Category Archives: cross contamination

Research – The presence of microbial contamination and biofilms at a beer can filling production line

Journal of Food Protection

Contamination of beer arises in 50% of all events at the late stages of production, the filling area. Hereby, biofilms, being consortia of microorganisms embedded in a matrix composed of extracellular polymeric substances, play a critical role. To date, most studies have focused on the presence of (biofilm forming) microorganisms within this filling environment. Our aim was to characterize the microbial status as well as the presence of possible biofilms at a can filling line for beer by determining the presence of microorganisms and their associated matrix components (carbohydrates, proteins and extracellular DNA (eDNA)). Targeted qPCR confirmed the presence of microorganisms at ten sites during operation and three after cleaning (from 23 sites respectively). The evaluation of carbohydrates, eDNA and proteins showed that 16 sites were positive for at least one component during operation and four after cleaning. We identified one potential biofilm hotspot, namely the struts below the filler, harboring high loads of bacteria and yeast, eDNA, carbohydrates and proteins. The protein pattern was different than that of beer. This work deepens our understanding of biofilms and microorganisms found at the filling line of beer beverages at sites critical for production.

Venezuela – Salmonella outbreak continues with close to 500 sick

Food Safety News

About 500 people have fallen ill in a Salmonella outbreak in a Venezuelan state.

The Anzoatiguense Institute of Health (Saludanz) reported 480 people had tested positive for Salmonella, mostly from the El Carmen and San Cristóbal area of the Simón Bolívar municipality.

In mid-December 2020, the agency revealed 240 children and adults had been affected and seen at different health centers after a significant increase in salmonellosis during the previous month.

Investigations so far have pointed to contaminated water as the source of infection but officials have not ruled out a type of Brazilian sausage being behind some cases in the outbreak. They urged the public to buy food and water from hygienic places that comply with the necessary permits.

USA – WishGarden Herbs Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Cord Care and Goldenseal Powder Due to Bacterial Contamination – Cronobacter sakazakii


WishGarden Herbs, Inc. is voluntarily recalling, to the consumer level, 14 lots of Cord Care and Goldenseal Powder products produced after 7/26/18 with expiration dates between 7/26/18 and 9/1/20. After receiving notice of a supply chain issue, WishGarden has determined these products were manufactured using ingredients potentially contaminated with Cronobacter sakazakii bacteria.

Use of these products, when contaminated with this bacteria, may cause serious infections with severe outcomes, including death, especially in vulnerable patients with compromised immune systems and infants.

Catherine Hunziker, WishGarden President, stated, “As a leading herbal product company for more than 40 years, we take the safety of our products seriously and we feel it is important to recall this product out of an abundance of caution. Consumer safety is our highest priority.”

Cord Care Powder is marketed to dry umbilical cords and is applied externally to skin. It is packaged in 1oz containers and labeled with UPC 6-56490-24730-4. The affected product lots are P227-P235. The lot and expiration date can be found below the label barcode.

Goldenseal Powder is marketed as a drying powder applied externally to skin. It is packaged in 1oz containers and labeled with UPC 6-56490-64137-9. Affected product lots are P116-P120. The lot and expiration date can be found below the label barcode.

These products were distributed nationwide in the USA through select practitioners.

WishGarden Herbs has notified its distributors and customers by phone, mail and email. Consumers who have purchased this recalled product should discontinue use immediately and not open any sealed packages. The product should be mailed directly to WishGarden Herbs corporate headquarters at 321 South Taylor Ave. Suite 100 Louisville, CO 80027 for a full refund.

Consumers with questions regarding this recall can contact WishGarden Herbs by calling the company’s recall hotline at 720-889-9878 (M-F, 9am – 5pm MST) or Email: Consumers should contact their physician or healthcare provider if they have experienced any problems that may be related to using this product.

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

  • Complete and submit the report Online
  • Regular Mail or Fax: Download form or call 1- 800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178

This recall is being conducted with the knowledge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Company Contact Information

WishGarden Herbs

Product Photos

Research – Quantification of cross-contamination of Campylobacter jejuni during food preparation in a model kitchen in China

Journal of Food Protection


Image CDC

Numerous outbreak investigations and case-control studies of campylobacteriosis have provided evidence that handling Campylobacter -contaminated chicken products is a high risk factor for infection and illness. In this study, the cross-contamination and transfer rates of Campylobacter jejuni from chicken to ready-to-eat foods were determined in various food-handling scenarios. Skinless raw chicken breasts were artificially contaminated with Campylobacter jejuni and diced on three kinds of texture cutting boards. Whether cold water or cold water with detergent or hot water was used, statistically significant differences were found between the transfer rate of Campylobacter jejuni to unwashed and washed cutting boards or hands, respectively. When both kitchen knife and cutting board were reused after dicing the artificially contaminated chicken, the transfer rates of Campylobacter jejuni to cucumber cut on bamboo, wooden and plastic cutting board were 16.28%, 12.82% and 5.32%, respectively. The transfer rates from chicken to bread, a large lift-up water faucet handle and a small twist faucet handle via unwashed hands were 0.49%, 4.64% and 3.14%, respectively. This research provides scientific evidence that various types of contaminated kitchen-ware and cook’s hand are vital potential vehicles for the cross-contamination of Campylobacter from raw chicken to ready-to-eat food, and emphasizes the importance of timely and properly cleaning to prevent cross-contamination during food handling, therefore a high quality consumer education to reduce the risk of foodborne infection is urgent and necessary.

