Category Archives: Food Illness

Japan – Over 3,400 students and teachers suffer food poisoning near Tokyo – Update – E.coli ?

Japan Times

More than 3,400 elementary and junior high school students and teachers have contracted food poisoning at 15 schools near Tokyo due to school lunches, local authorities said Thursday.

Students started to complain of food poisoning symptoms such as diarrhea and abdominal pain on June 26 after they ate school lunches including fried chicken and seaweed salad at their schools in Yashio, Saitama Prefecture.

Concluding that the food poisoning was caused by school lunches supplied by lunch deliverer Tobu Kyushoku Center, the prefectural government ordered the company to suspend use of its kitchens for three days.

As the number of students suffering food poisoning increased, 377 students were absent from schools on Monday, though none of them were in serious condition.

E. coli bacteria was detected in the feces of some patients by a local health center.

Norway – Yersinia enterocolitica outbreak linked to pre-washed spinach product

Outbreak News Today 

In a follow-up on the Yersinia enterocolitica O3 outbreak that started in mid-May in Norway, health officials are now saying based on an analysis of patient interviews and purchase information show that 22 of 23 cases (96%) state that they have eaten a pre-washed spinach product the week prior to illness. In one case, it has not been possible to conduct an interview.

Japan -Food poisoning hits some 3,500 in Japan’s Yashio city schools

Reuters

TOKYO (Reuters) – Almost 3,500 teachers and students at more than a dozen public schools in Japan’s Yashio city have become sick with diarrhoea and stomach pains in a mass food poisoning outbreak.

Saitama prefecture said on Thursday that 3,453 people in 15 elementary and middle schools in Yashio, a city of 92,000 just north of Tokyo, had been affected after eating a lunch supplied by the TQC cooperative on June 26.

 

USA – Stay Food Safe this July Fourth

FSIS USDA  4th

Many Americans will be celebrating the Fourth of July outdoors this year a little differently, with celebrations at home, including backyard barbecues and picnics perhaps with only your household. No matter how you’re celebrating the Fourth of July, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) encourages you to make food safety and other public health recommendations a part of your celebration.

“Foodborne illness can increase during summer because of the warmer temperatures and extended time spent outside,” said Dr. Mindy Brashears, the USDA’s Under Secretary for Food Safety. “You may not be grilling at the park this year, but instead you may be grilling at home. As we celebrate this Fourth of July holiday, I encourage consumers to use food safety steps to reduce their risk of illness.”

Follow these tips from USDA to ensure a food safe Fourth of July:

Don’t Cross-Contaminate

Always keep raw meat and their juices from touching other foods. While grilling, avoid using the same utensils for cooked and ready-to-eat foods that were previously used with raw meat or poultry products. Wash and sanitize all surfaces and utensils after they touch raw items. A recent USDA survey showed that 34 percent of respondents do not follow an important step to use a different utensil to take food off the grill. Bring enough tools to keep your raw meat and poultry away from any cooked or ready-to-eat foods and have extra cleaning and sanitizing supplies ready for your surfaces, plates and utensils.

Use a Food Thermometer

Some grill masters may say they know their food is done just by looking at its color when it comes off the grill. That’s not possible and shouldn’t be relied upon. This is where a food thermometer comes in.

“More than 25 percent of burgers can turn brown inside before they are fully cooked,” says FSIS Administrator Paul Kiecker. “Although your grilled foods may look done, foodborne illness causing germs are not killed until the safe internal temperature has been reached. Using a food thermometer is the only way to know your food is done and safe to eat.”

The USDA recommended safe minimum internal temperatures are:

  • Beef, pork, lamb and veal (steaks, roasts and chops): 145°F then rest for three-minutes
  • Fish: 145°F
  • Ground meats (beef, pork, lamb and veal): 160°F
  • Whole poultry, poultry breasts and ground poultry: 165°F

Keep Foods at a Safe Temperature

Perishable food items should not be left outside for more than two hours, and only one hour if the temperature is at or above 90°F. Keep your food at or below 40°F, in coolers or containers with a cold source, such as ice or frozen gel packs. This includes any leftovers from the grill, cold salads and even cut fruits and vegetables. Leftovers should be refrigerated or placed back in the cooler within 2 hours of being placed outside (1 hour if temperatures are at or above 90°F). If you are not sure how long food has been sitting out, throw it out immediately.

