Category Archives: foodborne outbreak

USA – FDA Report on E. Coli O157 Outbreak in Romaine Lettuce Points to “Significant” Finding of Strain in Sediment of Water Reservoir

Food Safety Tech 

The November 2018 outbreak of E.coli O157:H7 infections linked to romaine lettuce caused 62 illnesses across 16 states. The FDA zeroed in on the Central Coast growing regions of northern and Central California as being responsible for the contamination. The outbreak was declared over on January 9 and yesterday FDA released the report, “Factors Potentially Contributing to the Contamination of Romaine Lettuce Implicated in the Fall 2018 Multi-State Outbreak of E.Coli O157:H7”, which provides an overview of the investigation.

The report states that a sediment sample coming from an on-farm water reservoir in Santa Maria (Santa Barbara County, California) tested positive for the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7. Although this particular farm was identified in several legs of the Fall 2018 traceback investigations that occurred in the United States and Canada, as well as being a possible supplier of romaine lettuce in the 2017 traceback investigations, the FDA said that the farm is not the single source of the outbreak, as there is “insufficient evidence”. The traceback suggests that the contaminated lettuce could have come from several farms, because not all tracebacks led to the farm on which the contaminated sediment was found.

 

USA – South Carolina: Hepatitis A outbreak declared in Aiken County

Outbreak News Today

South Carolina health officials report that an employee of City Billiards tested positive for hepatitis A. Customers who ate there between January 22 and February 5 could have been exposed to the virus.

This is the second case of hepatitis A diagnosed in an Aiken-area food handler in February. At this time, the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is not aware of a known connection between the two cases.

In light of these findings, DHEC is declaring a hepatitis A outbreak in Aiken County. An outbreak is defined as an unexpected increase in the number of cases in a geographic area or time period.  There have been 10 hepatitis A cases diagnosed in Aiken County since December 1, 2018.

France – More babies infected with Salmonella in outbreak linked to rice milk formula

Food Safety News Salmonella kswfoodworld

French authorities are investigating more than a dozen cases of Salmonella infection in babies less than 19 months old. The illnesses are linked to a rice milk formula made in Spain.

Of the 14 babies involved in the investigation, the French National Public Health Agency (Santé publique France) reports five have been confirmed and nine are under investigation. Seven of the babies were hospitalized for salmonellosis but have since recovered.

Luxembourg and Belgium have reported one case each linked to the outbreak.

USA – FDA Investigating a Multistate Outbreak of Salmonella Concord Linked to Tahini Produced by Achdut Ltd.

FDA

Update: February 08, 2019

United States Food and Drug Administration, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local partners, is investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Concord illnesses linked to tahini imported from an Israeli manufacturer, Achdut Ltd., located in Ari’el, Israel.

On November 28, 2018, in response to the on-going investigation, Soom Foods voluntarily recalled the following additional products:

  • 12 oz. Chocolate Sweet Tahini Halva Spread 071318CH. Packed from tahini lot 18-123.

And tahini in the following sizes and types:

  • 40 lb. Organic Tahini.
  • 40 lb. Premium Tahini.
  • 16 oz. Premium Tahini.
  • 16 oz. Organic Tahini.
  • 11 oz. Premium Tahini.

The tahini product lot codes range from 18-097 through 18-141.

Some of the above listed products were included in the original voluntary recall by Achdut Ltd. on November 27, 2018. The FDA is posting this information to ensure the widest possible dissemination to the public.

Recommendations

The FDA is advising consumers not to eat recalled Achva, Achdut, Soom, S&F, and Pepperwood brand tahini and Soom brand Chocolate Sweet Tahini Halva Spread (lot code 071318CH) with expiration dates ranging from April 7, 2020 to May 21, 2020 and Baron’s brand tahini with the expiration date of May 5, 2021. The product lot codes range from 18-097 to 18-141. Consumers should discard the product or return the product to the store for a refund.

Some brands of tahini manufactured by Achdut Ltd. may lack specific dates or may have labels that are written in Hebrew. Consumers who have purchased a tahini product and are uncertain of where the product was manufactured or cannot identify the brand by lot codes or expiration dates should discard the product or return the food to the store for a refund. More product information and pictures of the recalled product labels can be found in Achdut ‘s recall announcement. View Soom Foods’ recall announcement.

Retailers and restaurants should not use any of the recalled tahini manufactured by Achdut Ltd. at their establishments. Retailers and restaurants should throw the product out.

Firms that may have used the recalled tahini (either repacked or used as an ingredient in a food without a kill step) should consider recalling their products. Recalls should be reported to your local FDA office. View a list of FDA recall coordinators.

Research – Zoonotic Source Attribution of Salmonella enterica Serotype Typhimurium Using Genomic Surveillance Data, United States

CDC

Salmonellaa

Image CDC

Increasingly, routine surveillance and monitoring of foodborne pathogens using whole-genome sequencing is creating opportunities to study foodborne illness epidemiology beyond routine outbreak investigations and case–control studies. Using a global phylogeny of Salmonella entericaserotype Typhimurium, we found that major livestock sources of the pathogen in the United States can be predicted through whole-genome sequencing data. Relatively steady rates of sequence divergence in livestock lineages enabled the inference of their recent origins. Elevated accumulation of lineage-specific pseudogenes after divergence from generalist populations and possible metabolic acclimation in a representative swine isolate indicates possible emergence of host adaptation. We developed and retrospectively applied a machine learning Random Forest classifier for genomic source prediction of Salmonella Typhimurium that correctly attributed 7 of 8 major zoonotic outbreaks in the United States during 1998–2013. We further identified 50 key genetic features that were sufficient for robust livestock source prediction.

USA – Norovirus confirmed as cause of outbreak on ‘Viking Sea’

Outbreak News Today

In a follow-up on a report approximately one week ago, Vessel Sanitation Program officials confirmed the etiology of the gastrointestinal outbreak on the Viking Ocean Cruises vessel, Viking Sea was Norovirus.

USA – Norovirus Outbreak Associated with La Fuente in Renton, WA

Food Poisoning Bulletin Eurofins

A possible norovirus outbreak has been associated with La Fuente restaurant, located at 14400 South East Petrovitsky Road in Renton, Washington, according to a press release by the King County Public Health Department. Twenty-eight people are sick after eating food and drinking beverages there on January 25, 2019. The 28 people were all from one party.