Category Archives: foodbourne outbreak

South Africa – Durban Old Town Italy a Link in South African Salmonella Outbreak – What you need to know

Food Poison Journal


Time’s consumer reporter, Wendy Knowler, reports that salmonella bacteria, most likely from contaminated eggs, has put at least 30 people in the greater Durban area in hospital, and sickened many more.

Social media reports posted by people who’d contracted salmonellosis after eating at the upmarket Old Town Italy restaurant in Umhlanga – mostly meals including hollandaise sauce – raised the alarm, but the outbreak of the past few weeks goes far beyond one restaurant.

In addition, four children attending a Cowies Hill creche were confirmed by doctors to have salmonellosis; seven people who attended a private lunch ended up in Hillcrest Private Hospital for almost a week after eating a dessert made with egg; a Florida Road restaurant closed for two days after its patrons reported falling ill and many pharmacies in the greater Durban area have reported a sudden spike in the demand for diarrhoea medication.

USA – CDC – Outbreak of Multidrug-Resistant Salmonella Infections Linked to Raw Turkey Products – One Death


CDC and public health and regulatory officials in several states are investigating a multistate outbreak of multidrug-resistant Salmonella infections linked to raw turkey products. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) is monitoring the outbreak.

  • Seventy-four more ill people from 26 states were added to this investigation since the last update on July 19, 2018.
  • As of November 5, 2018, 164 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Reading have been reported from 35 states.
    • 63 people have been hospitalized, and one death has been reported from California.
  • Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence( indicates that raw turkey products from a variety of sources are contaminated with Salmonella Reading and are making people sick.
  • In interviews, ill people report eating different types and brands of turkey products purchased from many different locations. Three ill people lived in households where raw turkey pet food was fed to pets.
  • The outbreak strain has been identified in samples taken from raw turkey pet food, raw turkey products, and live turkeys.
  • A single, common supplier of raw turkey products or of live turkeys has not been identified.
  • The outbreak strain of Salmonella Reading is present in live turkeys and in many types of raw turkey products, indicating it might be widespread in the turkey industry. CDC and USDA-FSIS have shared this information with representatives from the turkey industry and asked about steps that they may be taking to reduce Salmonella contamination.


USA – FDA says poor records stalled outbreak work; feedlot likely source of E. coli

Food Safety News

Federal officials won’t say definitively that contaminated canal water was behind this year’s deadly E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce, but they are saying they “found no evidence in support of alternative explanations.” 

Another point made clear in an outbreak investigation report released yesterday puts the FDA firmly on record when it comes to antiquated shipping and receiving recordkeeping used by many in the leafy greens industry. Scott Gottlieb, commissioner for the Food and Drug Administration, issued a blunt statement calling for growers, processors and distributors to do the right thing.  

Gottlieb said what consumer groups and industry observers have been saying for months — traceback efforts to determine the specific romaine behind the outbreak were “challenging” because most of the necessary records were hand written and/or were not available electronically. Those out-of-date methods resulted in the FDA and CDC telling the public to avoid all romaine grown in the Yuma, AZ, area earlier this year because specific growers and shippers could not be identified. 

“We strongly encourage the leafy greens industry to adopt traceability best practices and state-of-the-art technologies to help assure quick and easy access to key data elements from farm to fork,” Gottlieb said.



Thirty-eight children from the Natebe Luvale Mukanda camp in Livingstone have been quarantined for a suspected food borne disease.

Livingstone District Health Director Tino Maliselo has confirmed to ZNBC news in Livingstone that most of the children are quarantined at the Namatama Health Post.

Dr. Maliselo said the situation is under control and that laboratory investigations are being carried out to ascertain the disease.

He adds that his team is assessing the health situation in the traditional initiation camp known traditionally as the Mukanda.

And some parents have called for the immediate release of their children from the traditional camp.

USA – Outbreak of Salmonella Infections Linked to Gravel Ridge Farms Shell Eggs – Final Update


  • As of October 25, 2018, this outbreak appears to be over.
  • Forty-four people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Enteritidis were reported from 11 states.
    • Illnesses started on dates ranging from May 17, 2018 to August 26, 2018.
    • Twelve people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
  • Epidemiologic, traceback, and laboratory evidence( indicated that shell eggs from Gravel Ridge Farms were the likely source of the outbreak.
  • On September 8, 2018, Gravel Ridge Farms recalled cage-free large eggs with use by dates of July 25, 2018 through October 3, 2018 because they might have been contaminated with Salmonella.


Sweden/Austria – Hepatitis A outbreak linked to imported frozen strawberries by sequencing, Sweden and Austria, June to September 2018


Hepatitis A virus is an important cause of food-borne diseases and has been associated with several European outbreaks linked to berries [14]. Here, we describe an ongoing outbreak of hepatitis A virus (HAV) in Sweden and Austria and the confirmation of frozen strawberries imported from Poland as the source of infection. The aims are to highlight the importance of sequencing in outbreak investigations and, due to the long shelf-life of the food vehicle, to increase awareness and warnings towards HAV infections related to frozen strawberries in Europe

On 14 June 2018, the Public Health Agency of Sweden (PHAS) received a notification from the Regional Office of Communicable Disease Control and Prevention of a suspected local outbreak of HAV in County A with five cases. An epidemiological investigation was initiated by county A together with PHAS and the National Food Agency (NFA).

Between 11 June and 27 July 2018, 20 confirmed and probable cases were reported from six counties

USA – Canada, Washington state probe Salmonella cases tied to cucumbers



Cucumbers are suspected in Salmonella illnesses reported from Canada and Washington state, though it’s not clear yet if the events are related.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) said federal and provincial health officials are investigating 45 lab-confirmed Salmonella Infantis infections in five provinces, most of them in the west: British Colombia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Quebec. The patient from Quebec had traveled to British Columbia, which has reported 37 of the cases.

According to an Oct 19 notice, PHAC said the outbreak’s source hasn’t been identified, but many of the people who got sick reported eating cucumbers before their illnesses began. Symptom-onset dates range from the middle of June through late September, and so far, nine people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

A food safety investigation by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is under way, and if contaminated food products are found, it will take further steps, which would include recalling the product. So far, there are no recalls associated with the outbreak.

Meanwhile, the Washington State Department of Health (WSDH) said it is working with state, local, and federal health partners to investigate six Salmonella infections in residents from five counties: King, Snohomish, Thurston, Yakima, and Pierce. The same (unspecified) strain of Salmonella is responsible for all of the illnesses, and the last confirmed patient’s symptoms began on Sep 15.

Five of the six people bought and ate English cucumbers from various Costco stores in Washington. According to the WSDH, the cucumbers linked to the infections were sold in three-packs of individually wrapped cucumbers. It urges consumers who bought English cucumbers at Costco between Aug 18 and Sep 10 and still have them in their refrigerators to throw them away.
Oct 19 PHAC notice
Oct 19 WSDH
news release