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days of hell' for US victim of German E. coli
Source : http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5irpE8YEZQLrnnhmdwxTN-VWlZuqg?docId=41ebabe49fe243e1a4331b5ccd2ac0b0
By MIKE STOBBE (July 24, 2011)
In early May, John Meyer stayed at a lakeside hotel in Hamburg, Germany.
He attended a business conference. He went sailing. And he became one
of the few U.S. victims in one of the worst food poisoning outbreaks
in recent world history.
Meyer went to the hospital a week later with what turned out to be a
rare and deadly strain of E. coli bacteria that caused thousands of
illnesses, mostly in Germany. He would spend the next month in a Massachusetts
hospital, much of the time a delirium, while doctors worked around the
clock to save his life.
Meyer is one of six U.S. cases linked to the German outbreak and he's
the first to talk about his terrible experience, speaking to The Associated
Press by phone from his home in Franklin, Mass.
"It was 30 days of hell," said his wife, Loreen.
Meyer was in Hamburg as that city was emerging as the epicenter of a
food poisoning disaster that would be among the deadliest in memory.
More than 4,000 people in Germany and other countries became ill since
the outbreak was detected in May, including several hundred who developed
a serious complication that can lead to kidney failure. At least 53
The outbreak ultimately was traced to a batch of fenugreek seeds from
Egypt. The seeds, which taste a bit like burnt sugar, are sometimes
used as a spice in cooking. Fenugreek sprouts are used in salads.
Meyer believes he must have eaten fenugreek while attending a business
meeting at the Hamburg hotel. He thinks the tainted seeds, or sprouts,
could have been in the fresh fruits and vegetables at a breakfast bar.
There would be some irony if that was the case: It's hard to find good
produce during hurried business trips, and Meyer had welcomed the opportunity
to eat healthy.
"In this case, it backfired," he said.
Meyer's lawyer provided the AP with lab results and government investigation
reports into his illness. Massachusetts state health officials also
confirmed he was infected with the rare German E. coli strain. Meyer
declined to allow his doctor to speak to the AP and he would not agree
to be photographed.
Some common forms of food poisoning can cause symptoms within a day
of eating tainted food, but Meyer said he felt no ill effects during
a six-day European business trip that included two days in Hamburg and
a brief stop in France afterward. He returned home on May 13 feeling
However, this unique and dangerous E. coli bug takes a week to announce
its presence. Meyer first became aware something was wrong on May 18.
He was at his desk at Senior Aerospace that morning when his abdomen
At 52, he is a cyclist who eats two Greek yogurts each day. He says
he's never had food poisoning, but on that day he went home in pain.
By midafternoon, he was hit with bloody diarrhea and a dawning sense
of alarm. "Whatever it was, it wasn't a minor thing," Meyer
said. His wife Loreen, a high school biology teacher, was home by then
and worried. She took him to nearby Milford Regional Medical Center.
Doctors there saw him quickly but weren't able to diagnose him. They
recommended follow-up with a gastroenterologist the next day and sent
him home for the night. But when he got home the diarrhea accelerated.
"Every hour, and then it started getting even closer," he
Loreen took him back to the hospital that night and he was admitted.
Though it all happened less than two months ago, Meyer's memory is fuzzy
on what happened the next several weeks. He had intense stomach pain
and his kidneys stopped working. Doctors put him on fluids to rehydrate
him. They treated him with different antibiotics, and cleansed his blood
using dialysis and other measures.
The infection affected his mind. He recalled staring at a clock in his
hospital room and not being able to tell time. "I was thinking,
'Why do they have this strange clock in here, and why is it set up differently?'"
Meyer said he grew paranoid, believing that his doctors had written
him off for dead. Doctors had not given up on him, but were perplexed.
A test for the most dangerous form of E. coli familiar to Americans
came back negative. They sent specimens for additional analysis to lab
with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lab in Atlanta.
In early June, CDC confirmed it was the German strain.
Around that time, he had begun to recover. His kidneys were improving.
His awareness returned. He was moved out of intensive care more than
three weeks later, and on June 17 he was sent home.
But he was far from normal. He and his wife said his muscles had atrophied,
his red blood cell count was still down, and the lining of his colon
had become a layer of dead tissue, unable to absorb nutrients. A man
who had been an athletic 6-foot 2 and 185 pounds was down to 162 pounds
and able to walk only short distances using a cane. He was hungry, though.
Voracious, even, eating two breakfasts, two lunches and two dinners
"He had such a huge appetite because he was still not able to absorb
as many nutrients," his wife said.
Now he's up to 170 pounds and working part days from home. He's been
in physical therapy and regaining his strength, though he's months away
from the kind of vigorous exercise he used to do.
Meyer and his wife contacted a local attorney, saying they were worried
about possible problems with getting health insurance to pay his hospital
bills. That turned out not to be an issue. But the attorney referred
the couple to Bill Marler, a Seattle lawyer considered the nation's
pre-eminent plaintiff's attorney in food poisoning cases.
Marler is looking into the possibility of a lawsuit, with potential
targets including the company that owns the Hamburg hotel where Meyer
He called Meyer's suffering "horrific," and echoed Meyer's
wife in worrying that he may suffer long-term problems.
For his part, Meyer feels lucky to have survived, crediting his doctors
for saving his life and his good health and fitness before the illness
for helping him get through it.
"Many unfortunate people didn't survive," he said. "It
really is a frightening thing."
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/07/is-europes-outbreak-over/
by News Desk (Jul 27, 2011)
News sources were reporting Tuesday that the E. coli O104:H4 outbreak
that killed as many as 50 people and sickened thousands has ended. The
Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the German public health body, informed
the public that the last reported case occurred three weeks ago.
According to an article by the Associated Foreign Press, RKI issued
a statement saying, "As the RKI has not had any new infections
linked to this outbreak reported since then, the RKI considers the outbreak
to be over."
Although health officials in Germany believe that they are finally in
the clear, they will continue to monitor for any additional reports
of illness caused by the bacteria.
In its latest update on the E. coli outbreak in Europe, the European
Centre for Disease Prevention and Control reported Tuesday that its
case count stands at 3,900 illnesses, including 781 with hemolytic uremic
syndrome (HUS), and 46 deaths. An Arizona man who had traveled in Germany
also died from an O104:H4 infection.
The ECDC totals include confirmed and probable cases. The agency does
not include another 120 cases of HUS and four deaths that are suspected
as being part of the outbreak, which has been linked to consumption
of raw, organic sprouts grown from contaminated fenugreek seeds.
The last known date of illness onset in a patient with a confirmed E.
coli O104:H4 infection was July 7, the ECDC said.
deadly strain of E. coli is illegal
Source : http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/food/2011-07-25-ecoli-testing_n.htm
By Elizabeth Weise(July, 27, 2011)
The food-safety world knows there are a half-dozen or more lethal forms
of E. coli ending up in our meat or on our leafy greens that are so
virulent they can send people to the hospital and even kill them.
But in the United States only one, E. coli O157:H7, is officially termed
an adulterant, meaning any raw ground beef that tests positive for it
cannot be sold for human consumption. There's no requirement that companies
test for the other lethal strains, and it's not illegal for them to
be in the food.
And that, says a growing chorus of lawmakers, food-safety and consumer
advocates, needs to change. But attempts by these legislators and interest
groups to broaden the types of E. coli strains that are specifically
subject to federal regulation so far haven't succeeded.
"We cannot afford to wait for a tragic outbreak before taking action,"
Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., said earlier this month in a letter to the
secretary of Agriculture.
In the absence of specific federal oversight, however, some companies
have begun their own testing for these pathogens to protect consumers
and their own bottom lines.
