Salmonella outbreak linked to consumption of frozen raw yellowfin
tuna has now sickened 316 people in 26 U.S. states, CDC says
May 18, 2012 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
source from: http://www.industryintel.com/news/read/3331233960/Salmonella-outbreak-linked-to-consumption-of-frozen.html
Headlines are rewritten for editorial clarity. The original story and
headline begin below.
Original Headline: Multistate Outbreak of Salmonella Bareilly and Salmonella
Nchanga Infections Associated with a Raw Scraped Ground Tuna Product
WASHINGTON, May 18, 2012 (press release) . A total of 316 individuals
infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Bareilly or Salmonella
Nchanga have been reported from 26 states and the District of Columbia.
The 58 new cases are from Alabama (1), California (2), Colorado (1),
Georgia (3), Illinois (4), Indiana (1), Louisiana (1), Maryland (3),
Massachusetts (6), New Jersey (1), New York (10), North Carolina (6),
Pennsylvania (5), Tennessee (2), Texas (3), Virginia (6), and Wisconsin
* Three hundred and four persons infected with the outbreak strain
of Salmonella Bareilly have been reported from 26 states and the District
of Columbia. The number of ill persons with the outbreak strain of Salmonella
Bareilly identified in each state is as follows: Alabama (3), Arkansas
(1), California (4), Colorado (1), Connecticut (9), District of Columbia
(2), Florida (1), Georgia (13), Illinois (27), Indiana (1), Louisiana
(4), Maryland (27), Massachusetts (33), Mississippi (2), Missouri (4),
Nebraska (1), New Jersey (26), New York (48), North Carolina (10), Pennsylvania
(25), Rhode Island (6), South Carolina (3), Tennessee (4), Texas (7),
Virginia (22), Vermont (1), and Wisconsin (19).
* Twelve persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Nchanga
have been reported from 5 states. The number of ill persons with the
outbreak strain of Salmonella Nchanga identified in each state is as
follows: Georgia (2), New Jersey (2), New York (6), Virginia (1), and
Among 316 persons for whom information is available, illness onset
dates range from January 28 to May 3, 2012. Ill persons range in age
from <1 to 86 years, with a median age of 30. Fifty-nine percent
of patients are female. Among 217 persons with available information,
37 (17%) reported being hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
Illnesses that occurred after April 17, 2012, might not be reported
yet due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when
the illness is reported.
Laboratory testing conducted by state public health laboratories in
Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, South Carolina,
and Wisconsin has isolated Salmonella from 53 (96%) of 55 samples taken
from intact packages of frozen yellow fin tuna scrape from Moon Marine
USA Corporation or from sushi prepared with the implicated scrape tuna
product. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis results are available for
Salmonella isolates from 41 of the 53 positive samples. Thirty-six samples
yielded the outbreak strain of Salmonella Bareilly, and 12 samples yielded
the outbreak strain of Salmonella Nchanga. Seven samples yielded the
outbreak strains of both Salmonella Bareilly and Salmonella Nchanga.
On April 24, 2012, FDA issued a documentExternal Web Site Icon that
lists observations made by the FDA Representative(s) during the inspection
of a Moon Fishery (India) Pvt. Ltd facility conducted as part of this
ongoing outbreak investigation.
On May 10, 2012 Moon Fishery (India) Pvt. Ltd., the manufacturer of
the frozen yellowfin tuna Nakaochi scrape recently recalled, expanded
the voluntary recallExternal Web Site Icon to include its 22-pound boxes
of ˇ°Tuna Stripsˇ±, Product of India, marked as ˇ°AAˇ± or ˇ°AAA Gradeˇ± because
the product has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.
On April 13, 2012, Moon Marine USA Corporation (also known as MMI)
of Cupertino, California voluntarily recalledExternal Web Site Icon
58,828 lbs of a frozen raw yellowfin tuna product, labeled as Nakaochi
Scrape AA or AAA. Nakaochi Scrape is tuna backmeat, which is specifically
scraped off from the bones, and looks like a ground product.
