Category Archives: Microbiology Risk

USA – FDA Core Investigation Table Update


What’s New

  • A new outbreak of Salmonella Infantis (ref #1141) linked to a not yet identified product has been added to the table. FDA has initiated traceback. This investigation is ongoing and additional information will be provided as it becomes available.
  • For the Salmonella Hartford outbreak in a not yet identified food, the case count has increased from 50 to 53 cases.
Ref Pathogen
Cause of
Linked to

(if any)

3/29/2023 1141 Salmonella Infantis Not Yet
12 Active
3/8/2023 1144 Salmonella Hartford Not Yet
53 Active
3/1/2023 1143 Hepatitis A Virus Frozen Organic
2/15/2023 1123 Listeria
Not Yet
11/9/2022 1127 Listeria

USA – Stewart Parnell looks for better Habeas in Atlanta than he just had in Mid-Georgia – Peanut Butter Salmonella Outbreak

Food Safety News

A decade after his indictment and a year after United States Magistrate Judge Thomas Q. Langstaff denied his petition for early release, one-time peanut butter mogul Stewart Parnell still has one more card to play.

Parnell, 68, has 15 years to run on his sentence imposed after a 2014 jury conviction for numerous federal felonies associated with the deadly 2008-09 multistate Salmonella outbreak traced to his Peanut Corporation of America peanut processing facility in Blakely, GA. He is serving his time at the federal correctional facility at Hazelton, WV.

Parnell begins this year with a new appeal of his Habeas corpus petition in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th U.S. Circuit in Atlanta. A Habeas petition claims unlawful detention or imprisonment because of constitutional infractions. It can open cell doors,

USA – FDA and Stop Foodborne Illness to Co-Host Webinar on Assessing Food Safety Culture


Today, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the seventh in the ongoing series of webinars exploring food safety culture will take place on May 11, 2023, from 3:45 pm 5:00 pm ET. The webinar series Collaborating on Culture in the New Era of Smarter Food Safety is in partnership with Stop Foodborne IllnessExternal Link Disclaimer, a non-profit public health organization.

The upcoming webinar “Live from the Food Safety Summit: Measure What You Treasure”, will focus on the importance of assessing food safety culture in an organization.

Guest speakers on May 11, include:

  • Donald A. Prater, DVM, Acting Director, Office of Food Policy and Response, FDA
  • Conrad Choiniere, PhD, Director, Office of Analytics and Outreach, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, FDA
  • Lone Jespersen, Principal and Founder, Cultivate SA
  • Vanessa Coffman, Director, Alliance to Stop Foodborne Illness
  • Brian Perry, Executive Food Safety & Quality Leader, TreeHouse Foods, Inc
  • Karleigh Bacon, Director of U.S. Supply Chain Food Safety, Science & Regulatory, McDonald’s Corporation
  • Philip Bronstein, Ph.D., Assistant Administrator, Office of Field Operations, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA

The webinar series engages experts from the public and private sectors in a collaborative exchange of ideas and experiences related to the importance of a robust food safety culture in helping to ensure safe food production.

Food safety culture is one of the core elements in FDA’s New Era of Smarter Food Safety blueprint, which states that dramatic improvements in reducing the burden of foodborne illness cannot be made without doing more to influence the beliefs, attitudes, and, most importantly, the behaviors of people and the actions of organizations.

Register for Session 7External Link Disclaimer

To learn more about this webinar series and to listen to recordings, visit Collaborating on Culture in the New Era of Smarter Food Safety.

For More Information 

Ireland – Mayo’s Clare Island Hit with Cryptosporidium in Public Water Supply

Mayo’s Clare island has been hit with a “boil water” notice after the detection of cryptosporidium in the public water supply.

The “boil water” notice takes immediate effect, Uisce Éireann (Irish Water) and Mayo Council have said.

This follows consultation with the Health Service Executive (HSE) to protect the health of approximately 160 people on the island’s public water supply scheme.

The two bodies have said they are “working to implement solutions to lift the notice as quickly and as safely as possible in consultation with the HSE”.

Vietnam – 73 Hanoi students hospitalised for food poisoning after field trip

VN Express

A total 73 students at Kim Giang Elementary School in Hanoi developed signs of food poisoning after having lunch prepared by the school’s canteen for a field trip.