USA – Outbreak of Salmonella Stanley Infections Linked to Wood Ear Mushrooms


Recalls and Advice to Restaurants and Consumer


At A Glance
Peaches in a bag.

Do not eat, sell, or serve recalledexternal icon dried wood ear mushrooms distributed from Wismettac Asian Foods, Inc. These mushrooms were sold only to restaurants and not directly to consumers.

Consumers can ask restaurants where mushrooms are from before ordering to avoid eating recalled mushrooms. Wood ear mushrooms are also commonly referred to as Kikurage, Dried Black Fungus, Dried Fungus, or Mu’er/Mu Er/Mu-Err.

  • Restaurant employees should check for recalled dried mushrooms and not serve or sell them. If you can’t tell where your dried mushrooms are from, throw them away.
  • Mushrooms were distributed to restaurants in six packs of five-pound bags labeled as Shirakiku brand Black Fungus (Kikurage) with Universal Product Code (UPC) bar code 00074410604305, item #60403, imported from China.
  • Clean and sanitizeexternal icon all surfaces that recalled mushrooms have come in contact with, including cutting boards, countertops, utensils, and storage bins.
  • In general, dried mushrooms should always be reconstituted using boiling water to kill any pathogens. This advice does not apply to recalled mushrooms, which should be thrown away.

Take action if you have symptoms of a Salmonella infection:

  • Talk to your healthcare provider.
  • Write down what you ate in the week before you started to get sick.
  • Report your illness to the health department.
  • Assist public health investigators by answering questions about your illness.
  • Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 6 hours to 6 days after being exposed to the bacteria.
  • The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment.
  • In some people, the illness may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other places in the body.
  • Children younger than 5 years, adults 65 years and older, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.
  • For more information, see Symptoms of Salmonella Infection.
Latest Outbreak Information
  • 41 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Stanley have been reported from 10 states.
    • 4 hospitalizations have been reported. No deaths have been reported.
  • Epidemiologic and traceback information show that wood ear mushrooms distributed by Wismettac Asian Foods, Inc., are the likely source of this outbreak.
    • 4 illness clusters were identified at restaurants serving ramen in three states.
    • 8 of 9 ill people linked to restaurant clusters reported eating wood ear mushrooms or ramen containing wood ear mushrooms before becoming sick.
    • Information from restaurants where ill people ate showed that wood ear mushrooms came from Wismettac Asian Foods, Inc.
  • On September 23, 2020, Wismettac Asian Foods, Inc., recalledexternal icon all Shirakiku brand imported Black Fungus that was distributed to restaurants because it may be contaminated with Salmonella.
  • This investigation is ongoing. CDC will provide more information as it becomes available.

RASFF Alerts – Listeria monocytogenes – Raw Milk Goats Cheese – Gorgonzola – Pasta Salad

European Food Alerts


Listeria spp (presence /25g) in raw milk goat’s cheese from Belgium in Belgium


Listeria monocytogenes (<30 CFU/g) in gorgonzola from Italy in France


Listeria monocytogenes (presence /25g) in pasta salad from the United Kingdom in the UK

Belgium – Exotic City – “Africa Village” brand roasted peanuts. – Aflatoxin


In agreement with the AFSCA, Exotic City is withdrawing the Roasted Peanuts product from sale and is recalling consumers.

Product Description

peanuts Product category: peanuts
Brand: Africa Village
Date of Minimum Durability (MDD): 31-12-2022
Weight: 350g

Exotic City requests not to consume these products and to bring them back to the point of sale where they are have been purchased.

The product is sold via:

– EXOTIC CITY – avenue de l’Expansion 1, 4432 ALLEUR
– BUDDHA – Zwijnaardsesteenweg 752, 9000 Gent
– KAUSAR ETHNIC MARKET 2 – Place du marche 12, 4000 Liège
– OPERA SHOP – George Clemenceau 35A, 4000 Liège
– SAVEUR DE EXOTIC NAMUR – Rue Rogier 46, 5000 Namur

For any further information , you can contact: –
Tel: + 32 / 4.228 .04.00

Research – Switzerland – Do changes in STEC diagnostics mislead interpretation of disease surveillance data in Switzerland? Time trends in positivity, 2007 to 2016


Infections caused by Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing  (STEC) are generally mild and self-limiting or even asymptomatic. However, particularly in children and elderly people, STEC infections can lead to severe gastroenteritis with haemorrhagic diarrhoea and life-threatening conditions, e.g. haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS) [1,2].