First out of the chute was Costco, which began testing its ground beef
two months ago. Beef Products Inc., the nation's largest supplier of
lean beef, began testing on July 18.
There's also movement in the produce and leafy greens world, where multiple
producers and retailers have been testing for E. coli O157:H7 since
the spinach outbreak that almost wiped out the leafy green vegetable
market in 2006.
In the past few months, newly available tests have made it possible
to check for a broader number of the microbes and they now include the
harmful group of E. coli strains beyond O157:H7 known as the Big Six.
The reasons these bugs aren't currently regulated are a mix of politics,
money and plain biology - the bacteria are constantly evolving and turning
up in new and nastier forms, making writing rules about them a bit of
For example, the German E. coli variant that sickened more than 4,075
in Europe and killed 50, including one Arizona resident who traveled
to Germany, wasn't known before this spring. It's only the latest in
a list of E. coli types that can get into food and kill people.
If you've been hit by one of the unregulated forms of E. coli, you know
they can be as nasty as the one that is illegal. Just ask Richard Cardinale.
The 19-year-old Ohio State University student was studying for a math
exam last year when he got stomach pains "so unbearable" he
couldn't do anything but lie in bed.
By morning he knew something was seriously wrong, and he went to the
emergency room. He was having bloody diarrhea and was in such pain he
couldn't stand up. "It was scary, it was so severe," he says.
Cardinale spent the night in the hospital. It took him more than a week
and a half to recover.
The infection that laid him low was a lesser-known E. coli, O145. That
particular outbreak sickened as many as 33 people in Ohio, Michigan
and New York. It was later linked to romaine lettuce. Cardinale was
one of several students at Ohio State who were sickened after eating
at a newly opened salad bar on campus.
Why only O157:H7?
There are literally thousands of forms of E. coli that live harmlessly
in the guts of mammals. But in 1993, the E. coli O157:H7 variant, which
had been seen only a few times before, caused an outbreak linked to
undercooked hamburgers at Jack in the Box restaurants on the West Coast
that killed four children and sickened more than 700. USDA decided to
single out E. coli O157:H7 because it was especially virulent and seemed
to cause illness when present even in very small amounts in hamburger.
It can cause abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, kidney failure and death.
So, in 1994, the Department of Agriculture, which oversees meat safety,
declared that E. coli O157:H7 in ground beef was an adulterant. Beef
producers have to have systems in place to eliminate it, and cook, treat
or destroy any product that contained it. That's a different stance
than the one taken by the Food and Drug Administration, which oversees
pretty much all foods but meat. On July 3, FDA, in the middle of the
German E. coli outbreak, made a low-key statement that any strain of
E. coli that makes humans acutely ill in food was illegal. It didn't
go so far as to call them an adulterant, but made clear they weren't
allowed in any foods the agency oversaw, which is most ready-to-eat
products. The catch is that the FDA doesn't test products, so there's
no way to know when a product is contaminated. The Food Safety Modernization
Act, which begins to go into effect later this year, will require companies
to show they're putting safeguards into place, but doesn't specifically
mention these pathogens.
If all this seems a little confusing, it is. Food-safety advocates want
both the USDA and the FDA to agree that these most common forms of E.
coli known to harm humans should be labeled as adulterants.
As it stands now, any meat that tests positive for the O157:H7 form
of E. coli has to be removed from the market. But for other types of
E. coli that are known to harm humans, it takes an illness to trigger
a recall, says Nancy Donley, of STOP Foodborne Illness, a food-safety
advocacy group started by parents who've lost children to these pathogens.
"This is clearly not as it should be," she says.
The push to get these debilitating but non-O157:H7 forms of E. coli
regulated has been coming for a long time. The Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention has long required they be reported.
Petitions to label these other forms of E. coli as adulterants came
from petitions filed in 2009 by Seattle food-safety lawyer Bill Marler
and in February of 2010 by the STOP Foodborne Illness group.
Then in January the USDA submitted a request to the White House Office
of Management and Budget so that it could create new rules on these
E. coli subtypes.
OMB is "actively working to move this through the standard process,"
says spokeswoman Margaret Reilly.
Now, members of Congress are losing patience. Rep. DeLauro has asked
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to declare the Big Six as adulterants
in ground beef. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., last month introduced
legislation that would require the USDA to target all high-risk pathogens
and all currently unregulated strains of E. coli found in the meat supply
that have been proved to cause food-borne illnesses. She has also asked
OMB to allow the USDA to require testing for the strains.
Industry moves ahead
But as tests become available, some companies aren't waiting for the
feds to act. In the last six months, test kits for leafy greens have
become available for the Big Six E. coli variants from IEH Laboratories
in Lake Forest Park, Wash.; DuPont Qualicon in Wilmington Del.; and
BioControl Systems in Bellevue, Wash.; and others are in the works.
For ground beef, they're in late testing phase or became available in
the past two months. In just the past two weeks, tests for the German
E. coli O104:H4 variant hit the market.
IEH Laboratories has been testing for a broad range of these pathogenic
E. colis for years now. "We had been finding a lot of these things
in products right and left," says President Mansour Samadpour.
Most forms of E. coli are harmless, but they're known for their ability
to grab genes and thus borrow attributes from other organisms. The O157:H7
strain grabbed a gene that produces the Shiga toxin. The German E. coli
variant not only has Shiga toxin but another that helps it latch onto
cells in the walls of the gut, so the toxins build up and destroy the
The meat industry says it's too early to declare the various dangerous
E. coli subtypes as adulterants.
"We don't have a true baseline determining the prevalence of these
organisms in the beef supply," says Betsy Booren of the American
Meat Institute (AMI) Foundation, the research arm of AMI. Without knowing
how common they are, it's impossible to say whether they should be considered
adulterants, she says.
AMI believes that testing for E. coli O157:H7 in many ways takes the
place of testing for a broader range of E. coli variants, because if
you get a positive for E. coli O157:H7, you know there's been fecal
contamination and so other variants might be there as well.
National Cattlemen's Beef Association research Vice President J.O. "Bo"
Reagan says the group supports "collaborative food-safety research
to ensure we have the latest science and knowledge to guide our industry
forward." Whether a company wants to test or not should be its
own decision, he says.
Why is there push-back against testing? One reason is cost, says STOP's
Donley. Mandatory testing costs money; so does correcting a problem
if one is found.
In meat, contaminated product can be cooked and sold, but it's worth
a lot less than fresh meat, Donley says. That's why FDA and USDA need
to step in, she says: "We're counting on these agencies to put
the public's health and safety first, and it can't be concerned on the
industry's bottom line."
IV Fluids Crucial in Battling E. Coli
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/07/iv-fluids-could-head-off-hus-in-children/
by Gretchen Goetz( Jul 27, 2011)
Of the approximately 1,000
children who suffer from E. coli O157:H7 infections each year, 15 to
20 percent develop the life-threatening kidney disease HUS -- hemolytic
uremic syndrome. But an important new study indicates that patients
who receive fluids intravenously early in the course of the illness
are less likely to develop this serious complication.
Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis (WUSL) medical center
analyzed the cases of 50 patients under the age of 18 who were treated
for HUS at 12 pediatric hospitals in the U.S. and Scotland. They found
that 68 percent became unable to urinate, a catastrophic step in the
However, of the 25 patients who received no IV fluids within 4 days
of getting sick, 84 percent stopped urinating. Of the other 25 patients
who did get IV fluids right away, only 52 percent stopped urinating.
Other factors did not seem to make a difference.
"If kids were given any IV fluids in the first 4 days of illness,
they were more likely to continue peeing and have decreased complications.
