Category Archives: Food Illness

Research – Prevalence, antimicrobial susceptibility and virulence genes of Staphylococcus aureus isolated from pork meat in retail outlets in India

Wiley Online


Isolation of Staphylococcus aureus was carried out in a total of 120 retail pork samples and the overall prevalence of S. aureus in retail pork meat was 76.67%. All the isolates were resistant to both Ampicillin and Tetracycline (100%) followed by Cefoxitin, Oxacillin, Erythromycin, Amoxicillin, and Novobiocin. The multiple antibiotic resistance index of majority of the isolates were 0.3 and above. Methicillin resistance based on polymerase chain reaction revealed that 76.09% carried either mecA or mecC. The prevalence of enterotoxigenic S. aureus in pork was 82.61% and of the various toxin genes sei was the major gene followed by segsebsej, sed, seh, sec, and sea in decreasing order. The prevalence of multidrug resistant and virulent S. aureus carrying enterotoxin genes in retail pork meat is a clear indication of the potential of these isolates in causing foodborne intoxication under favorable conditions to the consumers.

Practical application

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a well‐known opportunistic pathogen widely present in a broad host range, including human beings and food producing animals, such as pigs, cows, goats and chickens. It has the potential to contaminate animal products and they gain entry in to the food chain, during processing, preparation and storage. The wide use of antibiotics has led to the emergence of multi drug resistant strains, particularly Methicillin‐resistant S. aureus (MRSA). The present study highlights the prevalence, antimicrobial resistance with special reference to MRSA and enterotoxin gene profile of S. aureus isolated from retail pork meat. The results will provide the insights of the existing situation of antimicrobial resistance in pork meat in India.

USA – FDA Report on E. Coli O157 Outbreak in Romaine Lettuce Points to “Significant” Finding of Strain in Sediment of Water Reservoir

Food Safety Tech 

The November 2018 outbreak of E.coli O157:H7 infections linked to romaine lettuce caused 62 illnesses across 16 states. The FDA zeroed in on the Central Coast growing regions of northern and Central California as being responsible for the contamination. The outbreak was declared over on January 9 and yesterday FDA released the report, “Factors Potentially Contributing to the Contamination of Romaine Lettuce Implicated in the Fall 2018 Multi-State Outbreak of E.Coli O157:H7”, which provides an overview of the investigation.

The report states that a sediment sample coming from an on-farm water reservoir in Santa Maria (Santa Barbara County, California) tested positive for the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7. Although this particular farm was identified in several legs of the Fall 2018 traceback investigations that occurred in the United States and Canada, as well as being a possible supplier of romaine lettuce in the 2017 traceback investigations, the FDA said that the farm is not the single source of the outbreak, as there is “insufficient evidence”. The traceback suggests that the contaminated lettuce could have come from several farms, because not all tracebacks led to the farm on which the contaminated sediment was found.


France/Spain – Third firm recalls baby formula from Spanish factory as outbreak continues – Salmonella

Food Safety News

Laboratorios Ordesa S.A. has recalled rice milk formula made at a Spanish factory suspected to be the source of a Salmonella outbreak. Combined with the first two companies’ recalls, implicated baby formulas could have been sold in at least 18 countries via retailers and online sellers.

Company officials said only Blemil Plus hydrolyzed rice is affected. Multiple lots of Blemil Plus 1 rice 400 gram and Blemil Plus 2 rice 400 gram are part of the recall, according to the Spanish Agency for Consumer Affairs, Food Safety and Nutrition (AECOSAN).

Pharmacies with affected product lots have stopped selling them. Consumers are advised to return the recalled formula to the pharmacy.

Laboratorios Ordesa becomes the third company to issue a recall in relation to the outbreak.  Sodilac and Lactalis have already recalled baby formula products from the production plant in Spain.

USA – South Carolina: Hepatitis A outbreak declared in Aiken County

Outbreak News Today

South Carolina health officials report that an employee of City Billiards tested positive for hepatitis A. Customers who ate there between January 22 and February 5 could have been exposed to the virus.

