Category Archives: foodborne outbreak

Irish officials search for the source of the Salmonella outbreak

Food Safety News

Health officials in the Republic of Ireland are investigating a Salmonella outbreak that has sickened more than 20 people.

The number of laboratory-confirmed cases associated with the epidemic is 26 and people fell ill between Nov. 30 and Dec. 25, 2022.

Patients range in age from 10 to 91 years old; 14 are male and 12 are female, according to the Health Service Executive (HSE).

The Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak was identified through routine whole genome sequencing.

The outbreak control team includes the HSE Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC), regional departments of public health, HSE environmental health officers, the National Salmonella, Shigella, and Listeria Reference Laboratory, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI), the Department of Agriculture Fisheries and the Marine (DAFM), and colleagues from Northern Ireland.

The source of the infection remains under investigation. Officials would not say if the outbreak was linked to a recall of raw chicken products in late January.

Research – Campylobacter, the bacterium that causes most foodborne outbreaks in Spain

World Nation News

There were 11,244 cases of Campylobacteriosis in 2021, almost double the 6,891 cases reported in 2020

Campylobacter is the bacterium that causes most gastrointestinal infections in humans. According to the latest report on zoonotic diseases (infections from animals to humans) published by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Campylobacter was the most common cause of infection in the EU accounting for 62% of the cases registered in 2021. and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

In Spain, there were 11,244 cases of campylobacteriosis in 2021, almost double the 6,891 cases recorded in 2020. The incidence of this bacterium has a marked seasonal pattern, with the highest figures being found in summer, with a rebound in January. The most frequently implicated food as confirmed by the Consumers’ and Users’ Organization (OCU) is poultry meat (turkey and chicken).

India – 36 School Students Fall Sick Due To Food Poisoning In Maharashtra

NDTV

Sangli: 

Thirty-six students in Sangli in Maharashtra on Friday fell ill due to suspected food poisoning, an official said.

All of them were shifted to a hospital, where 35 were discharged post treatment, while one has been kept under observation, he said.

“Food samples from the school and the central kitchen have been sent to a lab for tests. A three-member committee has been formed to probe the matter,” Gaikwad added.

Sweden – Number sick in Swedish Salmonella in Eggs outbreak doubles

Food Safety News

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The number of people sick in a Salmonella outbreak in Sweden traced to eggs has doubled to almost 50.

The Public Health Agency of Sweden (Folkhälsomyndigheten) also warned this figure is expected to increase again.

There are 48 people from 13 regions confirmed to have been infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Enteritidis, this is up from 22 people in 11 regions.

Illnesses occurred between early December and mid-January. Of those sick, 22 are women and 26 are men. The age range is 1 to 90 years old with a median age of 34.

The outbreak has been linked to eggs, which have been recalled. Analysis has revealed Salmonella found during environment sampling at an egg producer is identical to isolates from sick people.

Typing of Salmonella isolates from people that reported having food containing eggs from recalled batches is ongoing, which is why the Public Health Agency of Sweden believes the number of people affected will go up.

India – Over 60 students hospitalised following suspected food poisoning at Wayanad school

India Today

More than 60 students at a boarding school in Wayanad were hospitalised after they experienced vomiting and diarrhoea after having their meals.

USA – Outbreak Investigation of Listeria monocytogenes: Enoki Mushrooms (November 2022)

FDA

FDA, along with CDC and state and local partners, is investigating an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections linked to enoki mushrooms. FDA has identified enoki mushrooms distributed by Utopia Foods, Inc. of Glendale, New York and imported from China, and enoki mushrooms labeled as “Producer: Shandong Youhe Biotechnology, Co.,” with an address in China and “Distributed By: Sun Hong Foods, Inc.” as likely sources of illnesses in this outbreak. Enoki mushrooms are long thin white mushrooms, usually sold in clusters. They are especially popular in East Asian cuisine and are also known as enokitake, golden needle, futu, seafood, or lily mushrooms.

As of January 18, 2022, CDC reports three illnesses included in this outbreak. Through ongoing import and product sampling of enoki mushrooms, two strains of Listeria monocytogenes detected on enoki mushroom products have been determined through Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) to be the same strains of Listeria monocytogenes linked to illnesses in this outbreak. Both strains are included in this outbreak investigation.

On January 17, 2023, FDA reported a positive import sample of enoki mushrooms that matched both outbreak strains and resulted in a voluntary recall expansion from Utopia Foods, Inc. Additional sample collection and analysis conducted by the Maryland Department of Health have also identified both outbreak strains of Listeria monocytogenes in two product samples of enoki mushrooms. These products that tested positive are sold in a 7.05-oz (200g) clear plastic package with a brown and green label and include a label on the back of the package that states: “Producer: Shandong Youhe Biotechnology Co.,” with an address in China, and “Distributed By: Sun Hong Foods, Inc.”

