Category Archives: Foodborne Illness

Sweden – New outbreak of Yersinia infection is being investigated

Outbreak News

In Sweden, the National Institute of Public Health, or Folkhälsomyndigheten is reporting a new outbreak of infections caused by Yersinia enterocolitica type O3. The source of infection is still unknown.

So far, 26 cases of disease have been confirmed to belong to the outbreak by means of whole-genome sequencing. Another handful of cases are investigated. Since the current outbreak strain of Yersinia enterocolitica type O3 has been found in different parts of the country, it is likely that a food borne infection. The current outbreak strain differs from the one that caused a Yersinia outbreak earlier in the spring.During the middle of May, an number of reported cases of Yersinia infection has been seen in Sweden. Seven regions from different parts of the country have reported cases, but the majority of cases come from the northernmost regions of the country.

Europe – Multi-country outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes clonal complex 8 infections linked to consumption of cold-smoked fish products

ECDC ecdclogo

Summary
A prolonged multi-country outbreak of 22 listeriosis cases caused by Listeria monocytogenes sequence type (ST) 1247, clonal complex (CC) 8 has been identified through whole genome sequencing (WGS) in five EU countries: Denmark (9 cases), Estonia (6), Finland (2), France (1) and Sweden (4). Five patients have died due to, or with, the disease. The first case had symptom onset in July 2014 in Estonia, and the most recent case occurred in Denmark in February 2019. Eight patients, out of twelve for whom a food consumption history was available, confirmed the consumption of cold-smoked fish products. L. monocytogenes food isolates, matching the human outbreak strain by WGS, were detected at wholesale and retail level in four countries (i.e. France, Denmark, Italy and Sweden) from 13 batches of cold smoked or gravad salmon and from six batches of cold smoked trout products. Traceability information of the contaminated batches pointed to the Estonian processing Company A as the single common manufacturer of these fish products. The raw fish was received from suppliers in Norway and Finland. Environmental investigations and food testing at the Estonian processing plant showed the presence of L. monocytogenes that matched the outbreak strain in two samples on the processing line and in four batches of the final product.
The presence of L. monocytogenes matching the outbreak strain over several years in the fish products suggests the persistence of the microorganism at the Estonian company’s premises. Further investigation is needed to identify points of (cross-)contamination in the food processing plant. Control measures were implemented in Estonia, Denmark, France and Italy following the RASFF (Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed) notifications, but until the source of infection has been identified and controlled, new invasive listeriosis cases associated with this event may still occur.
In general, pregnant women, the elderly and immunocompromised individuals are at increased risk of invasive listeriosis, which is associated with severe clinical course and potentially death.

 

USA – Outbreak of Salmonella Infections Linked to Frozen Raw Tuna – has ended

CDC

Salmonellaa

Image CDC

This outbreak appears to be over, but recalled frozen tuna may still be in freezers. People could get sick if restaurants and retailers who are unaware of the recall continue to serve and sell sushi made with recalled frozen tuna. Check the U.S. Food and Drug Administration website for the list of recalled productsexternal icon.

Restaurants and retailers should not sell or serve recalled frozen, ground tuna from Jensen Tuna.

  • On April 15, 2019, Jensen Tuna in Houma, La., voluntarily recalledexternal icon frozen ground tuna imported from JK Fish of Vietnam.
    • The recalled tuna was individually packaged in one-pound bags and sold in 20-pound boxes under lot numbers z266, z271, and z272.
    • Jensen Tuna distributed product to distributors in Connecticut, Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, and Washington. Recalled product might have been redistributed to additional states.
    • Restaurants and retailers should contact the distributor if they don’t know whether their frozen ground tuna is recalled. If in doubt, they should not sell or serve it.
  • Consumers who order sushi made with raw tuna, including “spicy tuna,” should ask the restaurant or grocery store if the tuna is from Jensen Tuna. If you are not sure if the tuna has been recalled, do not eat it.
  • Contact your health care provider if you think you may have become ill from eating raw tuna sushi.
  • In general, people who are at higher risk for serious foodborne illness should not eat any raw fish or raw shellfishexternal icon. People at higher risk include children younger than 5 years, pregnant women, adults 65 years and older, and people with weakened immune systems.

FDA

May 22, 2019

The United States Food and Drug Administration, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local partners, investigated a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Newport illnesses linked to frozen ground tuna imported from JK Fish of Vietnam.

On May 20, 2019, the CDC announced that this outbreak appears to be over.

Recommendation

Restaurants and retailers should check with their suppliers and not sell or serve the recalled ground tuna from Jensen Tuna. They should also be sure to wash and sanitize locations where the recalled ground tuna was stored or prepared.

It is unlikely that the recalled ground tuna was sold directly to consumers in grocery stores; rather, it was likely used in food dishes sold by restaurants or retailers. Consumers with concerns should ask their restaurants and retailers whether the tuna dish they are purchasing contains the recalled ground tuna.

 

Research – Lab work in South Africa’s Listeria outbreak was ‘remarkable’

Food Safety News

Researchers have described how a laboratory handled increased demand during the 2017-2018 listeriosis outbreak in South Africa.

Whole genome sequencing (WGS) and epidemiological data were used to determine the source of the outbreak as ready-to-eat processed meat manufactured by Enterprise Foods.

A total of 1,060 cases were reported from January 2017 to July 2018 and 216 people died.

The largest ever reported outbreak of listeriosis included an alert in mid-June 2017, a peak in mid-November 2017, and identification of the outbreak source in mid-February 2018.

“This eight-month timeline was rather remarkable, considering the large number of cases involved and the limited capacity and resources available for foodborne disease outbreak investigations in South Africa,” according to researchers.

The study is published in the Foodborne Pathogens and Disease journal

Information – Advice CDC – Do not rinse chicken!

CDC

Americans eat more chicken every year than any other meat. Chicken can be a nutritious choice, but raw chicken is often contaminated with Campylobacter bacteria and sometimes with Salmonella and Clostridium perfringens bacteria. If you eat undercooked chicken or other foods or beverages contaminated by raw chicken or its juices, you can get a foodborne illness, which is also called food poisoning.

That’s why it’s important to take special care when handling and preparing chicken.

 

Information – WHO to help countries estimate foodborne diseases

Food Safety News

GENEVA — The World Health Organization’s leaders say it will help countries estimate their respective foodborne disease burdens.

Kazuaki Miyagishima, director of food safety and zoonoses and foodborne diseases at the international organization, said there are plans to equip countries with a tool to provide national estimates. It is expected to be available later this year.

He said nations need to demonstrate and estimate the burden of foodborne diseases to make a strong case to invite investors to come to food safety. Estimates will allow countries to make the point for sustained investments in the area.

USA – E.coli O103 Outbreak Updates

FSIS USDA

K2D Foods Recalls Raw Ground Beef Products Due to Possible E. coli O103 Contamination

FSIS USDA

Grant Park Packing Recalls Raw Ground Beef Products Due to Possible E. coli O103 Contamination

Food Poisoning Bulletin

The ground beef E. coli O103 outbreak has now sickened at least 156 people in 10 states. according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Twenty people are hospitalized because they are so ill. UPDATE: K2D Foods has recalled more than 100,000 pounds of ground beef for possible E. coli O103 contamination. But the recall notice states that “At this time, there is no definitive link between this positive product and the ongoing E. coli O103 outbreak.”