Category Archives: food death

Research – FDA Report Released on Restaurant Foodborne Illness Factors

Food Poisoning Bulletin

The FDA has released findings from the first phase of a 10 year study that is looking at restaurant foodborne illness factors  in fast food restaurants and full service restaurants. The report looked at risk factors from 2013 to 2014. The first 10-year study was conducted between 1998 and 2008.

In the 2008 study, the FDA found that the restaurant foodborne illness factors that needed the most improvement were poor personal hygiene, improper food holding/time and temperature, and contaminated equipment and protection from contamination.

More than half of all food poisoning outbreaks in the U.S. every year are associated with restaurant food. In 2014, when looking at outbreaks linked to a single location, restaurants accounted for 485 outbreaks, or 65% of the total, and 4780 illnesses, or 44%. Many of these outbreaks led to lawsuits. The FDA at that time stated it needed more research to identify the root causes for these poor retail food safety practices, and to determine effective intervention strategies.

The restaurant foodborne illness risk factors that were listed for this study include employee handwashing, proper temperature control of perishable foods, improper food holding time, hand-to-hand contact with ready-to-eat foods, cooking raw animal foods to safe final and required internal temperatures, contaminated equipment, and food obtained from unsafe sources.

USA – CDC – Outbreak of Multidrug-Resistant Salmonella Infections Linked to Raw Turkey Products – One Death

CDC

CDC and public health and regulatory officials in several states are investigating a multistate outbreak of multidrug-resistant Salmonella infections linked to raw turkey products. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) is monitoring the outbreak.

  • Seventy-four more ill people from 26 states were added to this investigation since the last update on July 19, 2018.
  • As of November 5, 2018, 164 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Reading have been reported from 35 states.
    • 63 people have been hospitalized, and one death has been reported from California.
  • Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence(https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/outbreaks/investigating-outbreaks/index.html) indicates that raw turkey products from a variety of sources are contaminated with Salmonella Reading and are making people sick.
  • In interviews, ill people report eating different types and brands of turkey products purchased from many different locations. Three ill people lived in households where raw turkey pet food was fed to pets.
  • The outbreak strain has been identified in samples taken from raw turkey pet food, raw turkey products, and live turkeys.
  • A single, common supplier of raw turkey products or of live turkeys has not been identified.
  • The outbreak strain of Salmonella Reading is present in live turkeys and in many types of raw turkey products, indicating it might be widespread in the turkey industry. CDC and USDA-FSIS have shared this information with representatives from the turkey industry and asked about steps that they may be taking to reduce Salmonella contamination.

 

Europe -4 dead 8 sick in EU outbreak of Listeria linked to salmon products beginning in 2015

EFSA

A multi-country outbreak of 12 Listeriosis cases caused by Listeria monocytogenes sequence type (ST)

8 has been identified through whole genome sequencing (WGS) analysis in three EU/EEA countries: Denmark (6 cases), Germany (5) and France (1). Four of these cases have died due to or with the disease. It is likely that the extent of this outbreak has been underestimated since the outbreak was identified through sequencing and only a subset of the EU/EEA countries routinely use this advanced technique to characterise L. monocytogenes isolates. The first case was sampled in October 2015 in Denmark and the most recent case was reported in May 2018 in Germany. In August 2017, Denmark identified the first cluster of cases, which was investigated and linked to the consumption of ready-to eat cold-smoked salmon produced in Poland. Control measures were implemented and the Member States and competent authorities were informed. In October 2017, France reported the identification of a matching L. monocytogenes strain in food isolates from marinated salmon originating from the same Polish processing company as identified in the Danish outbreak investigation. This supports the hypothesis that contamination may have occurred at the processing company in Poland. However, due to the lack of WGS data on the isolates found in the environmental and food samples taken at the Polish processing plant, it is not possible at present to confirm the contamination with the L. monocytogenes ST8 outbreak strain at the suspected Polish plant. Moreover, until detailed information on the Norwegian primary producers of the salmon used in the contaminated batches is reported and assessed, possible contamination at primary production level cannot be excluded either. Although control measures were implemented following the Danish outbreak investigation in September 2017, the identification of the same strain in a salmon product in France and a new human case in Germany suggest that the source of contamination is still active and contaminated products have been distributed to other EU countries than Denmark. Until the source of infection has been eliminated, new invasive Listeriosis cases may still occur. Pregnant women, the elderly and immunocompromised individuals are at increased risk of invasive Listeriosis, which is associated with severe clinical course and potentially death.

 

UK – Two kids from the same family die after catching food poisoning bug E.coli

The Sun

Two children from the same family have died after contracting the deadly food poisoning bug E.coli, health bosses have confirmed.

