09/17,2012
ISSUE:513

                                                    

Comprehensive News List
General Food Safety News/ Outbreak News/ Recall News/ New Methods News/
USDA/FDA News
/ On-Line Slides/ Job Information/Internet Journal of Food Safety


 

Mexico Denies Outbreak Strain of Salmonella Braenderup on Mangoes
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/mexico-denies-outbreak-strain-of-salmonella-braenderup-on-mangoes/
By Kathy Will (Sep 16, 2012)
Government officials in Mexico have denied that the outbreak strain of Salmonella Braenderup has been found anywhere in the packing house
for Daniella mangoes. The nationwide outbreak of that bacteria that has sickened at least 121 people in 15 states has been linked to the mangoes,
and the FDA just placed Danielle mangoes on the Import Alert list.
This is the Google translation of that statement: “The Federal Government concluded research to help clarify the import alerts issued by Canada
and the United States of America (USA) to the packinghouse Daniella Mangos, for the possible presence of Salmonella Braenderup,
and after exhaustive work of agencies health and epidemiology, no contamination was found at the premises of the Mexican company
by the strain causing the outbreak in neighboring northern countries.
Through the Federal Commission for Protection against Health Risks (COFEPRIS), the General Directorate of Epidemiology (DGE),
the Institute of Epidemiological Diagnosis and Reference (InDRE) and the National Health Service, Food Safety and
Quality (SENASICA) the Federal Government established the strategy to assist in the diagnostic investigation initiated by Canada
and the U.S. about a Salmonella Braenderup outbreak detected in those countries.
With the full cooperation of the baler Daniella research developed in their production and packaging areas,
to identify the presence of Salmonella strain Braenderup reported by authorities in the U.S. and Canada.
It took 14 samples analyzed in duplicate to SENASICA and COFEPRIS and found no evidence of the bacteria.
From routine monitoring carried out by the health sector, the InDRE studied by pulsed field electrophoresis (PFEG, for its acronym in English),
to identify the genetic fingerprint of the bacteria Salmonella strains circulating in around the country this year. This study concluded that
the Salmonella strain causing outbreaks in the U.S. and Canada is different from any strain circulating in Mexico.
In conclusion, the studies conducted by Mexican authorities show that there is no information to link the outbreaks in the U.S. and Canada
with any Mexican product.”
On September 13, 2012, the FDA released a statement that it had found Salmonella on mangoes from Agricola Daniella.
But they did not state the strain of Salmonella found on the fruit. Government officials may be waiting for results of genetic profiling on the bacteria
before specifying if it is the outbreak strain of Salmonella Braenderup. That brand of mangoes has been linked to the outbreak
by tracing the illnesses through the supply chain to Agricola Daniella.
So why the discrepancy?
Experts say that testing 14 samples is not nearly enough to definitively state that the processing plant was not the source of the Salmonella outbreak.
Furthermore, the Mexican government also denied that last year’s Salmonella Agona outbreak was linked to papayas from Mexico.

Michigan Will Post Establishment Food Safety Scores Online
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/michigan-will-post-establishment-food-safety-scores-online/
By Linda Larsen (Sep 15, 2012)
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is starting an online food establishment inspection report system called MiSafe.
Consumers can just type in the establishment name, street address, and city and see more than 19,000 inspection reports.
The reports cover grocery and convenience stores, food processors, and food warehouses. Those facilities are inspected every 6, 12, or 18 months,
depending on the perceived food safety risks and complexity of food handling. These inspections will follow the updated food safety regulations
that go into effect on October 1, 2012.
According to the government, violations of food safety laws are problems that can lead to foodborne illness, food contamination,
or an environmental health hazard. Severe violations that aren’t corrected during an inspection usually require a follow-up inspection within ten days.
Restaurant inspection reports are not included on that site. But some of the local health departments that conduct restaurant, school,
and hospital inspections do post them online; you can access them at the government pages for Barry-Eaton, Genessee, Kent, Macomb,
and the group of Calhoun, Detroit, Ingham, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Livingston, Muskegon, Ottawa, Washtenaw, Wayne, and Western U.P. For more information,
visit the Michigan Food Safety portal.

Minnesota Receives Food Safety Grant
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/minnesota-receives-food-safety-grant/
By Carla Gillespie (Sep 15, 2012)
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has received a $600,000 food safety grant from the U.S.. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
MDA will use the three-year grant to speed tracking  of contaminated foods which will get recalled products off of store shelves moe quickly
and prevent illness, health officials said.
“Every minute we can shave off the time it takes to trace contaminated products and get them off the shelves means fewer people getting sick,”
said MDA Dairy and Food Division Director Heidi Kassenborg, in a statement. “These proposals are focused on developing and sharing processes
that improve information flow during a foodborne illness investigation, and we believe that will translate into better food safety for people around the country.”
Food poisoning sickens about 48 million Americans, 1 in 6, every year and is fatal for 3,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Reducing foodborne illness by 10 percent would prevent 5 million Americans from getting sick each year.
And preventing a single fatal case of E. coli O157 infection would save an estimated $7 million, according to the CDC.
MDA  plans to  use web-based technologies to improve the flow of information between the food industry and regulatory agencies and share its model
with food safety officials across the country. Minnesota is one of the nation’s top agricultural producers and was recently selected as the location for one of five
Food Safety Centers of Excellence by the CDC.
The center, created through a partnership between the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Health, will provide resources,
support and training to public health officials in the Midwest and develop educational programs for consumers and students.

FDA Updates Investigation into Animal Illnesses Linked to Jerky Treats
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/fda-updates-investigation-into-animal-illnesses-linked-to-jerky-treats/
By Kathy Will (Sep 15, 2012)
The FDA on Thursday issued a report on their investigation into animal illnesses linked to jerky pet treats. The government has been aware of the problem
since 2007. Most of the illnesses are linked to chicken jerky treats, tender, and strips, but other complaints have been received about duck
and sweet potato treats, and products where chicken or duck jerky is wrapped around dried fruits, sweet potatoes, or yams.
There have been about 2,200 reports of pet illnesses that may be related to jerky treats. Most of the complaints are about dogs, but cats have also been affected. In the last year and a half, consumers have reported 360 dog deaths and one cat death. There is no geographic pattern to the reports, and cases have been reported from all 50 states and 6 Canadian provinces. No products have been recalled.
No definitive cause for these illnesses and deaths has been determined. The investigation has included toxicologists, epidemiologists, veterinary researchers,
forensic chemists, microbiologists, field investigators, and senior agency officials. In the past 10 years, there has been a huge increase in pet foods imported
from China. Since most Chinese people eat dark meat, there is a large amount of light meat available for export. From 2003 to 2011,
the volume of pet food exports from China to the U.S. has grown 85-fold.
Most of the sick dogs had gastrointestinal illnesses, including vomiting and diarrhea, sometimes with blood and/or mucus, that indicate gastrointestinal bleeding
or pancreatitis. Other common symptoms include kidney problems, including frequent urination, increased urine output, increased thirst, and Fanconi’s syndrome.
These products have been extensively tested by the FDA. Labs have tested for Salmonella, metals, furans, pesticides, antibiotics, mycotoxins, rodenticides, liver
toxins such as ethylene and diethylene glycol, melamine, and maleic acid, and toxic metals. None of the testing results have revealed a link between
any causative agent and the illnesses and deaths. The FDA is expanding its testing to include irradiation byproducts and is consulting with NASA to discuss
this option.
Five plants in China were inspected by the FDA in March and April 2012. At that time, the Chinese government refused to let the FDA test samples unless
the tests were conducted in Chinese-run labs.
At this time, the FDA reminds pet owners that jerky pet treats are not necessary for a balanced diet so avoiding them is just fine. If you do feed your pet jerky
products, watch for the signs of illness. Consult your veterinarian immediately if your pet becomes ill. And if you have a problem,
you can report the illness to the government through the Safety Reporting Portal. And the government will update its findings on its Q&A page.

