Category Archives: Foodborne Illness

China – Dozens of college students sickened with norovirus in Guangdong Province

Outbreak News Today

Eurofins

In Guangdong Province in southern China, hundreds of students at the Guangzhou Vocational and Technical University of Science and Technology have been stricken with symptoms including stomachache, diarrhea, vomiting and fever.

The university reported on Tuesday that 315 students suffered from symptoms including stomachache, diarrhea, vomiting and fever with 24 being preliminarily diagnosed as having contracting Norovirus as of  Tuesday morning.

An investigation reveals the sick students dined at various venues including seven canteens inside the campus and several restaurants outside the campus.

Australia – More than 100 sick in Australia as oysters recalled – Vibrio parahaemolyticus

Food Safety News

KSWFOODWORLD

Seven Australian states have recorded more than 100 Vibrio illnesses linked to raw oysters from South Australia.

There are 56 people sick in South Australia since September and three have been hospitalized. Western Australia has 17 cases since late September, Victoria reported 31 illnesses since the first week of October and 15 infections have been recorded in New South Wales. Further illnesses have also been reported in Queensland and the Northern Territory.

Two cases of Vibrio parahaemolyticus were identified in the Australian Capital Territory in people who had recently consumed oysters. Investigations are ongoing to find out where they were sourced from.

USA – Core Outbreak Table Update

FDA

Date Ref Pathogen Product(s) Total Investigation Status
11/24/2021 1044 Salmonella     Javiana Not Yet Identified 19 Active
11/17/2021 1043 E. coli O157:H7 Spinach See Outbreak Advisory Active
9/15/2021 1031 Salmonella Oranienburg Red, Yellow, and White Onions See Outbreak Advisory Active
9/15/2021 1025 Salmonella Thompson Seafood See Outbreak Advisory Active

 

USA – 4,000 exposed to Hepatitis A positive Starbucks employee in New Jersey

Food Poison Journal

In light of the case of hepatitis A in an employee at a local Starbucks, the Camden County Health Department will be administering vaccines to anyone who feels they may have been exposed at the Camden County Health Hub located at 200 College Drive in Blackwood.

Today’s clinic will operate from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Vaccine appointments will be made on a first come first serve basis.

Vaccine clinics held last Friday and Saturday gave doses to more than 800 people in Camden County.

If you have been vaccinated for hepatitis A in the past, you do not need to receive another dose. If you have a child that was born after the year 2000, that child has likely already been vaccinated for hepatitis A and does not require another dose. However, parents should check with their pediatrician to confirm their child’s vaccine status.

USA – Tainted oysters sicken more than 20 after warning lapse

The Washington Post

CALIFORNIA, Md. — A water utility warned last month that an overwhelmed sewage system sent more than 25,000 gallons of waste into a Potomac River tributary. But the Maryland Department of the Environment said it wasn’t until Virginia officials investigating a foodborne illness outbreak reached out two weeks later that officials closed an affected part of the St. Mary’s River, The Baltimore Sun reported.

Usually officials alert the public before shellfish are harvested or eaten. It’s not clear how it managed to occur, department spokesman Jay Apperson said, but the department is building redundancies into its process to keep it from happening again.

The illnesses were linked to a winery where Maryland oysters were served, Loudoun County Health Department environmental health manager George Khan said.

USA – Possible ‘foodborne incident’ leads to mass sickness at hotel in Tucson

KOLD

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) – More than 50 people got sick at a hotel in Tucson Monday, Nov. 22, and a county health official said it is being investigated as food poisoning.

Pima County Health Department Director Dr. Theresa Cullen said 56 people got sick at the Red Roof Inn, located at 1300 N. Stone Ave.

Six of those people were transported to the hospital while the rest were treated on site. Cullen said most were vomiting but all were recovering by Tuesday.

USA – Backyard Chickens hospitalize 273 and kill 2 with Salmonella – 1,135 sick in 2021 including 268 under the age of 5

Food Poison Journal

Salmonella Campylobacter

CDC: This year’s investigation of outbreaks linked to backyard poultry is over. However, any backyard poultry can carry Salmonella germs that can make you sick. Always take steps to stay healthy around your flock.

CDC and public health officials in several states investigated multistate outbreaks of Salmonella infections with serotypes of Enteritidis, Hadar, Indiana, Infantis, Mbandaka, and Muenchen.

Epidemiologic and laboratory data showed that contact with backyard poultry made people sick.

A total of 1,135 people infected with one of the outbreak strains were reported from 48 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The true number of sick people in these outbreaks was likely much higher than the number reported, and these outbreaks may not have been limited to the states with known illnesses. This is because many people recover without medical care and are not tested for Salmonella.

USA- Norovirus Among Likely Causes of Recent Reported Illnesses

Health WYO

Norovirus Food Safety kswfoodworld

Norovirus is likely among the reasons behind increased reports of recent illnesses in Wyoming, according to the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH).

