Research UK – Campylobacter levels continue to fall

FSA Campylobacter

The top nine retailers across the UK have today published their latest testing results on campylobacter contamination in UK-produced fresh whole chickens (covering samples tested from July to September 2018).

The latest figures show that on average, across the major retailers, 3.5% of chickens tested positive for the highest level of contamination. These are the chickens carrying more than 1,000 colony forming units per gram (cfu/g) of campylobacter. The corresponding figure for the previous set of results (April – June 2018) was 3.7%, while for the first publication (July-September 2017) it was 4.6%.

Michael Wight, Director of Policy at the Food Standards Agency said:

‘The latest figures show further progress being made in our efforts to reduce campylobacter in UK-produced fresh whole chickens.

‘We will continue to build on these encouraging results, working closely with retailers and smaller poultry businesses to bring levels down to as low as reasonably achievable.

‘Thanks again to the major retailers and poultry producers for continuing to tackle campylobacter and for working alongside the FSA in the publication of the results.’


The average percentage of chickens in each band of contamination from the retailers’ own data can be found in the table below.

Contamination levels July-September 2017 October-December 2017 January-March 2018 April-June 2018 July-September 2018
cfu/g less than 10 48.7% 57.7% 59.1% 60.6% 58.8%
cfu/g 10-99 28.3% 22.0% 23.9% 23.3% 26.7%
cfu/g 100-1000 18.4% 16.7% 13.2% 12.5% 11%
cfu/g over 1000 4.6% 3.6% 3.8% 3.7% 3.5%

USA – Norovirus outbreak on Crystal Cruises’ Crystal Symphony voyage

Outbreak News Today norovirus-2(1)

Federal health officials are reporting an investigation into a norovirus outbreak o a recent Crystal Cruises voyage.

At least 47 passengers and crew onboard the Crystal Symphony were was sickened with vomiting and diarrhea due to norovirus. The voyage date were Nov. 8-Dec. 2.

Specimens were collected and tested onboard using a norovirus rapid test; results were positive for norovirus. The specimens have been sent to CDC for laboratory testing.

Crystal Cruises and the crew aboard the ship reported the following actions:

  • Increased cleaning and disinfection procedures according to their outbreak prevention and response plan.
  • Collected stool specimens from passenger and crew gastrointestinal illness cases and sent them to the CDC Calicivirus laboratory for testing.
  • Sent multiple daily reports of gastrointestinal illness cases to the Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP).
  • Consulted with VSP about sanitation cleaning procedures and reporting ill cases.

Singapore – Mandarin Orchard food poisoning: Main ballroom forced to close after 175 fall ill at 4 separate events

Channel News Asia

SINGAPORE: Banquet operations at Mandarin Orchard Singapore’s main ballroom have been suspended with immediate effect after 175 people fell ill with food poisoning and nine were hospitalised, the authorities said late on Wednesday (Dec 5).

The 175 cases were linked to four separate events held at the Grand Ballroom at Mandarin Orchard Hotel between Dec 1 and 3, said the Ministry of Health (MOH), National Environment Agency (NEA) and Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA).

The nine people who were hospitalised are in stable condition.

Investigations are ongoing, said the authorities.

As all the affected people had attended events or eaten meals at the hotel’s Grand Ballroom, and in view of “suspected ongoing transmission,” authorities said the NEA had also suspended the banquet kitchen serving the Grand Ballroom.

The hotel has also been instructed to close the Grand Ballroom to conduct a thorough clean-up and disinfection.

RASFF Alerts – Salmonella – Poultry Meat Preparation – Chilled Mussels – Black Pepper – Ground Chilli – Whole Egg Powder – Ruccola – Sesame Seeds – Whitish Sesame Seeds – Chicken Meat Preparation


RASFF-Salmonella enterica ser. Paratyphi B (presence /25g) in frozen poultry meat preparation from the Netherlands in France

RASFF-Salmonella (presence /25g) in chilled mussels from Spain in France

RASFF-Salmonella (present /25g) in black pepper from Spain in Germany

RASFF-Salmonella (in 3 out of 5 samples /25g) in ground chili from India in Spain

RASFF-Salmonella (present /25g) in whole egg powder from Slovakia in Hungary

RASFF-Salmonella enterica ser. Napoli (presence /25g) in ruccola from Italy in Norway

RASFF-Salmonella (presence /25g) in sesame seed from Nigeria in the Netherlands

RASFF-Salmonella enterica ser. Bongori (presence in 1 out of 5 samples /25g) in whitish sesame seeds from Sudan in Greece

RASFF-Salmonella (presence in 1 out of 5 samples /25g) in whitish sesame seeds from Sudan in Greece

RASFF-Salmonella (presence /25g) in frozen chicken meat preparation from Brazil in the Netherlands

Belgium – Belgian agency issues warning about meat linked to Salmonella outbreak

Food Safety News

Food Poisoning Salmonella

Authorities in Belgium have warned that certain meat products could be contaminated with Salmonella following processing of potentially contaminated raw materials from the Netherlands.

The Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FASFC) said an alert through the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) shows fresh meat used as raw material that could be contaminated with Salmonella Goldcoast was delivered to Belgium from the Netherlands.

This RASFF alert covers a suspected foodborne outbreak caused by pig meat from the Netherlands. As well as Belgium, 14 other countries received pig meat products. These are Austria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Romania, Spain and the United Kingdom.

According to figures from the national public health institute of Belgium, Sciensano, there has not been an increase detected in the number of infections with Salmonella in 2018 compared to the previous year.

RASFF Alert- Campylobacter -Roasted Chicken Breast


RASFF-Campylobacter ( <100 CFU/g) in frozen roasted chicken breast from Poland in France

RASFF Alert – Mycotoxin -DON – Deoxynivalenol – Gluten Free Oatcakes


RASFF-deoxynivalenol (DON) (1461 µg/kg – ppb) in gluten free oatflakes from the United Kingdom in Hungary