FDA Adds Mangoes Linked to Salmonella to Import Alert List
Source : http://www.foodproductdesign.com/news/2012/09/fda-adds-mangoes-linked-to-salmonella-to-import-a.aspx
By FOOD PRODUCT DESIGN (Sep 14, 2012)
Mangoes produced by Mexico-based Agricola Daniella and imported by Splendid Products, based in Burlingame, Calif., have been placed on the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration’s (FDA) import alert list and will be denied admission into the United States unless the importer shows they are not contaminated with
Salmonella.
FDA also is warning consumers not to eat mangoes from Agricola Daniella because they have been linked to a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Braenderup
that has infected 105 people in 16 states. The California Department of Public Health has traced several illnesses of the outbreak strain of Salmonella Braenderup
through the supply chain to Agricola Daniella.
On Aug. 24, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) recalled Agricola Daniella brand mangoes sold to retailers in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan,
Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon. The recall was expanded to the United States on Aug. 29 when Splendid Products recalled all mangoes
from Mexico. Many nationwide retailers followed with their own recalls.

Salmonella cantaloupe toll rises to 270
Source : http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/09/13/13848775-salmonella-cantaloupe-toll-rises-to-270?lite#__utma=238145375.1260771225.1340239740.
1347498928.1347594208.37&__utmb=238145375.1.10.1347594208&__utmc=238145375&__utmx=-&__utmz=238145375.1340585870.3.2.utmcsr=t.co|utmc
cn=(referral)|utmcmd=referral|utmcct=/MDZzzqxm&__utmv=238145375.|8=Earned%20By=msnbc%7Chealth%7Cfood%20safety=1^12=Landing%20Content=
Mixed=1^13=Landing%20Hostname=www.msnbc.msn.com=1^30=Visit%20Type%20to%20Content=Earned%20to%20Mixed=1&__utmk=266420685
By JoNel Aleccia, NBC News (Sep 14, 2012)
At least 270 people in 26 states have been sickened now by two strains of salmonella tied to cantaloupes recalled by an Indiana grower, federal health officials
said Thursday.
At least 101 people have been hospitalized during the outbreak. Three deaths have been reported in Kentucky, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
said.
At least 240 people have been infected with salmonella Typhimurium and 30 have been sickened by salmonella Newport.
The outbreak has been blamed on contaminated cantaloupes from Chamberlain Farms of Owensville, Ind., which was identified as one source of the problem.
The company recalled its entire crop of cantaloupes on Aug. 22. Health officials are continuing to investigate whether there were other sources as well.
Illnesses have been reported from July 6 to Aug. 30, the CDC said. Victims range in age from less than 1 to 100 years, with a median age of 49. Illnesses that
occurred after Aug. 20 might not yet be logged because of lags in reporting.
Most of the illnesses have been reported in Kentucky, where 70 people were sickened. Another 26 were reported ill in Illinois, with 24 sick in Indiana,
16 in Alabama and 15 in Missouri, officials said.
Chamberlain Farms also recalled its watermelons this week after inspectors detected a different strain of salmonella on the fruit.
Indiana state health officials collected and tested samples of the firm’s watermelon, which revealed an additional strain of salmonella Newport.
That strain is the same as that found in a cluster of 25 infections in eight states currently being investigated by state and federal officials.
No link has been established yet between the fruit and those illnesses, the CDC said. 

New Cantaloupe Recall Issued in 21 States, Mexico
Source : http://www.foodproductdesign.com/news/2012/09/new-cantaloupe-recall-issued-in-21-states-mexico.aspx
By FOOD PRODUCT DESIGN (Sep 14, 2012)
DFI Marketing, Inc., based in Fresno, Calif., is recalling cantaloupes sold to retailers in 21 states and Mexico because they may be contaminated with Salmonella,
the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced Sept. 12.
The recall involves approximately 28,000 cartons of“ DFI “826 CALIFORNIA WESTSIDE" bulk-packed cantaloupe packed in six, nine, 12, 15 or 18 cantaloupes
per carton. The cantaloupes were packed on Aug. 26, 2012, and distributed to between Aug. 27 and Sept. 10, 2012, to retailers in Alabama, Arizona, California,
Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New York, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas,
Virginia and Mexico.
Just last summer, cantaloupes were the cause of an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes that resulted in the deadliest foodborne illness outbreak in more than
25 years. According to the CDC, 30 people died and 133 persons in 26 states were sickened with the four outbreak-associated strains of Listeria monocytogenes
linked to whole cantaloupes grown at Jensen Farms’ production fields in Granada, Colo. In addition, one woman pregnant at the time of illness had a miscarriage.
Yesterday’s recall is the third major cantaloupe recall in the last two months over Salmonella or Listeria. In August, FDA announced the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed that samples of cantaloupe collected at Chamberlain Farms in Owensville, Ind., match the DNA fingerprint of the
Salmonella strain responsible for the recent outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium that has sickened 178 people and killed two people in 21 states.
On Aug. 3, the FDA warned consumers not to consume Caribbean Gold variety cantaloupes from Burch Equipment LLC in North Carolina because they may
be contaminated with Listeria. The recall was expanded on Aug. 10 to include all of this growing season's cantaloupes and honeydew melons because they may
be contaminated.

3 Dead, 14 Hospitalized From Tainted Ricotta Cheese
Source : http://www.foodproductdesign.com/news/2012/09/update-3-dead-14-hospitalized-from-tainted-ricott.aspx
By FOOD PRODUCT DESIGN (Sep 13, 2012)
Three people are dead and 14 hospitalized from a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes linked to Frescolina brand ricotta salata cheese distributed
by Forever Cheese, Inc., according to an update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The agency said illnesses have been reported in 11 states, including California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey,
New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Collaborative investigation efforts of local, state and federal public health and regulatory agencies
indicate that imported ricotta salata cheese is the likely source of this outbreak.
On Sept. 10, Forever Cheese recalled Frescolina brand ricotta salata cheese in 18 states and the District of Columbia because the cheese may be contaminated
with Listeria monocytogenes. The recall involves Forever Cheese lot # T9425 and/or production code 441202 on the original wheel. The cheese was sold to sold
to supermarkets, restaurants and wholesale distributors in California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts,
Maryland, Maine, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia between June 20 and Aug. 9, 2012.

When Cantaloupe Kills – Again! Salmonella Outbreak Impacts 270 in 26 States – 3 Dead
Source : http://www.marlerblog.com/legal-cases/when-cantaloupe-kills-again-salmonella-outbreak-impacts-270-in-26-states-3-dead/
By Bill Marler (Sep 13, 2012)
Last evening the FDA announced a recall of DFI Marketing Inc., 28,000 cartons of cantaloupe because it had the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. 
The cantaloupes may have been distributed from August 27 to September 10, 2012 primarily to retail customers in the following states and one country:
Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New York,
Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Mexico.
Today the CDC updated the Salmonella outbreak originating from Chamberlain Farms Produce, Inc. of Owensville, Indiana.  Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky have
been hardest hit with nearly ½ of the illness.  Kentucky, with three, has all of the deaths.  The new numbers are as follows:
A total of 270 persons infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Typhimurium (240 persons) and Salmonella Newport (30 persons) have been reported
from 26 states.
The number of ill persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium identified in each state is as follows: Alabama (16), Arkansas (6),
California (2), Florida (1), Georgia (9), Iowa (10), Illinois (26), Indiana (24), Kentucky (70), Massachusetts (2), Maryland (1), Michigan (6), Minnesota (5),
Missouri (15), Mississippi (7), Montana (1), New Jersey (2), North Carolina (7), Ohio (6), Oklahoma (1), Pennsylvania (2), South Carolina (5), Tennessee (8),
Texas (2), and Wisconsin (6).
The number of ill persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Newport identified in each state is as follows: Illinois (8), Indiana (9), Michigan (1),
Missouri (6), Ohio (3), Virginia (1), and Wisconsin (2)
101 ill persons have been hospitalized. Three deaths have been reported in Kentucky.

