Category Archives: Food Inspections

USA – Pillsbury Bread Flour Recalled For Possible E. coli Contamination

Food Poisoning Bulletin ecoli

Hometown Food Company is recalling specific lot codes of Pillsbury Bread Flour for possible E. coli contamination. This product was made by ADM Milling Company at the mill in Buffalo, New York. Some of the wheat used to make this product has been linked to an E. coli O26 outbreak that has sickened 17 people in 8 states. No illnesses have been associated with this specific recalled product.

Some lots of King Arthur all-purpose flour, and all lots of 5 pound bags of ALDI Baker’s Corner flour have been recalled in association with this issue. All of these products were manufactured at ADM Milling.

The recall is for 4,620 cases of Pillsbury Best Bread Flour in 5 pound bags. It was distributed to a limited number of retailers and distributors in these states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. The recalled product has one UPC number, 0 5150020031 5. One of the bags has lot code 8 342 and use by date of JUN 08 2020. The other has lot code 8 343, and use by date JUN 09 2020.

All other Pillsbury bread flour products with other UPC numbers, best by dates, and lot codes are not affected by this recall. Best if used by dates are  printed on the side of the package below the Nutrition Facts Panel.

USA – WinCo Frozen Red Raspberries Recalled For Norovirus

Food Poisoning Bulletin norovirus-1080x655

WinCo Foods of Boise, Idaho is recalling frozen red raspberries that were manufactured by Rader Farms of Bellingham, Washington, because the product may be contaminated with norovirus. Norovirus is highly contagious, and causes symptoms of vomiting, watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and nausea. No  illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this recall.

Sweden – New outbreak of Yersinia infection is being investigated

Outbreak News

In Sweden, the National Institute of Public Health, or Folkhälsomyndigheten is reporting a new outbreak of infections caused by Yersinia enterocolitica type O3. The source of infection is still unknown.

So far, 26 cases of disease have been confirmed to belong to the outbreak by means of whole-genome sequencing. Another handful of cases are investigated. Since the current outbreak strain of Yersinia enterocolitica type O3 has been found in different parts of the country, it is likely that a food borne infection. The current outbreak strain differs from the one that caused a Yersinia outbreak earlier in the spring.During the middle of May, an number of reported cases of Yersinia infection has been seen in Sweden. Seven regions from different parts of the country have reported cases, but the majority of cases come from the northernmost regions of the country.

UK – Scotland – Cyclospora risk for travellers to Mexico

HPS 

Seasonal outbreaks of Cyclospora infection in UK travellers returning from Mexico have been reported, with the majority of cases in travellers who have stayed in the Riviera Maya and Cancun regions of Mexico. The source of infection was likely to be contaminated food items supplied to hotels throughout the area.

Cyclospora cayetanensis is a protozoan parasite that can infect humans, causing frequent, watery diarrhoea, abdominal cramping, bloating, nausea, flatulence, low-grade fever and loss of both appetite and weight. HIV-positive individuals and those with other immune deficiencies can be at risk of more severe infection.

On return from Mexico, travellers with any symptoms such as those described should seek medical attention and inform their GP of their travel history.

Healthcare practitioners should raise awareness of Cyclospora infection with all travellers to Mexico, and should strongly advise that travellers maintain a high standard of food, water and personal hygiene, even if staying in high-end resorts.

For further information on protozoan parasitic infection, including Cyclospora, consult TRAVAX (for health professionals) and fitfortravel (for the general public).

Sources: TRAVAX and fitfortravel (both 10 June 2019)

Iceland -E. Coli Found in Icelandic Meat

Iceland Review

E. coli was found in 30% of lamb samples and 11.5% of beef samples in a test carried out by the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority (MAST). The particular strain discovered is known as STEC, or shiga-toxin producing E. coli. This is the first time lamb and beef have been screened for STEC in Iceland.

The testing was carried out on around 600 samples of lamb, beef, pork, and chicken of both Icelandic and foreign origin between March and December 2018. The purpose of the testing was to determine the prevalence of pathogenic micro-organisms in products when they reach the consumer, and for this reason the samples were taken from shops.

Campylobacter and salmonella were not detected in pork or chicken samples, with the exception of a single sample of pork from Spain. MAST attributes this to improved preventative measures in slaughterhouses.

 

USA – Delaware Warns Consumers Against Raw Milk After Brucellosis Case

Food Poisoning Bulletin

The Delaware Division of Public Health is warning consumers to avoid consuming raw dairy products as a woman living in Sussex County has been diagnosed with a Brucella melitensis infection. This illness affects people who come into contact with sick animals or contaminated animal products.

Research – Norovirus structures could help develop treatments for food poisoning

Science Direct

Noroviruses are a leading cause of food-borne illness outbreaks, accounting for 58% of all outbreaks and cause 685 million cases worldwide each year. There is no effective therapeutic against them. Having knowledge of the intricate structure of the outer layer of noroviruses, the capsid, which allows the virus to attach to its human host, could help in vaccine development.

In vaccines, specific antibodies recognize the capsids and bind to them so they can no longer interact with human cells. “We need to understand what the norovirus capsid shapes actually look like, and the shape differences between different strains,” said James Jung, a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Leemor Joshua-Tor’s lab at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL).

Jung and Joshua-Tor led a team to solve the high-resolution structures of four different strains of noroviruses using a cryo-electron microscope. This allowed them to see the intricate architecture of virus shells in high-definition. Their findings are published in the journal PNAS.

Jung gleaned new insights that could help in guiding the development of therapeutics to fight norovirus infection. “Previously, it was thought that the norovirus shells exist in single-sized assemblies consisting of 180 building blocks and 90 surface spikes. What we found was an unexpected mixture of different shell sizes and shapes. We found a smaller form, which consists of just 60 building blocks with 30 surface spikes placed further apart. We also found larger shells made out of 240 building blocks with 120 surface spikes that are lifted significantly above the base of the shell and form a two-layered architecture that could interact differently with the human cells,” he said.

The spikes on the shell interact with the host. Jung found that the distance and orientation of the spikes varied across the different strains of noroviruses. “That means each strain will interact differently with human cells,” Jung explained. “The way the antibodies bind is also going to be different. Vaccines should be formulated to take into account the variations across strains and structural forms.”

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