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Posts from the ‘News: Microbial Contamination’ Category

US: Shipments of Foreign Fresh Fruit Recalled in 18 States

Food Safety Magazine: Fresh peaches, nectarines, and plums shipped across the U.S. are being recalled due to possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. The recall notice indicates that the country of origin for a portion of the fresh produce is Chile. The recall was the result of a routine sampling program by the packing house which revealed that the finished products contained Listeria bacteria. The company has ceased the distribution of the product as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Jac. Vandenberg continue their investigation as to what caused the problem.

US: Researchers uncover how Salmonella infects plants before harvest

Food Safety News: Scientists in India have discovered how Salmonella enters plants to cause pre-harvest contamination of produce. Researchers found Salmonella enters through a gap created when a lateral root branches out from the plant’s main root and that it can penetrate the deeper layer of the root. This is different to other disease-causing bacteria that enter the root, fruit or leaf by producing enzymes to break down the plant’s cell wall.

US: Outbreak of E. coli Infections Linked to Romaine Lettuce

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Traceback information from the FDA indicated that ill people in this outbreak ate romaine lettuce harvested from specific counties in the Central Coastal growing regions of northern and central California. The FDA, along with CDC and state partners, investigated farms and cooling facilities in California that were identified in traceback. CDC analyzed water and sediment samples from an Adam Bros. Farming, Inc. farm in Santa Barbara County, which was one of the farms identified in the traceback investigation. The outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 was found in sediment within an agricultural water reservoir on the farm. As of January 9, 2019, this outbreak appears to be over.

AU: Compendium of Microbiological Criteria for Food updated

Food Standards Australia New Zealand: This compendium brings together information on pathogens and indicator organisms significant to food safety, microbiological guideline criteria for Ready To Eat foods, and process hygiene criteria that have been established for specific food commodities. In addition, a new section on environmental monitoring has been included which provides general guidance on establishing an environmental monitoring program for Listeria monocytogenes.

US: Arizona growers hope new leafy greens protocols will help prevent outbreaks

Food Safety News: The new “metrics” for members of the Arizona Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement are effective immediately. Officials with the grower consortium said inspections are set to begin in November. The revised requirements in Arizona involve:

  • Daily cleaning of equipment;
  • More extensive review of crop impact after weather events such as flooding or high winds;
  • Mandatory traceability measures; and
  • A 1,000-foot minimum buffer zone between growing fields and feed lots with 1,000 or more animals. Previously the buffer requirement was 400 feet.

NL: Freezing tunnel source of Greenyard Listeria contamination

Fresh Plaza: One of the freezing tunnels in Greenyard’s Hungarian plant has been found to be the source of the Listeria monocytogenes outbreak that led to the large-scale recall this summer. This discovery was made known by the Belgian company. In July, a major recall campaign was taken for certain products. These had been produced between 13 August 2016 and 20 June 2018 in Greenyard’s Hungarian plant in Baja.

US: What Sparked An E. Coli Outbreak In Lettuce? Scientists Trace A Surprising Source

National Public Radio: The illnesses started appearing in late March. Here and there, across the country, people were checking themselves in to hospitals, sick from toxic E. coli bacteria. At least 200 people got sick. Five of them died. Investigators quickly identified romaine lettuce as the source of the outbreak, but have had trouble pinpointing the cause for months. Now, the Food and Drug Administration has a theory for how E. coli ended up on that lettuce.

US: This Device Tracks How Well You Wash Your Hands

Smithsonian: Today, the epitome of foodborne illness prevention technology in commercial kitchens is a sign in the restroom that says “employees must wash their hands before returning to work.” To Christine Schindler and Dutch Waanders, that didn’t seem like the optimal solution.

US: FDA finds Cyclospora in Fresh Express salad sold at McDonald�s restaurants

Food Safety News: Federal officials have confirmed parasites in salad mix that Fresh Express sold to McDonald’s and other unnamed companies. Almost 300 people in 15 states, are confirmed infected. Another outbreak, which federal officials say is not related to the Fresh Express salad mix, involves pre-cut vegetable and dip trays sold by Del Monte Fresh Produce. As of the most recent update from CDC, 237 people across four states had been confirmed with Cyclospora infections in that outbreak.

US: FDA says cattle feedlot could be to blame for E. coli in canal water used on romaine

Food Safety News: Outbreak investigators say a cattle feedlot near a canal providing water to growing regions in Arizona is a key element in their hypothesis about the source of E. coli that contaminated romaine lettuce earlier this year. Five people died and more than 200 others were confirmed with infections from a particularly virulent strain of E. coli O157:H7 that investigators found in the canal water in June. Dust from such feedlots is a known vector for the spread of E. coli bacteria and other pathogens to growing fields and surface water.