Category Archives: STX 1

Research – A bacteriological survey of fresh minced beef on sale at retail outlets in Scotland in 2019: three food-borne pathogens, hygiene process indicators and phenotypic antimicrobial resistance.

Journal of Food Protection

The health and economic burden of foodborne illness is high, with approximately 2.4 million cases occurring annually in the United Kingdom. A survey to understand the baseline microbial quality and prevalence of food-related hazards of fresh beef mince on retail sale could inform risk assessment, management and communication to ensure the safety of this commodity. In such a survey, a two-stage sampling design was used to reflect variations in population density and the market share of five categories of retail outlets in Scotland.  From January to December 2019, 1009 fresh minced beef samples were collected from 15 Geographic Areas. The microbial quality of each sample was assessed using Aerobic Colony Count (ACC) and generic E. coli count. Samples were cultured for Campylobacter and Salmonella and PCR was used to detect target genes (stx1 all variants, stx2 a-g, and rfbO157) for Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC). The presence of viable E. coli O157 and STEC in samples with a positive PCR signal was confirmed via culture and isolation. Phenotypic antimicrobial sensitivity patterns of cultured pathogens and 100 generic E. coli isolates were determined, mostly via disc diffusion. The median ACC and generic E. coli counts were 6.4 x 105 (Inter-quartile range (IQR):6.9 x 104 to 9.6 x 106) and <10 cfu per gram (IQR:<10 to 10) of minced beef respectively. The prevalence was 0.1% (95% confidence interval C.I. 0 to 0.7%) for Campylobacter, 0.3% (95% C.I. 0 to 1%) for Salmonella, 22% (95% C.I. 20% to 25%) for PCR positive STEC and 4% (95% C.I. 2 to 5%) for culture positive STEC. The evidence for phenotypic antimicrobial resistance (AMR) detected did not give cause for concern, mainly occurring in a few generic E. coli isolates as single non-susceptibilities to first-line active substances. The low prevalence of pathogens and phenotypic AMR is encouraging but ongoing consumer food-safety education is necessary to mitigate the residual public health risk.

Germany – Herb goat natural and nettle – STEC E.coli

LMW

product image.jpg

Alert type: Food
Date of first publication: 05/05/2022
Product name: Herb goat natural and nettle
Manufacturer (distributor):

Ziegenhof Fam. Filgertshofer

Reason for warning:

Detection of Vero/Shiga toxin-forming VTEC/STEC, stx1- positive

Manufacturer’s website:

Click to access e-coli-Pressemitteilung.pdf

RASFF Alert – STEC E.coli – Bovine Carcass

RASFF

STEC (stx+;eae+) in bovine carcass from Belgium in France

RASFF Alert – STEC E.coli – Cow Carcass

RASFF

STEC (stx+;eae+) in cow carcass from Belgium in France and the Netherlands

Research – Assessment of the Microbiological Quality and Safety of Unpasteurized Milk Cheese for Sale in England between 2019 and 2020

Journal of Food Protection

Cheese made with unpasteurized milk has been associated with outbreaks of illness. However, there are limited data on the prevalence of Shiga toxin–producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in these products and a lack of clarity over the significance of E. coli as a general indicator of hygiene in raw milk cheeses. The aim of this study was to provide further data to address both of these issues, as well as assessing the overall microbiological quality of raw milk cheeses available to consumers in England. A total of 629 samples of cheese were collected from retailers, catering premises, and manufacturers throughout England. The majority (80%) were made using cow’s milk, with 14% made from sheep’s milk and 5% from goat’s milk. Samples were from 18 different countries of origin, with the majority originating from either the United Kingdom (40%) or France (35%). When interpreted against European Union microbiological criteria and United Kingdom guidance, 82% were considered to be of satisfactory microbiological quality, 5% were borderline, and 12% were unsatisfactory. Four samples (0.6%) were potentially injurious to health due to the isolation of STEC from one, >104 CFU/g of coagulase-positive staphylococci in two, and >100 CFU/g of Listeria monocytogenes in the fourth sample. Indicator E. coli and Listeria species were detected more frequently in soft compared with hard cheese. Higher levels of indicator E. coli were significantly associated with a greater likelihood of detecting Shiga toxin genes (stx1 and/or stx2).

Research – Wild Boars as Reservoir of Highly Virulent Clone of Hybrid Shiga Toxigenic and Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli Responsible for Edema Disease, France

CDC

Edema disease is an often fatal enterotoxemia caused by specific strains of Shiga toxin–producing Escherichia coli (STEC) that affect primarily healthy, rapidly growing nursery pigs. Recently, outbreaks of edema disease have also emerged in France in wild boars. Analysis of STEC strains isolated from wild boars during 2013–2019 showed that they belonged to the serotype O139:H1 and were positive for both Stx2e and F18 fimbriae. However, in contrast to classical STEC O139:H1 strains circulating in pigs, they also possessed enterotoxin genes sta1 and stb, typical of enterotoxigenic E. coli. In addition, the strains contained a unique accessory genome composition and did not harbor antimicrobial-resistance genes, in contrast to domestic pig isolates. These data thus reveal that the emergence of edema disease in wild boars was caused by atypical hybrid of STEC and enterotoxigenic E. coli O139:H1, which so far has been restricted to the wildlife environment.

