Category Archives: Bacterial Toxin

USA – Consumer Advisory: Romaine lettuce grown by Tanimura & Antle tests positive for E. coli


Romaine lettuce

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is advising consumers not to eat Tanimura & Antle brand romaine lettuce packed as single heads due to food safety concerns.

A routine sample of the lettuce collected at a Walmart in Comstock Park, MI, and tested by MDARD’s Laboratory Division confirmed positive for E. coli 0157:H7. Further analysis conducted by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services laboratory determined that the strain of E. coli recovered from the product sample is highly related genetically to E. coli causing two recent illnesses in Michigan.

The lettuce was sold in a zip-top clear plastic bag with a blue label and white lettering.  It has the UPC number 0-27918-20314-9 and a white sticker indicating it was packed in Salinas, California on October 15, 2020.

Consumers should discard this product or return it to the place of purchase. If you think you or a family member have become ill from consuming any of these products, please seek immediate medical attention.

E. coli can cause serious or life-threatening illness in some individuals. Symptoms of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) infection vary for each person, but often include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting. Some people may have a fever, which usually is not very high (less than 101˚F/38.5˚C). Most people get better within 5 to 7 days. Some infections are very mild, but others are severe or even life-threatening. People usually get sick from Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) 2 to 8 days (average of 3 to 4 days) after ingesting the bacteria. Some people with a STEC infection may get a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). E. coli infection is usually diagnosed by testing a stool sample.

Denmark – Risk of vero-toxin-producing E. coli in French white mold cheese


Lidl Danmark K / S recalls Milbona French white mold cheese due to risk of vero-toxin-forming E. coli in the product

Recalled Foods , Published: October 29, 2020

What food:
Milbona French white mold cheese 
Shelf life: 31.10.2020 
Net content: approx. 100 g
Sold in:
Lidl Denmark’s stores across the country.
Jermi Käsewerk GmbH, Ritter-Heinrich-Straße 2, 88471 Laupheim, Germany
Company recalling:
Lidl Danmark K / S
Vero-toxin-producing E. coli has been detected in the product
Infection with E.coli can cause acute stomach infection with diarrhea, severe abdominal pain 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 – The growth characteristics of Bacillus cereus in sake and during its manufacture.

Journal of Food Protection

Sake (Japanese rice wine) has been recognized as being low-risk in terms of its microbiological safety. However, a confirmation of the food safety aspects of sake based on scientific evidence is important for establishing consumer confidence, in part because consumer concerns regarding food safety have increased. The presence of Bacillus cereus spores in refined rice wine has been reported, and in light of consumers’ growing concern over food safety, the establishment of food and beverage safety is important for consumers’ reassurance. Herein, to confirm the microbiological safety of sake, we investigated the content and growth of B. cereus. We conducted a spore addition test to determine whether B. cereus spores grow during sake production, and we observed no growth or germination of B. cereus spores during the manufacturing process. We also observed that processes such as solid-liquid separation and filtration help remove the risk posed by B. cereus. We then conducted a survey to assess the density of B. cereus in various commercial sake products. We analyzed 162 samples of commercial sake and observed that 11 of the products had ≥1 CFU of living cells in 1 mL of sake (detection rate: 6.8%). There was no product in which ≥100 CFU/mL-sake of living cells was detected. Our findings confirmed that the density of these bacteria in sake is lower than that in other foods, and the probability of infection is very low. The emetic toxin produced by B. cereus was not detected in any of the sake samples. This is the first study based on experimental data demonstrating that B. cereus is not able to grow in sake or during the sake manufacturing process. We thus conclude that the safety risk of B. cereus in sake is negligible. Our findings indicate that Bacillus cereus is not a significant hazard in the sake brewing process, and they will contribute to the food hygiene management based on scientific evidence in sake breweries.