State agency criticized for refusal to name restaurant linked to E.
coli Source : http://blog.usfoodsafety.com/2012/05/16/state-agency-criticized-for-refusal-to-name-restaurant-linked-to-e-coli/
By Lynne P. Shackleford(May 16, 2012)
A state agency is being criticized for refusing to release the name
of a Spartanburg Mexican restaurant linked to a recent outbreak of Escherichia
The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control confirmed Friday
it is investigating 11 cases associated with the same restaurant, but
has declined to identify the establishment. Two of the cases are patients
with Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, which is characterized by kidney failure
caused by E. coli.
DHEC spokesman Adam Myrick said he understands the concerns of consumers,
but the agency does not believe there is a current health risk. He said
inspectors visited the restaurant on Friday, and it scored 96 out of
100 on an inspection.
“When it comes to balancing business interests with the public’s
health, we’re always going to make a decision based on what’s
in the best interest of the health of our citizens,” DHEC Director
Catherine Templeton said in a written statement. “If we had any
reason to believe there was ongoing transmission of disease or a current
public health threat, we would readily disclose more information about
the restaurant associated with the disease outbreak investigation.”
However, Myrick said he can’t recall a single case in his eight
years with the agency where DHEC has identified a restaurant associated
with a food-borne illness. There is no agency policy on releasing the
name of restaurants linked to food-borne illnesses, he said.
Myrick said Templeton wouldn’t be available for a phone interview
this week to discuss the Spartanburg E. coli cases.
Right to know’
A nationally recognized food safety advocate is lambasting DHEC’s
decision to keep the name of the restaurant under wraps.
“People have a right to know. Consumers have a right to decide
if they want to eat at a particular place, and it makes no sense to
me how DHEC can justify protecting them while putting a target —
literally a target — on every other Mexican restaurant in that
area,” said Bill Marler, a nationally recognized attorney and
author who specializes in food-borne illness cases.
Rita Roman, owner of Rita’s Restaurante at 1047 Fernwood-Glendale
Road, said she noticed an immediate impact from the announcement and
said her business has continued to lag. Her restaurant is not the source
of the outbreak.
“It has hurt us big time,” she said. “I had 10 tables
all day on Saturday. That’s just ridiculous. We’re all suffering
right now. It’s hard enough to bring people to the east side to
eat anyway. Something like this just makes it more difficult.”
Roman’s restaurant had a perfect score during its last inspection
on May 2 and said she only uses fresh, high-quality ingredients in her
“It’s not fair,” she said. “I think (DHEC) needs
to release the name of the restaurant to the public. I don’t want
to see anyone’s business hurt, but it’s better than all
of us suffering. Other (Mexican) restaurants have an advantage because
they have several stores in Spartanburg. But we just have the one, so
it’s harder on us.”
Marler has represented thousands of clients in claims against food companies,
securing more than $600 million for victims of E. coli, Salmonella and
other food-borne illnesses. He has testified in front of the U.S. House
of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce and is a national
speaker on food safety issues.
“When you hide information from people, it distorts the free market,”
Marler said. “If people don’t know why people are getting
sick, or the source of that illness, they can’t vote with their
pocketbooks and nothing ever changes. Why would a restaurant change
its practices if there’s no accountability. There’s no incentive
Myrick said health investigators are still trying to determine whether
the contamination was specific to one restaurant, or if it’s a
If it’s a mass production supply issue, Marler said, multiple
restaurants in this area, and even in multiple states could have been
Marler doesn’t favor a state law specifying a timeline for when
an agency should disclose the name of a restaurant once it has been
linked to a food-borne illness because it takes time to investigate
and positively trace bacteria to a facility.
“They should get the data right, release the name to the public
and let the chips fall where they may,” he said.
Social media and the Internet have opened the door for people to warn
others of the culprit in food poisoning cases, he said.
“It’s different nowadays because of social media and the
Internet,” Marler said. “You can’t — and I’m
not suggesting you should — but you can’t hide names anymore.”
