Category Archives: foodborne disease

USA – USDA – Outbreak Investigations


The table below lists outbreak investigations in which FSIS responded by posting a recall of FSIS-regulated product linked to illness, a public health alert, and/or an after-action review report. The table does not include outbreak investigations that did not result in one or more of these outcomes.

Outbreak Year Pathogen Product Outcomes & References Active
2021 Salmonella Hadar Turkey, ground FSIS Public Notification: FSIS Issues Public Health Alert for Raw Ground Turkey Products Linked to Salmonella Hadar Illness

CDC Notice: Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Ground Turkey

2021 Salmonella Enteritidis Chicken, raw, breaded, stuffed (suspect) Yes
2021 Escherichia coli O157:H7 (E. coli) Beef, ground (suspect) No
2021 Escherichia coli O145 (E. coli) Beef, ground (suspect) No
2021 Escherichia coli O157:H7 (E. coli) Unknown

CDC Notice: View CDC Investigation Notice

2021 Listeria monocytogenes Unknown No

Research – Climate change emerges as another culprit in leafy green food poisoning outbreaks

The Counter

The last decade has been particularly rough on the leafy greens industry. If you’ve followed lettuce news, you’re certainly aware of the multiple outbreaks of foodborne pathogens like E. coli, which have killed hundreds and sickened thousands more. Cattle feedlots have emerged as a major source of contamination for leafy green contamination but over at Eater, Jenny Zhang homes in on another culprit: climate change. Though it’s an emergent field of study and many unknowns remain, some early observations include: Rising temperatures can help E. coli and salmonella proliferate; those same hot temps provoke cattle into shedding pathogens more readily; and climate change-related flooding can rapidly spread contamination into water supplies used in irrigation. “Think of climate change as both an amplification of existing hazards, as well as a potential trigger for things we can’t foresee,” writes Zhang.

USA – New Course from ChildCare Education Institute on Preventing Foodborne Illnesses

Global News Wire

ATLANTA, GA, March 25, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — ChildCare Education Institute® (CCEI), an online child care training provider dedicated exclusively to the early care and education workforce, is proud to introduce NFS102: Preventing Foodborne Illnesses to the online child care training course catalog.

Foodservice managers and others tasked with preparing meals for children enjoy creating delicious and nutritious options for the children in their care. Those who prepare food in the early childhood environment are eager to prepare tasty, nutritious meals because they know how important good nutrition is for young bodies and minds.

Foodborne illnesses are infectious or toxic diseases caused by bacteria or other agents that enter the body through contaminated food.  Every person is at risk of contracting a foodborne illness. Foodborne illnesses are prevented by combining good hygiene and sanitation, safe storage, and proper preparation and handling.

USA – Rare Norovirus GIV Foodborne Outbreak, Wisconsin, USA


Food Borne Illness - Norovirus -CDC Photo

We report a norovirus GIV outbreak in the United States, 15 years after the last reported outbreak. During May 2016 in Wisconsin, 53 persons, including 4 food handlers, reported being ill. The outbreak was linked to individually prepared fruit consumed as a fruit salad. The virus was phylogenetically classified as a novel GIV genotype.

Norovirus is the leading cause of epidemic and endemic acute gastroenteritis globally. The virus can be transmitted through person-to-person contact, consumption of fecally contaminated food or water, or self-contamination after touching contaminated environmental surfaces (1,2). Noroviruses are divided into at least 10 genogroups (G), and viruses in GI, GII, GIV, GVIII, and GIX cause illness in humans (3). More than 99% of all norovirus outbreaks are caused by GI and GII viruses in the United States (4). GVIII includes 2 strains that have been detected in Japan during 2004 and 2011 (3), and GIX has caused 11 reported outbreaks in the United States since 2013 (

GIV is divided into 2 recognized genotypes: GIV.1, which infects humans (5), and GIV.2, which infects canines and felines (6). GIV viruses were reported in humans in the Netherlands during 1998 and the United States during 1999 (7,8) and have since been sporadically reported in clinical and environmental samples (5,911). An outbreak linked to a GIV norovirus in the United States has not been reported since 2001 (4,8). In this article, we describe a 2016 foodborne norovirus outbreak associated with a novel GIV strain (tentatively GIV.NA).

Ireland – Recall of Batches of Various SFC Chicken Products due to the Possible Presence of Salmonella


Tuesday, 16 March 2021

Category 1:

For Action

Alert Notification:



SFC Take Home Boneless Bucket; pack size: 650g

SFC Southern Fried Chicken Burgers; pack size: 228g

SFC Chicken Poppets; pack size: 190g

SFC Southern Fried Chicken Strips; pack size: 155g

Batch Code:

All best before dates up to and including 30.06.2022

Country Of Origin:

United Kingdom


Further to FSAI’s food alerts 2021.202021.20 update 1, and 2021.20 update 2, SFC is recalling the above batches of some of its chicken products due to the possible presence of Salmonella.  Point-of-sale recall notices will be displayed in Lidl stores.

