Category Archives: EHEC

Austria – Salame con cinghiale, salami with wild boar, approx. 350g – STEC E.coli

AGES

AGES informs about a recall of the company Interfood Lebensmittelgrosshandel Ges.mbH. The company recalled the product Salame con cinghiale, salami with wild boar, approx. 350g on November 28th, 2022:
© APA/Jody Mattioli
recall reason
Possible contamination with verotoxin-producing E.coli (EHEC)
Marketed by
Interfood food wholesale Ges.mbH
Manufacturer
Antica Macelleria Falorni srl
Expiry Date
02/13/2023
Batch number
22259

Interfood Lebensmittelgrosshandel is recalling the following product for reasons of consumer protection: “Salame con cinghiale, salami with wild boar, approx. 350g” with a best-before date (MHD) of February 13, 2023 and batch number 22259.

The batch number is on the back of the banderole, the best before date on the side. The producer of the product is “Antica Macelleria Falorni srl, Piazza G. Matteotti 71, IT-50022 Greve in Chianti (IT)”.

The affected product with the batch mentioned should no longer be consumed, as it could possibly be contaminated with verotoxin-forming E. coli (EHEC) .

The symptoms of a possible illness with EHEC can be watery diarrhea or nausea, vomiting and/or abdominal pain, in rare cases also fever and bloody diarrhea. The incubation period after consumption is usually one to three days, rarely up to ten days. Babies and children up to preschool age are more likely to become ill. This group, as well as older people or people with a weak immune system, are particularly at risk of developing severe courses and complications (up to and including acute kidney failure).

If consumers experience the symptoms mentioned, they should consult a doctor immediately and the suspicion of EHEC should be pointed out.

Consumers can return the affected batch of this product to the respective points of sale.

Other batches of the same product and other products from the manufacturer are not affected by this recall. This warning does not mean that the hazard was caused by Interfood.

Questions & contact:

Interfood Lebensmittelgrosshandel GmbH
Tel.: 05223 / 56808
Email: office@interfood.at

original recall

Germany – Salami with Wild Boar – STEC E.coli

LMW

Alert type: Food
Date of first publication: 11/25/2022
Product name:

Salame con cinghiale, salami with wild boar, approx. 350 g

Product images:

Unnamed.PNG

recall/press release

Manufacturer (distributor):

Manufacturer: Anitca Macelleria Falorni srl, Piazza G. Matteotti 71, IT-50022 Greve in Chianti (IT) Distributor: Di Gennaro Feinkost- und Weinhandelsgesellschaft mbH

Reason for warning:

The affected product with the batch mentioned should no longer be consumed, as it could possibly be contaminated with verotoxin-forming E. coli (EHEC).

Packaging Unit: 350g
Durability: 02/13/2023
Lot identification: 22259
Further information:

Reference is made to the attached press release from the food company.

Click to access Produktru%08ckruf_Falorni_final.pdf

Research – Raw-milk cheeses: What are the associated health risks and what preventive measures can be taken?

ANSES

Salmonella, enterohaemorrhagic E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes – a wide range of bacteria can be found in the raw-milk cheeses and other raw-milk dairy products we consume. These are sometimes involved in cases of food poisoning, leading them to be recalled or withdrawn from the market. In order to further improve the control of these risks, ANSES has identified the types of raw-milk cheeses on which efforts should focus as a priority.

ANSES received a request from the Directorate General for Food to identify and classify the main bacterial hazards associated with the various types of raw-milk cheeses and other dairy products made from raw milk. The aim was also to assess the main sources of contamination and the means implemented to control the associated risks.

The main microbiological hazards in raw-milk cheeses and dairy products

In France over the last decade, 34%, 37% and 60% of outbreaks of salmonellosis, listeriosis and enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) infections respectively have been linked to the consumption of raw-milk cheeses. While some bacteria can cause gastroenteritis symptoms (Salmonella spp. and Staphylococcus aureus), others can have much more serious consequences such as kidney failure (EHEC) or even death (L. monocytogenes, EHEC).

The main sources of these hazards are soft cheeses with a surface mould (such as Camembert, Brie and Crottin) and short-ripened uncooked pressed cheeses (such as Morbier, Reblochon and Saint-Nectaire). Next come soft washed-rind cheeses such as Munster and Maroilles.