CDC Report On Cheese Listeria Outbreak Raises More Questions Than Answers
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/cdc-report-on-cheese-listeria-outbreak-raises-more-questions-than-answers/
By Carla Gillespie(Sep 13, 2012)
A recall for cheese linked to Listeria illnesses posted Monday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  provided little information about the outbreak
that has sickened 14 people and killed two. One day later, a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) filled in some gaps but it also
raised questions, according to a national food safety advocate.
“Forever Cheese is recalling cheese sold to distributors between June 20 and August 9, 2012, yet the CDC Epi Curve clearly shows that many outbreak illnesses
occurred long before the recall period. This implies that more product was implicated,” said Fred Pritzker, food safety attorney and advocate.  Pritzker is referring
to the bar graph included in all CDC outbreak reports that shows when samples from sick people were collected for testing.
Unlike Salmonella which can cause patients to become ill within six hours of eating contaminated food, Listeria can take up to 10 weeks, although the average
incubation period is about three weeks. The epi curve for this outbreak shows the first sample was taken March 25 and the most recent sample was taken August
26. So, half of the patients were sick enough to visit doctors and be tested for Listeria before the effective date for the recall.
Cheese is perishable, so was all the cheese that may have been tainted long gone before June 20? Not necessarily. According to the company’s own website,
Frescolina brand ricotta salata has a shelf life of four months. That should put the recall start date at least back to May and maybe earlier. That still doesn’t get
the recall dates and the epi curve to make sense but, another explanation does: cross-contamination.
“The CDC report makes clear that outbreak patients consumed a number of soft cheeses that were likely cross-contaminated by the recalled Frescolina brand
ricotta salata cheese,” said Pritzker. That would account for the illnesses on the first part of the epi curve. Recalls for other cheeses have not yet been
associated with  this outbreak. Pritzker says they should be, as soon as possible.  ”While I understand the hardship that may befall a producer of a cheese
implicated in a recall that was cross-contaminated through no fault of its own, it is still vitally important to identify the product so consumers can be aware of
and avoid the risk,” he said.

Questions About Whole Foods Market Cheese Recalls
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/questions-about-whole-foods-market-cheese-recalls/
By Linda Larsen (Sep 13, 2012)
On September 12, 2012, Whole Foods Market recalled Frescolina brand ricotta salata cheese imported by Forever Cheese, Inc. for Listeria monocytogenes
contamination. The product was sold in 21 states and Washington, D.C. The cheese was “cut into wedges, packaged in clear plastic wrap, and sold with
a Whole Foods Market scale label using PLU 293427,” according to the recall notice. The cheese is linked to a nationwide outbreak that has sickened
at least 14 people in 11 states. The FDA issued a nationwide recall for the cheese on September 10, 2012.
However, Whole Foods has not identified the store or distribution center that cut, repackaged, labeled, and distributed the cheese. The public does not know if,
in the process of cutting and repackaging the contaminated cheese, other cheeses or other products may have been contaminated.
Since this is not the first Whole Foods Listeria cheese recall of the year, that company should immediately inform the public if there is a connection between
the recalls. In July 2012, Whole Foods market in Pittsburgh recalled Jean Perrin Edel de Cleron cheese for Listeria contamination. That cheese sickened one
person.
Attorney Fred Pritzker, who is representing two victims of the listeriosis outbreak, said, “if these two outbreaks are related or if there is unsafe sanitation practices
contributing to them, the public has a right to know. This knowledge is particularly important to prevent more cases. If cross contamination occurred and
other cheeses are or may be adulterated, consumers must be told to avoid them.”
This outbreak has been ongoing since March 25, 2012. There may be other people sickened by the outbreak strain of the bacteria, especially since
the incubation period for Listeria monocytogenes can be as long as 70 days. Case patients may not link the cheese consumption with their illness after such
a long time period.
Pritzker added, “Whole Foods Market should immediately inform the public about whether there is a connection between these two Listeria recalls.
What was Whole Foods Market told by government regulators and its own sanitarians about practices, if any, that contributed to these two recalls?”

Kroger Recalls Ricotta Salata for Possible Listeria Contamination
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/kroger-recalls-ricotta-salata-for-possible-listeria-contamination/
By Kathy Will (Sep 13, 2012)
Kroger is recalling ricotta salata cheese “affected in QFC stores” because it may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. This is part of the larger recall
of the Frescolina brand ricotta salata made by Forever cheese that has sickened at least 14 people in 11 states and killed two. The outbreak was announced
by the CDC on September 11, 2012.
The cheese comes from one batch that was produced in Italy and imported to the United States. The FDA found the outbreak strain of the bacteria in an uncut
sample of the cheese. Since the cheese can have a four-month shelf-life, and it was sold between June 20 and August 9, 2012, some customers may still have
the cheese in their refrigerators. It’s possible that cross-contamination has occurred at some point along the distribution chain, which may have contaminated
other cheeses and deli products.
Ricotta salata is a hard cheese made from sheep’s milk. It is not the same as ricotta cheese, which is a soft spreadable cheese usually used to make cheesecake
and lasagna.
Cheese is often a vehicle for Listeria bacteria because it is is a low-acid, high moisture product. And Listeria bacteria are often prevalent in the creamery
environment, especially when they are located on farms. The best way to eliminate Listeria in cheese is to sample the surfaces in the creamery, including walls,
floors, work surfaces, and racks. Listeria encloses in a capsule, which makes it resistant to many sanitizers. And the bacteria can grow at refrigerator
temperatures.  Listeria is not heat-resistant, so when heating and cooking will destroy it.
Listeria also has a very long incubation period in humans. The symptoms of listeriosis may not manifest until 70 days after exposure. Someone who ate the
contaminated cheese in July may not show symptoms until September or October. If you or anyone you know has eaten cheese and develops Listeria symptoms,
which include flu-like fever, muscle aches, upset stomach, diarrhea, stiff neck, headache, loss of balance, and confusion, see your healthcare provider
immediately and tell her you ate ricotta salata cheese.

DFI Recalls California Cantaloupes for Possible Salmonella
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/dfi-recalls-california-cantaloupes-for-possible-salmonella/
By Linda Larsen (Sep 13, 2012)
DFI Marketing Inc. is recalling almost 500,000 California-grown cantaloupes that may be contaminated with Salmonella. The USDA’s Microbiological Data
Program found the bacteria on the fruit during routine testing at a wholesale produce distribution center. The melons were distributed from August 27 to
September 10, 2012. No illnesses have been reported in connection with the consumption of this product.
About 28,000 cartons are included in the recall. The fruit is packed 6, 7, 12, 15, or 18 per carton. The cartons are stamped with “825 CALIFORNIA WESTSIDE”
and were packed on August 26, 2012. The fruit waas distributed to these states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana,
Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New York, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. The fruit was also distributed to Mexico.
If you have purchased these melons, contact DFI Marketing at 1-559-449-0244 24 hours a day. You can return the melons to the store where it was purchased
or discard it. The company says they think most of the cantaloupes are no longer in commerce. Their internal sampling was negative for Salmonella.

Attorney Calls for Transparency in Ricotta Salata Listeria Outbreak Investigation
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/attorney-calls-for-transparency-in-ricotta-salata-listeria-outbreak-investigation/
By Linda Larsen (Sep 13, 2012)
Attorney Fred Pritzker, who is representing two people who were sickened in the Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to imported Frescolina ricotta salata
cheese, called on the CDC, FDA, and state health departments to name all of the cheeses, manufacturers, distributors, retail outlets, and restaurants who may
have sold the cheese.  Pritzker said, “Admittedly, health agencies must utilize discretion in identifying companies and products implicated in outbreaks.
However, the health of consumers must drive these disclosures, not the financial implications for companies in the supply chain of adulterated products.”
The cheese, which was distributed by Forever Cheese, Inc. of New York, has been recalled by Whole Foods, Kroger Foods, and the FDA. It is linked to an
outbreak which, according to the CDC, has sickened at least 14 people in 11 states and caused the death of two people. All of those sickened in this outbreak
have been hospitalized. The outbreak strain of Listeria is very rare, and has been found in an uncut sample of the cheese.
The CDC stated that a “retail location” cut and repackaged the cheese in question and most likely cross-contaminated other cheeses and perhaps other products. “If one retail location likely played such an important role in spreading the pathogen from the Frescolina brand ricotta salata cheese to other high-end cheeses, government officials and the companies involved should immediately identify the retailer and anyone else in the supply chain,” Pritzker continued.
A Whole Foods recall in July is linked to one of the confirmed cases of listeriosis. The Whole Foods store in Pittsburgh recalled Jean Perrin Edel de Cleron
cheese sold at the East Liberty store for possible Listeria contamination. One person was sickened with listeriosis after eating this cheese. Pritzker stated that
if the genetic fingerprint from that recall matches the PFGE pattern from the recalled Frescolina brand ricotta salata cheese, this raises even more questions
about how or whether cross contamination occurred and who was responsible for it.
Anyone who has suffered or who may suffer symptoms of listeriosis should contact their healthcare provider immediately, especially if they consumed cheeses
or other products from a store deli. The symptoms of Listeria food poisoning include a stiff neck, headache, flu-like fever, muscle aches, upset stomach, diarrhea,
and confusion or convulsions.