STEC transmission can occur through the consumption of contaminated food and drinks, or by direct contact with infected individuals or animals shedding the bacterium* [1,35]. STEC infections are endemic in Europe, including Switzerland [6,7]. Cases occur sporadically or in outbreaks; a large outbreak attributed to contaminated sprouts occurred in Germany in 2011 [8]. Smaller outbreaks have also been reported, e.g. there was an outbreak in Italy in 2013 and in Romania in 2016, both were suspected to be caused by contaminated dairy products [9,10]. Considering 22 years of population-based data up to 2012, Majowicz et al. estimated in 2014 that STEC leads to an estimated 2.8 million illness cases per year, including 3,800 cases of HUS, globally [11].

The National Notification System for Infectious Diseases (NNSID) of the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) has been receiving all notifications of laboratory-confirmed STEC infections since 1999. Case numbers were generally constant until 2010, with only a few laboratories reporting STEC cases in Switzerland. An increase in cases was observed in 2011 following the outbreak in Germany, before returning to expected yearly fluctuations, and then markedly increasing since 2015 [12]. Given that this increase was observed around the same time as the introduction of syndromic multiplex PCR panels for stool analyses in standard laboratory practice in Switzerland [12], it was hypothesised that these panels were the cause of the increase in notified STEC cases. Traditionally, routine testing of stool samples for bacterial pathogens involved only  spp.,  spp. and  spp. using culture-based techniques. With syndromic multiplex PCR panels, stool samples can be tested for up to 22 pathogens, including STEC, in one single run [12,13].

Prior to the gradual introduction of multiplex PCR to the routine diagnostics between 2014 and 2015, STEC was only specifically tested for in Switzerland upon physician request, and this rarely happened. Current testing practice includes the use of small syndromic enteric bacterial panels for testing in patients without a travel history or a larger gastrointestinal panel if travel history is reported on the test order form [7].

A qualitative assessment found that Swiss laboratory experts uniformly agreed that the increase in STEC case numbers was due to the introduction and increasing use of multiplex PCR panels [7]. We set out to conduct a quantitative investigation as to whether an increase in the STEC testing rate associated with the use of the panels is what led to the increased notification of cases.

Our study assesses the development of the STEC positivity in the Swiss population between 2007 and 2016 using routine laboratory data, and gives insight into the epidemiology and notification numbers of STEC infections in Switzerland.

Belgium – Chicken fillet & farmer chicken thigh Loué brand. – Salmonella


Following a control and as a precautionary measure in order to guarantee the safety of the consumer, the company LDC – SABLE SAS asks to withdraw from the trade the White Farm Chicken Fillet of the Loué brand and the White Farm Chicken Leg of the Loué brand sold in the butcher’s department of certain Carrefour stores in Belgium and reminds consumers of them following a possible presence of salmonella. Product Description: Name: White Farm Chicken Fillet EAN: 2951079500000 Best Before Date ( BBD ): 14-15 / 09/20 LOT 2020037740 Name: White Farmer Chicken Leg EAN: 2951079400000 Best Before Date ( BBD ): 14-15 -17/09/20

Lot: 2020037740

The company LDC – SABLE SAS is proceeding today as a precautionary measure with the withdrawal from sale of the White Farm Chicken Fillet of the Loué brand and the White Farm Chicken Leg of the Loué brand following the suspicion of the presence salmonella.

All products have been withdrawn from sale. Some of these products were, however, marketed on the Belgian market before the withdrawal measure. It is therefore recommended that people who hold the products described above do not consume them and destroy them or return them to the point of sale where they will be refunded to you.

Foodborne illness caused by salmonella results in gastrointestinal disturbances often accompanied by fever within 12 to 72 hours of consuming the contaminated products. These symptoms may be aggravated in young children, immunocompromised individuals and the elderly.

People who have consumed the products mentioned above and who have these symptoms, are invited to consult their doctor by notifying him of this consumption.

For any further information, you can contact the Carrefour Belgium consumer service by dialing the free number 0800.9.10.11 , from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on working days and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.

The societyLDC – SABLE SAS apologizes to Carrefour customers for the inconvenience caused.

France – Buckwheat pancake with buckwheat and Guérande salt from Monoprix – Listeria monocytogenes

Rappel produit : Galette de sarrasin au blé noir et sel de Guérande de marque Monoprix

Product recall: Buckwheat pancake with buckwheat and Guérande salt from Monoprix


Presence of Listeria


Those in possession of this product are asked not to consume it and to return it to the point of sale where it was purchased.

People who have consumed this product and who have a fever, isolated or accompanied by headaches, are invited to consult their doctor, notifying him of this consumption.
Pregnant women should pay special attention to these symptoms, as well as immunocompromised people and the elderly. These symptoms may suggest listeriosis, a disease that can be serious and can take up to eight weeks to incubate.


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