They were less likely to need to go on dialysis. Their hospitalization
courses were shorter. They just did better," said Christina Hickey,
a third year resident at WUSL Children's Hospital and lead author of
HUS develops when the harmful Shiga toxins produced by E. coli O157:H7
bacteria destroy the tissue of small blood vessels, which clog and damage
red blood cells that cannot squeeze through the obstructed passages.
The kidney, which needs adequate bloodflow to filter out waste, becomes
compromised and the patient can no longer secrete urine.
HUS is the most common cause of acute kidney failure in infants and
young children, and more than half the children with HUS require dialysis.
But as the recent E. coli outbreak in Europe has demonstrated, adults
infected by pathogenic E. coli are also susceptible to HUS.
Hickey says the increased blood flow provided by sodium-containing,
intravenous fluid, which expands blood vessels, could decrease the odds
for oliguria, or low urine output. Oral fluids aren't effective, because
E. coli patients are experiencing such profuse bouts of diarrhea, and
may also be vomiting, that they can't remain hydrated on their own.
In a story by the Washington University in St. Louis Newsroom, Hickey
explained: "HUS is like a heart attack to the kidneys. What we're
trying to do is make sure the kidneys get enough blood flow. By giving
intravenous fluids, we try to keep those kidneys working and to keep
these children urinating. We think this will have a substantial impact
on reducing the severity of kidney failure in these kids."
The study showed that the ability of the young patients' kidneys to
fend off the negative effects of the disease directly correlated to
the amount of IV fluids the children had received.
Preventing the development of HUS is crucial in the course of an E.
coli infection, because there is no way to treat the kidney disease
once it occurs, and no way to lessen the severity of kidney injury it
causes. According to the study, administering IV fluids immediately
after the onset of bloody diarrhea, a common symptom of an E. coli O157:H7
infection, could reduce a child's chances of developing an illness that
becomes a wait-and-see game once it has taken hold.
Hickey says children with bloody diarrhea should be examined immediately
by a health-care provider. There is a narrow window of opportunity in
which IV fluids must be administered before it's too late.
"If a child is identified early as having an E. coli O157:H7 infection,
we think that intravenous fluids can help protect the kidney and possibly
help that child avoid dialysis," says Hickey. "The important
thing is for providers to identify the kids at risk for E. coli O157:H7
infection early," says Hickey.
The study authors point out that early diagnosis is sometimes difficult
because doctors must wait for the results of microbiological tests of
stool specimens to confirm whether a patient has E. coli. More rapid
testing is needed, the authors note, in order to avoid this delay.
They also urge doctors to recognize the signs of an E. coli infection
and take swift measures to diagnose a patient.
"We considered the possibility that providers hesitated to give
fluids to children who were on the verge of developing HUS," the
study says. "However, half or fewer of the children in this cohort
underwent any testing, received any intravenous fluids, or were admitted
to any hospital in the first 4 days of illness, well before HUS is diagnosed.
Such inaction does not reflect major provider concerns about impending
renal failure at the initial encounter."
This research builds on the findings of a previous study, which also
showed that administering IV fluids can curb the downward spiral leading
to kidney failure in E. coli O157:H7 infected patients. However, that
study was confined to 29 patients under the age of 10 in Seattle, while
this one examined children of all ages in hospitals in St. Louis; Seattle;
Sacramento; Albuquerque; Little Rock; Milwaukee; Cincinnati; Indianapolis;
Memphis; Columbus, Ohio; and Glasgow, Scotland.
Given the findings of this research, the authors note with dismay that
giving IV fluids to E. coli patients is not already standard procedure.
"It is concerning that 14 of the 39 subjects who were evaluated
during the first 4 days of illness received no intravenous fluids, and
of those who did, few received the volume or sodium content we have
recommended," the study says. "Opportunities to provide volume
expansion in that critical interval appear, therefore, to have been
The team's findings were released last week, as doctors in Europe continued
to treat patients of the recent outbreak of E. coli O104:H4 there, where
as many as 900 of the almost 4,000 outbreak victims developed HUS.
This study was released ahead of its scheduled publication time in hopes
that it might provide guidance to the European community. That epidemic
was caused by a different strain of E. coli than the one examined in
this paper, but has similar effects.
"Because of the important public health implications of this study,
we have decided to publish this article quickly online ahead of print,"
says a note from the editor.
Hickey's St. Louis collaborators were Dr. Robert J. Rothbaum, the Centennial
Professor of Pediatrics, and Dr. Anne M. Beck, associate professor of
pediatrics, both at Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. Phillip
I. Tarr, the Melvin E. Carnahan Professor of Pediatrics and director
of the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, supervised Hickey on
the study and is senior author of the paper.
The study, "Early Volume Expansion during Diarrhea and Relative
Nephroprotection During Subsequent Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome,"
was published July 22, 2011, in Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent
Lion mark eggs given salmonella outbreak, BEIC roars
Source : http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/Quality-Safety/Stick-to-Lion-mark-eggs-given-salmonella-outbreak-BEIC-roars
By Graham Holter(Jul,25, 2011)
The British Egg Industry Council (BEIC) is advising food manufacturers
and caterers to stick to British eggs bearing the Lion mark, after a
new salmonella scare linked to Spanish eggs.
The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has linked outbreaks of salmonella
in northwest England and the West Midlands to contaminated Spanish eggs.
Almost 140 people have been affected.
The bug, S. Enteritidis PT 14b, involves eggs from a single supplier
in Spain, the HPA believes, which were mainly supplied to catering establishments.
The agency has been in touch with the Spanish authorities, which are
now said to be heat-treating eggs to kill any salmonella that could
be present. Investigations in the UK are continuing but all supplies
linked to the Spanish producer have been taken out of circulation.
The BEIC told FoodManufacture.co.uk that the risk to food manufacturers
is smaller, due to pasteurisation of eggs during the processing of products
such as mayonnaise. However, the council warned that eggs carrying salmonella
could cause cross-contamination problems in food factories.
Highlighting previous issues with Spanish eggs, the council said in
a statement: "The outbreak follows a fatal outbreak of salmonella
food poisoning in 2002, which was also linked to Spanish eggs.
"In 2004, Spanish eggs were linked to a food poisoning outbreak
at a caf? in central London, with one third of the Spanish eggs used
by the caf? testing positive for salmonella.
"An outbreak in a restaurant in Kent in 2005 was also linked to
Spanish eggs after owners purchased a batch of Spanish eggs from an
'Infected, imported eggs'
The BEIC also cited the 2009 salmonella outbreak in England, which involved
a strain of salmonella, S. Enteritidis PT 14b, which has not been found
in egg-laying flocks in the UK.
The British Lion code of practice includes vaccination of hens against
salmonella. BEIC chairman Andrew Parker said: "It is unbelievable
that British consumers are still being put at risk by imported eggs.
"There are plenty of high quality British eggs available, yet UK
caterers think that it's OK to risk their customers' health by buying
cheap, infected, imported eggs."
Milks - Is the other better?
Source : http://www.marlerblog.com/legal-cases/two-raw-milks---is-the-other-better/
by Bill Marler ( July 25, 2011)
Last week I posted "Two Raw Milks - one for the Pasteurizer and
one in the Raw." The idea behind the post was to recognize that
several of the outbreaks linked to raw milk in the past few years were
from milk that had been intended to be pasteurized - presumably from
a CAFO, and therefore suspect. However, for several of the outbreaks
that I have been involved in over the last years, the milk consumed
by my clients came from the other milk - that is raw milk intended to
be consumed that way. It did not work out too well for that milk, or
my clients, either.