On December 17, 2022, FDA issued a safety alert for enoki mushrooms labeled as “Producer: Shandong Youhe Biotechnology, Co.,” with an address in China and “Distributed By: Sun Hong Foods, Inc.,” as a result of a positive product sample collected by Missouri state partners. At that time, these products were not linked to an active outbreak. The strain of Listeria found in these products matches one of the two strains linked to illnesses in this outbreak. FDA’s safety alert has been updated with the most recent information linking these products to an ongoing outbreak investigation.

FDA’s investigation is ongoing to determine a potential source of contamination and whether any other products are contaminated or linked to illnesses. Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.

Recommendation

Consumers, restaurants, and retailers should not eat, sell, or serve recalled enoki mushrooms from Utopia Foods, Inc. and enoki mushrooms labeled as “Producer: Shandong Youhe Biotechnology, Co.,” with an address in China and “Distributed By: Sun Hong Foods, Inc.” Consumers should check the label on both the front and the back of their enoki mushroom package to view distributor information (see photos below).

Listeria is especially harmful if you are pregnant, aged 65 or older, or have a weakened immune system due to certain medical conditions or treatments. If you are in any of these groups, do not eat any raw enoki mushrooms. For enoki mushrooms that are not recalled or potentially contaminated, always cook enoki mushrooms thoroughly to kill any foodborne germs.

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these symptoms after eating enoki mushrooms:

  • People who are not pregnant usually have fever, muscle aches, and tiredness. They may also get a headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, or seizures.
  • Pregnant people usually have fever, muscle aches, and tiredness. However, Listeria can cause pregnancy loss or premature birth. It can also cause serious illness or death in newborns.

Follow FDA’s safe handling and cleaning advice and use extra vigilance in cleaning and sanitizing any surfaces and containers that may have come in contact with these recalled products to reduce the risk of cross-contamination, including retailers who stored or repackaged recalled enoki mushrooms. Listeria can survive in refrigerated temperatures and can easily spread to other foods and surfaces.

Ghana – Yellow Sisi waakye incident: 53 people confirmed affected

Graphic Online

Fifty-three people are now confirmed to have been affected by the Yellow Sisi waakye suspected poisoning incident at Oyibi in Greater Accra.

A joint investigation by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has revealed that the 53 people experienced symptoms of foodborne disease after consuming waakye or plain rice and tomato stew from a food vendor called Yellow Sisi located at Bush Canteen, a suburb of Oyibi.

The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) in a statement dated Jan 27, 2023 and released Friday night following the report by Graphic Online said it received notification through its Food Safety Alert System on Sunday, January 22, 2023 about the suspected foodborne disease outbreak.

Click to access FDA%20CONDUCTS%20INVESTIGATIONS%20INTO%20FOOD%20BORNE%20DISEASE%20OUTBREAK%20IN%20OYIBI-ACCRA.pdf

USA – Seattle: Officials investigate GI outbreak linked to Tamarind Tree Restaurant

Outbreak News Today

Public health officials announced the investigation of an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness associated with vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, cramps, fevers, and chills at Tamarind Tree Restaurant in Seattle.

According to Public Health – Seattle & King County, 10 people from three separate meal parties have reported a gastrointestinal illness after eating food from the Tamarind Tree Restaurant.

Environmental Health investigators visited the restaurant on January 24, 2023. They observed improper food handling practices, including blocked access to handwashing facilities, improper storage of wiping cloths, risk of cross contamination, and lack of maintenance, cleaning, and sanitizing of food equipment and physical facilities.

Malta – Nearly 800 reported cases of food poisoning in 2022

Times of Malta

Just over 780 people were reported to have suffered from food poisoning last year, nearly 300 more than the numbers reported in pre-pandemic years, according to official statistics.

In 2022, a total of 781 food poisoning cases were reported to the health authorities, a major increase from the 486 registered in 2019.

The figure last year includes 357 people impacted by 71 outbreaks, up from the 232 people involved in 63 outbreaks of food poisoning in 2019.

The most common food-borne bacteria are Salmonella and Campylobacter, according to the list provided showing the food and water-borne diseases reported by the local health authorities.

USA – $14 million settlement reached in Famous Anthony’s Hepatitis A outbreak

Roanoke

A $14 million settlement has been reached in lawsuits filed by more than 40 people who claimed they or their loved ones were exposed to a deadly viral outbreak while dining at two Famous Anthony’s restaurants.

Details of the agreement — reached on behalf of four patrons who died and others who were sickened when an employee unknowingly spread hepatitis A — became public during a hearing late Thursday in Roanoke’s federal court