Spartanburg Sen. Lee Bright, R-Roebuck, said DHEC should release the
name of the restaurant linked to the E. coli cases, and after speaking
with officials in Columbia, Rep. Mike Forrester, R-Spartanburg, said
the agency could determine in the next day or so on whether the cases
are connected to a supplier or if it’s a restaurant issue.
The Herald-Journal has filed a request under the state Freedom of Information
Act for documents related to the Spartanburg case, but as of Tuesday
evening, no documents had been provided.
GMO Labeling on California Ballot This Fall
The Right-to-Know campaign has obtained more than enough signatures
on its GMO labeling petition to appear on the California ballot this
fall. The petition will require GMO labeling on foods in California.
The measure would require food manufacturers to identify genetically
modified organisms (GMOs) that are in any food sold in California.
This may lead to nation-wide labeling so manufacturers don’t have
to print two labels on the same product.
When California added the caramel coloring 4-MI to its list of carcinogens
under Proposition 65 in 2009, the manufacturer of that product agreed
to change it to meet California’s standards.
Food Poisoning Bulletin asked Stacy Malkan, Media Director for the California
Right-to-Know 2012 ballot initiative, about this issue. She said, “consumers
have a right to know what’s in the food we buy and eat and feed
our children, just as we have the right to know how many calories are
in our food, or whether food comes from other countries like Mexico
“The same goes for whether our meat, dairy, fruits, or vegetables
are genetically engineered in a laboratory. We should all be able to
make informed choices, and have the freedom to choose whether to buy
genetically engineered food or not.”
We asked if there are any health issues connected to GMO foods. Ms.
Malkan answered, “the U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn’t
require any health studies or safety testing of genetically engineered
food, so there’s a lot we don’t know about the health impacts.
But we do know there is cause for concern.
“Independent studies show that genetically engineering food can
create new, unintended toxicants and increase allergies and other health
problems. Experts around the world agree that by labeling genetically
engineered food, we can help identify if these foods are causing any
He measure needed at least 550,000 verified signatures to be added to
the ballot. The group has collected almost 1 million signatures. California
requires that the signatures be verified by random sampling and full
check methods. The Right to Know organization used volunteers to collect
According to a poll conducted by the Mellman Group, 90% of Americans want
to see GMO labeling on foods. Transparency in labeling is important, according
to Dr. Ted Labuza, food science professor at the University of Minnesota,
who stresses the principle of informed consent.
Exploring the Link Between Animal Health and Food Safety
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/05/exploring-the-link-between-animal-health-and-food-safety/
By Helena Bottemiller (May 09,2012)
There's growing pressure for animal agriculture to change its practices,
whether it be utilizing gestation crates or feeding antibiotics, but
a new paper cautions that these changes may negatively impact food safety.
The discussion paper released by the Council for Agricultural Science
and Technology -- a research group
that includes the Farm Bureau and the American Veterinary Medical Association
-- this week identified
some of the factors now being discussed that impact animal health, including:
antibiotic use, economies of scale, housing, local production and sustainability.
Scientists have long known there is a link between animal health, stress
levels and pathogen shedding, but as CAST and others have noted, more
research is needed.
"In addition to overtly ill animals, there is a growing body of
evidence showing that chronically, previously,
and not visibly ill animals are more likely to be contaminated with
foodborne pathogens after processing in the abattoir (slaughterhouse),"
the researchers write. "These animals, however, may go unnoticed
during antemortem (live animal) inspection, and thus questions arise
concerning the potential impacts of these animals entering the food
supply on public health risk from foodborne pathogens."
The paper discusses past research that has found animals under stress
or sick for a long period of time are more likely to carry key foodborne
pathogens, especially Salmonella. Studies have also shown that animals
with abscesses or "other significant lesions" that need extra
trimming have a greater chance of being cross-contaminated because of
the extra handling required.
