Category Archives: microbial contamination

Research – Genetic insights could help tackle food bug


Scientists have identified regions in the genetic makeup of chickens that are linked to resistance to Campylobacter  ̶  the leading bacterial cause of food-borne gastroenteritis worldwide.

Data obtained in the study inform the extent to which parts of the chicken genetic code can be linked to the prevalence of Campylobacter in the chicken gut.

A study led by researchers from the Roslin Institute, in collaboration with the poultry breeding company Aviagen, investigated the genetic make-up of 3,000 chickens bred for meat, to discover whether parts of their genetic code were associated with resistance to Campylobacter colonisation.

This was achieved by looking for variation at specific positions in the chickens’ genome and their association with numbers of Campylobacter in the gut of the birds.

Scientists combined this with analyses of the expression of genes in chickens that were resistant or susceptible to colonisation by the bacteria.

All the chickens were naturally exposed to Campylobacter present in their environment, which mimics how chickens are exposed on a commercial farm.

Campylobacter infections are common in people, who can develop diarrhoea and severe complications after handling or eating contaminated chicken meat.

Each year, it is estimated that more than 500,000 people in the UK are infected, costing the country approximately £50 million.

These results show that whilst there are genetic factors that influence Campylobacter colonisation, these factors play a minor role and therefore it is crucial to characterise and understand the role of the non-genetic and environmental factors to further reduce Campylobacter levels in poultry.

France – Wholefoods – Seed of Paradise brand Pit & Pit – Salmonella


Recall Wholefoods
Product: Seed of Paradise brand Pit & Pit.
Problem: possible presence of Salmonella.
In agreement with the AFSCA, Wholefoods is withdrawing the product “Seeds of Paradise” from sale and is recalling it to consumers because of the possible presence of Salmonella.

Wholefoods asks its customers not to consume this product and to return it. A free return label can be requested by sending an email with the photo of the label to . Upon receipt of the return, the product will be refunded to you.

Product description
– Product name: Seeds of paradise
– Brand: Pit & Pit
– Type of packaging: Transparent
jar with black lid – Lot: LTR98NFYX
– Expiry date (DDM): 05/01/2023
– Weight: 75g

The product was sold online via the website .

For any further information , please contact:

France – Chipolata Poultry Brand Kok O’Rell – Salmonella


Product: chipolata poultry brand Kok O’Rell.
Problem: possible presence of Salmonella.
In agreement with the AFSCA, EUROKIP is withdrawing from sale the product CHIPOLATAS DE POULTRY of the KOK O’RELL brand and is recalling it to consumers because of the possible presence of Salmonella.

EUROKIP asks its customers not to consume this product and to bring it back to the point of sale where it was purchased. It will be refunded even without a receipt.

The product is, at the same time, withdrawn from sale.

Product description

– Brand: Kok O’Rell
– Use by date (DLC) (“To be consumed until”): 21/01/2021
– Batch number: 139950
– Period of sale: from 15/01/2021 to 18/01/2021
– Type of packaging: transparent / black plastic tray -: 0.250kg – 0.500kg

The product was sold through the following outlets:

TINE HEIRWEGH – Koningin Fabiolapark 3, 9100 ST-NIKLAAS.
NIETVELT JAN BV – Dennestraat 10, 2440 GEEL.
BV UNIC HERENT – Broekveldstraat 34, 3020 HERENT.
PROOST SUPERMARKT – Lange Leemstraat 145, 2018 ANTWERPEN 1.
BV MATOCO – Diestsesteenweg 359, 3202 RILAAR (AARSCHOT).
PAUWELS-ASSELMAN BV – Dorpstraat 14, 2811 LEEST.

For any further information , contact:
Madame Tina Vanschoubroek
03/771 14 35 or

Research – Evaluation of sodium hypochlorite and peroxyacetic acid to prevent transfer of surface‐attached Listeria monocytogenes to produce

Wiley Online


Sporadic contamination of produce with Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) is a recurrent problem. Ways for contamination to occur include transfer of the pathogen to produce from processing surfaces or soil particles to which it has become attached. Since it is known that surface‐attached Lm is less susceptible to antimicrobials than Lm grown in liquid culture, the goal of the current study was to determine if Lm grown on surfaces and released into water retained its higher tolerance of antimicrobials. In addition, transfer of Lm from surfaces or soil particles to blueberries, mung beans and spinach leaves in the presence of the antimicrobials, sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) adjusted to pH 6.8 and peroxyacetic acid (PAA), was studied. The experiments were carried out with a cocktail of six Lm strains and strains obtained from produce processing plants. Results indicated that Lm released from surfaces was as susceptible to the two antimicrobials as Lm grown in liquid culture and was inactivated within seconds by an initial concentration of 100 ppm of NaOCl or PAA. Transfer of Lm grown on stainless steel coupons to blueberries in wash water was not observed at NaOCl concentrations as low as 20 ppm. In contrast, transfer of Lm from washed soil particles (COD = 1.7 ± 0.89 mg/l) in contact with mung beans was observed even at initial NaOCl or PAA concentrations of 250 ppm. Lm released from washed soil particles to which it was attached to spinach leaves could be detected in the presences of 20 ppm of NaOCl and PAA and occasionally even in the presence of 100 and 250 ppm of the antimicrobials.