The school in Thanh Xuan District organized the field trip to Canh Buom Xanh Park in Gia Lam District for 915 first and second graders on Tuesday morning.

For lunch, the school had the canteen prepare food, including fried rice, fried chicken, fries, sour soup and cookies, and send them along to the park.

The children had lunch at 11 a.m. and during the trip, they also had their own snacks and drinks prepared by their families aside from drinking bottled water provided by the park.

Around 2 p.m. on Tuesday when they returned to school, several students started to have abdominal pain and vomit while two suffered diarrheas.

The Food Safety Department of Hanoi have taken samples of the food served at the student’s lunch and samples of their vomit, as well as of the foods at the park, and sent them to the National Institute of Food Safety for testing.

The school’s canteen has been now suspended.

Research – A foodborne outbreak of Campylobacteriosis at a wedding – Melbourne, Australia, 2022

1 Health


Campylobacter is the most common bacterial cause of foodborne gastroenteritis in Australia; how-ever, outbreaks caused by the pathogen are relatively uncommon. In March 2022, the Victorian Department of Health was notified of a gastrointestinal illness in 20 guests following attendance at a wedding reception.

Two of these individuals were notified with laboratory-confirmed campylobacteriosis, and an investigation was undertaken to identify the source of the infection and implement strategies to prevent further illness. A case-control study was conducted to determine the likely source of infection. Cases were defined as attendees of the wedding reception, with onset of diarrhoea and/or abdominal cramping 1–10 days after attending the function. Controls were randomly selected from the remaining list of non-ill guests. Cases and controls were interviewed using a standardised, menu-based questionnaire.

Food preparation processes were documented, and food samples collected.

A total of 29 wedding guests met the case definition. Cases reported onset of illness 2–5 days fol-lowing the wedding and major symptoms included abdominal cramping (100%), diarrhoea (90%), headache (79%), and fever (62%). Two cases were hospitalised, one with ongoing secondary neu-rological sequelae.

Illness was significantly associated with consumption of a duck breast brioche canapé containing duck liver parfait (odds ratio = 2.85; 95% confidence interval: 1.03–7.86). No leftover food samples were available for testing.The investigation found that the duck canapé was the likely vehicle of infection. Consistent with the literature on Campylobacter transmission, it is likely that inadequate cooking of the duck liver for the parfait was the contributing factor that led to illness. This highlights the risks posed by undercooked poultry dishes, and shows that education of food handlers remains a priority.

Research – Cronobacter sakazakii Infections in Two Infants Linked to Powdered Infant Formula and Breast Pump Equipment — United States, 2021 and 2022



What is already known about this topic?

Infections caused by Cronobacter sakazakii are rare but can cause severe illness and death in infants.

What is added by this report?

Whole genome sequencing analysis was used to link one case of Cronobacter sakazakii infection in a full-term infant to an opened can of powdered infant formula, and another unrelated fatal case in a premature infant to contaminated breast pump equipment.

What are the implications for public health practice?

Increased awareness of the widespread presence of Cronobacter in the environment, along with promotion of safe preparation and storage of powdered infant formula, and careful cleaning and sanitization of breast pump equipment, could prevent potentially devastating infections.

Cronobacter sakazakii, a species of gram-negative bacteria belonging to the Enterobacteriaceae family, is known to cause severe and often fatal meningitis and sepsis in young infants. C. sakazakii is ubiquitous in the environment, and most reported infant cases have been attributed to contaminated powdered infant formula (powdered formula) or breast milk that was expressed using contaminated breast pump equipment (13). Previous investigations of cases and outbreaks have identified C. sakazakii in opened powdered formula, breast pump parts, environmental surfaces in the home, and, rarely, in unopened powdered formula and formula manufacturing facilities (2,46). This report describes two infants with C. sakazakii meningitis reported to CDC in September 2021 and February 2022. CDC used whole genome sequencing (WGS) analysis to link one case to contaminated opened powdered formula from the patient’s home and the other to contaminated breast pump equipment. These cases highlight the importance of expanding awareness about C. sakazakii infections in infants, safe preparation and storage of powdered formula, proper cleaning and sanitizing of breast pump equipment, and using WGS as a tool for C. sakazakii investigations.

