Posts from the "Microbial Contamination" category

Patties Foods Recalls Nanna’s Raspberries linked to a specific source in China, as a precaution: Media Release, 17th Feb 2015

Patties Foods has extended its Consumer Recall to include Nanna’s Raspberries 1kg packs following investigations through our global supply chain over the past few days that have identified the potential link to a specific source of raspberries in China.
Patties Foods MD & CEO, Steven Chaur, said the further recall is a precautionary measure in the interests of public safety.
“While there are no confirmed test results indicating a potential link to Hepatitis A, we are working proactively with Health Authorities based on the information they have presented to date.
“Investigations through our supply chain have identified a specific source of raspberries as a potential common link to the possible safety issues raised by Health Authorities.
“The specific source supplied raspberries which were packed in Nanna’s and Creative Gourmet Mixed Berries, that were the subject of the Consumer Recall announced over the weekend.
“The source also supplied product for Nanna’s Raspberries 1kg packs, with Best Before Dates up until 15/09/16.
“The supplier of raspberries is no longer used by Patties Foods.
“Some product that was previously supplied by the source may still be in the market and we are taking this added precautionary measure of conducting an additional Consumer Recall of all frozen raspberries associated with this specific source located in China, in the interests of public safety.

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AU: Salmonella death at aged care facility in the Illawarra, nine others hospitalised across NSW & ACT

An investigation is underway into the death of a nursing home patient and the hospitalisation of nine others from salmonella food poisoning.
NSW Health says cases of salmonella first appeared in aged care homes on January 21. An investigation has uncovered 23 cases in 10 facilities across South Eastern Sydney, the Illawarra and ACT.
The Illawarra Retirement Trust says 20 of the cases happened at its care centres. Chief executive Nieves Murray says it is possible pre packaged products supplied by a third party, like salads, are behind the outbreak. Early inquiries show the species of salmonella is associated with manure used in growing salad vegetables, not meat.
Click here to read the full article at ABC News.

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Patties Foods extends Nanna’s Frozen Mixed Berries Consumer Recall to include Creative Gourmet Mixed Berries: Media Release, 15th Feb 2015

Patties Foods has today extended its Consumer Recall of Nanna’s Frozen Mixed Berries to include Creative Gourmet Mixed Berries 300g and 500g packs, as a precautionary measure, in the interests of public safety.
This follows the announcement yesterday of a Consumer Recall of Nanna’s Frozen Mixed Berries 1kg packs, on advice from the Victorian Health Department of potential Hepatitis A contamination.
Patties Foods MD & CEO, Steven Chaur, said “while our quality control testing to date has not revealed any concerns with the food safety of either product, further detailed testing is being done and the recall is an important step to ensure public safety and confidence.
“We have decided that all our frozen Mixed Berries should be recalled until such time as we receive the results of further laboratory tests,” Mr Chaur said.
A detailed testing process is continuing with health authorities.
The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services fully supports the actions taken by Patties Foods.
The Consumer Recall is for:

Nanna’s Mixed Berries 1kg, All Batches up to and including Best Before Date 22/11/16
Creative Gourmet Mixed Berries 300g, All Batches up to and including Best Before Date 10/12/17
Creative Gourmet Mixed Berries 500g, All Batches up to and including Best Before Date 06/10/17

Patties Foods advises consumers not to eat the product, and return packs to the place of purchase for a full cash refund.

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NZ: Rice snack shuts down man’s organs

A spicy rice snack pack very nearly turned into the last meal Richard Strang ate. It left him in a four-day induced coma in Wellington Hospital, his stay due to a toxin not seen in New Zealand for more than 30 years.
He was struck down by botulism, a rare and potentially fatal illness caused by a toxin that attacks the nervous system.
The Ministry for Primary Industries said the rice snack he ate contained no preservatives, and "incorrect handling" was thought to be the cause of his illness.
Massey University food safety professor Steve Flint said botulism was incredibly rare in New Zealand but its spores could be found in many products. It was usually found in food that had been canned or preserved.