Nature Of Danger:

People infected with Salmonella typically develop symptoms between 12 and 36 hours after infection, but this can range between 6 and 72 hours.  The most common symptom is diarrhoea, which can sometimes be bloody.  Other symptoms may include fever, headache and abdominal cramps.  The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days. Diarrhoea can occasionally be severe enough to require hospital admission. The elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.

Action Required:


Consumers are advised not to eat the implicated batches.


Research – Prevalence and antimicrobial resistance of foodborne pathogens in select fresh produce procured from farmers’ markets in Central Virginia

Wiley Online

As farmers’ markets have increased in size, scope, and complexity, so have potential food‐safety challenges and implications. Most products sold at farmers’ markets may receive minimal to no treatment of decontamination which could increase their potential microbial risks. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) of foodborne pathogens in select fresh produce procured from farmers’ markets in Central Virginia. A total of 138 samples produced by 15 farms and sold at 9 registered farmers’ markets were obtained between March and November 2017. CampylobacterEscherichia coli, and Listeria were, respectively, detected in 8.7, 9.4, and 8.0% of the samples. A total of 46 bacterial isolates consisted of CampylobacterE. coli, and Listeria were tested for their susceptibility to 12 antimicrobials. Ampicillin resistance showed the highest frequency among Campylobacter (100%) and E. coli (47.8%) isolates while nalidixic acid resistance was the highest in Listeria isolates (72.7%). At least 17% of each CampylobacterE. coli, and Listeria isolates exhibited multidrug resistance (MDR). No isolates had matching pulsed‐field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) profiles demonstrating that the E. coli isolates had a high degree of genomic diversity. This study demonstrated a potential health hazard arising from farmers’ market‐acquired fresh produce and emphasizes the importance of good agricultural and handling practices to prevent foodborne illness and spread of multidrug antibiotic resistance. Continued research is needed to determine and intervene the cause(s) of the observed prevalence and to support the healthy development of food products sold at farmers’ markets.

Singapore – 82 ill in food poisoning outbreak; Chilli Api Catering suspended

Straits Times

A food poisoning outbreak has affected 82 people, 14 of whom are now in hospital.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) said the 82 people reported gastroenteritis symptoms after eating food prepared by Chilli Api Catering between March 10 and 12.

The catering company in Bedok North Street 5, Shimei East Kitchen, has been suspended by the SFA until further notice, they said in a statement last night.

China – Authorities probe norovirus outbreak in residential community in E. China’s Shandong

Global Times

Norovirus Food Safety kswfoodworld

An investigation is underway after some residents, including children in a kindergarten in Ji’nan, East China’s Shandong Province, contracted the norovirus, according to the local authorities.

On March 11, some members of a residential community in Ji’nan, including some children from a kindergarten, were reported to be suffering syndromes of vomiting and diarrhea. District disease control and prevention personnel had taken samples of water, vomitus and related food for immediate further investigation.

Three children were sent to the hospital, but no severe cases were reported, and norovirus was detected in their vomit, the local authorities said on March 12.

The district education authority has temporarily closed the kindergarten and carried out a disinfection of its premises, and also taught children and parents on how to prevent norovirus infection.

Research – Behavioral Ethics and the Incidence of Foodborne Illness Outbreaks


Cognitive biases play an important role in creating and perpetuating problems that lead to foodborne illness outbreaks. By using insights from behavioural ethics, we argue that sometimes people engage in unethical behaviour that increases the likelihood of foodborne illness outbreaks without necessarily intending to or being consciously aware of it. We demonstrate these insights in an analysis of the 2011 Listeriosis outbreak in the U.S. from the consumption of contaminated cantaloupes. We then provide policy implications that can improve our understanding of other kinds of disease outbreaks and epidemics.

Sweden – Norovirus in Sweden linked to shrimp from Estonia

Food Safety News

Food Borne Illness - Norovirus -CDC Photo

Outbreaks of norovirus in Sweden linked to shrimp from Estonia may have affected about 100 people.

Reports from local authorities have not been fully compiled yet but based on preliminary information officials believe more than 100 people have fallen sick.

It is mostly local outbreaks at workplaces where people have eaten shrimp sandwiches or a popular product in Scandinavia called “smörgåstårta.” This food, also called a sandwich cake, looks like a cake but instead of sponge uses bread and often includes cheese, vegetables, cold meats and fish.

Peeled shrimps in brine from the implicated batch were mostly distributed within one region which was named by local media as Varnamo in Jönköping County in southern Sweden.