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Agent: E.coli O121:H19
Weber-Morgan Health Department (Utah)
The Weber-Morgan Health Department confirms that four people have contracted
an E.coli O121:H19 infection with three of these people developing the
more severe case of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Based upon the findings
of our investigation, we have concluded that the probable source of the
contamination was iceberg lettuce prepared at the Wendy's Restaurant at
2500 N. 400 E. in North Ogden.
We believe that people may have been exposed to the contaminated lettuce
between the period of June 27th and June 30th, 2006. One of the confirmed
HUS cases (Case A) ate cheeseburgers with lettuce at the Wendy's Restaurant
for three consecutive days, June 27th through the 29th. On June 30th,
Wendy's catered a salad luncheon at the CORE Academy Conference held at
Orion Junior High School in Harrisville where more than 300 attendees
were potentially exposed. A second confirmed HUS case (Case B) attended
this conference, only on Friday, June 29th 2006, and ate the Wendy's salad.
A second attendee (Case C) of the conference was also confirmed to have
an E.coli infection.
Case A and Case C were both confirmed with identical genetic strains of
The only common exposure shared by these three cases was the iceberg lettuce.
The third HUS case (Case D) was determined to be a secondary transmission
from a self reported infected person who attended the conference.
The Weber-Morgan Health Department determined that the conference attendees
represented a known exposure group. We wanted to establish the extent
of illness among these attendees, and to determine if secondary cases
had occurred. Through the means of a phone bank, we contacted 75% of those
who attended the conference. Even though self-reported illness occurred,
we were unable to establish any clinically confirmed E.coli cases among
Part of our investigation included a thorough inspection of three food
establishments that catered to the conference. No significant food code
violations were observed. The only common food item shared by cases A,
B, and C was iceberg lettuce from Wendy's. We believe that the source
of this food borne contamination was limited to this one Wendy's restaurant.
From the time the Weber-Morgan Health Department was first notified of
the initial HUS case, we quickly determined that there was no immediate
or ongoing threat or risk to the public's health. Otherwise, we would
have immediately closed the restaurant in question, and alerted the public.
We believe that this disease outbreak is over. The transmission of this
illness is a
rare event, and knowing the incubation period of 2-8 days and the time
that has elapsed from the initial occurrence, we believe that the possibility
of any additional cases is very remote.
shigellosis in North Dakota triggers investigation
An unusually high number of Shigella infections in Rolette County, North
Dakota, has triggered a government investigation. According to Julie Goplin,
foodborne surveillance epidemiologist with the North Dakota Department
of Health, there have been 28 confirmed cases of shigellosis in Rolette
County. Ten people have been hospitalized.
As with most cases of shigellosis, finding the source is proving difficult.
The State Department of Health is following all possible leads but has
not been able to confirm or eliminate any of them. Interviews of victims
and their families have not pointed to any single potential cause. Because
Shigella can be transmitted from person to person, it is possible a food
product sickened one or a few people and the others contracted Shigella
poisoning (shigellosis) from person-to-person contact. Experts are conducting
DNA fingerprint testing to determine if one strain of Shigella is responsible
for the illnesses in Rolette County.
Most people who are infected with Shigella develop diarrhea, fever, and
stomach cramps starting a day or two after they are exposed to the bacterium.
The diarrhea is often bloody. Shigellosis usually resolves in 5 to 7 days.
Some persons who are infected may have no symptoms at all but may still
pass the Shigella to others.
In some persons, especially young children and the elderly, the diarrhea
associated with shigellosis can be so severe that the patient needs to
be hospitalized. In children under 2, severe shigellosis with high fever
may cause seizures. One type of Shigella can cause Reiter's syndrome,
which can last for months or years and can lead to chronic arthritis.
¡°The effects of a Shigella infection can be devastating,¡± commented foodborne
illness attorney Fred Pritzker, who represented Shigella victims in a
2002 jury trial against Ciatti¡¯s restaurant. ¡°The individuals affected
by the 2002 outbreak were completely incapacitated and violently ill for
weeks on end. The thorough investigation in those cases, however, ultimately
proved who was responsible.¡±
Pritzker | Ruohonen & Associates, P.A. is one of the few law firms
in the United States that practices extensively in the area of foodborne
illness litigation. The firm has collected millions of dollars on behalf
of victims of shigellosis and other foodborne illnesses.
ill after eating raw oysters
New York Times/AP
City and federal officials were cited as saying that 74 people are believed
to have gotten sick from eating raw oysters from the Pacific Northwest
that were sold in New York City restaurants and stores last month.