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ES: Reported Foodborne Outbreaks Due to Fresh Produce in the United States and European Union: Trends and Causes

This study addresses the occurrence of reported foodborne outbreaks associated with fresh fruits and vegetables consumption in the United States and European Union during the period 2004 – 2012, where data are available. Special attention is paid to those pathogens responsible for these outbreaks, the mechanisms of contamination, and the fresh produce vehicles involved. [T]he pattern of fresh produce outbreaks differed in the United States and European Union by the type of microorganism and the food vehicle involved.
Click here to access the full report in Foodborne Pathogens and Disease.

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US: Keep these things in mind to minimise risk of a food safety outbreak involving Listeria monocytogenes in your packinghouse operations – Dr. Bob Whitaker

The US produce industry has witnessed a number of product recalls in the last few years and some illness outbreaks owing to Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) contamination and a number of these have been tied to packinghouse operations where sanitation practices have been reported to be less than optimal. In this post Dr. Bob Whitaker lists a few things to remember about Lm and packinghouse operations.
Click here to read the full article on PMA/LinkedIn.

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US: Count of generic Escherichia coli on spinach at the preharvest level determined by the multi-factorial effect of ambient temperature, precipitation, farm management and environmental factors

American Society for Microbiology: A repeated cross-sectional study was conducted to identify farm management, environment, weather, and landscape factors that predict the count of generic Escherichia coli on spinach at the preharvest level. E. coli was enumerated for 955 spinach samples collected on 12 farms in Texas and Colorado between 2010 and 2012. Odds of contamination decreased with implementation of hygiene practices (OR = 0.06) and increased with an increasing average precipitation amount (mm) in the past 29 days (OR=3.5) and the application of manure (OR=52.2). On contaminated spinach, E. coli counts increased with the average precipitation amount over the past 29 days. The relationship between E. coli count and the average maximum daily temperature over the 9 days prior to sampling followed a quadratic function with the highest bacterial count at around 24 °C. These findings indicate that the odds of a contamination event in spinach are determined by farm management, environment and weather factors. However, once the contamination event has occurred, the count of generic E. coli on spinach is determined by weather only.
Click here to access the full abstract from the American Society for Microbiology.

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Mars, Inc. and IBM Research Launch Collaborative Food Safety Platform

Food Safety Magazine: Mars, Incorporated has partnered with IBM Research to launch a consortium to drive advances in global food safety. The ‘Sequencing the Food Supply Chain Consortium‘–a collaborative food safety platform–will leverage advances in genomics to further our understanding of what makes food safe.
The research consortium marks an alternative approach in how companies traditionally tackle unsafe food. While many companies, such as Mars, already have rigorous processes in place to ensure food safety risks are managed appropriately, the application of genomics being pioneered by this consortium will enable an in-depth understanding and categorization of micro-organisms and their activity on a much bigger scale than has previously been possible.
Click here to read this article from Food Safety Magazine.
Click here to access the media release from Mars, Inc.

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EU: Salmonella and raw leafy greens most dangerous according to EU risk assessment model

Doug Powell writes: “The top ranking food/pathogen combination was Salmonella spp. and leafy greens eaten raw followed by (in equal rank) Salmonella spp. and bulb and stem vegetables [onion, leek, celery, etc.], Salmonella spp. and tomatoes, Salmonella spp. and melons, and pathogenic Escherichia coli and fresh pods, legumes or grains. Despite the inherent assumptions and limitations, this risk model is considered a tool for risk managers, as it allows ranking of food/pathogen combinations most often linked to foodborne [illness] human cases originating from [food of non-animal origin] FoNAO in the EU.”
Click here to read the full article on barfblog.
Click here to access the report from the International Journal of Food Microbiology.
Image credit: Liz West / Flickr, CC by 2.0

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NO: An outbreak of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) infection in Norway, 2012: a reminder to consider uncommon pathogens in outbreaks involving imported products

Epidemiology and Infection: We investigated an outbreak of gastroenteritis following a Christmas buffet served on 4 – 9 December 2012 to ~1300 hotel guests. More than 300 people were reported ill in initial interviews with hotel guests. Imported chives added fresh to the scrambled eggs were the suspected source of the outbreak but were unavailable for testing. Following this outbreak, the Norwegian Food Safety Authority recommended that imported fresh herbs should be heat-treated before use in commercial kitchens.
Click here to read the full Summary at Cambridge Journals Online.

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