Category Archives: Bacterial Toxin

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.

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.

USA – Researchers say raw milk infected people in Tennessee; one baby developed kidney failure

Food Safety News

A new report describes how raw, unpasteurized milk in Tennessee likely caused infections in people, including infants, one of whom developed kidney failure.

The report from the Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy (CIDRAP) discusses two babies who developed E. Coli infections after being fed raw milk from a cow-sharing arrangement in Tennessee.

Often called “herd-shares,” such arrangements get around bans on raw milk sales by legally allowing people to buy part of a herd or of a single animal so that they can consume unpasteurized milk. Participants in herd-share operations pay a farmer to care for and milk the animals.

The babies discussed in the new CIDRAP report developed diarrhea between July 25 and Aug. 1, 2022. Testing revealed Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC). Both households received raw milk from participants in the same cow share. The baby who developed kidney failure (hemolytic uremic syndrome) was hospitalized for 27 days.

Research – A Review of Modern Methods for the Detection of Foodborne Pathogens



Despite the recent advances in food preservation techniques and food safety, significant disease outbreaks linked to foodborne pathogens such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses still occur worldwide indicating that these pathogens still constitute significant risks to public health. Although extensive reviews of methods for foodborne pathogens detection exist, most are skewed towards bacteria despite the increasing relevance of other pathogens such as viruses. Therefore, this review of foodborne pathogen detection methods is holistic, focusing on pathogenic bacteria, fungi, and viruses. This review has shown that culture-based methods allied with new approaches are beneficial for the detection of foodborne pathogens. The current application of immunoassay methods, especially for bacterial and fungal toxins detection in foods, are reviewed. The use and benefits of nucleic acid-based PCR methods and next-generation sequencing-based methods for bacterial, fungal, and viral pathogens’ detection and their toxins in foods are also reviewed. This review has, therefore, shown that different modern methods exist for the detection of current and emerging foodborne bacterial, fungal, and viral pathogens. It provides further evidence that the full utilization of these tools can lead to early detection and control of foodborne diseases, enhancing public health and reducing the frequency of disease outbreaks.

France – Bottled CHICKPEA – Clostridium botulinum

Gov france

Identification information of the recalled product

  • Product category Feed
  • Product subcategory Fruits and vegetables
  • Product brand name DISCHARGES
  • Model names or references CHICKPEA
  • Identification of products
    Lot Date
    F44-1357 Best before date 02/11/2025
  • Packaging 600g glass jar
  • Marketing start/end date From 22/11/2022 to 23/03/2023
  • Storage temperature Product to be stored at room temperature
  • Further information product from organic farming
  • Geographic area of ​​sale Departments: AIN (01), ISERE (38), RHONE (69)
  • Distributors biocoop villeurbanne and charancieu, so organic Lozanne, so organic Craponne, Marechal fraicheur, the little distrib, Léonie’s grocery store, Father Baptiste, the Miribel farm

Practical information regarding the recall

  • Reason for recall sample unstable after incubation, the sample does not meet the requirements of article 14 of regulation (EC) n°178/2002
  • Risks incurred by the consumer Clostridium botulinum (agent responsible for botulism)

Research – Germs in flour: pathogens in wheat, spelled and rye flour

Breaking Latest News

Critical germs not uncommon, 2020 showed according to the Zoonosen-Monitoring of the Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety Food inspectors in Germany found germs from the group of Shiga toxin-forming Escherichia coli (Stec) in 22 of 242 wheat flour samples. Very specific Stec – Enterohaemorrhagic E. coli, EHC for short – can cause, for example, gastrointestinal problems with diarrhea or the haemolytic-uraemic syndrome, which can lead to kidney failure or blood clotting disorders in sensitive people such as small children.

Viet Nam – One dead, one in critical condition, nine hospitalized after eating pickled carp – Clostridium botulinum



Ten people in a mountainous district of the Central Province of Quang Nam were hospitalized for Botulinum poisoning, with one of them dead after eating pickled carp on March 7.