Many of the buzzwords being discussed in the food movement, and by an
increasing number of consumers: "organic," "all natural,"
"antibiotic-free," or "pastured" have direct animal
health implications -- many sustainable food advocates argue that these
changes lead to healthier animals. But CAST gives some examples of how
these methods could have the opposite effect.
Under organic certification, for example, animals cannot be treated
with antibiotics or synthetic worm drugs and if animals are based on
pasture, these methods directly impact animal health and how production
is managed. According to CAST researchers, "increased exposure
to the soil and vermin may increase the prevalence of zoonotic diseases
"Various policy changes may negatively impact animal health, resulting
in more marginally or not visibly ill pigs, which tips the scales toward
reduced public health," the authors write. "These proposed
changes and their consequences need to be considered carefully."
The paper looks specifically at some research on the difference between
keeping animals indoors vs. outdoors:
"Housing livestock indoors can also provide advantages in managing
many foodborne organisms. Because outdoor environments cannot be cleaned
or disinfected easily, pathogens can persist in the soil, standing water,
outdoor structures, and other micro-environments, infecting successive
generations of livestock. Other studies have shown that Campylobacter
and Salmonella are more common in chickens having outdoor exposure than
in birds raised in conventional indoor housing (cages). Dairy cows were
shown to be at greater risk of subclinical mastitis when kept in outdoor
environments compared with cows kept in barns. According to several
studies, outdoor production can also promote infection of the zoonotic
parasite Toxoplasma gondii in poultry and swine. This organism has been
related in prenatal infections to death or severe brain and eye damage,
especially where the mother has not been previously exposed and acquires
an infection during her pregnancy." (Note: For research citations,
see the full study).
Researchers also discuss using antibiotics in animal agriculture, a
hot topic in the media:
"Antibiotics have a major, positive effect on improving animal
and human health. They are used in human and veterinary medicine to
treat and prevent disease. Antibiotic use in food animals is highly
regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The use of antibiotics
in food-animal production, however, raises some concerns about antibiotic
resistance in bacteria that could affect the efficacy of antibiotics
in the treatment of human infections. Concern about antibiotic resistance
is not equivalent to actual risk. Resistant bacteria were present long
before antibiotics were discovered and found in many places without
The FDA, however, has stated very clearly that certain "injudicious"
antibiotic uses in agriculture are a public health risk. In its most
recent guidance on the issue, the agency cited dozens of studies on
antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance.
The full CAST paper, "The Direct Relationship between Animal Health
and Food Safety Outcomes," can be read here.
Ottawa to allow slaughterhouses to process already dead animals
Source : http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1178428--ottawa-to-allow-slaughterhouses-to-process-already-dead-animals
By Bruce Campion-Smith (May 14, 2012)
OTTAWA—The federal government wants to allow the carcasses of
already dead animals to be processed in slaughterhouses for human consumption,
a move that is raising concerns about the safety of Canada’s food
Conservative government is pitching the change as a way to cut red tape
and provide greater flexibility to slaughterhouse operators.
But the New Democrats are raising a red flag saying the move invites
possible “contamination” of the food supply.
“Under the present regulations . . . it has to come in alive,
be slaughtered on site,” said NDP MP Malcolm Allen (Welland),
the party’s agriculture critic.
“Now you can bring in dead stock. It’s okay to bring in
that animal into a slaughterhouse, have it cut, wrapped . . . for human
“The real fear is how did it die, (and) under what circumstances
did it die.”
The proposed changes to Meat Inspection Regulations, outlined in the
Canada Gazette, would allow “greater flexibility” to the
activities that can be carried out in federally regulated slaughterhouses.
Current federal regulations do not allow meat to be processed from animals
slaughtered outside of a registered slaughterhouse.
Now the government is proposing to make exemptions to that rule for
animals that cannot be transported to a slaughterhouse alive because
they are too aggressive to move or because they are injured.
“It is proposed to amend the (meat inspection regulations) to
allow into registered establishments carcasses from food animals slaughtered
elsewhere . . . following a detailed ante-mortem examination by a private
veterinary practitioner,” the proposed rules state.