Simsbury Town Farm Dairy
On July 16, 2008, the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CDPH)
was investigating two cases of HUS as part of its routine surveillance.
Interviews conducted in these investigations revealed that both children
had consumed raw milk in the week before the onset of their illnesses.
Both children had consumed raw milk produced by the Simsbury Town Farm
Dairy. CDPH notified the Connecticut Department of Agriculture (CDA),
and opened an investigation. In the following two weeks five additional
confirmed and seven additional probable cases of E. coli O157:NM infection,
each associated with consumption of raw milk from the Simsbury Town
As part of the investigation of the outbreak, CDA conducted an environmental
inspection of the Simsbury Town Farm Dairy. CDA found a number of troubling
practices at the dairy. These included: manual bottling of raw milk
directly from the bulk tank; failure to cap valves; an improper seal
around the shaft of the transport tank; and a biofilm protein residue
found inside the transport tank. In addition, investigators found a
number of "poor hygienic practices" at the dairy. Among these
was the storage of a stainless steel milk tank in an exposed unsanitary
bucket. In addition, investigators found a lack of hand soap, a lack
of hot water and the hand-washing sink, and soiled floors. Flies were
observed in the bulk milk storage tank room. The dairy workers were
unable to identify the dairy's sanitization process for glass milk bottles
that were re-used. It was also noted that the glass bottles from the
dairy did not feature the statutorily required consumer advisory language.
A laboratory study was also conducted. Of the six patients that cultured
positive for E. coli O157:NM, 5 had a "genetic fingerprint"
that was indistinguishable. The sixth varied very slightly on one test.
Samples of feces from the cows at the dairy were also tested. One of
the tests was positive for E. coli O157:NM of a strain matching that
of the group of five patients. The CDPH concluded that "several
findings from this investigation indicated that consumption of raw milk
from Farm X [Simsbury] was the cause of the outbreak." Three of
the consumers developed HUS.
Alexandre Eco Farms - 2008
On October 2, 2008, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH)
issued a report linking an outbreak of Campylobacter illnesses to unpasteurized
milk from Alexandre Eco Farms Dairy. The report was the result of an
investigation commenced on July 14, 2008, when Dr. Thomas Martinelli,
the County Health Officer for Del Norte County, California reported
four cases of laboratory confirmed Campylobacter infections and five
additional cases of diarrhea in Del Norte County residents. Eight of
the original nine sick individuals were members of the Alexandre Eco
Farms "cow-leasing" program. Eight of these individuals had
consumed milk produced on the farm. The ninth sick individual worked
with cattle on the Alexandre Eco Farms Dairy. One of the eight individuals
who were sick, Mari Tardiff, had already been hospitalized with GBS,
following the onset of acute gastroenteritis after consumption of the
As part of the investigation, health department officials retrieved
a refrigerated carton of partially consumed Alexandre Eco Farms milk
from Mari Tardiff's home. Mari had consumed a portion of the milk before
her illness. The specimen tested positive for Campylobacter jejuni DNA
using a test called polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Testing indicated
that multiple strains of Campylobacter jejuni were present in the milk.
Del Norte County officials eventually identified 16 cases of Campylobacter
jejuni associated with the outbreak. Fifteen of those were persons who
consumed milk from Alexandre Eco Farms Dairy. The 16th case was the
farm employee. CDPH and Del Norte county officials concluded that "the
available epidemiologic and laboratory data support the conclusion that
this cluster of acute diarrheal illness in Del Norte County was an outbreak
of C. jejuni infections caused by consumption of unpasteurized milk
from [Alexandre Eco Farms Dairy.]"
Autumn Olive Farms 2008
On May 12, 2008 the Lawrence County Health Department (LCHD) was notified
of a case of HUS in a child with a history of bloody diarrhea. The health
care provider reported that the child had consumed unpasteurized goat's
milk obtained from a local store, the Herb Depot, in Barry County, Missouri.
The milk had been purchased on April 29, 2008. It was quickly learned
that an additional Barry County child that had cultured positive for
E. coli O157:H7 had also consumed unpasteurized goat's milk from the
same store. As a result, the LCHD contacted the Missouri Department
of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) who began a full epidemiological
and environmental investigation of the illnesses. The investigation
revealed that the milk consumed by both ill children had been produced
at Autumn Olive Farms.
At the conclusion of its investigation, the DHSS ultimately announced
that there were four cases of E. coli O157:H7 associated with the outbreak.
Of these, three were laboratory confirmed, and one was identified as
a probable case. Each of these individuals resided in different counties
in Southwest Missouri, and were not known to have any relation to each
other. Nonetheless, each shared a common exposure to milk from Autumn
Olive Farms. In addition, the three culture-confirmed cases shared a
common, indistinguishable genetic strain of E. coli O157:H7. The strain
was identified as a unique subtype of E. coli O157:H7, never before
reported in Missouri. Each of the four cases had consumed milk from
Autumn Olive Farms within 3-4 days of onset of illness. The DHSS reported:
"no other plausible sources of exposure common to all four cases
were identified [other than the milk.]" The final outbreak report
ultimately concluded: "the epidemiological findings strongly suggest
the unpasteurized goat's milk from Farm A [Autumn Olive] was the likely
source of infection for each of the cases associated with this outbreak."
Organic Pastures Dairy -
On September 18, 2006, the California Department of Health Services
(CDHS) opened an investigation of a possible outbreak of E. coli O157:H7
infections after receiving reports of two patients who had been hospitalized
with HUS. One was culture confirmed as infected with E. coli O157:H7.
Interviews revealed that both patients had consumed unpasteurized cow
milk sold by Organic Pastures in the week prior to the onset of illness.
In the following days, four additional cases of E. coli O157:H7 were
identified. All of the additional cases had consumed raw milk or raw
cow product sold by Organic Pastures. Isolates of the E. coli O157:H7
cultured from the five culture-positive patients had indistinguishable
"genetic fingerprints" as determined by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis
(PFGE) testing. These PFGE patterns were new to the national PulseNet
database. In other words, the pattern associated with all of these children
was unique, and had not been seen before in conjunction with any other
outbreaks of E. coli O157:H7. In addition, the PFGE pattern differed
markedly from the patterns associated with the outbreak of E. coli O157:H7
associated with Dole fresh-bagged baby spinach that had peaked a few
weeks prior to these illnesses.
CDHS conducted an epidemiological and environmental investigation of
the cluster of illnesses. A review of 50 consecutive E. coli O157:H7
cases reported to CDHS from October 2004 to June 2006 revealed that
46 of 47 cases asked about raw milk consumption reported consuming no
raw milk. In contrast, five of the six patients in the cluster being
investigated reported definite consumption of Organic Pastures raw dairy
products. The sixth denied consuming the raw milk, but his family routinely
consumed Organic Pastures raw milk during the suspected time frame.
Two of the children developed Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome.
Grace Harbor Farms - September
Two children became ill due to an E. coli outbreak associated with unpasteurized
milk. The milk came from Grace Harbor Farms, a dairy operation in Whatcom
County. Testing conducted by the Washington Department of Health confirmed
the two cases were caused by the same strain of the bacteria, E. coli
O157:H7. Both children drank milk from the dairy. Grace Harbor sells
its products in several counties through health food stores, PCC Natural
Markets and Whole Foods Market. The children are identified as a King
County boy and a Snohomish County girl. The boy remains hospitalized
at a Seattle hospital recovering from the E. coli infection (HUS). "We're
very concerned, very sorry it happened," Tim Lukens, president
and general manager of Grace Harbor Farms in Lynden, said in a telephone
interview. He stressed that the problem involved raw milk, not the dairy's
pasteurized milk. While he said he has not yet seen "an absolute
test on our milk that shows it is the same E. coli," he said he
totally agreed with the recall.
