Category Archives: Foodborne Illness

Italy – Tuna suspected for a dozen illnesses in Italy – Food Poisoning

Food Safety News

At least 12 people are sick in Italy with tuna being investigated as the source of their illnesses.

The foodborne outbreak is suspected to have been caused by thawed yellowfin tuna steaks with added water from Italy and raw material from Spain.

In recent days, nine people with symptoms such as such as nausea, vomiting and loss of consciousness or fainting were reported to the Tuscany local health unit (ASL) and admitted to two hospitals before later being discharged.

They all reported consumption of tuna in various forms at two different restaurants in Florence.

USA- Salmonella Outbreaks Linked to Backyard Poultry

CDC

Fast Facts
  • Illnesses: 163
  • Hospitalizations: 34
  • Deaths: 0
  • States: 43
  • Recall: No
  • Investigation status: Active
Backyard poultry with chickens eating
Backyard Poultry and Salmonella

Backyard poultry, like chicken and ducks, can carry Salmonella germs even if they look healthy and clean. These germs can easily spread to anything in the areas where they live and roam.

You can get sick from touching your backyard poultry or anything in their environment and then touching your mouth or food, and swallowing Salmonella germs.

Research -Center for Foodborne Illness Research and Prevention – Impact reReport

Click to access 2019-2020%20CFI%20Impact%20Report.pdf

Research – A Nosocomial Outbreak of Invasive Listeriosis in An Italian Hospital: Epidemiological and Genomic Features

MDPI

Listeria monocytogenes (L. monocytogenes) is a widespread opportunistic pathogen that causes the listeriosis foodborne disease. This bacterium has become a common contaminant of handled food, and a relevant public health issue. Here we describe a nosocomial outbreak of listeriosis caused by an ST451 strain of L. monocytogenes involving three cancer and one immunocompromised patients hospitalized in different units from the same hospital during September and October 2020. The epidemiological investigation was conducted using traditional microbiological methodology combined with a whole genome sequencing approach. The source of contamination was identified in the kitchen hospital, where a meat slicer used to prepare patients’ meals was tested positive to the same sequence type (ST) of L. monocytogenes. This is the first report of an outbreak of listeriosis caused by ST451 in Italy. View Full-Text

USA – USDA – Outbreak Investigations

FSIS USDA

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

Yes
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

No
2021 Listeria monocytogenes Unknown No

USA – San Francisco’s House of Prime Rib Voluntarily Closes for Food Borne Illness Investigation

CBS

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The Department of Public Health in San Francisco on Thursday confirmed that the House of Prime Rib has voluntarily shut down for an investigation into complaints of alleged food borne illness at the popular restaurant.

The city’s Department of Public Health issued a release Thursday stating it “is aware of ongoing online complaints and alleged food borne illness in relation to the House of Prime Rib on 1906 Van Ness Avenue.”

“The owner agreed to voluntarily close to the public for 24 hours starting today (5/13) so DPH health inspectors can ensure meal preparation and food handling process is being done safely and to code,” the statement read.

The restaurant had been serving take out meals for much of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in March resumed dinner service at the restaurant.

USA – FDA to Implement Sampling Effort for Lettuce Grown in Salinas Valley, California

FDA

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will be collecting and testing samples of lettuce grown in California’s Salinas Valley from local commercial coolers from May through November 2021. The agency will test the samples for Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), including E. coli O157:H7, and Salmonella spp. as part of ongoing surveillance efforts following reoccurring outbreaks linked to this region, including most recently in the fall of 2020.

The FDA assignment will direct sampling to be conducted at commercial cooling and cold storage facilities where field heat is removed from harvested lettuce and where product is cold-stored before processing. Sampling may include pre-cooled product (preferred) or post-cooled product. Sample collection at commercial coolers helps the FDA efficiently obtain samples from multiple farms at centralized locations and facilitates prompt traceback and follow-up if contamination is detected.

The agency plans to collect and test a total of approximately 500 post-harvest samples of iceberg, leaf and romaine lettuce. Each sample will consist of 10 subsamples, each made up of one head of lettuce (trimmed, cored and possibly wrapped), or in the case of romaine lettuce, loose leaves or one package of hearts.  FDA laboratories will conduct all testing.

During this sampling assignment, the FDA will take extra precautions to help ensure the safety of agency investigators and firm employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. FDA investigators will preannounce their visits to firms per the Agency’s COVID-19 safety practices. They will be outfitted with personal protective equipment (PPE) and will carry out their work while adhering to local, state and applicable CDC guidance.

Helping to ensure the safety of leafy greens remains a high priority of the FDA. This assignment adds to other work underway in collaboration with stakeholders in the California Central Coast growing region to identify where the recurring strain of pathogenic E. coli is persisting and the likely routes of leafy green contamination with STECs.  This includes continued implementation of actions identified in the recently updated Leafy Greens Action Plan, including a multi-year longitudinal  study to assess the environmental factors impacting the presence of foodborne pathogens in this region. Consistent with the action plan, if the FDA detects a pathogen such as E. coli O157:H7, the agency will conduct a follow-up investigation to identify potential sources and routes of contamination. Such investigations are designed to inform what additional preventive measures may be needed to help prevent outbreaks of foodborne illness.

Singapore – Singaporean agencies probe illnesses; help form food safety hub

Food Safety News

Authorities in Singapore have launched an investigation after 15 people fell sick beginning in late March.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) and Singapore Food Agency (SFA) said one person was hospitalized but has since been discharged.

Gastroenteritis symptoms started after consuming food prepared by Meetup @ 352 (Kin Hoi) between March 28 and April 15. SFA has suspended operations at the business until further notice.

The agency has also prohibited Kemono Pte from preparing and serving all menu items, including online orders, to Kin Hoi. The former is a business partner of Kin Hoi and provides food preparation and cooking services for Kin Hoi’s online delivery orders in a separate facility from their own business.

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.