“Such an amendment would be extremely useful for industry in a
number of situations, such as when injured animals cannot be transported
alive for welfare reasons; or when animals are dangerous, aggressive
or difficult to handle and cannot be transported.”
A vet would have to inspect an animal prior to slaughter to confirm
it could not be safely transported, as well as determine if the animal
is fit to serve as food. The vet will also certify the date of the slaughter
Allen said that rule change risks allowing the food supply to be contaminated
by “dead stock.”
“You wouldn’t know by looking at it and nor would the label
tell you it’s dead stock because I’ll guarantee you if the
label said dead stock, you would never buy it,” Allen said.
“All the regulations before about dead stock not being consumed
by humans is for a reason and that was to protect our health,”
A spokesperson for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency cited the example
of an animal suffering from a broken leg.
“The cow could be slaughtered on the farm and after inspection
at a federally registered establishment can be processed. This meat
would be eligible for retail,” Guy Gravelle said.
“As for concerns that this amendment may allow unfit animal into
the food supply system, this would not be the case.”
“CFIA inspectors, including veterinarians, are present daily during
operations at federally registered establishments to verify that food
safety requirements are met. All carcasses are individually inspected
to protect the health and safety of Canadians,” he said in an
That was echoed by Meagan Murdoch, a spokesperson for Agriculture Minster
Gerry Ritz, who called the rule change “common sense.”
“This does not affect food safety,” she said.
FDA 483 Inspection of Tuna Scrape Plant finds Violations
Source : http://www.marlerblog.com/legal-cases/fda-483-inspection-of-tuna-scrape-plant-finds-violations/
By Bill Marler (May 13, 2012)
A total of 258 persons infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella
Bareilly (247 persons) or Salmonella Nchanga (11 persons) have been
reported from 24 states and the District of Columbia. 32 ill persons
have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported. Collaborative
investigation efforts of state, local, and federal public health agencies
indicate that a frozen raw yellowfin tuna product, known as Nakaochi
Scrape, from Moon Marine USA Corporation is the likely source of this
FDA 483 Inspection Report (download PDF):
Mr. Dominic Sebastian, Managing Director, Moon Fishery (India) Pvt.
Ltd., 11/722/D, Chemical Industrial Estate, Aroor, Alleppy 688534 Kerala
Observation No. 1
Your HACCP plan does not list one or more critical control points that
are necessary for each of the identified food safety hazards.
Specifically, your HACCP plan for raw tuna does not list critical control
points at the following process step to control the hazards of Clostridium
botulinum, histamine and allergens.
A. There is no Critical Control Point listed on your HACCP plan for
the process of cutting, scraping, and vacuum packaging performed in
your processing room, kept at a temperature of REDACTED C to control
the hazard of pathogen growth and histamine formation.
B. There is no Critical Control Point listed on your HACCP plan for
Clostridium botulinum and allergen labeling applied to the primary packaging.
C. There is no Critic al Control Point listed on your HACCP plan for
D. In your HACCP plan for receiving tuna, the only critical limit listed
is temperature, with no critical limit listed for vessel monitoring
and histamine testing records to show that tuna was not temperature
abused on the harvesting vessel.
Observation No. 2:
You are not monitoring the sanitation conditions and practices with
sufficient frequency to assure conformance with Current Good Manufacturing
Practices including safety of water that comes into contact with food
or food contact surfaces, including water used to manufacture ice condition
and cleanliness of food contact surfaces maintenance of hand washing,
hand sanitizing and toilet facilities, and protection of food, food
packaging material, and food contact surfaces from adulteration.
