Category Archives: Food Microbiology Testing

Research – From Aflatoxin to Zearalenone: Mycotoxins You Should Know – Deoxynivalenol (DON)


Mycotoxins are substances produced by fungi that infect grain crops like maize and small grains and cause ear and kernel rots. Exposure to mycotoxins can lead to chronic or acute toxicity in humans and animals. In addition, mycotoxins can lead to market losses, discounts, rejection of grain lots at elevators, and a reduction in livestock efficiency and productivity.

The most economically important mycotoxins include aflatoxins (AF), deoxynivalenol (DON, also known as vomitoxin), fumonisins (FUM), zearalenone (ZEA), ochratoxin A (OTA), T2, HT-2, ergot alkaloids, and patulin (PAT). The fungal species that produce mycotoxins have worldwide distribution; therefore, mycotoxin contamination occurs everywhere grain crops are grown. Accordingly, mycotoxins have been detected in feed, silage, food, and beverages derived from cereal grains and animal products exposed to contaminated feed.

USA – Marijuana contaminated with potentially harmful bacteria allegedly sold at 20 unlicensed NYC stores


Three trade groups for the medical marijuana industry are warning buyers about cannabis sold in New York City.

A survey conducted by the New York Medical Marijuana Cannabis Industry Association claims it found tainted marijuana at 20 unlicensed businesses in the city.

They say many of them were contaminated with E. coli, salmonella, heavy metals, and pesticides. Those contaminants can cause illness and infection in the human body.

75 percent of the businesses said their product came from California or the West Coast, the survey detailed.

The trade groups estimate that there are likely tens of thousands of illegal marijuana businesses operating in NYC.

Research – Warning after scientists find faeces and dangerous bacteria at self-service check-outs

News Yahoo

Health chiefs are warning festive shoppers to wash their hands regularly after a study found both faeces and vomit-inducing bugs – on self-service check-out screens.

The investigation, where scientists analysed swabs from several everyday objects, revealed there were thousands of bacteria on the ubiquitous payment machines.

E.coli, which causes vomiting, was present on nearly all the surfaces, while poo and microbes that lead to urinary tract infections (UTIs) were found on self-service screens.

A bug commonly found in the vagina, mouth, throat and gut called Candida albicans, which can cause yeast infections, was also discovered on an escalator handrail.

And shoppers may also be at risk if they hot desk at work, as intestinal microbes that can cause a range of infections, including UTIs, were found on computer keyboards.

Italy hit by new Listeria outbreak with one dead

Food Safety News

Italian authorities are investigating a Listeria outbreak that has sickened 22 people and killed one.

Mortadella sold by Veroni is being looked at as a potential source but an official link has not been confirmed by authorities.

In early November, a number of recalls were published for Veroni mortadella due to potential Listeria contamination.

A product recalled by Veroni in November

The Ministry of Health (Ministero della Salute) issued a warning covering a few batches of the Veroni Supergiant Mortadella packed in small portions due to the presence of Listeria monocytogenes.

Veroni said it immediately and voluntarily alerted the market, recalling all batches of Supergiant Mortadella with and without pistachios in portions that had expiry dates before Dec. 27, 2022.

USA – Outbreak Investigation of E. coli O121:H19 Frozen Falafel (October 2022)


The FDA, along with CDC and state and local partners, investigated a multistate outbreak of E. coli O121:H19 infections linked to Earth Grown frozen falafel.

As of December 1, 2022, CDC announced that the outbreak is over. There have been a total of 24 illnesses in six states. The last illness onset was October 24, 2022.

On October 7, 2022, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development collected Earth Grown frozen falafel for testing from a sick person’s home. Whole Genome Sequencing done at the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services showed that the E. coli strain in the falafel sample was closely related to the strain causing illness in this outbreak.

On October 6, 2022, the manufacturer of Earth Grown frozen falafel, Cuisine Innovations, initiated a voluntary recall. Recalled products include Earth Grown vegan traditional falafel and garlic & herb falafel distributed and sold exclusively by ALDI. Additional information on recalled products is available in the firm’s recall notice.


These items are no longer available for sale but were sold frozen and have a long shelf-life of 18 months, so consumers should check their freezers for any recalled Earth Grown vegan traditional falafel and garlic & herb falafel that was sold by ALDI. If you have recalled frozen falafel in your freezer, do not eat or serve them.

Product Images

Outbreak Investigation E.coli Frozen Falafel October 2022 - Sample Product Images

Map of U.S. Distribution

Outbreak Ecoli Falafel Distribution Map

Case Count Map Provided by CDC

Outbreak Investigation of E. coli O121: Frozen Falafel (October 2022) - CDC Case Count Map as of December 1, 2022

Case Counts

Total Illnesses: 24
Hospitalizations: 5
Deaths: 1
Last illness onset: October 24, 2022
States with Cases: FL (2), IA (2), KS (1), MI (13), OH (1), WI (5)
Product Distribution: Nationwide

Czech Republic – Hradišť roast Bread – Mold/Mould


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Place of inspection:
Hradec Králové ( náměstí 28. října, 500 02 Hradec Králové )
ID: 26178541
Food group: Bakery products Breads
Hradišť roast
Category: Dangerous foods
Invalid parameter:
fungi visible to the eye

The presence of mold was detected under the packaging of all the checked pieces of bread. Food is not considered safe if it shows signs of spoilage.

The food did not have an expired minimum durability date.

Batch: L220912
Best before date: 16/09/2022
Packaging: PP + printed label
Quantity of the product in the package: 650 g
Producer: BEAS, as, Choustníkovo Hradiště 89, 544 42
Country of origin:  Czechia
Date of sample collection: 16/09/2022
Reference number: 22-000523-SZPI-CZ
The sample was detected by the official control of the State Agricultural and Food Inspection.

Czech Republic – Smoked Meat Peeler – Mold/Mould


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Place of inspection:
Dašice ( náměstí TG Masaryka 98, 533 03 Dašice )
ID: 69270490
Invalid parameter:
fungi visible to the eye

There was mold on the surface of the food. Food is not considered safe if it shows signs of spoilage.

The food had an unknown expiration date.

Batch: unmarked
Packaging: stored freely
Quantity of the product in the package: 1.25 kg
Date of sample collection: 14/10/2022
Reference number: 22-000574-SZPI-CZ
The sample was detected by the official control of the State Agricultural and Food Inspection.

Italy – SEASONED SALAMI – Salmonella


Brand : Salumificio Colli
Reason for reporting : Remind for microbiological risk
Publication date : 1 December 2022


RASFF Alert – Histamine – Sardine Fillets


Presence of histamine in frozen sardine fillets from Morocco in France and Portugal

RASFF Alert – High TVC and Enterobacteriaceae – Cream Cake


High levels of aerobic mesophilic bacteria and Enterobacteriaceae in cream cake from Slovenia in Austria