Research – Recovery Rate of Cells of the Seven Regulated Serogroups of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli from Raw Veal Cutlets, Ground Veal, and Ground Beef from Retail Stores in the Mid-Atlantic Region of the United States

Journal of Food Protection

A total of 482 veal cutlet, 555 ground veal, and 540 ground beef samples were purchased from retail establishments in the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. over a non-contiguous, two-year period between 2014 and 2017. Samples (325 g each) were individually enriched and screened via real-time PCR for all seven regulated serogroups of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC). Presumptive STEC positive samples were subjected to serogroup-specific immunomagnetic separation and plated onto selective media. Up to five isolates typical for STEC from each sample were analyzed via multiplex PCR for both the virulence genes (i.e., eae , stx 1 and/or stx 2 , and ehxA ) and serogroup-specific gene(s) for the seven regulated STEC serogroups. The recovery rates of non-O157 STEC from veal cutlets (3.94%, 19 of 482 samples) and ground veal (7.03%, 39 of 555 samples) were significantly higher (P < 0.05) than that from ground beef (0.93%, 5 of 540 samples). In contrast, only a single isolate of STEC O157:H7 was recovered; this isolate originated from one (0.18%) of 555 samples of ground veal. Recovery rates for STEC were not associated with state, season, packaging type, or store type (P > 0.05), but were associated with brand and fat content (P < 0.05). Pulsed-field subtyping of the 270 viable/confirmed STEC isolates from the 64 total samples testing positive revealed 78 pulsotypes (50 to 80% similarity) belonging to 39 pulsogroups, with ≥90% similarity among pulsotypes within pulsogroups. Also, multiple isolates from the same sample displayed an indistinguishable pulsotype for 43 of 64 (67.7%) samples testing positive.  These findings support related data from regulatory sampling exercises over the past decade and confirm that recovery rates for the regulated STEC serogroups are appreciably higher for raw veal compared to raw beef samples as was also observed herein for meat purchased at food retailers in the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S.

Research – Thermal Resistance of Single Strains of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli O121:H19 and O157:H7 Based on Culture Preparation Method and Osmolyte-Reduced Water Activity

Journal of Food Protection

Pathogen thermal resistance studies on low-water activity foods (LWAF) use a variety of methods to inoculate food, as well as strategies to reduce water activity, which can influence thermal resistance observations. This study investigated effects of culture preparation method and osmolyte-induced water activity on thermal resistance of two Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC; O121:H19, O157:H7) challenged with isothermal conditions, determining D – and z -values for each isolate (56, 59, and 62 ° C). Tryptic Soy Broth (TSB) and Agar (lawn cultures) were compared. D -values of broth cultures were significantly and consistently larger than those of lawn cultures, and O121 was significantly more resistant than O157, but only at 56 ° C ( p < 0.05). To compare potential effects of water activity on STEC thermal resistance, cells were suspended in osmolyte solutions with varying water activity: high (TSB, a w 0.99), intermediate (61% glycerol or 26% NaCl, a w 0.75), and low (82% glycerol, a w 0.5). In most instances, STEC in high-water activity broth exhibited greater heat resistance compared to reduced-water activity solutions, except the glycerol intermediate-water activity solution (a w 0.75). Magnitudes varied with strain and temperature. The z -values of lawn cultures were significantly lower than those of broth cultures ( p < 0.05), but there were only some differences between high-a w and reduced-a w samples. There were no significant differences of z -values based on strain type. These results highlight that thermal resistance can be affected by culture preparation and that osmolyte-induced changes to water activity influence thermal inactivation of STEC by varying magnitudes. These results emphasize the challenges between extrapolating results from lab inactivation kinetic experiments to determine the inactivation of low water activity foods, especially those considered dry in nature.

Research – Does Microwaving Deli Meats and Cold Cuts Make Them Safe?

Food Poisoning Bulletin

A story currently making the rounds in the food safety world is that Chrissy Teigen, who is pregnant with her third child, says that microwaving cold cuts, which are a no-no for pregnant women, makes them safe to eat. Does microwaving deli meats and cold cuts make them safe to eat?

The short answer is it depends. But not the way Ms. Teigen describes it.

Italy – AZ. AGR. ARMANNI ANGELO – TREVIOLO (BG) – Raw Milk Cheese – Stracchino – STEC E.coli -eae



Name : raw milk cheese – stracchino

Reason for reporting : Recall due to microbiological risk

Publication date : 30 September 2020



Denmark – Denmark investigates Shigella outbreak with 40 sick

Food Safety News

Shigella - kswfoodworld

Image CDC

More than 40 people are sick and almost a third have needed hospital treatment as part of a foodborne Shigella outbreak in Denmark.

