Category Archives: Microbiology

Research – “Aquaponics offers solutions to foodborne illness outbreaks”

Horti Daily

Soilless growing offers a viable alternative to growing crops in a low-risk environment for many microbial sources. Aquaponics, which is often greenhouse-grown, is an innovative way of growing fish and plants in rural or urban settings. For years, commercial aquaponic farms have obtained food safety certifications from Global GAP, USDA Harmonized GAP, Primus GFS, and the SWF Food Safety Program, in addition to being certified USDA organic (Aquaponic Association, 2019) and sold commercially across North America.

In an aquaponic system, the healthy microbes actually serve as biological control agents against pathogenic bacteria making their survival minimal (Fox, 2012). While aquaponics produce is not immune to all pathogenic contamination, it is one of the safest agriculture methods against pathogenic risk.

RASFF Alerts – Animal Feed – Salmonella – Meat Meal – Poultry Meal – Feed Material


Salmonella in meat meal for pet food from Austria in Italy


Salmonella enterica ser. anatum and Salmonella enterica ser. Infantis in poultry meal from the United Kingdom in Belgium and the Netherlands


Salmonella Typhimurium in feed material from Belgium in the UK

Italy – Genoese pesto without garlic – Microbial Risk


Brand : Pastificio Novella Sas

Name : Genoese pesto without garlic

Reason for reporting : Recall due to microbiological risk

Publication date : June 16, 2021



Hong Kong – Food Safety Information

Click to access borne_diseases.pdf

Research – Poultry study points to genes linked to food bug – Campylobacter.


Campylobacter kswfoodworld

Variation in the response of chickens to Campylobacter helps identify key genes that may provide resistance to infection.

Research has identified genes in chickens that could offer resistance to harmful bacteria commonly found in poultry and could inform ways to limit the risk of associated food poisoning in people.

The study, led by a team from the Roslin institute, has identified a large number of genes in chicken guts that may determine whether the birds are resistant to Campylobacter.

The insights could inform research towards breeding chickens that are less likely to carry Campylobacter bacteria, and so limit the risk to poultry consumers.

Research – Escherichia coli Survival on Strawberries and Unpacked Romaine Lettuce Washed Using Contaminated Water


A number of foodborne outbreaks have occurred in the past decade, with higher incidences associated with romaine lettuce and strawberries. Contaminated agricultural water has been reported as the source of microbial contamination in most of these outbreaks. Maintaining the adequate and sanitary quality (0 E. coli/100 mL) of agricultural water can be challenging during post-harvest operations such as washing. The study focused on the attachment of generic E. coli (Rifampicin resistant) onto romaine lettuce and strawberries, mimicking the produce wash step. The produce was washed with contaminated water, air-dried, and stored in display units for 7 days. The produce was sampled randomly each day and analyzed for the surviving E. coli count. The results indicated that E. coli can survive in both lettuce and strawberries over extended periods. A survival population of 2.3 log CFU/cm2 (day 8) was observed on lettuce with an initial population of 2.8 log CFU/cm2 (day 0). On strawberries, the population reduced from 3.0 (day 0) to 1.7 log CFU/cm2 (day 7), with an initial E. coli concentration of approx. 6 log CFU/mL in the wash water. Strawberry leaves had a higher attachment of E. coli than the fruit (p < 0.05). In conclusion, romaine lettuce and strawberries washed with contaminated water can cause an outbreak affecting consumers and public health. View Full-Text

Research – Prevalence, Antibiogram and Genetic Characterization of Listeria monocytogenes from Food Products in Egypt