Continue efforts to prevent microbiological risks, from farm to consumer

The means implemented to control microbiological risks in the main dairy sectors (cattle, sheep, goats), from the rearing stage to the consumption stage, were studied by the Agency. It concluded that:

At farm level, good animal husbandry and hygiene practices are well known in the various sectors. The efforts already well under way in terms of hygiene during milking and the management of mastitis should be continued;
At the production stage, levels of risk control are also very high; the Agency recommends continuing to implement good hygiene practices and to carry out self-checks in order to best anticipate any risk of an outbreak;
At consumer level, in order to avoid a foodborne infectious disease, it is essential to comply with the information on the packaging or that given by the seller concerning the temperature at which the cheese should be stored in the refrigerator and its use-by date. Lastly, ANSES reiterates its recommendation that pregnant women, immunocompromised individuals, people over the age of 65 and young children should avoid consuming raw-milk cheeses, with the exception of hard pressed cheeses such as Gruyère and Comté.

“For several years now, we have been seeing a strong commitment on the part of the various raw-milk cheese sectors to preventing microbiological risks. Thanks to the actions taken, levels of hygiene and risk control are now very high on farms. The self-checks implemented at the processing stage are able to identify a large number of problematic batches. However, there is still a residual risk and it is important to identify new ways of optimising the current control measures. For example, this could involve improving epidemiological investigations, identifying poor hygiene practices at an earlier stage, or communicating more with consumers”, explains Laurent Guillier, who coordinated ANSES’s expert appraisal.

Did you know?

Contrary to popular belief, removing the rind from a raw-milk cheese is not enough to protect yourself against bacteria, as these can be found everywhere in the cheese.

On the other hand, when raw-milk cheeses are well cooked, as in an oven-baked recipe, they no longer pose a health risk.

A new forthcoming expert appraisal
This work to classify raw-milk cheeses was a first step in responding to the formal request. The expert appraisal work is continuing, to evaluate the effectiveness of the various health measures such as the sorting of milk at farm level and self-checks at the production stage. The next step will be to identify priority work areas for further reducing microbiological risks.

Click to access BIORISK2019SA0033.pdf

Research – Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment of Listeria monocytogenes and Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli in Yogurt

MDPI

Listeria monocytogenes can survive in yogurt stored at a refrigeration temperature. Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) has a strong acid resistance that can survive in the yogurt with a low pH. We estimated the risk of L. monocytogenes and EHEC due to yogurt consumption with @Risk. Predictive survival models for L. monocytogenes and EHEC in drinking and regular yogurt were developed at 4, 10, 17, 25, and 36 °C, and the survival of both pathogens in yogurt was predicted during distribution and storage at home. The average initial contamination level in drinking and regular yogurt was calculated to be −3.941 log CFU/g and −3.608 log CFU/g, respectively, and the contamination level of both LM and EHEC decreased in yogurt from the market to home. Mean values of the possibility of illness caused by EHEC were higher (drinking: 1.44 × 10−8; regular: 5.09 × 10−9) than L. monocytogenes (drinking: 1.91 × 10−15; regular: 2.87 × 10−16) in the susceptible population. Both pathogens had a positive correlation with the initial contamination level and consumption. These results show that the foodborne illness risk from L. monocytogenes and EHEC due to yogurt consumption is very low. However, controlling the initial contamination level of EHEC during yogurt manufacture should be emphasized.

Research – Effect of phenolic compounds and cold shock on survival and virulence of Escherichia coli pathotypes

Wiley Online

Phenolic compounds (PC) affect many metabolic processes of microbes; however, there is no information about their effectiveness when these act in combination with low temperatures for the control of Escherichia coli pathotypes. In this study, four PC, (tannic acid [TA], gallic acid [GA], methyl gallate [MG], and epigallocatechin gallate [EG]) in combination with cold shock (CS, 10°C) were evaluated for their effect on growth, swarming motility, biofilm formation, and expression of selected virulence-related genes of E. coli pathotypes [enteropathogenic (EPEC), enterohemorrhagic (EHEC), and enterotoxigenic (ETEC)]. Sub-inhibitory concentrations of the PC were used alone (37°C) or in combination with CS. For CS assays, E. coli strains were grown at 37°C until mid-log phase and then subjected to 10°C for 4 hr. Membrane damage was determined by flow cytometry; swarming motility was measured on soft-LB agar, biofilm formation was analyzed by crystal violet staining, and gene expression of CS, biofilm, and swarming motility related-genes was determined by qPCR. Sub-inhibitory concentrations of the PC did not affect the viability of the strains. The combination of CS + TA provoked the highest (p ≤ .05) mortality in all pathotypes. CS + GA inhibited (100%) the motility of EHEC and ETEC. PC and CS + PC reduced (p ≤ .05) biofilm formation. The combination of PC and CS affected virulence factors and their gene expression of pathogenic E. coli presenting a novel alternative for its control in foods.