UK reveals more sick in multi-country Salmonella outbreak

Food Safety News

The number of patients in a Salmonella outbreak in the United Kingdom has increased to more than 130.

It was previously reported that 81 people were sick in the UK as part of a multi-country Salmonella Mbandaka outbreak. As of early March, there are 132 UK cases, according to the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

Whole genome sequencing confirmed a microbiological link between ready-to-cook chicken breast manufactured in Ukraine, and cases in Finland, Estonia, and the UK. The chicken was supplied to the UK from Ukraine via the Netherlands, and a company in the Netherlands has recalled products sent to the UK. All items were for food service use and have been withdrawn from the UK market.

In May 2022, the UK reported 31 Salmonella Mbandaka cases with 25 from England and three each in Scotland and Wales with sample dates between Sept. 2021 and April 2022. Four were admitted to the hospital and one person died.

As of late 2022, Finland had 89 cases while a few patients also lived in the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Israel. Cases occurred in all age groups.

Ready-to-eat (RTE) chicken products or fresh chicken meat, such as those used in sandwiches and wraps, were said to be the likely vehicles of infection, according to an assessment by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Finnish officials linked the suspected RTE products to an Estonian company, which received processed chicken meat from different suppliers.

ECDC said epidemiological data and microbiological evidence from whole genome sequencing of human isolates indicated there were several sources through different distribution chains.

Research – Effect of Composite Edible Coatings Combined with Modified Atmosphere Packaging on the Storage Quality and Microbiological Properties of Fresh-Cut Pineapple



This study investigated the effect of edible coating (EC), modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), and edible coating + modified atmosphere packaging (EC + MAP) treatments on the quality of fresh-cut pineapples during storage at 4 °C. The quality differences were analyzed by measuring the quality, physiological indicators, and total microbial counts. After 8 d of storage, the brightness (L*) values of the EC + MAP and control samples were 72.76 and 60.83, respectively. The water loss and respiratory rate of the EC + MAP were significantly inhibited from 0% and 29.33 mg CO2 kg−1 h−1 to 4.13% and 43.84 mg CO2 kg−1 h−1, respectively. Furthermore, the fresh-cut pineapples treated with EC + MAP presented a good appearance, with lower total soluble solids (TSS) and relative conductivity and higher titratable acid (TA), ascorbic acid (AA), total phenol content, and firmness compared to the other treatment groups. At the end of storage, the EC + MAP samples exhibited the lowest polyphenol oxidase (PPO) activity, peroxidase (POD) activity, and malondialdehyde (MDA) content at 28.53 U, 60.37 U, and 1.47 nmol·g−1, respectively. Furthermore, the efficiency of EC + MAP treatment exceeded that of EC or MAP alone, preventing key problems involving the surface browning and microbiological safety of the fresh-cut pineapples. The results showed that EC + MAP treatment was more successful in maintaining the storage quality and extending the shelf life of fresh-cut pineapples.

Research – Climate warming and increasing Vibrio vulnificus infections in North America


Vibrio vulnificus is an opportunistic bacterial pathogen, occurring in warm low-salinity waters. V. vulnificus wound infections due to seawater exposure are infrequent but mortality rates are high (~ 18%). Seawater bacterial concentrations are increasing but changing disease pattern assessments or climate change projections are rare. Here, using a 30-year database of V. vulnificus cases for the Eastern USA, changing disease distribution was assessed. An ecological niche model was developed, trained and validated to identify links to oceanographic and climate data. This model was used to predict future disease distribution using data simulated by seven Global Climate Models (GCMs) which belong to the newest Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6). Risk was estimated by calculating the total population within 200 km of the disease distribution. Predictions were generated for different “pathways” of global socioeconomic development which incorporate projections of greenhouse gas emissions and demographic change. In Eastern USA between 1988 and 2018, V. vulnificus wound infections increased eightfold (10–80 cases p.a.) and the northern case limit shifted northwards 48 km p.a. By 2041–2060, V. vulnificus infections may expand their current range to encompass major population centres around New York (40.7°N). Combined with a growing and increasingly elderly population, annual case numbers may double. By 2081–2100 V. vulnificus infections may be present in every Eastern USA State under medium-to-high future emissions and warming. The projected expansion of V. vulnificus wound infections stresses the need for increased individual and public health awareness in these areas.