Category Archives: Food Illness

USA – Outbreak sickens dozens; no cause found; investigation closed

Food Safety News

The FDA has concluded its investigation of an outbreak of Salmonella Miami with a one-word public statement: closed.

A source for the pathogen, which has sickened at least 64 people, remains unknown, according to the Food and Drug Administration. In its weekly outbreak update, the agency ended the investigation with as little fanfare as it began it. The FDA’s initial announcement was a one-line entry on its weekly outbreak update table.

As of yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had not posted any information about the outbreak. The CDC did not respond to a request for comment on April 14, the day of the FDA announcement. 

Denmark – 33 sick, 19 hospitalized and 3 dead: REMEMBER herbal medicine linked to severe Salmonella outbreak in Denmark


Salmonella has been found in HUSK Psyllium seed husks, “capsules herbal medicine”. Orkla Care A / S has recalled several products and the authorities are now strongly encouraging people to check whether they have any of the affected HUSK products.

The salmonella outbreak, which the Statens Serum Institut sent out a news item about last week , is becoming increasingly extensive. In the meantime, the type of salmonella in question has been detected in a number of other people.

A total of 33 people aged 2-92 years have been diagnosed with the same type of salmonella. Several are seriously affected. 19 people have so far been hospitalized, and 3 people where the salmonella in question has been detected have died.

“It is a serious and large outbreak with many sick and both hospitalized and deaths. Therefore, we would like to encourage everyone who has HUSK products at home to check if they have any of the affected products “, says epidemiologist Luise Müller from the Statens Serum Institut (SSI)

Found salmonella in herbal medicine

SSI, together with the Danish Medicines Agency, the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration and the DTU Food Institute, has investigated the salmonella outbreak.

Common to the patients was that they had eaten HUSK Psyllium seed husks, herbal medicine, capsules ”. A comparison with healthy controls showed that the sick had eaten HUSK products to a much greater extent than the controls.

The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration therefore obtained the product from two patients’ homes and was able to prove that there was salmonella in it. Several HUSK products were subsequently recalled.

“This is the first time that we have been able to identify an herbal medicine as the cause of a salmonella outbreak. Those who take this product are often people who already have stomach problems. I am therefore concerned that the salmonella infection will not be detected because the individuals or their doctor believe that the symptoms of the salmonella infection stem from their existing stomach problems, ”says Luise Müller.

What to check?

You must check whether you have:

• Herbal remedy Psyllium husks, capsules

• The dietary supplement REMEMBER Psyllium Stomach Balance Basic, capsules

Find photos and batch numbers on the recalled products here

If you have the product at home, check whether it originates from one of the batches that Orkla Care A / S has withdrawn. The batch number is always printed on the outside of the plastic container.

If you have products from those batches, you should either throw them out or. deliver them back to the store where they were purchased.

What should you do if you have eaten one of the products?

Even if you should have eaten the HUSK Psyllium seed pods, herbal medicine, capsules or HUSK Psyllium Stomach Balance supplements, capsules, the risk of being infected with salmonella is considered too small.

Most often, the symptoms of salmonella are mild and go away on their own. If you get persistent symptoms or have doubts, you can consult your own doctor.

Read more

Read more about the outbreak on SSI’s outbreak page .

Read more about salmonella infection .

Read more about Orkla’s recall of REMEMBER .

Read more about the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration’s news about the recall of HUSK Psyllium Stomach Balance Basic capsules.

USA – Investigation Details – Multistate outbreak of Salmonella Hadar infections linked to raw ground turkey


Epidemiologic Data

As of April 12, 2021, 28 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Hadar have been reported from 12 states (see map). Illnesses started on dates ranging from December 28, 2020, to March 4, 2021 (see timeline).

Sick people range in age from less than 1 to 92 years, with a median age of 49, and 68% are female. Of 19 people with information available, 2 have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

The true number of sick people in an outbreak is likely much higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses. This is because many people recover without medical care and are not tested for Salmonella. In addition, recent illnesses may not yet be reported as it usually takes 2 to 4 weeks to determine if a sick person is part of an outbreak.

State and local public health officials are interviewing people about the foods they ate in the week before they got sick. Of the 10 people interviewed, 6 (60%) reported eating ground turkey. This percentage was significantly higher than results from a survey of healthy people in which 13% of respondents reported eating ground turkey in the week before they were interviewed. This suggests that people in this outbreak got sick from eating ground turkey.

Research – Climate change emerges as another culprit in leafy green food poisoning outbreaks

The Counter

The last decade has been particularly rough on the leafy greens industry. If you’ve followed lettuce news, you’re certainly aware of the multiple outbreaks of foodborne pathogens like E. coli, which have killed hundreds and sickened thousands more. Cattle feedlots have emerged as a major source of contamination for leafy green contamination but over at Eater, Jenny Zhang homes in on another culprit: climate change. Though it’s an emergent field of study and many unknowns remain, some early observations include: Rising temperatures can help E. coli and salmonella proliferate; those same hot temps provoke cattle into shedding pathogens more readily; and climate change-related flooding can rapidly spread contamination into water supplies used in irrigation. “Think of climate change as both an amplification of existing hazards, as well as a potential trigger for things we can’t foresee,” writes Zhang.