Three seriously ill patients including one female and two male adults requiring mechanical ventilation were given Botulism Antitoxin Heptavalent (BAT) to treat Clostridium Botulinum poisoning. Up to now, 2/3 of patients have had good improvement after antidote infusion, a good prognosis; however, one patient is in critical condition.

Previously, the SGGP Newspaper released that after eating pickled carp at a house of a local inhabitant, four people experienced poisonous symptoms. They were rushed to the local infirmary for treatment. On the morning of March 18, physicians of the General Hospital in Phuoc Duc Commune of Phuoc Son District connected with Cho Ray Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City for consultation. Soon, doctors of Cho Ray Hospital flew to Quang Nam Province with five antidotes vitals to the General Hospital of the Northern mountainous region of Quang Nam for the treatment of the patients with botulinum poisoning.

Yesterday, Director of the Quang Nam Department of Health Mai Van Muoi said that the unit has just sent a dispatch on strengthening measures to prevent and control food poisoning when people like eating traditional foods such as fermented foods.

Thereby, the Department of Health of Quang Nam province suggested localities, especially highland areas, strengthen communication about food safety to local inhabitants to raise their awareness.

Research – First report of foodborne botulism due to Clostridium botulinum type A(B) from vegetarian home-canned pate in Hanoi, Vietnam

Science Direct


Even one case of foodborne botulism constitutes a public health emergency. We report a series of cases with delayed treatment due to delayed diagnosis. Clostridium botulinum type A(B) was isolated from vegetarian home-canned pate, but not from stool samples. These are the first recorded cases of foodborne botulism in Hanoi.


Botulism is a rare but serious neuroparalytic illness caused by botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) [1,2]. The sources of BoNTs are Clostridium botulinum and sometimes C. butyricum, C. baratii, and C. argentinense. The toxins are produced under anaerobic conditions and act presynaptically at peripheral cholinergic neuromuscular junctions, blocking acetylcholine release. Seven types (A–G) of BoNTs have been identified [3]. The classical early signs of botulism include cranial nerve palsies that progress to the symmetrical descending weakness of the trunk, extremities, and smooth muscle, with eventual flaccid paralysis. Typical early symptoms include diplopia (visual disturbances), dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), dysphonia (voice change), and dysarthria (slurred speech) [4]. Considering the severity and potential public health impact of this disease, rapid diagnosis is necessary. This report describes the first recorded cases of foodborne botulism in Hanoi, associated with vegetarian home-canned pate. This was caused by C. botulinum type A(B), which carries both type A and type B bont genes but does not produce active type B toxin because of mutations or truncations.

Research – Italy sees most HUS cases for decades – STEC E.coli

Food Safety News

Italy has reported the highest annual total of Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS) cases since records began.

From January to December 2022, 91 cases were recorded. This is the most observed in a single year since the start of surveillance in 1988. HUS is a severe complication associated with E. coli infection that causes kidney failure and can result in lifelong, serious health problems and death.

The number is still lower than in France, which recorded 128 HUS cases in 2021. This was the lowest figure since 2017 and was down from 167 in 2020. Data for 2022 is not yet available but a rise is expected due to an outbreak linked to Nestlé Buitoni Fraîch’Up brand frozen pizzas.

USA – Persistent Strain of E. coli O157:H7 (REPEXH01) Linked to Multiple Sources



REPEXH01 is a persistent strain of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7 bacteria that has caused illnesses and outbreaks in the United States.

Illness caused by this strain was first reported to PulseNet in 2017. Illnesses caused by this strain occur year-round but are less common in winter.

In the past, the REPEXH01 strain has spread to people through contaminated food and contaminated recreational water.

This strain is relatively diverse genetically. Bacteria in this strain are within 21 allele differences of one another by whole genome sequencing, which is more diverse than typical multistate foodborne outbreaks where bacteria generally fall within 10 allele differences of one another.

Identified outbreak sources*

*Confirmed sources were implicated by epidemiologic
plus traceback or laboratory data. Suspected sources
were implicated by epidemiologic data only. More info

  • Recreational water (confirmed): 1 outbreak
  • Romaine lettuce (confirmed): 1 outbreak
  • Leafy greens (suspected): 1 outbreak
  • Ground beef (suspected): 2 outbreaks