Norway – The Norwegian Zoonoses Report 2020

Summary

The occurrence of most zoonotic pathogens in animals was stable in 2020 compared to previous years. The occurrence in humans, however, decreased in 2020 due to the COVID-19 situation. The decrease was highest in campylobacteriosis, salmonellosis and E. coli (EHEC/VTEC) infections, mainly due to less travel associated cases. Introduction The Zoonosis Report is published annually in Norway in accordance with the requirements of the EU Council Directive 2003/99/EC. In addition, data on specified zoonoses in feed, animals and food are reported to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Corresponding data from humans are reported to the European Center for Disease Control (ECDC).

These two European institutions compile an annual European zoonosis report based on the received data: https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/6971The Norwegian Veterinary Institute (NVI) is responsible for reporting of Norwegian data to EFSA, while the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) reports Norwegian data to ECDC. The Zoonosis Report is written by the NVI in collaboration with the Norwegian Food Safety Authority (NFSA) and NIPH.

Click to access 2021_63%20Zoonoserapporten%202020.pdf

CPS – Research project Funding 2022 – Salads

CPS

Assessing Romaine lettuce “Forward Processing” for potential impacts on EHEC growth, antimicrobial susceptibility, and infectivity

Consumption of Romaine lettuce has been linked to multiple foodborne illness outbreaks due to contamination of pathogenic Escherichia coli strains. Recently, these outbreaks have occurred in the United States every year since 2016, causing great damage to consumer health and economic wellbeing of the fresh produce industry. The pathogen strains isolated from these outbreaks showed great similarity by genomic analyses. These outbreaks showed a pattern of heavy concentration especially in northeastern USA, prompting questions from the leafy green industry that the practice of “forward processing” could be linked to the outbreaks. “Forward processing” is a practice that the raw lettuce commodity is transported in trucks to facilities far away from the production area for washing and packaging, and regional marketing. We propose to work closely with the leafy green industry to comprehensively assess the forward processing for its effects on the integrity and safety of the raw commodity and the packaged products. In addition, the forward processing conditions will be simulated in the laboratory with the pathogenic E. coli strains. Emphases will be on how these conditions would affect the physiology of the pathogenic strains as well as other microorganisms on the raw commodity and packaged products. The findings in the research could provide important information that can be used by the leafy green industry for improving the forward processing practice and reducing the risks of fresh produce such as Romaine lettuce.

CPS

Quantifying risk associated with changes in EHEC physiology during post-harvest pre-processing stages of leafy green production

The goal of this project is to determine if the time between harvest and end use of romaine lettuce impacts E. coli O157:H7 pathogenicity and detectability resulting in increased health risk. Laboratory scale experiments with inoculated lettuce undergoing simulated harvest and cooling will be used to measure changes in E. coli O157:H7 stress tolerance and virulence. Input from industry partners including temperature data from commercial romaine harvesting and cooling, and details on supply chain logistics, will be combined with the laboratory scale experimental data and used to model risk associated with specific harvest and handling practices. The resulting quantitative tool will be publicly available and allow for growers and producers to determine any practices that should be implemented to reduce the potential for O157 transmission on romaine lettuce.

USA – FDA Releases Report on Findings from Sampling of Romaine Lettuce in Yuma, AZ

FDA

Eurofins Food Testing UK

October 7, 2021

The FDA is releasing the findings of a sampling assignment for which FDA collected and tested romaine lettuce from commercial coolers in Yuma County, Arizona during February and March 2021. The agency tested the lettuce for Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), specifically enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC), and Salmonella spp. This assignment was part of the FDA’s ongoing surveillance following multistate E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks of foodborne illness in recent years linked to or potentially linked to romaine lettuce.

The agency’s goal in conducting this assignment was to determine whether the target pathogens and specific strains may be present in romaine lettuce from the Yuma agricultural region, to help prevent foodborne illness when possible. If product that tested positive for EHEC or Salmonella was found, the Agency planned to work with industry and state regulatory partners to identify the cause (e.g., farm follow-up investigation) to inform future regulatory and/or research efforts and to develop strategies that could help preventive additional outbreaks.

The FDA collected 504 romaine samples for EHECs and Salmonella spp., with the testing performed by an independent laboratory on contract, as part of a pilot project. Each sample consisted of 10 subsamples, and each subsample was made up of at least 300 grams of romaine lettuce (whole heads, hearts or individual leaves).  Collecting and testing samples composed of multiple subsamples increases the probability of detecting pathogens if present, since microbial hazards may not be uniformly present.

During the assignment the FDA detected E. coli O130:H11 in one sample.  The isolate was found to be moderate to high risk and could be capable of causing severe illness in humans, though it was not linked to any known human illnesses, and no product ever reached consumers. The owner of the product did not harvest the remaining crop from the field where it was grown.