Research – Occurrence of the seven most common serotypes of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli in beef cuts produced in meat-processing plants in the state of São Paulo, Brazil

JFP

Healthy cattle are considered the main reservoir of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains, so in some places in the world, products derived from beef are the most common source for disease outbreaks caused by these bacteria. Therefore, in order to guarantee that the beef produced by our slaughterhouses is safe, there is a need for continuous monitoring of these bacteria. In this study, 215 beef cuts were evaluated, including chilled vacuum-packed striploins (151 samples), rib eyes (30 samples), and knuckles (34 samples), from March to June, 2018. These meat samples were collected from the slaughter of unconfined cattle, being arbitrarily collected from eight meat-processing companies in São Paulo state, Brazil. Each sample was examined for the presence of STEC toxin type ( stx 1 and/or stx 2 genes) and also the E. coli attaching-and-effacing ( eae ) gene, which were determined by a multiplex PCR assay. Here we show that the major seven STEC strains (O serogroups O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, O145, and O157) are not detected in any of the analyzed beef cut samples; however, three of them presented the virulence eae gene. Therefore, the absence of STEC strains in the beef samples may be an indication of the low prevalence of this pathogen in the cattle herd on the farm, associated with good hygiene and handling practices adopted by the meat industry.

Research – An assessment of the microbiological quality and safety of unpasteurised milk cheese for sale in England during 2019 – 2020

Journal of Food Protection

Cheese made with unpasteurised milk has been associated with outbreaks of illness. However, there are limited data on the prevalence of shiga-toxin producing E. coli (STEC) in these products, and a lack of clarity over the significance of E. coli as general indicators of hygiene in raw milk cheeses. The aim of this study was to provide further data to address both of these issues as well as assessing the overall microbiological quality of raw milk cheeses available to consumers in England. A total of 629 samples of cheese were collected from retailers, catering premises and manufacturers throughout England. The majority (80%) were made using cow’s milk with 14% made from sheep’s milk and 5% from goat’s milk. Samples were from 18 different countries of origin, with the majority originating from either the UK (40%) or France (35%). When interpreted against EU microbiological criteria and UK guidance, 82% were considered to be of satisfactory microbiological quality, 5% were borderline and 12% were unsatisfactory. Four samples (0.6%) were potentially injurious to health due to the isolation of STEC from one, >10 4 cfu/g of coagulase positive staphylococci in two and >100 cfu/g of Listeria monocytogenes in the fourth sample. Indicator E. coli and Listeria species were detected more frequently in soft compared to hard cheese. Higher levels of indicator E. coli were significantly associated with a greater likelihood of detecting shiga toxin genes ( stx 1 and/or stx 2).

Research – High Occurrence of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli in Raw Meat-Based Diets for Companion Animals—A Public Health Issue

MDPI

Feeding pets raw meat-based diets (RMBDs) is becoming increasingly popular but comes with a risk of pathogenic bacteria, including Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC). In humans, STEC may cause gastrointestinal illnesses, including diarrhea, hemorrhagic colitis (HC), and the hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The aim of this study was to evaluate commercially available RMBDs with regard to the occurrence of STEC. Of 59 RMBD samples, 59% tested positive by real-time PCR for the presence of Shiga toxin genes stx1 and/or stx2. STECs were recovered from 41% of the 59 samples, and strains were subjected to serotyping and virulence gene profiling, using whole genome sequencing (WGS)-based methods. Of 28 strains, 29% carried stx2a or stx2d, which are linked to STEC with high pathogenic potential. Twenty different serotypes were identified, including STEC O26:H11, O91:H10, O91:H14, O145:H28, O146:H21, and O146:H28, which are within the most common non-O157 serogroups associated with human STEC-related illnesses worldwide. Considering the low infectious dose and potential severity of disease manifestations, the high occurrence of STEC in RMBDs poses an important health risk for persons handling raw pet food and persons with close contact to pets fed on RMBDs, and is of concern in the field of public health.

Research – Epidemiological investigations identified an outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli serotype O26:H11 associated with pre-packed sandwiches

Cambridge Org

In October 2019, public health surveillance systems in Scotland identified an increase in the number of reported infections of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O26:H11 involving bloody diarrhoea. Ultimately, across the United Kingdom (UK) 32 cases of STEC O26:H11 stx1a were identified, with the median age of 27 years and 64% were male; six cases were hospitalised. Among food exposures there was an association with consuming pre-packed sandwiches purchased at outlets belonging to a national food chain franchise (food outlet A) [odds ratio (OR) = 183.89, P < 0.001]. The common ingredient identified as a component of the majority of the sandwiches sold at food outlet A was a mixed salad of Apollo and Iceberg lettuce and spinach leaves. Microbiological testing of food and environmental samples were negative for STEC O26:H11, although STEC O36:H19 was isolated from a mixed salad sample taken from premises owned by food outlet A. Contamination of fresh produce is often due to a transient event and detection of the aetiological agent in food that has a short-shelf life is challenging. Robust, statistically significant epidemiological analysis should be sufficient evidence to direct timely and targeted on-farm investigations. A shift in focus from testing the microbiological quality of the produce to investigating the processes and practices through the supply chain and sampling the farm environment is recommended.