Category Archives: Food Toxin

Taiwan – 106 hospitalized in Chiayi with suspected food poisoning

Focus Taiwan

Taipei, Jan. 15 (CNA) A total of 106 students and staff from a New Taipei elementary school were taken to hospitals in Chiayi City late Thursday after developing symptoms of food poisoning on the second day of their graduation trip, authorities said on Friday.

As of press time, 74 people — six adults and 68 students — who were sent to St. Martin de Porres Hospital suffering from vomiting and diarrhoea, had been discharged.

One student who was among 32 people — five adults and 27 students — taken to Chiayi Christian Hospital, remained hospitalized for further observation, Chiayi City Public Health Bureau Director Liao Yu-wei (廖育瑋) said.

Specimens taken from the patients are being analyzed by local health officials and the results will be available within a week, Liao added.

USA – Washington State juice maker shut down by federal judge for toxins

Food Safety News

At the  FDA’s request, a federal court in Washington State has shutdown a 51-year-old juice maker who was annually supplying 2.9 million apple juice servings to USDA’s national school lunch program.

FDA found juice products at Valley Processing at 108 Blaine Ave in Sunnyside, WA, with inorganic arsenic and patulin, both toxins that pose a health risk to consumers.

Judge Stanley A Bastian on Jan. 14 approved a Consent Decree for Permanent Injunction against Valley Processing, closing the company that employed 71 people in Washington’s Yakima Valley.

Research – Botulism breakthrough? Taming botulinum toxin to deliver therapeutics

Science Daily

kswfoodworld

While rare, botulism can cause paralysis and is potentially fatal. It is caused by nerve-damaging toxins produced by Clostridium botulinum — the most potent toxins known. These toxins are often found in contaminated food (home canning being a major culprit). Infants can also develop botulism from ingesting C. botulinum spores in honey, soil, or dust; the bacterium then colonizes their intestines and produces the toxin.

Once paralysis develops, there is no way to reverse it, other than waiting for the toxins to wear off. People with serious cases of botulism may need to be maintained on ventilators for weeks or months. But a new treatment approach and delivery vehicle, described today in Science Translational Medicine, could change that.

“There are anti-toxins, but these only work before the toxins enter the motor neurons,” says Min Dong, PhD, a researcher in Boston Children’s Hospital’s Department of Urology and corresponding author on the paper. “What we have developed is the first therapy that can eliminate toxins after they get inside neurons.”

Singapore – Eng’s Heritage at Northpoint suspended after 26 people had food poisoning

Yahoo News

Authorities have suspended the licence of Eng’s Heritage from Wednesday (13 January) until further notice, after 26 people who ate at the wonton noodle chain’s Northpoint outlet came down with food poisoning.

Five of the 26 cases are currently hospitalised and are in a stable condition, while one additional case has been discharged from hospital, the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) said in a joint release.

The patrons reportedly had gastroenteritis symptoms after they consumed food at the outlet between 7 and 9 January, MOH and SFA added.

All food handlers working in the suspended premises are required to re-attend and pass the Basic Food Hygiene Course, before they can resume work as food handlers.

The appointed food hygiene officers working at the suspended premises are also required to re-attend and pass the food hygiene officer course before they can resume work.

RASFF – Aflatoxins – Almonds – Dried Figs – Organic Pistachios Kernels – Groundnut Kernels

European Food Alerts

RASFF

aflatoxins (B1 = 10; Tot. = 23 µg/kg – ppb) in almonds from the United States in Spain

RASFF

aflatoxins (B1 = 15.6; Tot. = 22 µg/kg – ppb) in dried figs from Turkey in Denmark

RASFF

aflatoxins (B1 = 110; Tot. = 120 µg/kg – ppb) in organic pistachio kernels from Turkey in the Netherlands

RASFF

aflatoxins (B1 = 30; Tot. = 33 µg/kg – ppb) in groundnut kernels from Argentina in the Netherlands

RASFF Alert -Ochratoxin A – Dried Figs

European Food Alerts

RASFF

ochratoxin A (131 µg/kg – ppb) in dried figs from Turkey in Germany

RASFF Alert – E.coli – Raw Milk Sheeps Cheese

European Food Alerts

RASFF

high count of Escherichia coli (1300000 CFU/g) in raw milk sheep’s cheese from Portugal in France

RASFF Alert – DSP – Frozen Shelled Mussels

European Food Alerts

RASFF

Diarrhoeic Shellfish Poisoning (DSP) toxins – okadaic acid (96.5 µg/kg – ppb) in frozen shelled mussels from Spain in France

Research – An Outbreak Investigation of Scombrotoxin Fish Poisoning Illnesses in the United States Linked to Yellowfin Tuna Imported from Vietnam – 2019

Journal of Food Protection

Scombrotoxin fish poisoning (SFP) is caused by the ingestion of certain fish species with elevated levels of histamine due to decomposition. In the fall of 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was notified of 51 SFP illnesses including two hospitalizations from 11 states through consumer complaints received by FDA’s Consumer Complaint System or directly from state partners. A case was defined as an individual who experienced a histamine-type reaction after consumption of tuna imported from Vietnam and an illness onset between August 14, 2019 and November 24, 2019. A traceback investigation was initiated at 19 points-of-service (POS) to identify a common tuna source. FDA and state partners collected a total of 34 product samples throughout the distribution chain including from a case patient’s home, POS, distributors, or at the port of entry. Samples were analyzed by sensory evaluation and/or chemical testing for the presence of histamine. Cases reported exposure to tuna imported from Vietnam. The traceback investigation identified two Vietnamese firms as the sources of the tuna. Twenty-nine samples were confirmed as decomposed by sensory evaluation and/or positive for the presence of elevated levels of histamine by chemical testing. Both Vietnamese firms were placed on Import Alert. Seven U.S. firms and one Vietnamese firm initiated voluntary recalls. FDA released public communication naming the U.S. importers to help suppliers and distributors to identify the product and as a result, effectuate the foreign firm’s recall. This SFP outbreak investigation highlights the complexities of the federal outbreak response, specifically related to imported food. Imported foods present cultural considerations that need to be addressed during outbreak response when timing is critical. Furthermore, collaborating with countries where confidentiality agreements are not in place can limit information sharing and the speed of public health response efforts.

Spain – Mycotoxin update on the Hazard Map

ACSA

In the Hazard Map database, we have updated all the sheets corresponding to the mycotoxins of the chemical hazards block:

  • Aflatoxins
  • Ochratoxins
  • Zearalenone
  • Deoxynivalenol
  • Fumonisins
  • Trichothecenes T-2 and HT2
  • Patulin

Mycotoxins are products of fungal metabolism and their ingestion, inhalation or skin absorption can cause disease or death in animals and people. The most important mycotoxins are produced by molds of the genera Aspergillus , Penicillium and Fusarium .

Among the most common mycotoxins are aflatoxins, ochratoxin A, patulin, fumonisins, zearanelone, deoxynivalenol, and T-2 and HT-2 toxins.