This is the second case of hepatitis A diagnosed in an Aiken-area food handler in February. At this time, the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is not aware of a known connection between the two cases.

In light of these findings, DHEC is declaring a hepatitis A outbreak in Aiken County. An outbreak is defined as an unexpected increase in the number of cases in a geographic area or time period.  There have been 10 hepatitis A cases diagnosed in Aiken County since December 1, 2018.

Australia – Nine people hospitalised after Salmonella outbreak linked to bakeries in Burton, Salisbury Downs and Blakeview

Adelaide Now

A salmonella outbreak linked to three bakeries in the northern suburbs has left nine people in hospital.

SA Health has confirmed 11 cases of salmonella have been reported after people ate Vietnamese rolls from three Angkor Bakery stores.

Deputy chief medical officer Dr Nicola Spurrier said that of those eleven people, nine were hospitalised due to the severity of the poisoning.

“SA Health authorised officers, in conjunction with local council Environmental Health Officers, have inspected stores at Springbank Plaza in Burton, Hollywood Plaza in

Salisbury Downs and Blakes Crossing in Blakeview,” Dr Spurrier.

“Food and environmental samples have been collected from all stores and results will assist in identifying the source of the contamination.

“Early investigations indicate the cases could be linked to raw egg butter, pate or BBQ pork ingredients.

Research – Differences Among Incidence Rates of Invasive Listeriosis in the U.S. FoodNet Population by Age, Sex, Race/Ethnicity, and Pregnancy Status, 2008–2016

Mary Ann Leibert listeria

Listeria monocytogenes is a foodborne pathogen that disproportionally affects pregnant females, older adults, and immunocompromised individuals. Using U.S. Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) surveillance data, we examined listeriosis incidence rates and rate ratios (RRs) by age, sex, race/ethnicity, and pregnancy status across three periods from 2008 to 2016, as recent incidence trends in U.S. subgroups had not been evaluated. The invasive listeriosis annual incidence rate per 100,000 for 2008–2016 was 0.28 cases among the general population (excluding pregnant females), and 3.73 cases among pregnant females. For adults ≥70 years, the annual incidence rate per 100,000 was 1.33 cases. No significant change in estimated listeriosis incidence was found over the 2008–2016 period, except for a small, but significantly lower pregnancy-associated rate in 2011–2013 when compared with 2008–2010. Among the nonpregnancy-associated cases, RRs increased with age from 0.43 (95% confidence interval: 0.25–0.73) for 0- to 14-year olds to 44.9 (33.5–60.0) for ≥85-year olds, compared with 15- to 44-year olds. Males had an incidence of 1.28 (1.12–1.45) times that of females. Compared with non-Hispanic whites, the incidence was 1.57 (1.18–1.20) times higher among non-Hispanic Asians, 1.49 (1.22–1.83) among non-Hispanic blacks, and 1.73 (1.15–2.62) among Hispanics. Among females of childbearing age, non-Hispanic Asian females had 2.72 (1.51–4.89) and Hispanic females 3.13 (2.12–4.89) times higher incidence than non-Hispanic whites. We observed a higher percentage of deaths among older patient groups compared with 15- to 44-year olds. This study is the first characterizing higher RRs for listeriosis in the United States among non-Hispanic blacks and Asians compared with non-Hispanic whites. This information for public health risk managers may spur further research to understand if differences in listeriosis rates relate to differences in consumption patterns of foods with higher contamination levels, food handling practices, comorbidities, immunodeficiencies, health care access, or other factors.

USA – Hepatitis A Exposure at Subway in Trumann, Arkansas

Food Poisoning Bulletin

An employee at the Subway restaurant at 121 Highway 463 North in Trumann, Arkansas, has been diagnosed with hepatitis A according to the Arkansas Health Department. Anyone who ate there between January 23, 2019 and February 6, 2019 should get a vaccination as soon as possible if they have never had this illness or have not been vaccinated.