Farm linked salmonella outbreak from cantaloupe also pulls watermelons
Source : http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/09/12/13832173-farm-linked-salmonella-outbreak-from-cantaloupe-also-pulls-watermelons?lite#__utma=23814
5375.1260771225.1340239740.1347410439.1347498928.36&__utmb=238145375.1.10.1347498928&__utmc=238145375&__
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%7Chealth%7Cfood%20safety=1^12=Landing%20Content=Mixed=1^13=Landing%20Hostname=www.msnbc.msn.com=1^30=Visit%20Type%20to%20Content=
Earned%20to%20Mixed=1&__utmk=55741032
By NBC NEWS (Sep 13, 2012)
An Indiana farm linked to a salmonella outbreak from cantaloupe that killed two people has now pulled its watermelons from the market.
The Indiana State Department of Health said it has no reports of illnesses connnected to Chamberlain Farms' watermelons.
Agency spokeswoman Amy Reel tells the Evansville Courier & Press the salmonella strain in the Owensville farm's watermelon is different from that found in its
cantaloupe last month.
Grocery chain Schnucks says it removed the watermelons from its stores after hearing from the grower.
The farm's attorney didn't immediately return a call from The Associated Press seeking comment Wednesday.
The Food and Drug Administration says the cantaloupe contamination killed two Kentucky residents and sickened 204 people in 22 states.

Cross contamination common cause of food borne illnesses
Source : http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/health/cross-contamination-common-cause-of-food-borne-illnesses-1.1074448?utm_content=1.1074448&utm_
medium=RSS&utm_source=Feeds&utm_campaign=%3c%21%5bCDATA%5bCross_contamination_common_cause_of_food_borne_illnesses%5d%5d%3e&local
LinksEnabled=false&utm_term=%3c%21%5bCDATA%5bNews_RSS_feed%5d%5d%3e
By Shveta Pathak, Staff Reporter (Sep 13, 2012)
Dubai: Preventing cross contamination can significantly reduce chances of food borne illnesses, food safety experts have said.
One of the most common causes of such illnesses, including food poisoning, is keeping raw and cooked food together and using the same chopping boards for
different kinds of food. These are the most common incidences of negligence observed by the Dubai Municipality during inspections.
“Cross contamination is one of the most common causes of food borne illnesses and a little care can help us prevent it. Using the same grill to heat and cook
chicken and meat is among the most common mistakes.
“Not only in restaurants, negligence in handling food is common in households as well,” said Bobby Krishna, senior food studies and surveys officer with the
Food Control Department, Dubai Municipality.
The Dubai Municipality is generating awareness through brochures and leaflets about proper handling of food to prevent cross contamination.
Giving details on how improper handling can lead to cross contamination, Krishna said: “Cooked food easily gets contaminated when mixed with raw food.
The microbes get easily transferred from raw to cooked food and this can happen while cooking, cutting and also storage.”
According to the awareness presentation by the municipality, raw meat, chicken and fish contain abundant bacteria which can easily contaminate another item
of food when we touch it without washing hands.
Bacteria can also get transferred from raw food to cooked items through knives, cutting boards, utensils etc... and may cause severe food poisoning.
The Food Control Department advises people to be particularly careful about using separate cutting boards and knives for raw and ready–to-eat items.
Another important safety measure to be kept in mind is not to touch cooked or ready-to-eat items without a proper hand wash after touching raw items like meat,
fish and poultry.
While shopping, keep raw food bags separate from cooked and ready to eat food.

New Salmonella cantaloupe strain, ricotta cheese recall
Source : http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/fs/food-disease/news/sep1312foodscan.html
By CIDRAP (Sep 13, 2012)
Second Salmonella strain found in cantaloupe-linked outbreak
A Salmonella outbreak linked to cantaloupe from an Indiana farm has climbed to 270 cases, an increase of 66 from the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention's (CDC's) last update on Aug 30. The new total includes 30 people with Salmonella Newport infections that were identified as related to the outbreak,
the CDC said in an update today. Initially, the outbreak involved only Salmonella Typhimurium. Illnesses have been reported in 26 states, an increase of 4 from
the CDC's last outbreak. So far 101 patients have been hospitalized, and one more death has been reported, pushing that total to three. Tests conducted by
the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on samples of cantaloupes from Chamberlain Farms yielded Salmonella Newport with a genetic pattern that matched
the cluster of 30 illnesses added to the outbreak total, so the CDC has combined the two investigations.
Sep 13 CDC outbreak update
In another development, Indiana officials who tested samples of watermelon grown at the farm found a different strain of Salmonella Newport that is linked to
a cluster of 25 illnesses in 8 states, the Associated Press (AP) reported yesterday. State and federal officials are currently investigating those illnesses
to determine if there is a link to eating watermelon from Chamberlain Farms.
Sep 12 AP story
Whole Foods Market recalls ricotta in 21 states
Whole Foods Market yesterday recalled Ricotta Salata Frescolina cheese from its stores in 21 states and Washington, DC, the FDA said yesterday.
The supplier of the cheese, Forever Cheese Inc., of Long Island City, NY, recalled the brand because of possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes,
which has caused 14 cases of illness in 11 states so far. The cheese in question at Whole Foods is sold in clear plastic-wrapped wedges with labels marked
PLU 293427 and "sell by" dates through Oct 2, according to the FDA notice. Whole Foods Market stores in the following states are affected: Alabama (1 store),
Arizona (2), California (2), Colorado (2), Florida (5), Georgia (4), Kansas (1), Kentucky (1), Maryland (6), North Carolina (7), New Jersey (2), New Mexico (2),
New York (2), Ohio (2), Oregon (6), Pennsylvania (5), South Carolina (1), Tennessee (3), Utah (1), Virginia (6), and Washington (6), as well as Washington,
DC (3).
Sep 12 FDA notice
Sep 11 CIDRAP News Scan on the outbreak

Listeria outbreak deaths, South Korea's floating toilets, polio in Nigeria,
H5N1 in Mongolia

Source : http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/fs/food-disease/news/sep1212newsscan.html
By CIDRAP(Sep 12, 2012)
Three deaths reported in multistate Listeria outbreak
Three fatalities are among the 14 cases that have been identified so far in a multistate Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to imported Frescolina brand
ricotta salata cheese, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced yesterday. Listeriosis contributed to at least one of the deaths.
All 14 patients sickened in the outbreak were hospitalized. Four cases were related to pregnancy, with two of the infections reported in newborns;
the CDC said no babies have died in the outbreak. Illness onset dates range from Mar 28 to Aug 30. Epidemiologic investigations revealed that 12 of the 14
patients reported eating soft cheese that had been cut and repackaged at a retail location. A variety of cheeses consumed by the patients suggested
cross-contamination of other cheeses, and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) testing found the outbreak strain in a sample of uncut Frescolina brand ricotta
salata cheese, which was recalled by its distributor, Forever Cheese, Inc., on Sep 10. Investigations are under way in several states to determine the source
of contamination. Maryland, with three cases, is the only state to report more than one. The deaths were in Minnesota, Nebraska, and New York.
Sep 11 CDC outbreak announcement
South Korea floats toilet innovation to help clean up shellfish farms
In response to a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ban on South Korean shellfish, the Asian country is spending almost $600,000 on 11 floating toilets
to help keep human waste out of shellfish farms, Medical Xpress reported today. The toilets, which sit on pontoons and are to be used by the crews of small
fishing vessels that work the farms, cost $53,300 each, and contain state-of-the-art purification systems. The first of the toilets appeared yesterday off
the southern port city of Tongyeong as part of a project by South Gyeongsang province. "This project underlines our efforts to stop pollution from human
fecal waste," a provincial official said. The province is also setting up fixed toilets at all 103 fish and seafood farms along its southern coast, the story said.
In June the FDA urged US restaurants and food outlets to stop selling fresh, frozen, and canned oysters, clams, and mussels from South Korea.
The agency is slated to inspect the area in October. Canada and Taiwan have also banned South Korean oysters.
Sep 12 Medical Xpress article