If you have questions about these tips, or any other food safety topics, call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) or chat live at ask.usda.gov from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

RASFF Alert – Foodborne Outbreak – Salmonella enterica ser. Enteritidis – Eggs

RASFF-Logo

RASFF – foodborne outbreak suspected to be caused by Salmonella enterica ser. Enteritidis in eggs from the United Kingdom in the UK

Research -Cyclospora: A Long-term Challenge for Food Suppliers

World Aware

Outbreaks of cyclosporiasis, an illness caused by the parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis, occur almost every year in the US, and this summer is no exception. People can become infected with Cyclospora by consuming food or water contaminated with the parasite. Since May 1, more than 206 laboratory-confirmed cases of cyclosporiasis have been reported across 8 states in the Midwest.

Based on interviews with patients, investigators traced the outbreak back to bagged salad mix. The recent outbreak of Cyclospora infections highlights the importance of compliance with the Food and Drug Administration Produce Safety Rule and specifically worker health and hygiene principles.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have made attempts to better understand the factors contributing to Cyclospora infections.  However, many cases of cyclosporiasis cannot be directly linked to an outbreak, in part because of the lack of validated molecular typing tools for Cyclospora cayetanensis.

It is likely, in the future, new analysis methods will be developed to differential strains of Cyclospora, if there is enough genetic diversity. This will allow a way to focus more quickly on illness clusters and more rapid traceback of food vehicles to production sites. This should allow for environmental assessments at production sites to determine routes of contamination and prevention option.

In the meantime, the best we can do is to emphasize the importance of compliance with the Food and Drug Administration Produce Safety Rule, and specifically worker health and hygiene principles.

 

 

USA – If You Have Cyclospora Symptoms, Please Get Tested For the Parasite

Food Poisoning Bulletin cardcyclosporasme

For many reasons, probably including the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, these days many people are reluctant to go to the doctor if they are sick. This can lead to disastrous consequences. In the field of food poisoning, these patients may be misdiagnosed, go undiagnosed, and may suffer permanent lifelong health consequences if not treated. If you have cyclospora symptoms, please get tested for the parasite.

South Korea – E. coli infections tied to kindergarten south of Seoul rise to 58

YNA

SEOUL, June 29 (Yonhap) — The number of people infected with a strain of E. coli bacteria in connection to a kindergarten just south of Seoul reached 58, one more from the previous day, health authorities said Monday.

Health authorities have widened a probe into the E. coli outbreak in Ansan, about 50 kilometers south of the capital, since a kindergarten student first showed symptoms of illness on June 12.

As of 6 p.m. Sunday, 114 students and their family members showed suspected symptoms, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

Of 21 hospitalized patients, 16 people, including 14 students, showed symptoms of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of E. coli that can cause kidney failure. Of them, four are undergoing dialytic therapy.

USA – Outbreak of Cyclospora Infections in the Midwestern U.S. Linked to Bagged Salad Mix

CDC

CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administrationexternal icon (FDA) are investigating a multistate outbreak of Cyclospora infections linked to bagged salad mix containing iceberg lettuce, carrots, and red cabbage produced by Fresh Express and purchased at ALDI, Hy-Vee, Jewel-Osco, and Walmart stores in the Midwestern United States.