Dee Creek Dairy - December
During the week of December 5, 2005, public health officials in Clark
County, Washington, were notified of four county residents with laboratory-confirmed
Escherichia coli O157:H7 infection. All four residents reported having
consumed raw (i.e., unpasteurized) milk obtained from a farm (Dee Creek)
in neighboring Cowlitz County, Washington. The farm participated in
a cow- share program, in which persons purchase interests in, or shares
of, dairy cows in return for a portion of the milk produced. The farm
had five dairy cows and regularly provided raw milk to shareholders.
Although the sale of raw milk and cow-share agreements are illegal in
certain states, they are legal in Washington; however, Washington farms
that provide raw milk to consumers must be licensed, meet state milk-production
and processing standards, and pass health and sanitation inspections
by the state department of agriculture (1). The Cowlitz County farm
was not licensed.
Eighteen cases were identified among the 43 families who were interviewed,
and eight (44%) of these were laboratory confirmed. Dates of illness
onset ranged from November 29 to December 13, 2005 (Figure). Patients
were residents of two southwest Washington counties and one northwest
Oregon county. The median age was 9 years (range: 1--47 years); nine
(50%) were female. Among the 18 patients, 17 (94%) reported diarrhea,
13 (72%) bloody diarrhea, and 13 (72%) abdominal cramps. Five patients
(28%), aged 1--13 years, were hospitalized; four of these had hemolytic
uremic syndrome (HUS). Seventeen patients were farm shareholders or
children of shareholders; one patient, a child aged 10 years, was a
friend of a shareholder.
Although some in public health
and many in the raw milk mooovement disagree with some of my ideas,
I posted this several months ago - "What I'd Recommend: Raw vs
Pasteurized Milk." Here are the highlights:
In lieu of banning raw milk products, some states have adopted regulations
that attempt to protect public health and allow for consumer choice.
This is an approach I would suggest the following:
oRaw milk should be sold only on farms that are certified by the state
and inspected and tested regularly. Make ambiguous black market milk/cheese
sales and "pet food sales" meant for human consumption clearly
oRaw milk should not be sold in grocery stores or across state lines--the
risks of mass production and transportation are too great; the risk
of a casual purchase by someone misunderstanding the risks is too great,
oFarms should be required to have insurance coverage sufficient to cover
reasonable damages to their customers
oPractices such as outsourcing (buying raw milk from farms not licensed
for raw milk production) should be illegal
oColostrum should be regulated as a dairy product, not a nutritional
oWarning signs on the bottles and at point-of-purchase should be mandatory.
"WARNING: This product has not been pasteurized and may contain
harmful bacteria (not limited to E. coli O157:H7, Campylobacter, Listeria
and Salmonella). Pregnant women, infants, children, the elderly and
persons with lowered resistance to disease (immune compromised) have
the highest risk of harm, which includes Diarrhea, Vomiting, Fever,
Dehydration, Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, Reactive
Arthritis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Miscarriage, or Death, from use
of this product."
One or two raw milks? I am not sure. I do know that people get sick,
and my concern, and the concern of people in public health, is to prevent
that. For more information on raw milk, visit www.realrawmilkfacts.com.
could have stopped E.coli crisis: CPA ceo
Source : http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/Quality-Safety/Irradiation-could-have-stopped-E.coli-crisis-CPA-ceo
By Ben Bouckley, (25. Jul. 2011)
The deadly Escherichia coli crisis that killed 47 people in Germany
alone and left thousands seriously ill could almost certainly have been
averted by irradiating the fenugreek seeds blamed for the outbreak.
That's according to Dominic Dyer, ceo of the Crop Protection Association,
who told FoodManufacture.co.uk that wider irradiation of (particularly
organic) foodstuffs within the UK and EU would seriously reduce the
risk of foodborne illness.
Food irradiation involves exposing it to electron beams, X-rays or gamma
rays. Once absorbed the energy forms molecules called 'free radicals'
that kill micro-organisms such as campylobacter, salmonella and E.coli.
Dyer said the fact that it was unfortunate that a German farm at the
centre of the outbreak was organic, when it could just as easily have
been run on conventional lines, and that a wider debate was needed on
the safety of irradiation within the wider food chain.
However, Dyer noted entrenched opposition within the European organic
industry to technologies like irradiation, due to standards that exclude
it developed by trade bodies such as the Soil Association (SA).
Despite being endorsed as safe by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and
bodies such as the World Health Organisation and the UN Food and Agriculture
Organisation, irradiation is permitted only for seven EU food categories.
Detailed under the Food Irradiation (England) Regulations 2009, these
include fruit; vegetables; cereals; bulbs and tubers; dried herbs, spices
and vegetable seasonings; fish and shellfish; poultry.
Dyer said that the US government considered allowing irradiation under
the US National Organic Standards in the late 1990s, but that 300,000
petitions from public and organisations including European trade associations
deterred it from doing so.
If the US regulatory authorities had allowed irradiation, Dyer said
he believed there might have been more pressure to follow suit here
in Europe, and that irradiation would not have been viewed by consumers
with distrust (along the same lines as GM) and might have been used
"But views became very polairsed, and the organic industry here
wanted to be seen as pure as pure can be," he said.
"Irrational fears" had held back a technology that, when used
properly, posed a minimal risk to public health and presented less of
a risk than heavy mobile phone use or staring at plasma screen, Dyer
While safety guidelines - followed by most UK organic producers - reduced
risk, he added that irradiation was the only way to eradicate risk when
producing "inherently risky" products such as beansprouts.
Irradiating the Egyptian fenugreek seeds in question would have prevented
the German E.coli outbreak with 99.999% certainty, Dyer said.
An SA spokeswoman said that there was no treatment, "whether in
an organic or non-organic system" that could guarantee the removal
of dormant pathogens from sprouting seeds or sprouts.
Instead, she argued, it was vital to control risks throughout the food
chain, where organic growers and processors undergo independent inspections
to qualify for SA certification, and follow stricy safety guidelines.
Moreover, irradiation was not allowed under EU organic regulations ensuring
the "integrity and vital qualities" of the product, she added,
while there was also a lack of long-term studies examining the health
impacts of irradiated food.
The spokeswoman added that irradiation was not permitted in non-organic
foods such as dairy (due to flavour changes) and some fruits, as it
causes tissue softening.
Irradiation could also kill plant workers if safeguards were not followed,
she said, while irradiation of cat food imported into Australia was
banned in May 2009 after it was linked to feline deaths.
"It is also impossible to tell if food has been irradiated beyond
the maximum dose permitted," she said.
Attorney and Lawyer Calls on Papaya Distributor to Pay Victims Medical
Bills and Wages
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/food-recall/salmonella-attorney-and-lawyer-calls-on-papaya-distributor-to-pay-victims-medical-bills-and-wages/
by Bill Marler (July 25, 2011)
Public health officials have identified papayas from Agromod Produce,
Inc., a distributor in McAllen,Texas as the likely cause of the a recent
Salmonella Agona outbreak that has sickened at least 97 people in 23
states and forced the recall of papaya in the United States and Canada.
The CDC and FDA is warning consumers not to eat papayas with the following
"The food industry has a responsibility to produce and sell only
food free of contaminants or pathogens; no exceptions," said Bill
Marler, Managing Partner of Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm.
"Today I am calling on Agromod to pay the medical bills and wages
of all individuals who became ill with Salmonella infections as part
of the outbreak.
Symptoms of Salmonella infection can begin 6-72 hours after ingestion
and include abdominal pain and cramping, diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration.