Official says polio elimination in Nigeria not near
A World Health Organization (WHO) official said yesterday that Nigeria is not on track to eliminate wild poliovirus in 2012, according to AllAfrica News.
Bruce Aylward, MD, MPH, WHO assistant director-general of polio, emergencies and country collaboration, said at a meeting in Abuja that increasing polio
cases in Nigeria are a "real and growing danger to international public health." Aylward said during the 24th session of the Expert Review Committee Meeting
on Polio Eradication that Nigeria is the only country in the world that has had infections with polio type 1 and type 2 in the last 3 months and the only one
with increasing cases. He recommended eight steps for polio eradication, including implementing the new house-based micro planning and monitoring method
for immunization, addressing chronic gaps in surveillance, optimizing emergency surge, identifying chronically missed children, and establishing true emergency
oversight.
Sep 11 AllAfrica News story
Mongolia surveillance suggests wild birds carry H5N1, but not for long
Occasional evidence of H5N1 avian influenza in wild birds in Mongolia suggests that they can carry the virus for considerable distances, but the sporadic
nature of outbreaks indicates that wild birds do not serve as long-term reservoirs for it, according to a study in PLoS One. The findings come from surveillance
of wild birds in Mongolia—which has almost no domestic birds—from 2005 through 2011. Eight outbreaks were detected through active and passive surveillance
during the 7 years. No highly pathogenic (HPAIV) H5N1 viruses were isolated from 7,855 environmental fecal samples or from 2,765 live, clinically healthy birds,
but four H5N1 isolates were isolated from 141 clinically ill or dead birds found during active surveillance. All the detections occurred in 2005 and 2006 (clade 2.2)
or 2009 and 2010 (clade 2.3.2.1)—all years in which spring H5N1 outbreaks were reported in Tibet and/or Qinghai provinces of China.
"The occurrence of outbreaks in areas deficient in domestic poultry is strong evidence that wild birds can carry HPAIV over at least moderate distances,"
the report says. "However, failure to detect further outbreaks of clade 2.2 after June 2006, and clade 2.3.2.1 after June 2010 suggests that wild birds migrating
to and from Mongolia may not be competent as indefinite reservoirs of HPAIV, or that HPAIV did not reach susceptible populations during our study."
Sep 11 PLoS One study

AvoDerm Natural Dog Food Recalled for Possible Salmonella
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/avoderm-natural-dog-food-recalled-for-possible-salmonella/
By Kathy Will (Sep 12, 2012)
Breeder’s Choice Pet Food is recalling a single batch of AvoDerm Natural Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Adult Dog Formula because it may be contaminated
with Salmonella bacteria. Salmonella can affect animals eating the food, and human beings can contract salmonellosis by handling the food or anything the food
has touched.
The recalled product is sold in 26 pound bags, with UPC number 0 5290702043 8 and product code/SKU/material # 1000065074. The best before codes include
28 Aug 2013, 29 Aug 2013, and 30 Aug 2013. No human or pet illnesses have been reported to date in connection with the consumption of this product.
Pets infected with Salmonella may be lethargic, have bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets may have only very mild symptoms or no symptoms at all.
If your pet has eaten this product and has symptoms of salmonellosis, consult your veterinarian.
If you have purchased this product, return it to the place of purchase for a refund. The product was distributed in California, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, Virginia,
and Washington. For questions and inquiries, call Breeder’s Choice Customer Service at 1-866-500-6286 to talk to a customer service representative or
a veterinarian.

 

Job openings

09/13. Internship - R&D Food Safety Job - Maplewood, MN
09/13. Ext Dairy and Food Processing Spec - Twin Falls, ID
09/12. Laboratory Technologist III – Covington, GA
09/12. Auditor FT & PT – San Antonio, TX
09/12. Quality & Food Safety Manager - Ohio
09/11. Food Safety Specialist – Jessup, MD
09/11. Regulatory Affairs Specialist – Maplewood, MN
09/11. EHS Food & Safety Coordinator – Stanley, WI
09/11. Food Safety Manager – Jessup, MD

 

3fish Recalling Seafood for Possible Listeria
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/3fish-recalling-seafood-for-possible-listeria/
By Linda Larsen (Sep 12, 2012)
3fish of North Carolina is recalling all of their seafood cakes and stuffed fish products that contain Gills onions because they may be contaminated
with Listeria monocytogenes. The onion recall started on July 19, 2012 and expanded several times over the summer.
The recalled items were sold along the east coast and repackaged by individual stores. The products were sold to Harris Teeter, Ingles, MDI
(Merchants Distributors Inc), and US Foodservice. Only products with use-by dates between 9/10/2012 and 9/15/2012 are included in the recall.
The items include Item #79003, Maryland Crab Cake Bulk; Item 79009, Charl Crab Cake Bulk; Item #79011, Crab Stuffing – Bucket; Item #79018,
Signature Lump Crab Cake; Item #79035, Carolina Style Crab Cakes 4 ounce; Item #79037, Carolina Style Crab Cakes .5 ounce. Also recalled are Item #79048,
MD Crab Cakes – Value Tray Pack; Item #79202, Stuffed Salmon 8 count; Item #79203, Stuffed Tilapia 8 count; Item #79204, Stuffed Flounder 8 count; Item
#79217, Devil Stuffed Crab 10 count; Item #79219 Devil Stuffed Crab 3 ounce; and Item #79420, Premium Lobster Cake 3 ounce.
These products have been quarantined or destroyed at store level or at the warehouse level. No illnesses have been reported to date in connection
with consumption of these products. If you have purchased these items, return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. For questions, all 3fish, Inc.
at 1-800-213-3462 Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm ET.

Cheese Kills 3, Sickening 14 in 11 State Listeria Outbreak
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/foodborne-illness-outbreaks/cheese-kills-3-sickening-14-in-11-state-listeria-outbreak/
By Bill Marler (Sep 11, 2012)
As of September 11, 2012, a total of 14 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported from 11 states
and the District of Columbia.
The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: California (1), Colorado (1), District of Columbia (1), Maryland (3), Minnesota (1), Nebraska (1),
New Jersey (1), New Mexico (1), New York (1), Ohio (1), Pennsylvania (1), and Virginia (1). All 14 ill persons have been hospitalized.
Three deaths have been reported.
Collaborative investigation efforts of local, state, and federal public health and regulatory agencies indicate that imported ricotta salata cheese is the likely source
of this outbreak. On September 10, 2012, Forever Cheese, Inc. recalled one lot of Frescolina brand ricotta salata cheese due to Listeria monocytogenes
contamination.
The cheese was sold to distributors for retailers and restaurants in California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland,
Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington between June 20, 2012 and August 9,
2012.