The children, whose ages have not yet been released, were from the Charnwood area of Leicestershire and had been treated for the bug in the last two weeks.

Public Health England confirmed the deaths today and revealed it’s working with environmental health officers after two cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome were confirmed in the siblings.

Hemolytic uremic syndrome is a serious complication of E.coli which affects the kidneys, eventually causing them to shut down.

Dr Lauren Ahyow, consultant in communicable disease control at PHE East Midlands, said: “E. coli is an infection that causes a spectrum of illness ranging from mild through to severe bloody diarrhoea, mostly without fever.

“Sometimes the infection can cause a condition called haemolytic uraemic syndrome which affects the kidneys and can be very serious.

Canada – Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Frozen Raw Breaded Chicken Products Ends in Canada

Public Health Canada

The Public Health Agency of Canada is collaborating with provincial and territorial public health partners, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada to investigate outbreaks of Salmonella infections across Canada linked to raw chicken, including frozen raw breaded chicken products.

On September 13, 2018, Canada’s Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health issued a statement advising Canadians to follow proper food safety practices when handling, preparing or consuming frozen raw breaded chicken products such as chicken nuggets, chicken strips, chicken burgers, popcorn chicken and chicken fries.

As of September 13, 2018, there have been 419 laboratory-confirmed cases of Salmonella illness investigated as part of the illness outbreaks across the country: British Columbia (36), Alberta (60), Saskatchewan (13), Manitoba (19), Ontario (146), Quebec (98), New Brunswick (23), Nova Scotia (9), Prince Edward Island (1), Newfoundland and Labrador (10), Northwest Territories (1), Yukon (1), and Nunavut (2). There have been 86 individuals hospitalized as part of these outbreaks. Three individuals have died; however, Salmonella was not the cause of death for two of those individuals, and it was not determined whether Salmonella contributed to the cause of death for the third individual. Infections have occurred in Canadians of all ages and genders.

All current and future Salmonella outbreak investigations linked to raw chicken, including frozen raw breaded chicken products, and related food recall warnings will be listed in the next section of the public health notice to remind Canadians of the ongoing risk associated with these types of food products.

Egypt – The extent of food poisoning in the country REVEALED & how you can fight infection

The Express

January 2018

Elizabeth Austin, 29, fell violently ill on a trip to Egypt where she stayed at the Steigenberger Aqua Magic hotel with Thomas Cook, just like the Coopers.

July 2018

Luay Mohammed, 7, spent over three weeks in intensive care after contracting salmonella, which led to sepsis and a stroke while on holiday in Egypt at the Tia Heights Hotel in Hurghada.

August 2018

John and Susan Cooper, from Burnley, Lancashire, died in Hurghada on 21 August, during a stay at the Steigenberger Aqua Magic hotel.

In an official statement, the Egyptian general prosecutor said post-mortem examinations showed E. coli bacteria was the cause of the death.

Last week, tests on the food and hygiene standards at the hotel identified a high level of e.coli and staphylococcus bacteria, Thomas Cook said.

How can you avoid food poisoning?

Make sure your food has been thoroughly cooked and is still hot or chilled when served,” an ABTA spokesman told Express.co.uk.

“Avoid any uncooked food, apart from fruits and vegetables. Also, try not to mix up different food types by piling everything on one plate, remember you can always go back for another course.

Keep an eye out for signs of poor hygiene, the WHO recommends, such as the presence of pests and flies or uncleaned surfaces. Consider whether the food is handled manually of whether there are enough utensils to handle the food without contaminating it.

“Always wash your hands before eating,” advises Marc Jordan Group Head of Health and Safety at Thomas Cook Group, “and watch out for other customers mixing up utensils at the buffet as cross-contamination between food items can lead to illness.”

However, it might not always be food poisoning you’re suffering from. “Bear in mind that a lot of stomach upsets on holiday are caused by overconsumption rather than food poisoning, so eat and drink in moderation,” ABTA points out.

South Africa – Two Katlehong primary school learners dead after alleged food poisoning

The South African

The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) has been shocked by a tragic incident which resulted in the death of two boy learners on Tuesday 11 September 2018, at Kumalo Primary School, in Katlehong (Gauteng). The said deceased learners, 10-year-old in Grade 4 and 7-year-old in Grade 1, were siblings.

It is alleged that, while in the classroom, the Grade 4 learner complained of experiencing stomach cramps and being nauseous. The learner was taken to the local clinic.

What killed the two learners from Katlehong?

Subsequently, the Grade 1 learner also complained of similar symptoms as the older sibling and was also rushed to the local clinic. Both learners complicated and were unfortunately certified dead upon arrival at the clinic. ENCA report that food poisoning is the suspected cause.