If you believe you may have a Salmonella infection consult a healthcare
professional immediately. To learn more about Salmonella, visit www.about-salmonella.com.
A total of 97 individuals infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella
Agona have been reported from 23 states between January 1 and July 18,
2011. The number of ill persons identified in each state with the outbreak
strain is as follows: Arkansas (1), Arizona (3), California (7), Colorado
(1), Georgia (8), Illinois (17), Louisiana (2), Massachusetts (1), Minnesota
(3), Missouri (3), Nebraska (2), Nevada (1), New Jersey (1), New Mexico
(3), New York (6), Ohio (1), Oklahoma (1), Pennsylvania (1), Tennessee
(1), Texas (25), Virginia (2), Washington (5), and Wisconsin (2).
Consumers, retailers and others who have papayas from Agromod Produce,
Inc. should discard them in a sealed container so people and animals,
including wild animals, cannot eat them.
County farmers challenge food regulations
Source : http://www.sacbee.com/2011/07/25/3791617/el-dorado-county-farmers-challenge.html
By Carlos Alcal?(, Jul. 25, 2011)
Pattie Chelseth thinks she has the right to sell you a fraction of a
Chelseth, operator of My Sisters' Farm in Shingle Springs, keeps two
cows owned by 15 people. A cow's owner can legally drink its milk filtered
but unpasteurized, so she believes each of those 15 owners is entitled
to a share of the raw milk.
California's Department of Food and Agriculture sees it otherwise.
"We consider that a commercial transaction and subject to the dairy
food safety laws," said Steve Lyle, the agency's public affairs
A battle in a milk bottle is brewing, as small farmers challenge state
and federal regulations. Chelseth is trying to land the latest blow,
floating an ordinance for El Dorado County that she thinks would give
small producers the right to sell unregulated goods - milk, cheese,
home-baked pies and more - directly to the person who consumes them.
She will hold a local meeting at her farm on Friday.
She said there are at least eight other dairy shares in El Dorado County,
and others are interested. "If it's a private customer, from person-to-person,"
Chelseth said, "that shouldn't be regulated."
For her to be regulated and inspected for milk would be a $100,000 proposition,
Chelseth said. She's not even trying to be in business. She bought a
cow in order to get raw milk for a grandchild, she said. She started
the herd share when others came to her for raw milk. The Department
of Food and Agriculture has served her with a cease-and-desist order,
Chelseth said. "We see it as a food safety issue," said Lyle.
Chelseth is promoting a "Local Food and Community Self-Governance
Ordinance," modeled on ones passed in Maine beginning this year.
The El Dorado ordinance, like those in Maine, reads more like the Declaration
of Independence than a county law:
"We the People of the County of El Dorado, California, have the
right to produce, process, sell, purchase and consume local foods, thus
promoting self-reliance, the preservation of family farms and local
"This is all about freedom," Chelseth said.
Maine's state agriculture agency has told towns that passed similar
rules that they do not supplant state law. "They don't change a
thing, actually," said Hal Prince, director of the Maine Department
of Agriculture. Maine already has relaxed rules for home food production
of so-called "low-risk" items like jams, jellies and many
baked goods, he said. El Dorado Supervisor Ray Nutting likes Chelseth's
idea, but says it needs more work. "I'd be willing to sponsor it,
but I want to take something to the Board (of Supervisors) that would
help them, rather than just support them," Nutting said. He said
he asked backers to "give me something that actually changes the
Other area food activists support the idea.
"I think it makes total sense," said Joanne Neft, former agriculture
marketing director in Placer County. "It is because of the overrestrictions
by our government that do not give us permission to eat healthy food."
Similar sentiments are expressed throughout the state, said Shermain
Hardesty, director of UC Davis' Small Farms Program.
Local food isn't necessarily
healthy food, said Bill Marler, a Seattle food safety attorney.
"What these kind of ordinances are trying to do is 'let me do whatever
I want to do because I believe (that) because my product is local it's
safe,' " Marler said. "And that's baloney."
Marler is a sponsor of www.realrawmilkfacts.com, a website Lyle cited
in support of state rules.
People are unaware of the dangers of uninspected foods because they
don't see the consequences, Marler said.
"I've been in a lot of ICUs, I've been at funerals, I've seen children
die because of what's in the food," he said.
"Regulation is not a bad thing," Marler added.
Hardesty agreed that there are options besides relaxing all the regulations.
She favors establishing smaller meat-processing plants to aid small
producers and is studying possible rule changes that would establish
different, but safe, standards for produce that isn't widely distributed.
Raw milk is a different question, she said.
"I think that would require a tremendous amount of research to
justify that," she said.
Chelseth is unconvinced. She believes the rules only benefit big farms,
where many food pathogens originate.
"If it's about public safety, my milk is clean," she said.
"I refuse to be underground," she said. "I'll go to jail,
and I won't drink anything but raw milk."
Editor's note: This story was updated to correct the URL for the website
"Real Raw Milk Facts."
Beef Found in Japan
Source : http://www.foodproductdesign.com/news/2011/07/more-radioactive-beef-found-in-japan.aspx
By admin (July 26, 2011)
Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) announced
plans to help meat producer groups recall and destroy beef tainted with
radioactive cesium from the marketplace. As reported by the Japan Times,
the government also instructed the producers to seek compensation from
Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO).
The government will financially support the purchase, storage and incineration
of meat from cattle fed hay contaminated with radioactive cesium grown
in the area near the nuclear-damaged Fukushima Daiichi plant, which
may cost as much as 2 billion yen ($25 million), said Hideo Harada,
MAFF director for livestock policy planning.
On July 19, Japanese officials imposed a ban on all beef shipments from
the Fukushima Prefecture amid concerns the cattle may have been fed
contaminated hay. The government estimated 2,906 cattle ate tainted
feed before shipment. Japan's Food Safety Minister Goshi Hosono said
beef from cattle fed with tainted hay was shipped to 46 out of Japan's
total 47 prefectures. Test results showed 23 out of 274 beef samples
contained radioactive cesium that exceeded the government's standard.
The recalled beef will be stored and tested and could be shipped to
the market again if cesium levels don't exceed standards.
Outbreak Strain Also Seen in 2010
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/07/papaya-outbreak-strain-was-also-seen-in-2010/
by Mary Rothschild (Jul 27, 2011)
The Salmonella Agona bacteria causing illnesses linked to imported papayas
also cropped up in 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
reported Tuesday, but the source of that outbreak was never found.
According to the CDC's latest update, the outbreak strain is made up
of four closely related pulse-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) patterns
that have rarely been seen in PulseNet, the nationwide surveillance
system that identifies clusters of foodborne disease by their DNA fingerprints.
Three of the patterns were first seen a year ago.
Between May 28 and Sept. 10 last year, 119 cases of Salmonella Agona
were reported to the CDC by 14 states. The profile of that outbreak
-- the "distribution of age, sex, ethnicity and state of residence
among ill persons" -- was similar to the current outbreak, the
However, the source of that outbreak was not determined, despite an
"intensive investigation during the summer of 2010 by local, state
and federal public health agencies that focused on fresh fruit, including
papaya," the CDC said.
In its report Tuesday on the current outbreak, the federal public health
authority said 99 people are now confirmed to be infected with Salmonella
Agona traced to Mexican papayas. The two additional cases were reported
from New York and Pennsylvania. Eleven of the case patients told health
investigators they'd traveled to Mexico in the week before they became
The epidemiological, traceback and lab investigations concluded the
outbreak source to be whole papayas imported by Agromod Produce of McAllen,
Texas. The outbreak strain was detected in produce samples taken at
the processing plant in McAllen and on papayas at the U.S. border that
were headed to Agromod.