Outbreaks have also been reported in British Columbia, Oregon and Washington
State, which alone has recorded at least 100 cases, according to the Food
and Drug Administration.
Both the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the
Food and Drug Administration have warned people not to eat the oysters,
which are infected with naturally occurring bacteria that are most prevalent
in the summer, when water temperature rises.
A FDA spokesman was cited as saying the outbreak, caused by the bacteria
virbrio parahaemolyticus, was probably the result of the higher than usual
air temperatures on the West Coast.
In healthy people, the symptoms ?
The stories note that only 2 of the 74 cases in New York City have been
definitely tied to infected oysters from the Northwest, which are presumed
to have caused the other illnesses. There have been 6 additional cases
elsewhere in New York State.
More than 70 cases of vibriosis have been reported this year in people
who ate oysters in Washington, the highest number since 1997, when 58
cases were reported.
RAPID¡¯E.coli 2¢â Agar Granted Performance Tested Method Status by AOAC
RI RAPID¡¯E.coli 2 agar
Souce from : rapidmicrobiology.com
by Bio-Rad Laboratories, was granted Performance Tested Method status
by the AOAC Research Institute (certificate # 050601).
RAPID¡¯E.coli 2 is a chromogenic medium for detection and
enumeration of E. coli and other coliform bacteria in food in 24 hours.
It is a rapid method producing accurate and easy-to-read results. Current
methods for enumeration of E. coli and coliform bacteria can be costly
and laborious.The use of chromogenic substrates in media has lead to development
of faster and easier methods for detection, differentiation and enumeration
of target bacteria.
RAPID¡¯E.coli 2 is validated for enumeration of E. coli and other coliform
bacteria in raw ground beef, raw boneless pork, fermented sausage, processed
ham, processed turkey, frozen turkey breast, raw ground chicken, cottage
cheese, processed ricotta cheese, unpasteurized raw milk, and dry infant
formula. It is validated at two incubation temperatures, 37¡ÆC and 44¡ÆC
(cottage cheese and processed ricotta cheese are only validated at 37¡ÆC
The principle of RAPID¡¯E.coli 2 medium relies on simultaneous detection
of two enzymatic activities, Beta-D-Glucuronidase (GLUC) and Beta-DGalactosidase
(GAL). The medium contains two chromogenic substrates. One substrate is
specific to GAL and results in blue green coloration of colonies positive
for this enzyme and one substrate is specific to GLUC and results in violet
coloration of colonies positive for this enzyme.
Coliforms, other than E. coli, (GAL+/GLUC-) form blue to green colonies
while, specifically, E. coli (GAL+/GLUC+) form violet colonies. A count
of total coliforms can be obtained by adding the number of blue colonies
and the number of violet colonies. Differentiation of coliforms and specifically
E. coli is carried out by observing a simple color change reaction. Observation
of gas bubbles for differentiation is not necessary.
RAPID¡¯E.coli 2 is available in two formats, dehydrated media (Item # 356-
4024) or ready-to-use bottled media (Item # 355-5299).
E coli outbreak:
21 people fall ill (UK)
Monday July 31, 06:25 PM
Source of Article: http://uk.news.yahoo.com/
Health chiefs have announced that the number of people struck down by
an E coli outbreak has risen to 21. A five-year-old girl and an 82-year-old
woman are among those affected by the outbreak of the potentially-fatal
E coli 0157 strain centred on a butcher's shop in Leeds. Health Protection
Agency (HPA) officials said a further seven cases had been confirmed to
add to 14 already identified over the weekend. Laboratory tests traced
the source to Todd's Pork and Beef Butchers in Armley, which supplies
18 local butchers, cafes and delis, and the West Yorkshire Health Protection
Unit urged people to be vigilant. The shop has agreed to close while investigations
into the outbreak continue. The first case was discovered on June 23 and
of the 14 people confirmed as having the disease at the weekend, 13 were
from the Leeds area, with one from Castleford. Around a dozen of those
affected were taken to hospital and health bosses said the majority were
still receiving treatment. Dr Martin Schweiger, local director of the
West Yorkshire Health Protection Unit, said: "I am very concerned
that we have not got to the end of the outbreak yet and I am very concerned
that we may still get some very seriously ill people.
