Category Archives: food death

UK – FSA welcomes the outcome of the Hospital Food Review

FSA

The Independent Review of NHS Hospital Food was announced by Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock following a listeriosis outbreak in 2019.

The final report (Opens in a new window), published today, includes a number of recommendations to improve food safety, based largely on evidence provided by the FSA. These recommendations include having dedicated food safety specialists in each trust, hospitals implementing robust food safety management systems, and a compulsory function to report concerns across the entire hospital food chain. Crucially, NHS Trusts must also recognise that they are food business operators and responsible for ensuring that the food they provide is safe.

USA – Outbreak Investigation of Salmonella Enteritidis: Peaches (August 2020)

FDA

The FDA, along with CDC, Canadian, state and local partners, has been investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis infections linked to peaches packed or supplied by Prima Wawona or Wawona Packing Company.

The multistate outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis infections linked to peaches from Prima Wawona that were sold in several regions of the United States and Canada, investigated by the FDA, along with CDC and Canadian, state, and local partners, is over. As of October 15, 2020, CDC reported a total of 101 cases across 17 states. This outbreak resulted in recalls of bagged and bulk, or loose, peaches packed or distributed by Prima Wawona. FDA also worked to publicly disclose international distribution of recalled product from Prima Wawona in an effort to facilitate the swift removal of all potentially affected product from the international market. More information about international distribution of the recalled product can be found in the previously published table below. FDA’s traceback investigation, which included 18 cases across eight states, identified multiple distributors, packing facilities, and orchards that supplied peaches during the time period of interest. Investigators from FDA, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) visited Wawona packing facilities and/or orchards that likely supplied peaches to Prima Wawona during the timeframe of interest. FDA’s traceback investigation is ongoing; however, the cause and source of the outbreak has not yet been determined.

Thus far, in an effort to investigate several possible pathways of contamination, FDA has completed over 570 product and environmental sample analyses from multiple facility locations and/or peach orchards, including environmental swabs, peaches and peach tree leaf samples. At this time, sample collection and analysis is underway related to additional peach orchards. A genetic match to the outbreak strain has yet to be identified in any of the samples collected, although a different serotype of Salmonella was detected in one sample collected and analyzed during the investigation. No peaches linked to the positive sample ever reached the marketplace. Although the outbreak is being declared over, FDA will continue its investigation and will communicate any findings that could assist future prevention efforts.

Available recall information is included below.

Recommendation

On August 22, 2020, Prima Wawona recalled bagged and bulk, or loose, peaches that they supplied to retailers nationwide.

The recalled products are now well beyond expiration and likely no longer on the market or in consumers’ homes. However, consumers who may have frozen the recalled bagged peaches packed or supplied by Prima Wawona from June 1, 2020 to August 19, 2020 or the recalled loose/bulk peaches packed or supplied by Prima Wawona from June 1, 2020 to August 3, 2020 should throw them away.

Research – Effects of oilseed substrates (ground nyjer and flax seeds) on the growth and Ochratoxin A production by Aspergillus carbonarius

Wiley Online

kswfoodworld

Image CDC

Aspergillus carbonarius is one of the major Ochratoxin A (OTA) producing fungus. Nyjer and flax seeds are important oilseeds that are used for both human and animal consumption, but they are highly susceptible to fungal growth and mycotoxin contamination. The objectives of this study were to determine the growth and OTA production by A. carbonarius on ground nyjer and flax seeds with water activity levels ranging from 0.82 to 0.98 aw at three incubation temperatures (20, 30, 37°C). It was found that A. carbonarius was not able to grow on the two types of oilseeds with 0.82 or 0.86 aw. Also, the fungus was not able to grow on flax seeds with high water activity (0.98 aw). The OTA was only detected on flax seed samples with 0.94 aw at 20°C. On nyjer seeds, the highest concentration of OTA (271 μg/kg) was detected from samples with 0.98 aw incubated at 20°C for 5 days, while on flax seeds the highest OTA (146 μg/kg) was found on the seed samples with 0.94 aw incubated at 20°C for 15 days. Linear regression models also indicated that 0.98 aw was optimal for both fungal growth and OTA production on nyjer seeds. Overall, ground nyjer seed is better than flax seed to support growth and OTA production by A. carbonarius.

Benin – Seven Family Members Die from Suspected Food Poisoning

This Day Live

A family of seven has been reported to have died after taking a meal suspected to have been contaminated in Benin, Edo State.
The incident as gathered, occurred at No. 40, Otete Street, off Textile Mill Road, Ogida quarters, in Egor Local Government Area of Edo State.

A visit to the victim’s house met the entire place deserted except for few sympathisers seen outside the compound.

China – 7 die from food poisoning in northeast China – Aflatoxin?

Shine

Seven people have died after eating contaminated food during a family meal in northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province, local authorities announced on Saturday.

The food poisoning occurred on October 5 when a resident surnamed Wang in Jidong County dined with eight family members at home and had sour noodles, a local food made of fermented corn flour, which had remained frozen for a year.

Police have ruled out homicide by poisoning since no toxic substances were detected from the extracts on the premises. A preliminary investigation suggested aflatoxin poisoning as hospital lab test results showed that the level of aflatoxin in the food was far higher than normal.

USA – Outbreak Investigation of Salmonella Newport: Red Onions (July 2020)

FDA

The FDA, along with CDC and Canadian, state, and local partners, has been investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Newport infections. FDA’s traceback portion of the investigation is complete and has identified Thomson International, Inc. of Bakersfield, CA, as the likely source of potentially contaminated red onions.