A. You are not monitoring the safety of water as evidenced by:
1. Tanks used for storage of process waters have apparent visible debris,
filth and microbiological contamination. Sand and activated carbon filter
units used in manufacturing of water are not sanitized, and ventilation
for tanks is not filtered to protect against contamination. There is
no laboratory analysis for water used in ice manufacturing at the REDACTED
facility to show the water used to make ice is potable. Ice manufacturing
lacks sanitary controls: ice manufacturing equipment at the Moon Fishery
facility is located outside and is susceptible to adulteration from
pests and the environment. Apparent bird feces were observed on the
ice manufacturing equipment at Moon Fishery; insects and filth were
observed in and on the equipment. Ice manufacturing equipment at your
REDACTED facility is rusty and situated so that the ice cannot be protected
against adulteration, as the ice manufacturing process is constructed
into the flooring of the ice facility. Tuna processed at your facility,
which is consumed raw or cooked, comes in direct contact with water
B. You are not monitoring the condition or cleanliness of food contact
surfaces as evidenced by:
1. Some of the floor and wall tiles in the tuna processing area are
broken and cracked, not allowing for proper cleaning.
2. After cleaning, the ceiling directly above the in-process tuna line
was observed to have visible product residue.
3. After cleaning, product residues and rust were observed on knives
and utensil storage boxes. These knives are used to cut raw tuna.
C. You are not monitoring protection from adulterants as evidenced:
1. Peeling paint was observed directly above the in-process tuna line.
D. You are not monitoring hand washing, hand sanitizing and toilet facilities
as evidenced by:
1. There was no hand drying devices available in the employee rest rooms
on the first floor.
Spartanburg SC, Where All The Restaurants Are Above Average
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/spartanburg-sc-where-all-the-restaurants-are-above-average/
By Carla Gillespie ( May 16, 2012)
In Garrison Keillor’s fictional hometown, Lake Wobegone, all the
women are strong, all the men are good looking and all the children
are above average. In Spartanburg, S.C. it’s the restaurants
that are all above average including the one that is the source of an
E.coli outbreak that has sickened 11 people and hospitalized two. Because
all 452 restaurants in Spartanburg have a letter grade of A from the
South Carolina Department of Health an Environmental Control’s
(SCDHEC) restaurant rating system.
Earlier this week, when Food Poisoning Bulletin asked how residents
in Spartanburg could make safe choices without knowing the name of the
restaurant at the source of the outbreak, a SDHEC spokesman said there
was not an ongoing threat and they would be OK eating at any of the
area restaurants that had a good letter grade.
A review of the restaurant ratings posted online, showed that the lowest
score any Spartanburg restaurant received was an 88, which, under the
grading system , is an A.
On May 11, SCDHEC issued a health advisory to announce that they were
investigating an outbreak of E.coli 0157:H7 infections linked to food
served at a “Spartanburg-area Mexican restaurant during the last
week of April, 2012.” Two of the 11 people sickened have
been hospitalized with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS,) a serious, sometimes
life-threatening condition that develops, often in young children, after
an E. coli infection and can cause kidney failure, seizures, stroke
Despite pressure for transparency from members of the media, food safety
advocates, and Mexican restaurant owners in Spartanburg, SCDHEC has
said it did not release the name of the restaurant because it believes
there is not an ongoing threat and it is not their policy to disclose
the names of restaurants linked to foodborne illness outbreaks.
This situation is reminiscent of the Center for Disease Control and
Prevention’s (CDC) decision earlier this year to withhold the
name of a Mexican-style fast food restaurant at the heart of a Salmonella
outbreak. That chain turned out to be Taco Bell.
New Brunswick E. Coli Outbreak Linked to Jungle Jim's Eatery
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/05/new-brunswick-e-coli-outbreak-linked-to-jungle-jims-eatery/
By News Desk (May 16, 2012)
Public health officials investigating an E. coli outbreak in the Canadian
province of New Brunswick named Jungle Jim's Eatery as the likely common
link on Tuesday, according to CBC News.
The province's health department confirmed 13 people infected with E.
coli O157:H7, while another 11 suspected cases are likely linked to
the same outbreak.