Research – Exotic dried fruits caused Salmonella Agbeni outbreak with severe clinical presentation, Norway, December 2018 to March 2019


Non-typhoid salmonellosis is a gastrointestinal infection characterised by diarrhoea, nausea and occasionally vomiting and fever. In 2017, 20 confirmed salmonellosis cases per 100,000 population were reported in the European Union (EU), making it the second most commonly reported food-borne infection [1]. In Norway, it is mandatory to report all cases of salmonellosis to the Norwegian Surveillance System for Communicable Diseases (MSIS), and the medical microbiology laboratories submit  isolates to the National Reference Laboratory for Enteropathogenic Bacteria (NRL) at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) for confirmation and molecular epidemiological surveillance by whole genome sequencing (WGS). The incidence rate was 18 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2018

The majority of cases are travel-related, as Norway has few known domestic reservoirs. The dominating serotypes detected are  Typhimurium and  Enteritidis. Outbreaks involving different serovars of  are observed irregularly in Norway, with four national outbreaks reported in 2018.

On Tuesday 12 February 2019, the NRL identified a cluster of four  Agbeni isolates, identical by WGS. Previously, this rare serotype of  had only been reported from a few sporadic cases in Norway and from a few outbreaks in the United States (US) and Canada. The cases resided in different municipalities in Norway. The following week, three more cases were detected. The initial interviews indicated a dried fruit mix product as the possible source of the outbreak. The NIPH initiated an outbreak investigation in collaboration with the Norwegian Food Safety Authority (NFSA) and the Norwegian Veterinary Institute (NVI) to identify the source of the outbreak and implement control measures.

This article describes the outbreak investigation and public health measures, and the finding that consumption of a ready-to-eat snack product of dried exotic fruits caused the outbreak of  Agbeni in Norway.

Hong Kong – Officials investigate ciguatoxin poisoning cases

Outbreak News Today

Hong Kong health officials report investigating a suspected ciguatoxin poisoning cases affecting two people.

The case involves two females, aged 34 and 66 respectively, who developed symptoms of ciguatoxin poisoning including abdominal pain and diarrhea about six to seven hours after consuming a marine fish for dinner at home on April 5. The latter patient also developed perioral numbness and attended the Accident and Emergency Department of Kwong Wah Hospital the next day. She was admitted for further management. Both patients are in a stable condition.

Initial inquiries revealed that the fish consumed was bought from a fish stall in Yeung Uk Road Market, Tsuen Wan, on April 4.

Foodborne Outbreak – Histamine – Frozen Tuna Loins


foodborne outbreak caused by histamine (420 mg/kg – ppm) in frozen tuna loins from Vietnam, via the Netherlands in Sweden

RASFF Alert – Vibrio parahaemolyticus – Frozen Whole Raw Giant Tiger Shrimps

European Food Alerts


Vibrio parahaemolyticus (ToxR+ Tdh+ /25g) in frozen whole raw giant tiger shrimps (Penaeus monodon) from Vietnam in France

Lithuania – Investigation into Gastroenteritis Outbreak in a Kindergarten


The State Food and Veterinary Service (SFVS) informs that it is conducting an investigation into the increased incidence of children in the Kelmė pre-school education institution. It is suspected that it may have been caused by poorly organized feeding of children or non-compliance with hygiene requirements.

The SFVS inspectors received the initial information about the suspicions of children attending the Ąžuoliukas kindergarten from the Šiauliai Department of the National Center for Public Health on 2 April. about 1 p.m. The primary diagnosis was made in children with gastroenteritis of unknown origin, colitis.

On the same day, the SFVS inspectors inspected the food handling premises of this nursery, assessed the safety, quality, shelf life, storage conditions and traceability of food for children. Checked the implementation of the self-monitoring system, the hygiene of the premises and staff, and the proper use of biocidal products.

Although preliminary inspection data did not reveal any significant discrepancies in food quality, product labeling, shelf life, storage conditions, traceability, self-monitoring or staff hygiene, discrepancies were found in the layout of cooking flows, incomplete hand hygiene measures, etc. A protracted problem was also identified – repairs to the cooking premises were required immediately. During the inspection, the windows were found to be in a particularly bad condition, they were covered with mold, the floor had to be repaired, and the production inventory had to be updated.

In the food preparation premises, the inspectors took samples of the surface of the detergents from the production inventory and selected samples of frozen poultry.

In order to carefully examine and evaluate the work of the power supply of this educational institution, during the outbreak investigation it was additionally decided to investigate more and larger spectrum of safety-sensitive foods and their raw materials in the laboratory, suppliers and raw materials will be evaluated. The control also assesses the technological descriptions of the institution’s menu for the preparation of dishes, for which certain corrective actions have been proposed.

At present, the Ąžuoliukas kindergarten does not carry out educational activities and, to the knowledge of the SFVS, will not accept children until 12 April. The premises of the nursery power supply unit are cleaned and disinfected, and the results of sample tests are expected this week to evaluate the effectiveness of the performed disinfection.

USA – Brady’s Steaks and Seafood – Hepatitis A


JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) is investigating two cases of hepatitis A in Jackson County restaurant employees which may have led to possible exposure for customers.

Two employees of Brady’s Steaks and Seafood, 3801 Magnolia St. in Pascagoula have been diagnosed with hepatitis A infection, and worked at the restaurant while potentially infectious. Customers who ate at the restaurant between March 1 and April 3, 2021, may have been exposed to hepatitis A. At this time, there is no indication of an ongoing risk associated with the restaurant.

All individuals who ate at the restaurant between March 1 and April 3 should watch for any possible symptoms of hepatitis A and see their doctor if they become ill. Individuals who ate at the restaurant within the last two weeks should get a hepatitis A vaccination if not previously vaccinated. Vaccination can prevent hepatitis A only if given within 14 days of exposure.

Those who may have eaten at the restaurant within the last two weeks can receive a hepatitis A vaccination free of charge from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 8th at the Jackson County Health Department, 46000 Lt. Eugene J. Majure Drive, in Pascagoula.