Evaporative cooling systems, such as cooling towers and evaporative condensers, are susceptible to colonisation by Legionella bacteria. Previous evidence has demonstrated that they can be responsible for sporadic outbreaks of infection, ranging in scale both in terms of numbers infected and severity. When such outbreaks occur, they frequently infect members of the public rather than workers and, in many cases, are a source of major public health concern.
Between 1 April 2013 and 31 August 2014, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspected 1,906 premises with evaporative cooling systems. While the majority of sites required no enforcement, material breaches were found at 625 sites (33% of those inspected), including 409 Improvement Notices (INs) and 12 Prohibition Notices (PNs) served at 229 sites (12.0% of those inspected).
A recently published HSE Research Report analyses the underlying causes of breaches of health and safety compliance. The main ones were :
- lack of training;
- failure to maintain the cleanliness of cooling towers and the water within them;
- absence of, or inadequate, risk assessments; and
- absence of, or insufficiently detailed, written control schemes.
Further analysis looked into the reasons why cooling towers were not cleaned properly.
HSE considers that these results provide a valuable resource which can be used to focus future strategies to improve dutyholder compliance. Research Report 1118 ‘Legionella control in evaporative cooling systems: underlying causes of breaches in health and safety compliance’ can be accessed at http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrhtm/rr1118.htm.
Food Safety News
Glutino, a division of GFA Brands Inc. based in Paramus, NJ, is voluntarily recalling Glutino Rosemary and Olive Oil Snack Crackers because the seasoning supplier, Kerry Ingredients, recalled the seasoning blend due to possible Salmonella contamination.
The recalled Glutino Rosemary and Olive Oil Snack Crackers were distributed nationally through retail and warehouse club stores. The product affected is sold in a 4.25-ounce and a 20-ounce opaque white box with a “Best By” date of Oct. 26, 2014, stamped on the top of the box.
No illnesses have been reported to date with consumption of this product.
Posted in Bacteria, Food Hygiene, Food Inspections, Food Micro Blog, Food Microbiology, Food Safety, Food Safety Alert, Food Testing, Hygiene, Legionella, Methods, Pathogen, Recall, Salmonella
Tagged Food Safety News Glutino, GFA Brands Inc., Kerry Ingredients, Olive Oil Snack Crackers, salmonella contamination, seasoning blend
Health officials at the Florida Department of Health in Broward County are advising parents, schools and daycare centers to take precautionary action to prevent the spread of Shigellosis. Shigellosis is a highly contagious form of diarrhea caused by Shigella bacteria. Shigella can spread through person to person contact and may cause severe diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps. Parents of children, or anyone with symptoms of Shigellosis should contact their healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment.
Food Posioning Blog
To date, one person has died and several others have been sickened in an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease linked to Glenwood Nursing Home in Florence, Alabama. Legionnaires’ is a form of pneumonia caused by inhaling water mist containing Legionella bacteria.
All confirmed and suspected cases have been either residents or visitors to the nursing home. The one person who has died in the outbreak was a woman who visited the facility with two family members. She later developed respiratory symptoms and was hospitalized. Tests confirmed Legionnaires disease (Legionella pneumonia). The other family members were also sickened.
Posted in Food Hygiene, Food Illness, Food Inspections, Food Micro Blog, Food Microbiology, Food Poisoning, Food Safety, Food Testing, Foodborne Illness, Hand Washing, Legionella, Microbiology, Pathogen, Shigella
Tagged Florida Department of Health, Legionella pneumonia, Shigella, shigella bacteria, Shigellosis
The Legionella bacteria exist in a significant number of commercial compost products, a study conducted at the University of Strathclyde has found.
The research, the first substantial analysis of Legionella in UK composts, suggests that the bacteria are a common part of the microflora found within the composts tested.
It is widely recognised that Legionella bacteria are commonly present in the environment and the researchers have found that compost could be a potential source of infection.
Posted in Bacteria, Food Microbiology, Food Safety, Food Testing, Laboratory, Legionella, Microbiology, Pathogen, Research
Tagged Legionella, Legionella bacteria, University of Strathclyde
Food Posioning Bulletin
Legionnaire’s outbreaks in Wisconsin and Ohio have sickened dozens of people, health authorities say. At least 20 people in Milwaukee County have been diagnosed with the disease since June 1, 2013. Of those, 14 are from the city of Milwaukee. Four people remain hospitalized. Wisconsin health authorities are looking for the source or sources of the outbreak
In Franklin County, Ohio, 22 illnesses have been associated with the Wesley Ridge Retirement Community in Reynoldsburg. Those sickened include visitors, residents and employees. Two of them have died. Franklin County Public Health, the Ohio Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are working together to determine the source of the outbreak
Posted in Bacteria, Food Hygiene, Food Inspections, Food Micro Blog, Food Microbiology, Food Poisoning, Food Safety, Food Safety Alert, Foodborne Illness, Laboratory, Legionella, Microbiology, outbreak, Pathogen
Food Poisoning Bulletin
Three people reported contracting Legionnaires’ disease after visiting the 24 Hour Fitness on Ridgeway Road in East Memphis, Tennessee. The gym’s spa and pool are now closed pending an investigation by the Shelby County Health Department. Legionnaires’ disease, a form of pneumonia, is caused by breathing in water mist contaminated with Legionella bacteria.
Anyone who was at the 24 Hour Fitness on Ridgeway Road in the last 2 weeks should watch for symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease, including cough, fever, muscle aches, vomiting and diarrhea. This is a severe illness that is often fatal.
Posted in Bacteria, Food Microbiology, Food Safety, Food Safety Alert, Food Testing, Laboratory, Legionella, Microbiology, outbreak, Pathogen, Water
Tagged county health department, health, symptoms of legionnaires disease
The surveillance of Legionnaires’ disease (LD) in Europe is carried out by the European Legionnaires’ Disease Surveillance Network (ELDSNet) and coordinated by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). All cases reported in 2009 and 2010 and meeting the European case definition were electronically transmitted to The European Surveillance System (TESSy) database. A total of 5,551 and 6,305 cases were reported by 29 European countries in 2009 and 2010, respectively. The age-standardised rate of all cases was 1.20 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2010, 12% higher than in 2009, which was consistent with the increasing trend observed since 2005. Most of this increase consisted of community-acquired cases reported by France, Germany and the Netherlands with dates of onset in August–September. The exceptionally hot summer of 2010 in some parts of Europe may have played a role in this increase.