In addition to the two samples that tested positive for the outbreak
strain, the Food and Drug Administration found 10 other papaya samples
from Mexico to be positive with different strains of Salmonella; none
of those sampled lots entered the United States, the FDA said.
Agromod, which distributes papayas under four brand names -- Blondie,
Yaya, Ma?anita, and Tastylicious -- has withdrawn its papayas from the
market in the U.S. and Canada, although the CDC warns that contaminated
papayas may still be in stores and consumers homes. The FDA also advises
that while Agromod sold whole papayas, the fruit could have been further
processed as it moved along the supply chain.
There's still no word on how the papayas became contaminated.
of Guillain-Barr? Syndrome Along the U.S. - Mexico Border
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/food-poisoning-watch/more-victims-of-guillain-barre-syndrome-along-the-us---mexico-border/
by Claire Mitchell ( July 25, 2011)
A few days ago, a blog entry was posted on Food Poison Journal alerting
readers to an unusually high number of individuals diagnosed with Guillian-Barr?
Syndrome, a disorder in which the body's immune system attacks part
of the peripheral nervous system, along a small stretch of the United
States-Mexico border. Today, the number of people diagnosed with Guillian-Barr?
Syndrome has risen to 24.
Health officials in both the United States and Mexico have been investigating
the cluster of illnesses and believe that this rare disorder may have
been triggered by Campylobacter infection, a common diarrheal foodborne
illness characterized by diarrhea (often bloody), abdominal pain, malaise,
fever, nausea, and vomiting. Guillian-Barr? Syndrome often occurs a
few days or weeks after a person has had symptoms of a respiratory or
gastrointestinal viral or bacterial infection; in fact, two-thirds of
affected individuals have had a preceding infection. Campylobacter jejuni
is the most common pathogen that elicits Guillian-Barr? Syndrome.
According to a recent article by JoNel Aleccia, "At least four
of the GBS patients have been confirmed to be infected with Campylobacter
bacteria, meaning there's a good chance the others were, too, officials
said." Officials are hoping to quickly determine the source of
the Campylobacter infections.
Of the victims, 17 are reportedly from Mexico and 7 from the United
States. Although Guillian-Barr? Syndrome can affect a person at any
age, it appears that most of those sickened are adults ranging in age
from 40 to 70. Some have been left extremely impaired as a result of
acquiring the disorder.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
GBS is a serious neurological disorder involving inflammatory demyelination
of peripheral nerves. It can occur spontaneously or after certain events
such as infections. Illness is typically characterized by the subacute
onset of progressive, symmetrical weakness in the legs and arms, with
loss of reflexes. Sensory abnormalities, involvement of cranial nerves,
and paralysis of respiratory muscles also can occur. A small portion
of patients die, and 20% of hospitalized patients can have prolonged
Campylobacter is found commonly in a wide variety of healthy domestic
and wild animals including cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, chickens, ducks,
geese, wild birds, dogs, cats, rodents, and marine mammals. The bacteria
usually live in the intestines as part of the animal's normal flora,
and is shed in the feces. Accordingly, it is typically caused by eating
raw or undercooked poultry or meat, unpasteurized milk or contaminated
Department of Health Services Reports Campylobacter Caused Guillain-Barre?
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/food-poisoning-watch/arizona-department-of-health-services-reports-campylobacter-caused-guillain-barre-syndrome-gbs/
by Bill Marler 9(July 22, 2011)
Guillain-Barre? Syndrome (GBS) normally affects only about 1 in 100,000
people. So when sixteen cases recently appeared in a small geographical
area along the U.S.-Mexico border, it caught the attention of health
officials on both sides.
Local, state and federal health departments from San Luis Rio Colorado,
Sonora, Mexico and Yuma County, Arizona, U.S. started working to confirm
the diagnosis and search for the underlying cause of the disease. While
both states routinely work together on a multitude of Bi- national Public
Health issues, such as obesity and tuberculosis, this particular response
to an emerging situation breaks new ground. This is the first time that
public health officials from the U.S. and Mexico have traveled across
their respective borders to conduct a joint investigation.
The first signs of GBS are muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis.
It usually appears after someone has been sick with an infection, often
with diarrhea. The key is to find the root cause of the infection.
"We recognize that this apparent cluster of Guillain-Barre? Syndrome
cases is of great concern to the community," said Shoana Anderson,
Office Chief of Infectious Disease at ADHS. "One potential cause
we've identified is Campylobacter bacteria, a commonly-identified organism
that can precede Guillain-Barre?. While there have been more cases of
Campylobacter this year, we have not yet positively confirmed that it
is responsible for these Guillain-Barre? infections."
Health officials from Sonora have conducted outreach and education to
residents in the San Luis Rio Colorado area. Arizona health officials
have asked doctors and hospitals to watch for the signs of GBS and quickly
contact their local health office with any possible cases.
Since GBS is not passed person to person, the best thing for people
to do is to prevent infections in the first place. Good hand-washing
habits and safe food preparation go a long way to prevent common illnesses.
Everyone should wash their hands thoroughly after using the bathroom,
before and while they are cooking, and before eating.
Papayas Blamed for Salmonella Outbreak
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/07/mexican-papayas-blamed-for-salmonella-outbreak/
by Dan Flynn (Jul 25, 2011)
The world's leading Maradol papaya grower acknowledged over the weekend
that it is facing its most serious food-safety challenge since a pesticide
chemical prevented its product from getting into the United States five
Agromod Products Inc., the U.S. marketer for the Tapachula, Mexico-based
papaya grower, recalled all of its Blondie, Yaya, Ma?anita and Tastylicious
brand papayas sold prior to July 23, 2011 because they've been associated
with a current outbreak of Salmonella.
The McAllen, TX-based U.S. marketer said its papayas may be linked to
97 reported cases of Salmonella Agona, including 10 hospitalizations,
in 23 U.S. states.
Recent sampling by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found
the outbreak strain in two papaya samples collected at the Agromod Produce
Inc. plant in McAllen, TX and from produce destined for Agromod Produce
Inc. at the U.S. border.
Distribution of the Mexican papayas has been suspended while FDA and
the company continue their investigation into the source of the problem.
It is not the first time that the U.S. border has been closed to Agromod
papayas. In March 2006, multiple shipments of fresh papayas being imported
to the U.S. by Agromod were refused entry because they contained an
unsafe pesticide chemical.
That problem occurred within a year after the Texas-based Agromod Produce
Inc. was set up to serve Agromod's customers in the U.S. and Canada.
The company has a 12,500 square foot warehouse and cold storage capacity
for up to 8 truckloads in McAllen for ripening and repacking areas.
Each Blondie Brand papaya can be identified by a blue and orange sticker
label with green and white lettering on the fruit that states Blondie
The Yaya Brand Papayas can be identified by a yellow, red, orange, and
green label with white, green and red lettering that reads Yaya Premium
Papayas Yaya PLU-4395 Mexico.
Each Ma?anita Brand Papaya can be identified by a green, yellow and
red sticker label that states Mexico Ma?anita 4395.
The Tastylicious Brand Papayas can be identified by a white and blue
sticker with red and white lettering that states 4395 Tastylicious MEXICO.
Salmonella is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal
infections, especially in young children, frail or elderly people, and
others with weakened immune systems.
Salmonella symptoms include fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea,
vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella
can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing
more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms),
endocarditis and arthritis.