People who are sick with norovirus may experience nausea, vomiting, watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, fatigue and dehydration. Other viruses and illnesses caused by bacteria contamination such as from E. coli can cause similar symptoms, but norovirus is the most common culprit.

Commonly described as “stomach flu” or “food poisoning,” norovirus is spread when people eat or drink contaminated food and beverages, touch contaminated surfaces or through close contact with someone already sick.

Matt Peterson, WDH surveillance epidemiologist, said contamination is almost always not obvious. “We’re often talking about extremely tiny amounts of poop or vomit. We can’t see it but it can make us very sick,” he said

“When people get ill this way, they most often blame the last thing they ate, but norovirus and bacterial illness can spread through many routes other than just eating food,” Peterson said.

Illness can hit quickly between 12 to 48 hours after a person has been exposed. Symptoms usually last from one to three days and go away without causing long-term problems.

“Norovirus and other illnesses with similar symptoms can be serious when people become dehydrated,” Peterson said. He noted those who become severely ill may need to call or visit a medical professional.  Infants, young children, immune-compromised persons, and persons unable to care for themselves, such as the disabled or elderly, are at higher risk for dehydration and may need hospitalization.

“We are specifically seeing increased reports of E.coli across the state recently compared to previous years, which can be particularly concerning in children under 5,” Peterson said. Parents with children who are suffering from stomach-related symptoms that do not improve after 72 hours, or if their child has bloody diarrhea, should seek medical care for the child because these could be signs of bacterial infection.

“Norovirus illnesses can be prevented,” Peterson said. “It sounds too simple, but, truly, good hand washing is critical. People can still be contagious and spread the virus for a few days after they no longer have symptoms.”

Recommended steps to help prevent illness include:

  • Frequently wash hands, especially after using the restroom or changing diapers, and before eating or preparing food.
  • If ill, stay home from work and school, especially if employed in food-handling, healthcare or child care.
  • Thoroughly clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces immediately after an episode of vomiting or diarrhea with a solution of 1 cup household bleach per 1 gallon of water and letting the solution sit for one minute. Always follow manufacturers’ safety precautions.
  • Immediately remove and wash contaminated clothing or linens after an episode of illness (use hot water and soap).
  • Flush or discard any vomit and/or poop in the toilet and keep the surrounding area clean.
  • Ill persons should take extra care to avoid spreading the virus by minimizing contact with other persons while ill and practicing good hygiene.

 

 

USA – Salmonella Onion Outbreak continues to expand after 900 sickened

Food Poison Journal

Potandon Produce L.L.C. of Idaho Falls, Idaho is updating its October 26 voluntary recall of onions supplied from Keeler Family Farms and sold as Green Giant Fresh to include 3lb. and 5lb. bags of whole yellow onions and 2 lb. bags of whole white onions shipped between July 15 and August 22, 2021 to a UNFI retail distribution center in Champaign, Illinois. This recall does not affect any other Green Giant Fresh products or include any Green Giant canned or frozen vegetable products.

The recalled onions are being recalled because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

USA – Salmonella Serotypes Associated with Illnesses after Thanksgiving Holiday, United States, 1998–2018

CDC

Food Poisoning Salmonella

Abstract

We sought to determine which Salmonella serotypes cause illness related to the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States and to foods disproportionately eaten then (e.g., turkey). Using routine surveillance for 1998–2018 and a case-crossover design, we found serotype Reading to be most strongly associated with Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving, celebrated annually in the United States on the fourth Thursday of November, often brings together family and friends who eat specific traditional foods, such as mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie; the most prominent food eaten is turkey (1). In 2017, ≈45 million turkeys were produced for Thanksgiving, ≈18% of annual production (2). Turkey is popular across regions, races, sexes, and generations; 88% of person in the United States report eating turkey during their Thanksgiving meal (1,3,4).

Foodborne Salmonella infections cause substantial illness and death in the United States: an estimated1 million cases, 20,000 hospitalizations, and 400 deaths occur annually (5). Typical illness consists of diarrhea, fever, and abdominal pain lasting 3–7 days; only a minority of persons seek health care. Incubation typically ranges from 6 hours to 6 days (5). Salmonella outbreaks caused by serotypes Hadar and Saint Paul have been most commonly attributed to turkey, and serotypes Enteritidis, Heidelberg, and Typhimurium have been frequent causes of turkey-associated outbreaks (6). During 2015‒2020, Reading and Hadar were the serotypes most often isolated from turkeys (7); less is known about which serotypes cause turkey-associated sporadic Salmonella infections. We aimed to determine which Salmonella serotypes cause sporadic enteric infections after the Thanksgiving holiday and are most likely related to foods disproportionately eaten then, particularly turkey.

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