In response to the finding, FDA conducted an investigation at the farm to identify possible sources and routes of contamination. The FDA was able to collect romaine lettuce from the field, multiple samples of soil, water, sediment, and animal fecal material. FDA also assessed farm equipment and other surfaces. Only one of the total 24 samples yielded STEC (specifically, E. coli O116:H-). This sample came from the outer leaves of romaine lettuce. The strain was further characterized as low risk to human health, and FDA’s analysis indicated the strain was not linked with any past known foodborne illness outbreaks.

Helping to ensure the microbiological safety of leafy greens continues to be a priority of the FDA. Romaine lettuce and other leafy greens are among the most widely consumed vegetables in the United States and are an important part of a healthy diet. The agency is working on several fronts to help prevent microbial contamination of leafy greens and to prevent outbreaks of foodborne illness. Chief among these efforts is the FDA’s Leafy Greens STEC Action Plan (LGAP), which features public health approaches related to response, prevention and addressing knowledge gaps. The FDA continues to collaborate with industry, states, academia and other stakeholders through activities outlined in the LGAP to address this important public health issue.

Research – Effects of Combined Aerosolization with Ultraviolet C Light-Emitting Diode on Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus Attached to Soft Fresh Produce

MDPI

Washing soft fresh produce such as strawberries, baby leaves, and sliced onions with sanitizing agents is challenging due to their fragile texture. Thus, treatments like aerosolization using slightly acidic electrolyzed water (SAEW) and ultraviolet C light-emitting diode (UVC LED) irradiation may be good alternatives. In the present study, the reduction effects of a combined treatment of aerosolization using SAEW and UVC LED irradiation on enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) and Staphylococcus aureus attached to strawberries, baby leaves, and sliced onions were investigated. The behaviours of EHEC and S. aureus, moisture loss, colour measurement, and visual appearance were also analyzed at 10 and 15 °C for 7 days. The reduction effect of the combined treatment with 100 SAEW and UVC LED was higher (0.53–0.92 log CFU g−1) than a single aerosolization treatment (0.11–0.41 log CFU g−1), regardless of samples or pathogens. A greater effect on EHEC and S. aureus reduction was observed in strawberries (0.74 and 0.92 log CFU g−1) than in baby leaves (0.62 and 0.53 log CFU g−1) and sliced onions (0.55 and 0.62 log CFU g−1). The combined treatment further reduced the EHEC and S. aureus populations in strawberries during 7 days of storage at 10 and 15 °C. However, the EHEC and S. aureus populations were maintained in baby leaves and sliced onions at 10 °C for 7 days. Additionally, the greatest effect on the maintenance of colour and appearance was obtained in the combined treatment. Since the combined treatment reduces EHEC and S. aureus populations and preserves visual quality, it could be expected to extend the shelf life of soft fresh produce at the retailer stage of the supply chain. View Full-Text

Research – Fate of Salmonella and Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli on Wheat Grain

Journal of Food Protection

Wheat flour has been connected to outbreaks of foodborne illnesses with increased frequency in recent years, specifically, outbreaks involving Salmonella enterica and enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC). However, there is little information regarding the survival of these pathogens on wheat grain during long-term storage in a low-moisture environment. This study aims to evaluate the long-term survival of these enteric pathogens on wheat grain over the course of a year. Hard red spring wheat was inoculated with strains of four serovars of Salmonella enterica (Enteritidis , Agona, Tennessee, and Montevideo) and six serotypes of EHEC (O157:H7, O26:H11, O121:H19, O45:NM, O111:H8, and O103:H2) in triplicate, sealed in Mylar bags to maintain the water activity, and stored at room temperature (22 ± 1°C). The survival of each pathogen was evaluated by plating onto differential media . Viable counts of strains from all four serovars of Salmonella (Enteritidis , Agona, Tennessee, and Montevideo) were detected on wheat grain stored at room temperature (22 ± 1°C) for the duration of the study (52 weeks). Viable counts of strains from EHEC serotypes O45:NM, O111:H8, and O26:H11 were only detected for 44 weeks and strains from serotypes O157:H7, O121:H19, and O103:H2 were only detected for 40 weeks until they passed below the limit of detection (2.0 log CFU/g). D -values were found to be significantly different between Salmonella and EHEC (adj. p ≤ 0.05) with Salmonella D -values ranging from 22.9 ± 2.2 to 25.2 ± 1.0 weeks and EHEC D -values ranging from 11.4 ± 0.6 to 13.1 ± 1.8 weeks. There were no significant differences amongst the four Salmonella strains or amongst the six EHEC strains (adj. p > 0.05). These observations highlight the wide range of survival capabilities of enteric pathogens in a low-moisture environment and confirm these pathogens are a food safety concern when considering the long shelf life of wheat grain and its products.