"The first case was on June 23 and the oldest lady only came to our
attention on Saturday morning. Usually you get one or two, then two or
three, but this is ongoing and could get very nasty. "In numerical
terms it's small-scale but we are dealing with an organism that in other
outbreaks has had quite a high death rate. "E coli 0157 has been
associated with very severe disease and obviously some of the people who
have been ill have been very ill in Leeds."
scare, restaurants stew: Weekend shut-down cost eateries thousands
San Diego Union-Tribune
Diners arriving late Saturday at Bernard'O Restaurant hoping for pan-roasted
Kurobuta pork tenderloin and duck confit and mushroom ravioli instead
left with hunger pangs intact.
Like other restaurants in San Diego's northern neighborhoods, the Rancho
Bernardo eatery was forced to close from Saturday night until Sunday evening
because of a possible contamination of the city's water supply. Bernard'O
owner Bernard Mougel was quoted as saying, "I lost up to $1,500,¡±
and that he had to keep his staff on standby Sunday in hopes the emergency
alert called by the city would be promptly lifted. The story explains
that at least 209 restaurants were ordered shut down at an estimated revenue
loss in the hundreds of thousands of dollars ? when environmental health
officials detected two potentially dangerous substances after a water
main broke in Rancho Penasquitos. Restaurants weren't the only businesses
affected. Many supermarkets closed their deli counters and removed meat
and produce that might have been tainted by contaminated water.
HACCP Alliance approves ¡°www.haccptraining.org applying HACCP principles¢â¡±
the first online retail HACCP training program
Environ Health Associates, Inc.
Roy E. Costa, R.S. M.S
Orlando? The International HACCP Alliance's primary mission is to provide
standardized educational programs which facilitate the implementation
of farm-to-table HACCP systems to ensure safer meat, poultry and food
products. To achieve its mission, the Alliance established HACCP training
program criteria and standards for program accreditation. On July 6th,
2006, the Alliance approved www.haccptraining.org ¡°Applying HACCP Principles¢â
¡° for basic training in HACCP. ¡°Applying HACCP Principles¢â¡± is the first
retail and food service level HACCP training program approved by the Alliance
and one of only 3 approved HACCP courses available on-line.
¡°We are very excited about receiving the International HACCP Alliance
seal of approval¡±, commented Mr. Roy E. Costa, R.S, M.S., president of
Environ Health Associates, Inc., author of the program. Mr. Costa added,
¡°Momentum/ETOL, Inc., our training partner at www.haccptraining.org has
done an outstanding job of automating the HACCP training process, and
now, accreditation from the HACCP Alliance validates the completeness
and relevance of the course structure¡±.
For the first time, chefs, food and beverage managers, quality assurance
professionals, regulatory personnel and any food professional needing
to understand how classic HACCP principles are applied can train on line
quickly and easily. Participants complete a HACCP plan as part of the
training. HACCP or Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point is an industry
process control program.
Accreditation by the Alliance will ensure participants that the www.haccptraining.org
¡°Applying HACCP Principles¢â¡± training program has been reviewed and meets
the requirements of the Alliance. Candidates who successfully complete
this accredited HACCP training program will receive a Certificate of Completion
from Momentum/ ETOL, Inc. displaying the Alliance Seal, which indicates
Alliance accreditation. The Alliance will keep records of all people who
complete the www.haccptraining.org ¡°Applying HACCP Principles¢â¡± course
of Americans Mistakenly Believe Fish Causes 'Mercury Poisoning' in Children
Source of Article: http://www.redorbit.com/
WASHINGTON, Aug. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly two-thirds of Americans questioned
in a new national opinion poll mistakenly believe that more than 1,000
childhood cases of mercury poisoning, from eating fish, are identified
by scientists every year in the United States. The actual number of scientifically
documented fish-related mercury poisoning cases among U.S. children each
year is zero. Fully 61 percent of respondents believed -- in error --
that at least 1,000 "childhood cases of mercury poisoning from eating
fish" are reported by U.S. scientists each year. The poll, which
sampled the opinions of 1,011 Americans, was commissioned by the nonprofit
Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) and conducted by Opinion Research Corporation.
