Category Archives: Food Virus

USA – Acute Hepatitis A Case in a Food Service Worker in Saco, Maine

Outbreak News Today

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) issued a health advisory after identifying a case of acute hepatitis A virus infection in a Saco, Maine, food service worker. A food service worker infected with Hepatitis A handled food from May 12 to May 23, 2020 at the Sea Salt Lobster Restaurant.  The Sea Salt Lobster Restaurant is located in Saco, Maine.  The ill food worker handled food while infectious with Hepatitis A.

Malaysia – 99 Food Poisoning Cases in Malaysia Attributed to Spoiled Eggs in Pudding

Food Poisoning News

In the city of Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia, there have been 99 food poisoning cases as a result of the consumption of ‘puding buih’ which contained eggs that were two weeks past their expiration date. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), refrigerated raw eggs in the shell are safe to eat for up to 3 to 5 weeks. After investigation, the State Local Government, Housing, Health and Environment Committee Chairman, Dr Alias Razak, said that the supplier of the spoiled pudding is a private, small-scale food trader, operating out of his or her own home, like many others who are trying to make an income during this time.

The spoiled ‘puding buih’ was consumed on or around May 22, 2020, by those who reported adverse effects from it. The pudding affected around 20 families and even caused some of them to seek medical attention from nearby public and private hospitals. Most of the people affected by the pudding reported experiencing mild symptoms like stomach aches and diarrhea. However, one person was admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU), but was declared stable shortly after.

USA – Hepatitis A Exposure at The New White Steamer in Indiana

Food Poisoning Bulletin

Anyone who dined at The New White Steamer at 21 East Main Street in Washington, Indiana from May 12 to May 15, 2020 may have been exposed to hepatitis A, according to a release by the Daviess County Health Department. The press release did not have many details, and did not say whether or not a food handler was sick or if there was any other source of the exposure.

USA – California firm ordered to stop Norovirus claims

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CBS Los Angeles reports a federal court ordered a Lake Forest company to stop distributing hand sanitizer products it touts as being able to fight specific diseases.

Innovative BioDefense Inc. of Lake Forest was ordered Monday to stop distributing its Zylast hand sanitizer products until it obtains FDA approval or removes removes disease-specific claims from its product labeling, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

The Zylast product line — which includes a broad spectrum antimicrobial antiseptic, an antiseptic lotion and an antiseptic foaming soap — is sold by Innovative BioDefense online, directly to consumers. According to a 2018 federal complaint, the company marketed their products as being effective against pathogens such as norovirus, rhinovirus, rotavirus, flu virus, Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aerus bacteria and Ebola.

USA – Possible Hepatitis A at LaRoma’s Pizzeria in Rome, New York

Food Poisoning Bulletin

An employee tested positive for hepatitis A at LaRoma’s Pizzeria in Rome, New York, according to a press release issued by the Oneida County Health Department. The employee “worked while infectious and may have exposed people who were patrons of the shop,” according to the press release. The Health Department is also alerting people who ordered take-out food from that venue.

USA – Taco Bell Hepatitis A Exposure in Chilhowie, Virginia

Food Poisoning Bulletin

Dr. Karen Shelton, director of the health district said in a statement, “Individuals who ate food from Taco Bell in Chilhowie during that time and who have not been previously vaccinated for hepatitis A or have not previously had the disease are recommended to receive the hepatitis A vaccine. This may help prevent, or lessen the severity of, illness. The vaccine works best if given within 2 weeks of exposure and may not prevent infection with Hepatitis A for all, but it can help protect many who have been exposed.”

According to the Health Department, the Taco Bell has been cooperating with this investigation and has been compliant with safe food handling practices. The restaurant was sanitized and all employees have been offered hepatitis A vaccinations.

RASFF Alert – Norovirus – Live Oysters

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RASFF – norovirus (GII /2g) in live oysters from France in Italy

Research – Multiple Cruise Ship Outbreaks of Norovirus Associated with Frozen Fruits and Berries — United States, 2019

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From July to September 2019, cruise line X experienced sudden, unexplained outbreaks (>3% of the passenger population) of acute gastroenteritis (AGE) among passengers on 10 cruise ships sailing in Europe. The rapid onset of vomiting and diarrhea followed by recovery within 24 hours were consistent with norovirus infection. Investigations by the cruise line throughout the summer yielded no clear source of the outbreaks even after extensive food testing. On September 18, 2019, CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) was notified of an outbreak of AGE on cruise ship A of cruise line X, sailing into U.S. jurisdiction (defined as passenger vessels carrying ≥13 passengers sailing to the United States from a foreign port) from Germany to New York City (1). By the end of the 19-day voyage on September 23, a total of 117 of 2,046 (5.7%) passengers and eight of 610 (1.3%) crew members met the case definition for AGE (three or more loose stools within a 24-hour period or more than normal for the patient, or vomiting plus one other sign or symptom including fever, diarrhea, bloody stool, myalgia, abdominal cramps, or headache). Four stool specimens were collected and tested for norovirus at CDC’s National Calicivirus Laboratory; three tested positive for norovirus by quantitative reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). No outbreak source was determined after a field investigation by a VSP team on September 22.

USA – Señor Moose restaurant in Seattle is again open after Hepatitis A scare

Food Safety News

Since April 15, Public Health for Seattle and King County, WA, has learned of three people from three separate meal parties becoming ill with jaundice, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, fever, and fatigue after consuming food from the Señor Moose restaurant between Feb. 24 and 26.

There is no indication that any current employees of the restaurant have had illnesses consistent with hepatitis A symptoms. Public Health is also contacting former employees to find out if any of them have been ill.

The restaurant, at 5242 Leary Ave. NW, in Seattle, has a current food safety rating of “Good.”

This outbreak, which involves the hospitalization of one person, is occurring while the Seattle-King County area is experiencing an outbreak of hepatitis A, mostly among the homeless. Washington State last July declared a statewide hepatitis A outbreak among people who are homeless or using drugs.

China – Norovirus outbreak in China linked to delivered food

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Norovirus was behind a foodborne outbreak in 2018 caused by eating take-out food in China, according to a study.

The outbreak involved 157 probable cases and 20 people had laboratory-confirmed norovirus infections in two weeks in March 2018.

Food delivery services have become common in China in recent years but the hygienic condition of delivered food is not easy to control. Contamination can occur at any stage, from preparation to distribution, and food handlers must play an important role, said researchers.

The outbreak was managed by restrictions on off-campus dining and implementation of disinfection and case isolation measures.