World Health Organization classified Listeria monocytogenes as a major notable foodborne pathogen associated with high mortality and hospitalization. The study reports the prevalence, antibiogram, virulence determination and genetic characterization of L. monocytogenes from different food products. A total of 250 food samples, fifty samples each from raw milk, ice cream, minced meat, fish fillet and sausage were collected from the Menoufiya governorate in Egypt. L. monocytogenes was detected in 17 (6.8%) of the tested food samples including minced meat (14%), fish fillet (8%), sausage (6%) and raw milk (6%). The antimicrobial susceptibility assay of 17 L. monocytogenes isolates against seventeen antibiotics belonging to eight antibiotics classes revealed a high susceptibility to norfloxacin (82.3%), amoxicillin-clavulanic acid (76.4%), cefotaxime (70.5%), erythromycin (64.6%), amoxicillin (64.6%), gentamicin (58.7%) and vancomycin (58.7%). While, high resistance was observed against oxytetracycline (76.4%), trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (76.4%), chloramphenicol (70.5%), doxycycline (64.6%), levofloxacin (41.2%) and azithromycin (41.2%). Of note, all L. monocytogenes isolates were multidrug-resistant. The multiplex PCR successfully amplified L. monocytogenes in all tested isolates. Screening of the five virulence-related genes revealed the hlyA and iap as the most prevalent genes followed by actA gene, however, the inlA and prfA genes were not detected in any of the studied isolates. The partial 16S rRNA gene sequencing of three L. monocytogenes isolates showed a high nucleotide similarity (99.1–99.8%) between the study isolates and various global clones, and phylogenetic analysis clustered these L. monocytogenes strains with other Listeria species including L. welshimeriL. seeligeri and L. innocua. This study demonstrates the impact of L. monocytogenes as a major contaminant of various food products and suggests more attention to the awareness and hygienic measures in the food industry. View Full-Text

Canada – Expanded Food Recall Warning – Al-Rabih brand Tahini recalled due to Salmonella


Recall date: June 14, 2021

Reason for recall: Microbiological – Salmonella

Hazard classification: Class 2Company / Firm: Phoenicia Group Inc.

Distribution: Ontario, Possibly National, Quebec

Extent of the distribution: Consumer

Ottawa, June 14, 2021 – Phoenicia Group Inc. is recalling Al-Rabih brand Tahini from the marketplace due to possible Salmonella contamination. Consumers should not consume the recalled product described below.

Recalled products

Brand Product Size UPC Codes
Al-Rabih Tahini (100% Sesame) – Sesame Paste 454 g 7 70338 10053 5 Lot #157 29420
Best before 22/OC/19

What you should do

If you think you became sick from consuming a recalled product, call your doctor.

Check to see if you have the recalled products in your home. Recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the store where they were purchased.

This recall was triggered by Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) test results. The CFIA is conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other products. If other high-risk products are recalled, the CFIA will notify the public through updated Food Recall Warnings.

The CFIA is verifying that industry is removing the recalled product from the marketplace.


There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of these products.

Product photos

Printer ready version of photos

  • Al-Rabih Tahini, 454 grams - front
  • Al-Rabih Tahini, 454 grams - lot code

Public enquiries and media

Public enquiries
Toll-free: 1-800-442-2342 (Canada and U.S.)
Telephone: 1-613-773-2342 (local or international)
Media relations
Telephone: 613-773-6600

Italy – Tuna suspected for a dozen illnesses in Italy – Food Poisoning

Food Safety News

At least 12 people are sick in Italy with tuna being investigated as the source of their illnesses.

The foodborne outbreak is suspected to have been caused by thawed yellowfin tuna steaks with added water from Italy and raw material from Spain.

In recent days, nine people with symptoms such as such as nausea, vomiting and loss of consciousness or fainting were reported to the Tuscany local health unit (ASL) and admitted to two hospitals before later being discharged.

They all reported consumption of tuna in various forms at two different restaurants in Florence.

USA- Recalled: A Single Lot of Freshpet Select Small Dog – Salmonella


Maker: Freshpet, Inc.
Cause: Potential for salmonella
Announcement: FDA alert dated June 13, 2021 (archived here)
What was recalled: Freshpet Select Small Dog Bite Size Beef & Egg Recipe Dog Food, 1 lb., UPC # 627975012939, with sell by date of Oct. 30, 2021 and Lot Code 1421FBP0101

Only the dog food listed above — with the exact UPC, sell by date and lot code — is part of this recall, and no other Freshpet products are affected.