Italy – Knife-Tip Salami – Microbiological Risk – Salmonella


Brand : Lovison spa

Name : Knife-tip salami

Reason for reporting : Recall due to microbiological risk

Publication date : 18 January 2021



USA – Publix Steam in Bag Products Recalled For Possible Listeria

Food Poisoning Bulletin

Publix Steam in Bag products are being recalled for possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination because they contain a specific butternut squash ingredient that has been recalled for the same reason. Pero Family Farms, the supplier of the butternut squash, has issued the recall. No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this issue.

The recalled items include Publix Steam in Bag Green Beans Butternut Squash, with GTIN number 002-24887-00000. This item was sold from 01/03/2021 to 01/14/2021. Also recalled is Publix Steam in Bag Season Butternut Medley, with GTIN number 002-25399-00000 printed on the label. This item was sold between 01/03/2021 and 01/14/2021. Finally, Publix Steam in Bag Butternut Brussel Pecan is recalled. That item has the GTIN number 002-25677-00000 on the package. It was sold between 01/03/2021 to 01/14/2021. You can see pictures of product packages at the Publix web site.

If you purchased any of these items, do not eat them, even if you are going to cook them first.

USA – Pero Family Farms Butternut Squash Trays Recalled For Possible Listeria

Food Poisoning Bulletin

Pero Family Farms Butternut Squash Trays are being recalled for possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination, according to a notice posted on the Publix web site. No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem.

The recall was triggered when Race West Company, a supplier of butternut squash to Pero Family Farms, notified them about the possible contamination. Production of these items has been halted as an investigation has bene launched.

The recalled items include Pero Family Farms Butternut Squash Cubed Tray. The GTIN number on the package is 8 74896 00977 1. The lot number/expiration dates are 01/15/2021 to 01/20/2021. Also recalled is Pero Family Farms Butternut Squash Veggie Spirals Tray. The GTIN number on that product label is 8 74896 00975 7. And the lot number/expiration dates for that variety range from 01/15/2021 to 01/20/2021. You can see pictures of product packages at the Publix web site.

Finland – Three brands recall eggs over Salmonella risk


Eggs branded as Kieku, Kesko’s Pirkka brand and Kotimaista by S-Grouphave been pulled from shelves.

Packs of ten free range Kotimaista eggs are part of the recall, as are ten-egg and six-egg packs of free range Pirkka eggs.

Kieku has also added its Kieku-branded four-egg packs to the recall. All the eggs are from a farm where salmonella was found in samples, and were packed at a Kieku plant.

The risk of salmonella contamination only affects eggs with the production code 2FI15464. More details on the recall, and pictures of the recalled products, are available on the Kieku website.

Research – Botulism breakthrough? Taming botulinum toxin to deliver therapeutics

Science Daily


While rare, botulism can cause paralysis and is potentially fatal. It is caused by nerve-damaging toxins produced by Clostridium botulinum — the most potent toxins known. These toxins are often found in contaminated food (home canning being a major culprit). Infants can also develop botulism from ingesting C. botulinum spores in honey, soil, or dust; the bacterium then colonizes their intestines and produces the toxin.

Once paralysis develops, there is no way to reverse it, other than waiting for the toxins to wear off. People with serious cases of botulism may need to be maintained on ventilators for weeks or months. But a new treatment approach and delivery vehicle, described today in Science Translational Medicine, could change that.

“There are anti-toxins, but these only work before the toxins enter the motor neurons,” says Min Dong, PhD, a researcher in Boston Children’s Hospital’s Department of Urology and corresponding author on the paper. “What we have developed is the first therapy that can eliminate toxins after they get inside neurons.”

Research – Nanocrystals that eradicate bacteria biofilm

Science Daily

The COVID-19 pandemic is raising fears of new pathogens such as new viruses or drug-resistant bacteria. To this, a Korean research team has recently drawn attention for developing the technology for removing antibiotic-resistant bacteria by controlling the surface texture of nanomaterials.

A joint research team from POSTECH and UNIST has introduced mixed-FeCo-oxide-based surface-textured nanostructures (MTex) as highly efficient magneto-catalytic platform in the international journal Nano Letters. The team consisted of professors In Su Lee and Amit Kumar with Dr. Nitee Kumari of POSTECH’s Department of Chemistry and Professor Yoon-Kyung Cho and Dr. Sumit Kumar of UNIST’s Department of Biomedical Engineering.

First, the researchers synthesized smooth surface nanocrystals in which various metal ions were wrapped in an organic polymer shell and heated them at a very high temperature. While annealing the polymer shell, a high-temperature solid-state chemical reaction induced mixing of other metal ions on the nanocrystal surface, creating a number of few-nm-sized branches and holes on it. This unique surface texture was found to catalyze a chemical reaction that produced reactive oxygen species (ROS) that kills the bacteria. It was also confirmed to be highly magnetic and easily attracted toward the external magnetic field. The team had discovered a synthetic strategy for converting normal nanocrystals without surface features into highly functional mixed-metal-oxide nanocrystals.