Advice to Consumers, Restaurants, Retailers, and Suppliers/Distributors

CDC has important advice for consumers and retailers in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin:

  • Do not eat, sell, or serve:
    • Recalled Marketside brand Classic Iceberg Salad
      • Sold at Walmart stores in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin
      • 12-ounce and 24-ounce bags
      • Use-by dates of 05/19/2020 through 07/04/2020
    • Recalled Little Salad Bar brand Garden Salad
      • Sold at ALDI stores in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin
      • 12-ounce bags
      • Use-by dates of 05/01/2020 through 06/29/2020
    • Recalled Hy-Vee brand Garden Salad
      • Sold at Hy-Vee stores in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wisconsin
      • 12-ounce bags
      • Any use-by date
    • Recalled Jewel-Osco Signature Farms brand Garden Salad
      • Sold at Jewel-Osco stores in Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa
      • 12-ounce bags
      • Use-by dates of 05/16/2020 through 07/04/2020
  • Check your home for any of these recalled salads. Throw any remaining salad away, even if some of it has been eaten and no one has gotten sick.
  • If you live in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wisconsin and don’t know whether the bagged salad mix you have in your home is one of these recalled salads, do not eat it. Throw it away.

Take action if you have symptoms of a Cyclospora infection:

  • Talk to your healthcare provider.
  • Write down what you ate in the two weeks before you started to get sick.
  • Report your illness to the health department.
  • Assist public health investigators by answering questions about your illness.

Latest Outbreak Information

  • 206 people with laboratory-confirmed Cyclospora infections and who reported eating bagged salad mix before getting sick have been reported from 8 Midwestern states (Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Wisconsin).
    • Illnesses started on dates ranging from May 11, 2020 to June 17, 2020.
    • 23 people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
  • Epidemiologic and traceback evidence indicates that bagged salad mix containing iceberg lettuce, carrots, and red cabbage produced by Fresh Express is a likely source of this outbreak.
  • Bagged salad mixes purchased at ALDI, Hy-Vee, Jewel-Osco, and Walmart do not explain all of the illnesses in this outbreak. CDC and FDA continue to investigate to determine whether other products are a source of illnesses.
  • CDC will provide updates when more information is available.

Investigation Details

June 26, 2020

Since the last update on June 23, 2020, 84 new laboratory-confirmed Cyclospora infections have been reported, including 6 from a new state, North Dakota.

Health officials in North Dakota interviewed ill people in their state. In interviews, all six ill people reported eating a salad purchased from a single restaurant location in North Dakota. Health officials determined that the restaurant used Marketside brand bagged garden salad mix purchased from Walmart.

On June 25, 2020, Fresh Express recalled Marketside brand Classic Iceberg Salad sold in 12-ounce and 24-ounce bags at Walmart stores in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

As of June 25, 2020, a total of 206 people with laboratory-confirmed Cyclospora infections associated with this outbreak have been reported from 8 states: Illinois (57), Iowa (74), Kansas (1), Minnesota (25), Missouri (10) Nebraska (20), North Dakota (6), and Wisconsin (13).

Illnesses started on dates ranging from May 11, 2020 to June 17, 2020. Ill people range in age from 16 to 92 years with a median age of 60 and 57% are female. Of 198 people with available information, 23 people (12%) have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Illnesses might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of 4 to 6 weeks. If the number of cases reported by CDC is different from the number reported by state or local health officials, data reported by local jurisdictions should be considered the most up to date. Any differences may be due to the timing of reporting and website updates.

There are typically multiple clusters of Cyclospora infections that occur each summer. CDC is working to determine if other recent cases of Cyclospora infection are linked to contaminated ingredients in these bagged salad mixes. This investigation is ongoing.

USA – Walmart salad served by restaurant linked to parasitic infections; grocery store bagged salads still involved

Food Safety News 220px-Cyclospora_cayetanensis_stained

With another 84 patients confirmed and an eighth state involved, an outbreak of Cyclospora infections linked to Fresh Express bagged salads sold by grocery stores is now being blamed for sickening restaurant patrons.

As of an update today, federal officials are reporting 206 patients have been confirmed as infected by the Cyclospora parasite in the outbreak. The microscopic organism is often found on fresh produce that is eaten raw, especially lettuces and herbs such as cilantro. 

Public health officials are concerned that consumers may have unused portions of the implicated salads in their homes. Four bagged salad mixes have been recalled so far. Some of the salad products have use-by dates into July.

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