From the end of August, 42 people have been registered with shigellosis in the country.

The outbreak is being investigated to try to pinpoint the source of infection and help stop it with experts doing final traceback investigations ahead of plans to reveal results next week.

From Aug. 25 to Sept. 10, 42 cases of shigellosis were reported to the Statens Serum Institut (SSI).


Research – Lessons Learned from a Decade of Investigations of Shiga Toxin–Producing Escherichia coli Outbreaks Linked to Leafy Greens, United States and Canada



Shiga toxin–producing Escherichia coli (STEC) cause substantial and costly illnesses. Leafy greens are the second most common source of foodborne STEC O157 outbreaks. We examined STEC outbreaks linked to leafy greens during 2009–2018 in the United States and Canada. We identified 40 outbreaks, 1,212 illnesses, 77 cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome, and 8 deaths. More outbreaks were linked to romaine lettuce (54%) than to any other type of leafy green. More outbreaks occurred in the fall (45%) and spring (28%) than in other seasons. Barriers in epidemiologic and traceback investigations complicated identification of the ultimate outbreak source. Research on the seasonality of leafy green outbreaks and vulnerability to STEC contamination and bacterial survival dynamics by leafy green type are warranted. Improvements in traceability of leafy greens are also needed. Federal and state health partners, researchers, the leafy green industry, and retailers can work together on interventions to reduce STEC contamination.

Canada – Updated and Corrected Food Recall Warning – Provigo brand and Metro brand ground beef products recalled due to E. coli O157


Advisory details

Ottawa, September 28, 2020 – The food recall warning issued on September 27, 2020 has been updated to include additional product information. The food recall warning issued on September 27, 2020 has also been amended to correctly identify the affected products. The corrections for these products are marked by an asterisk (*). This additional information was identified during the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) food safety investigation.

JBS Food Canada ULC is recalling raw, fresh, lean ground beef due to possible E. coli O157 contamination. This product was further processed by other companies into raw ground beef products. Consumers should not consume the recalled products described below.

The following products have been sold exclusively at Provigo Hull, 1 du Plateau, Gatineau, Quebec and Metro (Marché Kelly), 910 Maloney boulevard east, Gatineau, Quebec.

Recalled product

Brand Product Size UPC Codes
Provigo Medium ground beef club pack Variable Starts with
0 213026
All Best Before dates from 23.SE2020 up to and including 28.SE 2020 *
Provigo Medium ground beef Variable Starts with
0 214117
All Best Before dates from 23.SE2020 up to and including 28.SE 2020
Provigo Lean ground beef club pack Variable Starts with
0 217334
All Best Before dates from 23.SE2020 up to and including 28.SE 2020 *
Provigo Lean ground beef Variable Starts with
0 217331
All Best Before dates from 23.SE2020 up to and including 28.SE 2020
Metro Lean ground beef Variable Starts with
0 201020
All  « pkgd on » dates from 24.SE 2020 up to and including 26.SE 2020
Metro Lean ground beef fam. pack Variable Starts with
0 201710
All  « pkgd on » dates from 24.SE 2020 up to and including 26.SE 2020

What you should do

If you think you became sick from consuming a recalled product, call your doctor.

Check to see if you have the recalled products in your home. Recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the store where they were purchased.

Food contaminated with E. coli O157 may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick. Symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, mild to severe abdominal cramps and watery to bloody diarrhea. In severe cases of illness, some people may have seizures or strokes, need blood transfusions and kidney dialysis or live with permanent kidney damage. In severe cases of illness, people may die.


This recall was triggered by the company. The CFIA is conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other products. If other high-risk products are recalled, the CFIA will notify the public through updated Food Recall Warnings.

The CFIA is verifying that industry is removing the recalled products from the marketplace.


There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of these products.

Product photos

Printer ready version of photos

  • Provigo - Medium ground beef club pack
  • Provigo - Medium ground beef
  • Provigo - Lean ground beef club pack
  • Provigo - Lean ground beef
  • Provigo - Lean ground beef - Nutrition facts
  • Provigo - Medium ground beef - Nutrition facts
  • Metro - Lean ground beef
  • Metro - Lean ground beef fam. pack

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