The fresh, whole papayas were distributed throughout the U.S. and Canada
through retail stores and wholesalers.?? Consumers who have purchased
the Blondie, Yaya, Ma?anita, and Tastylicious brand papayas are urged
to return thm to the place of purchase. Consumers with questions may
contact the company at 800-385-7658, Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to
5:30 p.m. CST.?
and Campylobacter Found on Raw Chicken Sold at Farmers' Markets
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/food-poisoning-information/salmonella-and-campylobacter-found-on-raw-chicken-sold-at-farmers-markets/
by Claire Mitchell (July 22, 2011)
Esther French, Mattea Kramer and Maggie Clark, fellows with News21,
a national university reporting project at the University of Maryland,
recently conducted an investigation into the safety of poultry sold
at certain farmers' markets in Washington D.C. Their report appeared
in today's issue of the Washington Post. The investigation revealed
some unsettling results and appears to indicate that food grown locally
by smaller producers does not necessarily mean it is safer.
News21 sent samples of raw poultry to a microbiological laboratory for
testing and analysis. The commercial tests detected the presence of
Salmonella bacteria on raw chickens sold by a Virginia farmer at the
market located outside the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) headquarters
on Independence Avenue. In addition, tests showed that poultry sold
by a Pennsylvania farmer at another nearby market was contaminated with
campylobacter. A USDA spokesperson said the department has suspended
poultry sales by the vendor at its market as it conducts an investigation.
Importantly, News21 pointed out that both farmers, whose raw poultry
tested positive for pathogens, are exempt from USDA inspections because
they process fewer than 20,000 chickens a year. Accordingly, the USDA
agency generally reviews exempt operations only if it receives a complaint.
According to the News21 article:
The findings from both markets highlight seams in the federal government's
efforts to keep the country's food supply safe through a maze of federal,
state and local laws that can be confusing even for the people charged
with enforcing them. They also illustrate the danger for consumers who
think they can find refuge in markets selling food grown locally.
Despite the interest in food from local growers, scientists say small
does not mean safe. "From a food safety point of view, there's
no inherent reason why large production is, on balance, more dangerous
than a small family farm," said Bill Keene, senior epidemiologist
at the Oregon Public Health Division.
Benjamin Chapman, a food safety specialist at North Carolina State University,
said in some cases small farms may be less safe. "We're finding
that there's less pressure on a vendor at a [farmers'] market to implement
risk reduction because the perception is that the product is safe already,"
he said. "At a grocery store, growers have all these specifications
they have to hit, but that's absent in the farmers' market."
These findings come at a time when public health agencies report that
they have failed to reduce the number of Salmonella infections in 15
years, even as other foodborne illnesses have dropped.
Although it is not necessarily against the law to sell raw chicken harboring
salmonella or campylobacter, those pathogens can cause serious illness
and even death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
an estimated 1.8 million people are sickened, 27,000 are hospitalized
and 400 die each year from Salmonella and campylobacter combined.
Recalls Fish Product That May Be Contaminated with Clostridium Botulinum
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/food-recall/company-recalls-fish-product-that-may-be-contaminated-with-clostridium-botulinum-spores/
by Claire Mitchell ( July 22, 2011 )
On July 20, 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that
Euphoria Fancy Food Inc. of Brooklyn, New York is recalling Herring
Special Salting due to a possible contamination with Clostridium botulinum
spores. During a routine inspection and subsequent analysis of the product,
New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Food Inspectors
confirmed that the fish had not been properly eviscerated prior to processing.
The affected product comes in an uncoded, 48.58oz (1300gr) plastic container
and is a product of Russia. Herring Special Salting was sold in New
Although no illnesses have been reported as a result of consuming Herring
Special Salting, health officials warn that food contaminated with Clostridium
botulinum spores, which can cause Botulism, a serious and potentially
fatal foodborne illness. Symptoms of botulism include blurred or double
vision, general weakness, poor reflexes, difficulty in swallowing and
Consumers who have Herring Special Salting are advised not to eat it,
but should return it to the place of purchase. Consumers with questions
may contact the company at 718-768-3400.
International Conference for
Food Safety and Quality
Holiday Inn Chicago O'Hare Hotel
5615 North Cumberland Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60631
Major Topic: Detection Methods for
Microbiological/Chemical Hazards for Food Safety and Quality
registration fee off by 8/31/2011
November 8, 2011
Conference Place: Holiday Inn (Conference Room)
7:00 - 8:30 Registration and Breakfast (Juice, Tea, Coffee) and Poster
(***Exhibitors displaying time : 7:00-9:00 AM***)
- 9:00 Opening Announcement
A. Importance of Detection Methods for Food Safety and Quality
9:00 - 9:50 - The Importance of detection methods for food safety and
University of Georgia
9:50 - 10:40 - Advanced Detection methods for food safety and quality
University of Geulph
Editor of AEM
10:40 - 11:00 - Coffee Break in Exhibitors' Section
11:00 - 11:50 - Current Foodborne Outbreak and legal issues
William D. Marler, Esq.
MarlerClark attorneys at Law
11:50 - 12:00: Exhibitos Presentation and GROUP PICTURE
12:00 - 1:00: Lunch buffet will be supported (Holiday Inn, Dinning
B. Detection methods for Food Allergen Residues
1:50 - Detection of Food Allergen Residues in Processed Foods and Food
University of Nebraska
Director - Food Allergy Research and Resource Program
1:50 - 2:20 - Rapid Testing for Allergen Control Programs
Presentation by Ryan Waters
- 2:30 - Break / Visit Companies' Booth
C. Molecular/Immunoassay methods for Detection of Microbiological and
3:10 - Costco
Way for Food Safety and Quality
Food Safety Quality Manager
3:10 - 3:50 - Novel
biosensor technologies for high throughput screening of pathogens and
Professor, Purdue University
3:50 - 4:10- Innovative detection methods with immunoassay based method
4:10 -4:30 - Novel nucleic acid testing methods for industrial applications
by Roka Bioscience
4:30 - 5:30 - Panel Discussion (All key speakers will be joined)
2008 IAFP President, bioMerieux
5:30 - Adjourn
November 9, 2011
Conference Place: Holiday Inn (Conference Room)
7:00 - 8:30 Registration and Breakfast (Juice, Tea, Coffee) and Poster
8:40 - 9:00 Poster Competition Award
D. Importance of conventional/biochemical detection methods for Food safety
9:00 - 9:40 - Rapid Methods/Automation and a Look into the Future
Daniel Y.C. Fung
Director of Rapid Methods and Automation in Microbiology Workshop (KSU)
Professor, Kansas State University
9:40 - 10:20 - Rapid
Methods and Automation Workshop for 30 years
Director of Rapid Methods and Automation in Microbiology Workshop (UW)
Professor, University of Wisconsin
10:20 - 10:40 - Coffee
Break in Exhibitors' Section
- 10:50 - Presentation Title from Company presentation
- 11:30 - New demands for Rapid and Automative Detection Methods
for Food Safety
2008 IAFP President, bioMerieux
- 12:00 - Rapid methods for monitoring microbial numbers for
Senior Principal Scientist
-12:20 - Innovative methods for detection of microbiological/chemical
hazards for food safety
12:20 - 1:30 -
Lunch buffet will be supported (Holiday Inn, Dinning Room)
Impacts of Advanced/Conventional Detection methods on Food Industries
2:10 - Impact
of detection methods for food industries
2006 AOAC President
2:10 - 2:30 - Application of several detection methods for
- 2:40 -
Coffee Break in Exhibitors' Section
2:40 - 3:10 - The
importance of detection procedures for food safety by 3rd party
4:00 Application of Rapid Methods for Food Industries
IAFP President (2004)
President, AIV Consulting LLC.
4:00 - 4:30 -
Attendees' Certificate / Adjourn
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