The multistate outbreak of Salmonella Newport infections linked to red onions from Thomson International, Inc. that were sold in several regions of the United States and Canada, investigated by the FDA, along with CDC and Canadian, state, and local partners, is over. The outbreak resulted in recalls for multiple onion varieties and products containing onions. FDA’s traceback investigation identified a packing facility and multiple farms that supplied red onions during the time period of interest. Joint FDA, California Department of Public Health (CDPH), and California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) field-level investigations were initiated at multiple Thomson International Inc. locations and surrounding areas within days of identifying the suspect vehicle and the firm. However, most product had already been harvested and distributed by that time. Thus far, FDA has completed over 2000 product and environmental analyses from multiple Thomson International Inc. locations and surrounding areas, including water, soil, and scat samples. Although a variety of genetic strains of Salmonella Newport have been detected, as well as multiple other Salmonella serotypes, a genetic match to the outbreak strain has yet to be identified in any of the samples collected. Additional sample analysis is underway.  Although the outbreak is being declared over, the FDA will continue its root cause investigation and will communicate any findings that could assist future prevention efforts.

Recommendations

According to the CDC, this outbreak appears to be over. Recalled products should no longer be available in stores, but onions have a long shelf-life and recalled products could still be in consumer’s homes or in restaurants, especially if recalled products were frozen.

Advice for consumers, restaurants, and retailers: Consumers, restaurants, and retailers should not eat, sell, or serve recalled onions from Thomson International, Inc. or products containing recalled onions. If you cannot tell if your onion is part of the recall, or your food product contains recalled onions, you should not eat, sell, or serve it, and should throw it out.

FDA recommends that anyone who received or suspects having received recalled onions, or products containing recalled onions, use extra vigilance in cleaning and sanitizing any surfaces and containers that may have come in contact with recalled products to reduce the risk of cross-contamination. This includes cutting boards, slicers, countertops, refrigerators, and storage bins.

Consumers who have symptoms of Salmonella infection should contact their health care provider. Most people with salmonellosis develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. More severe cases of salmonellosis may include a high fever, aches, headaches, lethargy, a rash, blood in the urine or stool, and in some cases may become fatal.

Suppliers and Distributors: Suppliers, distributors and others in the supply chain should not use, ship or sell recalled onions from Thomson International, Inc. or food products containing recalled onions. Suppliers and distributors that re-package raw onions should use extra vigilance in cleaning any surfaces and storage areas that may have come into contact with recalled onions. If there has been potential cross contamination or mixing of onions from other sources with recalled onions, suppliers and distributors should discard all comingled and potentially cross-contaminated product.

Investigation Update

October 8 Update

According to the CDC, this outbreak appears to be over. Recalled products should no longer be available in stores, but onions have a long shelf-life and recalled products could still be in consumer’s homes or in restaurants, especially if recalled products were frozen.

Although the outbreak is being declared over, the FDA will continue its root cause investigation and will communicate any findings that could assist future prevention efforts.

FAO and WHO to relook at Listeria in RTE foods

Food Safety News

FAO and WHO experts are to look again at Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat (RTE) foods.

The move by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) is due to developments in diagnostics and changes in the epidemiology of listeriosis outbreaks.

The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Meetings on Microbiological Risk Assessment (JEMRA) is planned for Oct. 20 to Nov. 6.

Spain – Firm Fined 2000 Euros for Spain’s Worst Listeria Outbreak

Diario de Sevilla

A fine of 2,000 euros now , two years after the Magrudis company caused the largest outbreak of listeriosis in the history of Spain. The Seville City Council has sanctioned the Magrudis company with this amount for various irregularities detected in the license granted at the time for the production of La Mechá brand products, whose infection with the bacterium listeria monocytogenes has caused four deaths and six abortions , in addition to more than 200 injured by the consumption of these products.

USA – Outbreak Investigation of Cyclospora: Bagged Salads (June 2020) CDC announces the end of the outbreak; FDA continues its investigation.

CDC

Investigation Update

September 25, 2020

As of September 25, 2020, CDC has announced this outbreak is over. FDA’s traceback investigation is complete, however the cause or source of the outbreak has not been determined. FDA’s investigation is continuing, in consultation with the state agriculture and regional water board.

FDA investigated multiple farms identified in the traceback, one of which led to sampling and investigation around a farm in south Florida. FDA continues to work with the state of Florida and the local water district to try to determine the source and impact of Cyclospora that was found in the regional water management canal (C-23), located west of Port St. Lucie, Florida. Given the emerging nature of genetic typing methodologies for this parasite in foods and in environmental samples, the FDA has been unable to determine if the Cyclospora detected in the canal is a genetic match to the clinical cases, therefore, there is currently not enough evidence to conclusively determine the source of this outbreak. However, the presence of Cyclospora in a canal that had previously supplied irrigation water in the region, and specifically to a farm identified in the traceback, suggests the need for a collaborative effort by state, federal and industry partners to better define the scope of the contamination and identify appropriate risk mitigation measures.

Previous Updates

Russia – Six botulism deaths in Volgograd in first half of 2020

Outbreak News Today

Officials in the Volgograd region in Southern Russia have reported 60 botulism cases in the first half of 2020.

Of the sixty cases, six fatalities were reported.

About 200 people suffer from this severe disease affecting the central nervous system in the region every year. Now the inhabitants of the region are actively engaged in the preparation of homemade canned food for the winter.

This has prompted the Office of Rospotrebnadzor in the Volgograd region to put some restrictions.

Experts advise against buying pickles on the street and homemade smoked meats. Housewives should not reduce the amount of salt and vinegar or shorten cooking time during home preservation.