"Americans are running scared from the fish counter, and there's
no good reason for it," said David Martosko, CCF's Director of Research.
"The health benefits from eating fish include a lower risk of heart
disease and strokes, and they are very real. But any health risks from
mercury in fish are outrageously exaggerated. That message clearly isn't
getting through to most Americans. And government officials should remind
Americans that fish is still the same brain food our mothers encouraged
us to eat." Activist groups including Oceana, the Environmental Working
Group, Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, and the Center for Science in the
Public Interest have bombarded consumers with fish-related scare campaigns.
However, the only scientifically documented cases of fish-related human
mercury poisoning occurred in Japan during the 1950s and 1960s, following
massive industrial dumping of mercury into fishing waters. The survey
of 1,011 adults nationwide was conducted by telephone between July 13
and July 16, 2006 by Opinion Research Corporation. The margin of error
is plus or minus 3 percent.
How many childhood cases of mercury poisoning from eating fish do you
think scientists identify in the United States every year? Would you say
About 100,000 10% About 50,000
12% About 10,000 18% About 1,000 21% Net 1,000+ 61% About 100 16% None
7% Don't Know / Refused 15% Net 1,000+ 61% About the Center for Consumer
The Center for Consumer Freedom
is a nonprofit coalition supported by restaurants, food companies, and
consumers, working together to promote personal responsibility and protect
consumer choices. Additional information is available at http://www.consumerfreedom.com/.
Center for Consumer Freedom
lawsuit that claimed burger made woman sick
PORTLAND, Maine A federal jury deliberated about 30 minutes before, according
to this story, ruling against a woman who sued Ohio-based Wendy's International
Inc., claiming a hamburger made her violently ill. The story explains
that Diane Roney, 57, of Standish, was seeking $83,000 in medical expenses
and lost wages, as well as additional damages from Wendy's, based in the
Columbus suburb of Dublin. Her husband sought money for loss of companionship
and support from his wife. Roney, an elementary school teacher, was hospitalized
for 12 days in 2001 after eating two bites of a bacon cheeseburger at
a Wendy's in Saco. Her lawyer said she was sickened by E. coli bacteria
and could have died. Wendy's claimed Roney's illness had nothing to do
with the food, and that her symptoms were not consistent with E. coli.
Wendy's attorney Joshua Vincent told U.S. District Court jurors that Roney's
medical records showed evidence her illness was caused by a possible enzyme
deficiency, which also may have hospitalized her nine months earlier.
Bob Bertini, Wendy's spokesman, was cited as saying the quick verdict
speaks for itself, adding, "We feel our food safety procedures have
FALL IN MEAT
Source of Article: http://www.meatnews.com/
UNITED STATES: USDA says levels of the carcinogen have dropped in pork
and poultry but remained constant in beef.
Although dioxin levels in U.S. poultry and hogs have steadily decreased
over the past decade, levels of the toxin in cattle have remained quite
flat, according to a survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture
(USDA). Ken Hammond, a USDA spokesman, said USDA researchers standardized
a series of small data surveys conducted from 1994 to 1996, for comparison
with a comprehensive survey conducted from 2002 to 2003. The more recent
survey included dioxin-like compounds such as polychlorinated biphenols.
The inclusion of the other compounds makes the data more positive. In
poultry and pigs, dioxin levels declined 20 to 80 percent during the period
between the surveys, in large part because of efforts to eliminate dioxin
in feeds. However, cattle dioxin levels either stayed the same or barely
decreased over that same time period. The USDA researchers also traced
two pigs with high dioxin levels (more than two pg per g lipid weight)
back to farms that were only approximately 100 miles apart that used the
same dioxin-contaminated mineral feed supplement. The failure of dioxin
levels to fall in cattle was more difficult to explain. The researchers
said more investigation is necessary to isolate the reasons for the variation
in the animals, which could include background deposition from power-plant
emissions or even the age of the cattle at slaughter. Older cattle tend
to accumulate more dioxin. Dioxin is a family of halogenated organic compounds,
which accumulate in body fat of living organisms. Dioxin is a common contaminant
of a number of products, including flame retardants, and is very stable
in the environment. Researchers have linked it to birth defects, damage
to the immune system, diabetes, and other human health problems.
still found in Coke, Pepsi in India
Thu Aug 3
Source of Article: http://news.yahoo.com/
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - An environmental group said on Wednesday bottles
of Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc. soft drinks in India still contained
traces of pesticide, highlighting weak food safety laws in the country.