Marler Clark, Milk, Cheese and E. coli, Listeria and Campylobacter
Source : http://www.marlerblog.com/legal-cases/marler-clark-milk-cheese-and-e-coli-listeria-and-campylobacter/
By Bill Marler (Sep 11, 2012)
Late last night Forever Cheese recalled all Ricotta Salata Frescolina brand, Forever Cheese lot # T9425 and/or production code 441202, from one specific
production date due to possible Listeria Monocytogenes contamination. The cheese was sold to distributors for retailers and restaurants in CA, CO, D.C., FL,
GA, IL, IN, MA, MD, ME, MT, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OR, PA, VA, WA between June 20 and August 9, 2012. Products were sold to supermarkets, restaurants
and wholesale distributors. The cheese in question is Ricotta Salata brand Frescolina from one production date coded 441202 on the original wheel.
There have been 14 reported illnesses in 11 states.
Where have I heard about cheese and milk-product outbreaks before – yes, up and down the halls at Marler Clark.
• In November 2011, the Washington State Department of Agriculture began to investigate unpasteurized (raw) milk dairy Cozy Valley Creamery after three
Washington victims with strains of genetically identical E. coli O157:H7 reported consuming Cozy Valley raw milk products. At least two of the victims were
children that developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) – a development of an E. coli infection that results in kidney failure. Cozy Valley recalled its raw skim
and whole milk after the State’s environmental testing of the Tenino, Washington-based dairy showed evidence of E. coli contamination in the dairy’s milking
parlor and processing areas. Recalled products were sold retail at the farm store and at Marlene’s Market in Tacoma, two Olympia Food Co-Op locations
in Olympia, Olympia Local Foods in Tumwater, Yelm Co-op in Yelm, Mt. Community Co-op in Eatonville and Marlene’s Market in Federal Way.
• In early November, 2010, Costco, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration announced that Bravo Farms Dutch
Style Gouda Cheese sold and sampled at Costco Wholesale stores in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico was the source of
an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak. At least 38 people in those five states became ill with a unique strain of E. coli O157:H7 that had never before been seen
in the CDC’s PulseNet database. The public health investigation into the outbreak began in mid-October, as patients with E. coli O157:H7 infections were
diagnosed in various states where the Costco “cheese road show” took place. Most of the victims either purchased the Bravo Farms Gouda cheese or
sampled it at Costco stores. Arizona and Colorado reported the most outbreak cases: Arizona (19), Colorado (11), California (3), New Mexico (3), and Nevada (2).
Additionally, 15 of 24 cheese samples collected tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes, a pathogenic organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal
infections in children and the elderly. The samples came from four different types of Bravo Farms cheese, including cheddar, edam, gouda, and jack.
And one sample, a cheddar cheese, tested positive for E. coli O157:H7.
• In the summer of 2008, an outbreak of Campylobacter jejuni in Del Norte County, California (near the Oregon border) that sickened 16 people and left
one paralyzed was traced to Alexandre EcoDairy Farm raw milk. Fifteen of the people who were infected with Campylobacter consumed the milk; the 16th was
an employee of the dairy. The consumers were part of a “cow-leasing” program, which gave them access to the milk. Mari Tardiff developed Guillain Barre
Syndrome (GBS) following her Campylobacter illness. GBS is a rare and debilitating complication that left her paralyzed and on a ventilator for months.
The Daily Triplicate in Crescent City, CA published a three-part story by Nick Grube about Mari’s illness and struggle for recovery.
• The Massachusetts Department of Health initiated an outbreak investigation November 2007 following the report of an 87-year-old man, John Powers,
who had tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes. The investigation determined that Mr. Powers and 4 others contracted Listeria from pasteurized milk
produced by Whittier Farms. Mr. Powers consumed coffee-flavored milk, which was later determined to be contaminated with Listeria. Of the five people sickened,
three were male, and the median age was 75 (range 31-87); all five patients were hospitalized. All three of the males (75 to 87 years old), including Mr. Powers,
died from sepsis attributed to Listeria, and died close to the time of their acute illness onset. The first case in a female was in a 31 year old woman who had
chorioamnionitis at 36 weeks gestation. She delivered a healthy but premature infant. A subsequent placental culture tested positive for Listeria.
The second case in a female was in a 34 year old woman who had a fever and abdominal pain. She experienced a stillbirth at 37 weeks gestation,
and cultures of her blood, fetal blood, and placental tissue all were positive for Listeria monocytogenes. The investigation found Listeria in samples taken
from the dairy. Those samples matched the victims’ cultures, as well as that in the milk. It turned out that Whittier Farms did not have an environmental monitoring
program in place for Listeria monocytogenes. The dairy closed in February 2008, citing inability to afford the safety upgrades that were needed.
• On September 18, 2006, the California Department of Health Services (CDHS) was notified that two patients were hospitalized with hemolytic uremic syndrome
(HUS). One of the patients had been culture-confirmed with an E. coli O157:H7 infection. In the following three weeks, four additional cases were identified,
all with a genetically indistinguishable strain of E. coli from the hospitalized patient who had tested positive for E. coli. CDHS learned that all patients,
including the patient hospitalized with HUS who did not test positive for E. coli, had consumed raw milk or colostrum purchased from Organic Pastures in the days
before becoming ill, and joined with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) in an environmental investigation of the dairy.
The CDHS/CDFA environmental investigation revealed that Organic Pastures’ dairy products purchased off store shelves contained unusually high aerobic
plate counts. In addition, cows from the Organic Pastures Dairy tested positive for E. coli O157:H7, although the strain was not the same strain isolated from
ill individuals. CDHS concluded that the likely source of the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak among Organic Pastures customers was unpasteurized dairy products.
• On December 12, 2005, the Washington State Department of Agriculture’s (WSDA) Food Safety Program (FSP) was notified that the Washington Department
of Health had received a report of a positive E. coli O157:H7 test in a patient from the Vancouver, Washington, area. WSDA FSP was further notified that the
Clark County Health Department had determined that several E. coli cases had been caused by the consumption of raw milk produced by Dee Creek Farm
in Woodland, Washington. Prior to the December outbreak, WSDA had learned of Dee Creek Farm’s cow-share program, and had ordered the farm to cease
the dispensing, giving, trading, or selling of milk or to meet requirements for selling milk that had been laid out by WSDA. The letter was sent in August 2005,
and WSDA received a response from Dee Creek Farm in September 2005, stating that the farm was not selling milk but that the farm’s owners intended to meet
requirements for a milk producer and retail raw milk processor in the future.

 

Henry’s Farm FDA Warning Letter for Listeria Monocytogenes in Sprouts
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/henrys-farm-fda-warning-letter-for-listeria-monocytogenes-in-sprouts/
By Linda Larsen (Sep 11, 2012)
The FDA has sent a warning letter to Henry’s Farm, Inc. in Virginia for possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination in soy bean sprouts. A sample of the
sprouts tested by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services yielded a positive test result for the bacteria.
Samples collected by the FDA at the onsite inspection in April and May, 2012 yielded Listeria monocytogenes. Inspectors found “numerous insanitary conditions
and practices that may have contributed directly or indirectly to contamination of your sprouts with pathogens and filth.” There were numerous rodent pellets
in bags of mung beans, and gnaw marks on 25 kg paper bags of soybeans in the refrigerated seed storage area. Gaps under the doors could lead to
contamination, and a “foul odor consistent with rodent infestations” was noticed in the shed.
A hand-washing sink drained used water directly onto the floor, which can contaminate products, equipment, and shoes. The wash bin exit chute had an
accumulation of debris on the underside of a conveyer belt that was located above a conveyor belt on which soybeans are transported. The facility did not use
detergent for washing equipment and food contact surfaces. A metal mesh conveyor belt had loose metal burrs and there is no metal detection step in the sprout
processing system.
The company’s representatives must meet with FDA inspectors to rectify these problems. The company must provide document and photographs to support
corrections made.

Multi-State Listeria Outbreak Linked To Forever Cheese Includes Ohio and Colorado
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/multi-state-listeria-outbreak-linked-to-forever-cheese-includes-ohio-and-colorado/
By Carla Gillespie (Sep 11, 2012)
A Colorado resident and an Ohio resident are among the 14 people who have been sickened in an 11-state outbreak of listeriosis linked to Frescolina brand
Ricotta Salata by Forever Cheese, state public health officials told Food Poisoning Bulletin today. The outbreak was announced last night by the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration (FDA).
The case patient in Ohio is a 29-year-old female living in Franklin County, according to a health department spokeswoman. Specific information about the
Colorado patient was not available.
Ricotta salata is a pressed and dried variation of ricotta cheese which is usually made with sheep’s milk. The recalled cheese was distributed to restaurants,
retailers and wholesalers in 18 states and the District of Columbia between June 20 and August 9, 2012.  They are being contacted with recall information
and the cheese should soon be removed from store shelves. Consumers who have already purchased the cheese should not eat it.
The FDA has not yet released a case count by state. The recalled cheese had a production date code of 441202 and was initially distributed to the following
states: CA, CO, FL, GA, IL, IN, MA, MD, ME, MT, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OR, PA, VA, WA, and the District of Columbia.
Listeria monocytogenes is a bacteria that can cause serious illnesses and death, hospitalization is required in about 90 percent of cases. Symptoms of a Listeria
infection, called listeriosis, include fever, muscle aches, upset stomach and diarrhea. Young children, seniors and pregnant women are those most at risk. 
While pregnant women may only experience mild symtpoms, Listeria can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth and birth defects. 
Consumers who have eaten this cheese and develop symptoms should see a health care provider.

