Category Archives: foodbourne outbreak

South Africa -Listeriosis: Four more killed, death toll approaches 200

The South African

More than 16 months after this listeriosis outbreak began, the disease is still claiming lives across South Africa.

Although the amount of deaths per week is on the decline, listeriosis remains a highly dangerous threat. On 4 March, the source of the outbreak was traced back to Enterprise Foods’ Polokwane facility.

Full product recalls were issued for all ready-to-eat foods produced by both Enterprise Foods and Rainbow Chicken.

How many people has Listeriosis killed?

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) released a report over the weekend which now places the death toll at 193 – that’s four more fatalities in the last week.

The disease particularly affects elderly citizens and neo-natal infants – babies aged 28 days or less. A staggering 81 deaths attributed to this outbreak have been of newborns.


Research Japan – Foodborne Outbreaks Caused by Human Norovirus GII.P17-GII.17–Contaminated Nori, Japan, 2017



Seven foodborne norovirus outbreaks attributable to the GII.P17-GII.17 strain were reported across Japan in 2017, causing illness in a total of 2,094 persons. Nori (dried shredded seaweed) was implicated in all outbreaks and tested positive for norovirus. Our data highlight the stability of norovirus in dehydrated food products.

USA – FDA Investigating Multistate Outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 Infections Likely Linked to Chopped Romaine from Yuma Growing Region


Fast Facts

  • The FDA is investigating a multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses likely linked to chopped romaine lettuce sourced from the winter growing areas in Yuma, Arizona.
  • The CDC reports that 35 people in 11 states have become ill. These people reported becoming ill in the time period of March 22, 2018 to March 31, 2018. Twenty-six (93%) of 28 people interviewed reported consuming romaine lettuce in the week before their illness started. Most people reported eating a salad at a restaurant, and romaine lettuce was the only common ingredient identified among the salads eaten. The restaurants reported using bagged, chopped romaine lettuce to make salads. At this time, ill people are not reporting whole heads or hearts of romaine.
  • Preliminary information collected by FDA, in conjunction with federal, state, and local partners, indicates that the chopped romaine lettuce that ill people ate was likely grown or originated from the winter growing areas in Yuma, Arizona. No specific grower, supplier, distributor, or brand has been identified at this time.
  • The FDA recommends that consumers ask restaurants and other food service establishments where their romaine lettuce originated, and avoid chopped romaine lettuce that originated from Yuma, Arizona. If you cannot confirm the source of the romaine lettuce, do not buy it or eat it. If you have already purchased products containing chopped romaine lettuce, including bagged salads, salad mixes, or prepared salads, throw them away.
  • The FDA is continuing to investigate this outbreak and will share more information as it becomes available.
  • Consumers who have symptoms of STEC infection should contact their health care provider to report their symptoms and receive care. Although many infections resolve in 5-7 days, they can result in serious illness, including a potentially serious condition called hemolytic uremic syndrome.
  • The current outbreak is not related to a recent multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections from November to December 2017 linked to leafy greens consumption. People in the previous outbreak were infected with a different DNA fingerprint of E. coli O157:H7 bacteria.

RASFF Alert – Foodborne Uutbreak Scombroid Syndrome – Histamine- Frozen Sailfish

kswfoodworld food safety poisoning

RASFF-foodborne outbreak suspected (scombroid syndrome) to be caused by frozen salifish (Istiophorus albicans) from Spain in Italy.

Scombroid poisoning is a disease due to the ingestion of contaminated food (mainly fish). In scombroid poisoning, bacteria have grown during improper storage of the dark meat of the fish and the bacteria produce scombroid toxin. Scombroid toxin, or poison, is probably a combination of histamine and histamine-like chemicals. The toxin or poison does not affect everyone who ingests it.

No test is 100% reliable for assessing fish for this toxin or poison. Cooking kills the bacteria, but toxins remain in the tissues and can be absorbed after the food is ingested.

Susceptible fish include albacore, amberjack, anchovy, Australian salmon, bluefish, bonito, kahawai, herring, mackerel, mahi-mahi, needlefish, saury, sardine, skipjack, wahoo, and yellowfin tuna. Other fish and foods probably will be added to the list if testing systems for the poison improve. Affected fish may have a metallic or peppery taste.