Category Archives: Food Microbiology

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.

USA – CDFA Announces Recall of Raw Milk Produced at Valley Milk Simply Bottled of Stanislaus County

PASOROBLES PRESS

Raw milk produced and packaged by Valley Milk Simply Bottled of Stanislaus County is the subject of a statewide recall and quarantine order announced by California State Veterinarian Dr. Annette Jones. The quarantine order came following the confirmed detection of the bacteria Campylobacter jejuni in the farm’s packaged raw whole milk sampled and tested by the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

New Zealand – Shellfish biotoxin alert

MPI

North Island warnings

Hawke Bay

Reason for alert Paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP)

Date warning issued 2 July 2020

Media release

Affected area From Cape Kidnappers to the Mohaka River mouth, Hawke Bay
Shellfish affected Mussels, oysters, tuatua, pipi, toheroa, cockles, scallops, catseyes, kina (sea urchin) and all other bivalve shellfish.

Note, cooking shellfish does not remove the toxin.

Pāua, crab and crayfish may still be eaten if the gut has been completely removed prior to cooking, as toxins accumulate in the gut. If the gut is not removed its contents could contaminate the meat during the cooking process.

Symptoms Symptoms typically appear between 10 minutes and 3 hours after ingestion and may include:

  • numbness and a tingling (prickly feeling) around the mouth, face, and extremities (hands and feet)
  • difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • paralysis and respiratory failure and in severe cases, death.
Other information Paralytic shellfish toxins have been detected in shellfish at levels over the safe limit of 0.8mg/kg set by MPI. Ongoing testing will continue and any changes will be communicated accordingly.

Map of the affected area

Map showing the affected area
Map from Cape Kidnappers to the Mohaka River mouth, Hawke Bay.

 

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.

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 – Listeria monocytogenes – Smoked Salmon Bacon – Organic Young Sprouts – Pasteurised Milk Cheese – Frozen Sliced Octopus

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RASFF – Listeria monocytogenes (presence) in smoked salmon bacon from France in France

RASFF – Listeria monocytogenes (presence /25g) in organic young sprouts from France in Belgium

RASFF – Listeria monocytogenes (presence /25g) in pasteurized milk cheese from France in France

RASFF – Listeria monocytogenes (presence /25g) in frozen sliced cooked octopus from Spain in Spain

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

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

RASFF Alerts – Aflatoxin – Ochratoxin A -Soya Chunks – Dried Figs – Groundnuts

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RASFF – aflatoxins (B1 = 6.9 µg/kg – ppb) and ochratoxin A (60 µg/kg – ppb) in soya chunks from India, via the United Kingdom in Switzerland

RASFF – aflatoxins (Tot. = 13 µg/kg – ppb) in diced dried figs from Turkey in France

RASFF – aflatoxins (B1 = 6.8; Tot. = 8.2 / B1 = 7.4; Tot. = 8.4 µg/kg – ppb) in groundnuts from Egypt in the Netherlands

RASFF Alert – E.coli – Live Clams

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RASFF – too high count of Escherichia coli (790 MPN/100g) in live clams (Ruditapes philippinarum) from Italy in Italy

RASFF Alerts – Salmonella – Chicken Products from Poland – Almonds – Duck Eguilette – Black Pepper

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RASFF – Salmonella enterica ser. Enteritidis (presence /25g) in frozen chicken leg meat from Poland in the Netherlands

RASFF – Salmonella (presence /250g) in almonds from the United States in Germany

RASFF – Salmonella enterica ser. Enteritidis (in 5 out of 5 samples /25g) in frozen chicken wings from Poland in Bulgaria

RASFF – Salmonella enterica ser. Havana (presence /25g) in chilled chicken legs from Poland in the Czech Republic

RASFF – Salmonella (presence /25g) in chilled duck eguilette from Belgium in Belgium

RASFF – Salmonella enterica ser. Infantis (in 5 out of 5 samples /25g) in frozen chicken roll with cheese and bacon from Bulgaria, with raw material from Greece, Germany, the Netherlands and Poland in Greece

RASFF – Salmonella (presence /25g) in black pepper from Brazil in the Netherlands

RASFF – Salmonella enterica ser. Enteritidis, Salmonella enterica ser. Infantis and Salmonella enterica ser. Newport in frozen chicken fillets from Poland in France

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