Ricotta-linked Listeria outbreak, drop in bloodstream infections
Source : http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/fs/food-disease/news/sep1112scan.html
By CIDRAP(Sep 11, 2012)
Multistate Listeria outbreak prompts ricotta recall
A New York company, Forever Cheese, Inc., is recalling one production date of its Ricotta Salata Frescolina cheese due to possible links to 14 Listeria
monocytogenes infections in 11 states, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said yesterday in a recall notice. The cheese subject to the recall
was sold to retailers and distributors in 18 states and the District of Columbia from Jun 20 to Aug 9. The lots were sold to supermarkets, restaurants,
and wholesale distributors in California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York,
Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington. The company said it is contacting retailers and distributors to pull all remaining products
from the marketplace. People at risk for severe complications from Listeria infection include older people, those with underlying medical conditions,
and pregnant women.
Sep 10 FDA recall notice
HHS reports 40% drop in bloodstream infections after national safety initiative
A nationwide patient safety project funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
reduced the rate of central line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) in participating intensive care units (ICUs) by 40%, according to preliminary
findings reported yesterday. Using a toolkit called the Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP), the initiative prevented more than 2,000 CLABSIs,
saved more than 500 lives, and realized more than $34 million in health care savings, AHRQ said in a news release. The project involved teams at more than 1,
100 ICUs in 44 states over 4 years. Preliminary data indicate that participating hospitals reduced the rate of CLABSIs nationally from 1.9 to 1.1 infections
per 1,000 central-line days, an overall drop of 40%. CUSP helps healthcare professionals identify and address safety problems that lead to CLABSIs,
the agency said. "This project gives us a framework for taking research to scale in practical ways that help front-line clinicians provide the safest care possible
for their patients," AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, MD, said in the release.
Sep 10 AHRQ news release

Salmonella Heidelberg Found at Former Wright County Egg Facility
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/salmonella-heidelberg-found-at-former-wright-county-egg-facility/
By  Linda Larsen (Sep 10, 2012)
In 2010, Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms in north central Iowa were the center of a huge egg recall after eggs produced at those facilities were linked
to a nationwide outbreak that sickened at least 2,000 Americans. On August 14, 2012, the FDA sent the company that acquired those facilities a warning letter
about the presence of Salmonella Heidelberg (SH) bacteria in two of its six poultry houses.
More than half a billion eggs were recalled two years ago during the outbreak. Centrum Valley Farms leased all of the egg production facilities owned by Jack
and Peter DeCoster in 2011. FDA inspectors discovered Salmonella Heidelberg (SH) in the poultry houses during inspections last April and May. The letter states
that the facility has “serious violations of the Prevention of Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) in Shell Eggs regulation.”
More specifically, the facility does not have a written SE prevention plan that tests the pullet environment and does not have procedures for “removing dust,
feathers and old feed from a pullet house for which an environmental test was positive.” In addition, the facility did not test for SE within two critical time periods;
when the pullets are 14-16 weeks of age, and again when laying hens reached 40 to 45 weeks of age. Only 4 samples were provided for a representative
environmental sample, when 12 are required. Finally, there were no records recoding compliance with refrigeration requirements.
Regarding the finding of Salmonella Heidelberg, the FDA stated that “SH is an organism that can transmit via the transovarian route, in a fashion similar to SE.
There is a strong body of scientific evidence indicating the primary risk factor for SH illnesses is shell eggs. Furthermore, SH has caused several egg associated
outbreaks resulting in human illness and at times death. Given this body of evidence, FDA considers SH within a poultry house environment to be a public health
threat.”
The transovarian route of transmission means that the bacteria can get inside the shell to the egg itself. This can sicken people who cook their eggs less than
well-done, such as “over easy” fried eggs, or eggs used raw in recipes.
Centrum has responded to the FDA’s letter, but was told to write to the FDA again, detailing the corrections it has made to the facilities since the inspection.

Job openings

09/07. Food Safety Specialist 1 - Ohio
09/07. Food Safety Manager – Jessup, MD
09/07. Food Safety- Hygienist – Itasca, IL
09/06. Food Safety Specialist – Salisbury, NC
09/06. Food Safety Security Training Coordinator – UC Davis
09/06. HACCP Technician - Jessup, MD
09/04. Sanitation/Food Safety – New Orleans, LA
09/04. Food Safety Specialist - Harahan, LA
09/04. Microbial Food Safety Of Hort. Foods – UC Davis

Cholera in Sierra Leone – update
Source : http://www.who.int/csr/don/2012_09_08/en/index.html
By WHO(Sep 08, 2012)
The Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS) is closely working with partners at the national and international levels to step up response to the cholera
outbreak that has affected Sierra Leone since the beginning of the year.
As of 5 September 2012, a total of 16,360 cases including 255 deaths with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 1.6% have been reported from 12 out of 13 districts.
The Western area of the country where the capital city of Freetown is located, reported more than 60% of all new cases.
The President of Sierra Leone has declared the cholera epidemic a ‘’humanitarian crisis’’. A high level Presidential Cholera Task Force was established
to oversee coordination, mobilization of resources and guide the response. A multi-sectoral approach to the response has been adopted involving the MOHS
and other line ministries such as Finance, Information and Communication, and local governments together with partners and stakeholders.
With support from national and international partners and donors, including UNICEF, Oxfam, British Red Cross, Save the Children, Care, Concern MSF, DFID,
OCHA, IRC, and WHO, the MOHS is scaling up the response particularly in the areas of coordination of the overall response, surveillance and case management.
A Cholera Control and Command Center (C4) has been established at the WHO Country Office in Freetown to strengthen the coordination, and support the
MOHS and other health providers to implement activities related to Cholera Preparedness and Response Operation Plan (CPROP), in order to bring the epidemic
under control as soon as possible. The C4 will also provide information to guide the decision-making of the national task force.
Emphasis is being placed on early detection of cases and timely provision of treatment at the district levels, in order to reduce deaths. Cholera cases are
managed in Cholera treatment units (CTUs) and where there are no established CTUs, emphasis is placed on designating specific areas within the health
facilities for isolation purposes.
WHO through the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) has provided experienced case management and laboratory experts from
the International Center for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) to build capacity among health care workers and laboratory technicians
in case management and laboratory diagnosis.
Laboratories at the national level are being supplied with appropriate materials and reagents to collect, transport and analyze laboratory specimens. Laboratory
confirmation is important, particularly in new areas experiencing the cholera outbreak.
There are ongoing community interventions on cholera prevention and control activities. More than 200 traditional healers have been oriented on cholera.
Community meetings are organized in Freetown to raise awareness to avoid drinking water from unprotected water sources. Text messages are also being
used to channel information to the public by telephone companies. UNICEF and other partners are supporting water, sanitation and hygiene activities.
With respect to this event, WHO does not recommend that any travel or trade restrictions be applied to Sierra Leone.

Salmonella Outbreak Linked To Pet Hedgehogs
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/salmonella-outbreak-linked-to-pet-hedgehogs/
By Carla Gillespie (Sep 07, 2012)
A trend in keeping African pygmy hedgehogs, which are about the size of hamsters, as pets is the likely driver of a multi-state Salmonella outbreak, according
to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Fourteen people in six states have become ill after having contact with hedgehogs.
Three people have been hospitalized.
Most of the case patients interviewed so far specifically mentioned contact with the tiny animals in the week before becoming ill. And most of them are children
under the age of 10. By state the case count is as follows: Alabama (1), Indiana (1), Michigan (3), Minnesota (2), Ohio (2), and Washington (5).
The CDC is collaborating with state public health and agriculture officials and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service,
Animal Care Program (USDA-APHIS-AC) to investigate this outbreak of a rare strain of SalmonellaTyphimurium. Those who became ill purchase the hedgehogs
from multiple breeders in different states.
Salmonella is a bacteria that causes illness when ingested. Hedgehogs and other animals shed these germs in their droppings which can contaminate their
bodies spreading the germs where they live and roam. Thoroughly washing hands with soap and water right after touching hedgehogs or anything
they touched is the best way to prevent illness. The CDC recommends that adults supervise hand washing for young children.
Symptoms of Salmonella include abdominal cramps diarrhea and fever which usually develop 12 to 72 hours after exposure and last up to a week.
Anyone who develops these symptoms after handling a hedgehog should see a health care provider.

