Category Archives: Food Poisoning

New Zealand – Shellfish biotoxin alert


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.


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


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.


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


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

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.

Research – Effects of oilseed substrates (ground nyjer and flax seeds) on the growth and Ochratoxin A production by Aspergillus carbonarius

Wiley Online

Aspergillus carbonarius is one of the major Ochratoxin A (OTA) producing fungus. Nyjer and flax seeds are important oilseeds that are used for both human and animal consumption, but they are highly susceptible to fungal growth and mycotoxin contamination. The objectives of this study were to determine the growth and OTA production by A. carbonarius on ground nyjer and flax seeds with water activity levels ranging from 0.82 to 0.98 aw at three incubation temperatures (20, 30, 37°C). It was found that A. carbonarius was not able to grow on the two types of oilseeds with 0.82 or 0.86 aw. Also, the fungus was not able to grow on flax seeds with high water activity (0.98 aw). The OTA was only detected on flax seed samples with 0.94 aw at 20°C. On nyjer seeds, the highest concentration of OTA (271 μg/kg) was detected from samples with 0.98 aw incubated at 20°C for 5 days, while on flax seeds the highest OTA (146 μg/kg) was found on the seed samples with 0.94 aw incubated at 20°C for 15 days. Linear regression models also indicated that 0.98 aw was optimal for both fungal growth and OTA production on nyjer seeds. Overall, ground nyjer seed is better than flax seed to support growth and OTA production by A. carbonarius .

RASFF Alerts – Histamine – Yellowfin Tuna – Anchovies


RASFF – histamine (1333.9 mg/kg – ppm) in thawed yellowfin tuna fillets from Spain, via Slovenia in Hungary

RASFF – histamine (387 mg/kg – ppm) in frozen yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) from India in Italy

RASFF – histamine (up to 196 mg/kg – ppm) in chilled anchovies (Engraulis encrasicolus) from Spain in Italy

RASFF Alert – Vibrio cholerae – Cooked Whiteleg Peeled Shrimps


RASFF – Vibrio cholerae (presence /25g) in cooked whiteleg peeled shrimps (Penaeus vannamei) from Vietnam in Denmark

RASFF Alert – Aflatoxin – Dried Figs


RASFF – aflatoxins (B1 = 32; Tot. = 90 µg/kg – ppb) in dried figs from Spain in Portugal

RASFF Alert – Ochratoxin A – Red Wine


RASFF – ochratoxin A (3.88 µg/kg – ppb) in red wine from Italy in Germany

South Korea – Food poisoning sickens about 100 kindergarten pupils in Ansan


ANSAN, South Korea, June 25 (Yonhap) — About 100 pupils at a kindergarten in Ansan, just south of Seoul, have complained of food poisoning symptoms over the past week, with a fifth of them hospitalized for hamburger disease and other disorders, municipal health officials said Thursday.

According to the officials in Ansan, 50 kilometers south of the capital, 99 out of 184 children attending the unidentified kindergarten showed symptoms of food poisoning from June 16 to Monday, and 22 of them were sent to hospitals.

Some of them are reportedly showing signs of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), also known as hamburger disease, which could cause severe kidney failure, they noted, adding doctors raised the possibility of hamburger disease among some ailing students.

The number of patients has been increasing since four children complained of stomachaches on June 16. By June 17, 10 pupils exhibited symptoms of stomachache and diarrhea.

Authorities have found hemorrhaging E. coli bacteria in samples taken from about 30 pupils. HUS is one of the complications caused by E. coli bacteria.