Scotland – VTEC E.coli in Scotland 2014: enhanced surveillance, reference laboratory and clinical reporting data

HPS

Introduction

Reported rates of Escherichia coli O157 (E. coli O157) infection in Scotland rose substantially in the mid-1990s and remain consistently high compared to other countries within the UK and Europe. Although large foodborne outbreaks have occurred in Scotland,1,2 sporadic infection predominates. Serious outcomes of infection can include haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS) which is a major cause of acute renal failure in children in Scotland.

The potential for E. coli O157 to cause both secondary spread3 and large outbreaks is exacerbated by its low infectious dose1,2 and asymptomatic infection can also occur.4

Although E. coli O157 is the only serogroup of verotoxin-producing E. coli (VTEC) routinely detected by diagnostic laboratories in Scotland, in recent years verotoxigenic strains of non-O157 serogroups (non-O157 VTEC) have also been identified in Scotland, and can be associated with significant morbidity including HUS.4

Health Protection Scotland (HPS) has established enhanced surveillance of E. coli O157 in close collaboration with the Scottish E. coli O157/VTEC Reference Laboratory (SERL). This surveillance was extended in 2003 to include non-O157 VTEC. Data is also integrated with other surveillance functions at HPS, in particular with ObSurv,5 the system for surveillance of all general outbreaks of infectious intestinal disease.

USA – Leigionella Updates

CDC – Outbreaks Associated With Environmental and Undetermined Water Exposures — United States, 2011–2012

Food Poisoning Bulletin

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has updated the Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak in the South Bronx. As of August 15, 2015, 124 people are sick, and 12 people have died. Ninety-four people have been hospitalized, treated, and released.

No new cases have been reported with symptoms onset date after August 3, 2015. Officials believe that one or more of the five locations that tested positive was the source of the outbreak. All of those locations have been disinfected, and they believe the outbreak has been contained because of those actions.

Australia – Food borne illness in Australia falling except salmonella which is increasing

ABC

Despite more than four million Australians getting sick from contaminated food each year, the overall national rate of food poisoning is falling.

Except, that is, when it comes to salmonella.

Research – Relevance of microbial finished product testing in food safety management

Science Direct

Management of microbiological food safety is largely based on good design of processes, products and procedures. Finished product testing may be considered as a control measure at the end of the production process. However, testing gives only very limited information on the safety status of a food. If a hazardous organism is found it means something, but absence in a limited number of samples is no guarantee of safety of a whole production batch. Finished product testing is often too little and too late. Therefore most attention should be focussed on management and control of the hazards in a more pro-active way by implementing an effective food safety management system. For verification activities in a food safety management system, finished product testing may however be useful. For three cases studies; canned food, chocolate and cooked ham, the relevance of testing both of finished products and the production environment is discussed. Since the level of control of different processes can be largely different it is beneficial if the frequency of sampling of finished products and production environments would be related to the associated human health risk, which can be assessed on the basis of risk assessment and epidemiological data.

Canada – CFIA Recall-Various store-packaged, cooked Chicken Wings recalled due to a toxin produced by Staphylococcus bacteria

CFIA CIFA

Safeway is recalling various store-packaged, cooked Chicken Wings from the marketplace because they may contain the toxin produced by Staphylococcus bacteria. Consumers should not consume the recalled products described below.

The following cooked products have been sold in Safeway locations in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario.

Recalled products

Brand Name Common Name Size Code(s) on Product UPC
Safeway Party Pack Chicken Wings Hot Salt N Pepper Variable All codes sold up to and including August 14, 2015 236500
Safeway PPK Wings Mix flavors Hot Variable All codes sold up to and including August 14, 2015 256870
Safeway Pinty’s Wings Salt and Pepper Hot Variable All codes sold up to and including August 14, 2015 236524
Safeway Pinty’s Wings Salt and Pepper Cold Variable All codes sold up to and including August 14, 2015 236523

Canada – Vancouver – Oysters – Vibrio

Food Safety News V

Health officials in Vancouver, British Columbia, are requiring area restaurants to cook oysters harvested in that province before serving them. Only oysters harvested outside of British Columbia may be served raw at this time, according to a statement issued Aug. 12 by Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH).

Public health ordered this step in response to an ongoing outbreak of Vibrio parahaemolyticus infection related to consumption of raw oysters harvested in BC.

Philipines – Durian Candy Ourbreak – E.coli and Other Bacteria

Barf Blog

Laboratory results released by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Central Office revealed that various samples taken from two durian manufacturers Wendy’s and Blesse’s, linked as source of durian candies that poisoned hundreds of school children in Caraga Region last month, were tested positive of several bacterial contaminations.

PhilStar Nation

TANDAG CITY, Philippines – Some 1,081 high school and elementary students in Surigao del Sur were rushed to hospitals yesterday in an apparent poisoning after eating durian candies labeled “Wendy’s.”

The same candy also downed 44 students in Kidapawan City, North Cotabato.

In nearby Maguindanao province, 16 students were also treated for food poisoning after eating spoiled siopao sold inside the campus.

Surigao del Sur Gov. Johnny Pimentel told The STAR that 438 victims of food poisoning were confined at the Adela Serra Ty Medical Center in Tandag while 139 were treated at the District Hospital in Marihatag, Surigao del Sur