"If soft drinks are the choice of millions, the least that can be
done is that these drinks are regulated," said Sunita Narain, director
of the Delhi-based Center for Science and Environment (CSE), at a news
conference. A 2003 study by CSE briefly dented the companies' sales when
it said it found levels of pesticide in the companies' soft drinks in
excess of international standards. That study was endorsed by India's
parliament though the soft drink majors said at the time the drinks were
safe to consume and they repeated their stand on Wednesday. But despite
government vows of introducing legal limits for toxins in soft drinks,
not enough had been done since 2003, CSE said. The group called upon consumers
to avoid drinking Coke and Pepsi and other soft drink brands produced
by the two U.S. firms until they cleaned up the product. The Indian Soft
Drink Manufacturers Association, of which PepsiCo and Coca-Cola are members,
said the soft drinks were safe to consume. "The soft drinks manufactured
in India comply with stringent international norms and all applicable
national regulations," the industry body said in a statement. The
CSE said that pesticides are also present in other foods and drinks routinely
consumed by Indians. The new study found three to five different pesticides
in 57 samples of Coca-Cola and PepsiCo drinks produced in 12 Indian states,
CSE said. The average amount of pesticide residues found in the samples
was 11.85 parts per billion (ppb), 24 times higher than the permitted
limit of 0.5 ppb recently drafted - but not yet implemented-- by the Bureau
of Indian Standards, a government agency that sets safety and hygiene
standards for commercial products.
In some cases, the levels were up to 200 times the limit.
The study in 2003 found pesticide residues on average 34 times higher
than the 0.5ppb limit.
Officials at the Ministry of Health were unavailable for comment on the
milk cuts children's allergies
Daily Mail (UK)
Drinking ¡®raw¡¯ milk could reduce children¡¯s risk of suffering allergy-related
conditions such as eczema and hayfever, new research suggests.
British academics investigating why farmers¡¯ families suffer fewer allergies
than others found that even occasional consumption of raw ? unpasteurised
? milk had a powerful effect.
The story says that just a couple of glasses a week reduced a child¡¯s
chances of developing eczema by almost 40 per cent and hayfever by 10
Blood tests revealed that drinking raw milk more than halves levels of
histamine, a chemical pumped out by cells in response to an allergen.
It is thought the milk contains bacteria that help to prime the immune
But the findings, published in the Journal Of Allergy, Asthma And Immunology,
are controversial because unpasteurised milk is also a source of potentially
fatal food-poisoning bugs.
Raw milk was banned from sale in Scotland 20 years ago, and can be sold
by farmers in England and Wales only with labels clearly warning of the
The story says that when researchers at the University of London analysed
the diet and health of 4,700 primary school children in Shropshire, they
found that those who lived on farms had significantly fewer symptoms of
asthma, hayfever and eczema.
The study looked at whether children were breast-fed and how often they
were in contact with animals or played in barns. The greatest benefits
were found to come from drinking raw milk.
Blood samples showed raw milk drinkers had 60 per cent lower levels of
an antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE).
But some experts are warning parents that any benefits are still far outweighed
by the chances of their child becoming infected with organisms such as
E. coli and campylobacter, two of the main food-poisoning bugs.
Professor Hugh Pennington, a retired microbiologist who has investigated
some of Britain¡¯s worst food poisoning outbreaks, was quoted as saying,
"Even if there are benefits in terms of allergies, the risks from
drinking unpasteurised milk are just too great. Pasteurisation is there
as a safety net to kill off any bugs."
Unpasteurised cow¡¯s or goat¡¯s milk is sold as ¡®green top¡¯ bottled milk,
it accounts for about one per cent of milk sales in England and Wales
and is available only direct from farms, or through farmers¡¯ markets.
It is estimated that about 130 dairy farms sell raw milk.
The Chartered Institute Of Environmental Health is pushing for a ban on
sales of unpasteurised milk in England.
John Barron, from Beaconhill Farm in Herefordshire, was cited as saying
demand is growing for raw milk produced by his 40-strong herd of Jersey
He sells about 50 litres a week, at ¡Ì1 a litre, from his farm and through