E. coli Outbreak at Saginaw Correctional Facility in Michigan
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/e-coli-outbreak-at-saginaw-correctional-facility-in-michigan/
By Linda Larsen (Sep 06, 2012)
John C. Cordell, Public Information Specialist with the Michigan Department of Corrections told Food Poisoning Bulletin that there is an outbreak of STEC,
or Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, at the Saginaw Correctional Facility. The facility is quarantined with no prisoner transfers, no group programming or prisoner
visitation.
So far, 89 prisoners and seven staff have been confirmed ill with the E. coli bacteria. Four prisoners have been hospitalized, but there are no cases of hemolytic
uremic syndrome. The hospitalizations have been for dehydration.
Most cases occurred from August 27 to August 30, 2012. The outbreak may be over, since no cases were identified on September 3 or 4, 2012. The facility may
be able to return to normal operations at the end of this week, since the incubation period for this type of bacteria is 3 to 10 days. The facility is also monitoring
prisoners who transferred out of the prison to other correctional facilities in the days before the outbreak.
Public health officials are looking at all avenues of transmission, focusing on food and food preparation. The Saginaw County Health Department, the Michigan
Department of Community Health, and the Michigan Department of Agriculture are assisting with the investigation.
STEC bacteria produce Shiga toxins, which go into the bloodstream and destroy red blood cells, causing anemia. The toxins can target the kidneys,
which causes hemolytic uremic syndrome that can destroy that organ. The central nervous system can also be affected by Shiga toxins.

Cholera in West Africa, food safety center in Minnesota
Source : http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/fs/food-disease/news/sep0612foodscan.html
By CDIRAP(Sep 06, 2012)
Groups warn rains will worsen West Africa's cholera outbreak
A cholera epidemic in West Africa will worsen as rains and flooding promote the spread of the disease, the World Health Organization (WHO) and
the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) warned yesterday in a statement. So far 55,289 cholera cases in 15 countries have been reported,
with the disease spreading fast in Mano River Basin countries of Guinea and Sierra Leone, those along the Congo River, and western Niger.
The groups said 1,109 deaths have been reported. Some of the hardest hit countries are experiencing unusually heavy rains, which have flooded
shantytowns in some urban areas and contributed to the spread of the disease. The number of cases in West and Central Africa this year is 34%
higher than in the same period last year, and health officials expect cases to climb during the rainy season. Luis Sambo, MD, the WHO's regional
director for Africa, said in the statement, "Governments need to declare an emergency early so as to benefit from the necessary technical and
other support of partners. Just as crucial are better surveillance and cross-border collaboration between health authorities."
Sep 5 UNICEF press release
CDC picks Minnesota for regional Food Safety Center of Excellence
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has chosen the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the University of Minnesota's
School of Public Health (SPH) to set up one of five regional Food Safety Centers of Excellence for detecting and responding to foodborne disease outbreaks,
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., announced yesterday. The CDC awarded the MDH $199,970 to help set up the center, which will provide other states
with support and training for conducting food safety surveillance and outbreak investigations, Klobuchar said in a press release. "Minnesota has been
a leader in the effort to improve food safety, and today's announcement means that our state will continue to be on the front lines in the fight to keep consumers
safe," Klobuchar said in the release. She and Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., authored the portion of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, enacted in 2011,
that established the Food Safety Centers of Excellence. Since then, Klobuchar said, she has worked with CDC Director Thomas Frieden, MD, MPH, to ensure
that the five centers receive funds to begin operating. "Because outbreak investigations are the only way to identify new food safety hazards, the Centers will
have an important role to play in rapidly identifying and effectively responding to these new threats," Craig Hedberg, PhD, of the SPH's Division of Environmental
Health Sciences, commented in the press release.
Sep 5 Klobuchar press release

E. coli Outbreak In New York Expands
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/e-coli-outbreak-in-new-york-expands/
By Carla Gillespie (Sep 05, 2012)
The source of an unusual E. coli outbreak that has sickened 10 people in the Finger Lakes region of New York since early August has yet to be identified,
Joan Ellison, Livingston County’s director of public health told Food Poisoning Bulletin today.
Nine Livingston County residents and one person from Onondaga County have developed E. coli infections over the last month. Three of them had cases so
severe that they were hospitalized, but have since been released. Lab tests that use a genetic “fingerprinting” method called pulsed field gel electrophoresis
(PFGE)  have confirmed that eight of the cases patients were sickened by the same strain of  E.coli 0157:H7. Test results for two case patients from Livingston
County are pending.
While public health authorities have been able to identify the outbreak strain, they have not yet been able to identify a specific source of the outbreak.
“There is a thread that connects them, but not a rope that ties them all together,” Ellison said. “It’s really hard to say where it’s coming from.”
The outbreak began in early August with a cluster of seven cases in Livingston County. Then, last week, new cases popped up, including one in a second county.
“It’s kind of odd that we’re adding them sporadically,” Ellison said.
Symptoms of an E. coli infection include vomiting, bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps which  usually develop three to four days after exposure and last up
to a week.  Those most at risk are young children, seniors, people who take antacids on a regular basis and anyone whose immune system is compromised.
The victims of this outbreak range in age from 10 to 75.

Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo – update
Source : http://www.who.int/csr/don/2012_09_05/en/index.html
By WHO(Sep 05, 2012)
The Ministry of Health (MoH) of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) continues to work with partners to control the outbreak of Ebola haemorrhagic fever.
As of 3 September 2012, a total of 28 (eight confirmed, six probable, and 14 suspected) cases including 14 deaths had been reported from Haut-Uélé district in
Province Orientale. The reported cases and deaths have occurred in two health zones – 18 cases, including 11 deaths in Isiro and 10 cases, including three
deaths in Viadana. The fatal cases in Isiro include three health-care workers.
All alerts have been investigated and so far Ebola has not been reported from outside Isiro and Viadana health zones. Initial samples were tested by Uganda
Virus Research Institute (UVRI) in Entebbe, Uganda, and were confirmed for Ebola virus (Ebola subtype Bundibugyo). Subsequent samples have been
confirmed by the field laboratory in Isiro that has been established by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A National Task Force
convened by the Congolese Ministry of Health is working with several partners including WHO, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), International Federation
of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and CDC to control the outbreak.
WHO has deployed epidemiologists and logisticians from the Regional Office for Africa (including the Inter-country Support Team) and WHO headquarters
to support the MoH and is working closely with partners in the areas of coordination, surveillance, epidemiology, logistics for outbreak response,
public information and social mobilization. Support from the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN), includes deployment of an anthropologist
to assist with a clearer understanding of the social and anthropological issues among the affected population that could impact the on-going response efforts.
Control activities that are being carried out include active case finding and contact tracing, enhanced surveillance, case management, public information and
social mobilization and reinforcing infection control practices.
With respect to this event, WHO does not recommend that any travel or trade restrictions be applied to Democratic Republic of Congo.
There is currently no indication that this Ebola outbreak is related to the recent Ebola outbreak in Kibaale district of Uganda.
General information on Ebola subtypes
There are five identified subtypes of Ebola virus. The subtypes have been named after the location they have been first detected in Ebola outbreaks.
Three subtypes of the five have been associated with large Ebola haemorrhagic fever (EHF) outbreaks in Africa. Ebola-Zaire, Ebola-Sudan and Ebola-
Bundibugyo. EHF is a febrile haemorrhagic illness which causes death in 25-90% of all cases. The Ebola Reston species, found in the Philippines,
can infect humans, but no illness or death in humans has been reported to date.