreak over, but CDC says coconut threat lingers

Food Safety News

Federal officials say an outbreak of Salmonella traced to dried coconut appears to be over, but they are renewing their public warning about a lingering threat.

Fourteen people across eight states and the District of Columbia were confirmed with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium. Three people were admitted to hospitals. The strain was also laboratory confirmed in unopened packages of the coconut. 

“This outbreak appears to be over. However, recalled dried coconut products have a long shelf life and may still be in people’s homes. Consumers unaware of the recall could continue to eat these products and potentially get sick,” according to an update posted Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.