The majority of sickened individuals ate at Jungle Jim's Eatery in Miramichi
in late April. Public health officials are still trying to determine
the exact source of contamination, though they assume it was a contaminated
food product that has since been used up.
No new illnesses are being reported. Investigators could not find E.
coli at Jungle Jim's during testing, though the restaurant did fail
a health inspection last week before passing a follow-up inspection.
Under The Sea: Oysters and Norovirus Outbreaks
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/under-the-sea-oysters-and-norovirus-outbreaks/
By Carla Gillespie (May 12, 2012)
Area 23, a shellfish harvesting zone off the Louisiana coast roughly
equal in size to the city of New Orleans, was closed this week after
health officials linked a norovirus outbreak to its oysters.
An investigation into the outbreak that sickened 14 people who ate oysters
at a Louisiana restaurant determined that the oysters were tainted before
they arrived at the restaurant. Health officials issued a recall of
the oysters and the temporary closure of Area 23.
Closing a harvesting zone the size of a major metropolitan area might
seem like an indicator of a massive outbreak, but that’s likely
not that case, according to Ken Pastorick, spokesman for the Louisiana
Department of Health and Hospitals (LHH).
When oysters are harvested, they are put into burlap sacks marked with
tags that identify the area. “Restaurants, by law, are required
to keep those tags for traceback purposes,” said Pastorick. (In
this case, the restaurant did and that’s how health officials
determined the source so quickly.)
But within a harvesting area, there can be a number of oyster reefs
and fisherman are not required to specify from which reef each bag of
oysters was pulled. So, sick oysters from one reef will close the whole
area, Pastorick said.
“For an outbreak with 14 illnesses, it’s likely that the
oysters, sickened with norovirus, came from one reef,” he said.
How do oysters get sick.
“As immobile filter feeders, oysters get sick from germs in the
water that surrounds them,” Pastorick said. “The source
of those germs includes everything from agricultural runoff of livestock
manure, to a sick fisherman throwing up over the side of the boat. When
they get sick, it takes them about three weeks to flush their systems,
so that’s the minimum amount of time a harvesting will be closed.”
“For 21 days, we allow the oysters to purge,” said Pastorick.
Then, they test the waters. Literally. When the test are all clear,
the zone reopens. For some zones, it takes much longer to recover than
others, said Pastorick. Zone 8, for example, where the Mississippi River
meets the Gulf of Mexico, has been closed since Hurricane Katrina in
CDC Tracking 5 Overlapping Turtle Salmonella Outbreaks in 27
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/cdc-tracking-5-overlapping-turtle-salmonella-outbreaks-in-27-states/
By Kathy Will (May 13, 2012)
Five overlapping Salmonella outbreaks linked to human contact with small
turtles have sickened at least 124 people in 27 states, prompting the
continuation of a public health investigation that began last year.
One of the outbreaks dates back to June 2011 and another to August 2011.
Two new outbreaks have unfolded since early last month, sprouting new
geographic distributions of Salmonella infections that are spreading
in many cases from human contact with contaminated water in the turtles’
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly
7 of 10 outbreak victims are children under the age of 10. In many cases
the turtles are pets purchased from street vendors because the U.S.
Food and Drug Administration banned the sale and distribution of turtles
All together, 19 people have been hospitalized and no deaths have occurred.
The turtles in question have shell lengths of less than four inches.
Contact with reptiles (such as turtles, snakes, and lizards) and amphibians
(such as frogs and toads) can be a source of human Salmonella infections.
The animals might appear healthy and clean, but Salmonella germs are
shed in their droppings and can easily contaminate their bodies and
anything in their tanks or aquariums. The bottom line is that they may
look cute, but they can make you sick.
Each of the five outbreaks has its own type of Salmonella: Sandiego,
Poona, Pomona, Sandiego “B” and Pomona “B”.
States hardest hit include New York (24), California (21), Texas (12),
Pennsylvania (9), New Jersey (7) Colorado (5). Theoutbreak has stretched
all the way to Alaska, where two illnesses have been confirmed at part
of the outbreak.