UK – FSA -Food Standards Agency welcomes signs of progress on campylobacter

Food Standards Agency

The results for the first quarter of testing, from July to September 2015, show a decrease in the number of birds with the highest level of contamination from the same months last year. These most heavily contaminated birds are the focus of the current target agreed by industry, which is equivalent to no more than 7% of chickens at retail having the highest levels of contamination. Research has shown that reducing the proportion of birds in this category will have the biggest positive impact on public health. The new data shows 15% of chickens tested positive for the highest level of contamination, down from 22% in July to September 2014. Campylobacter was present on 76% of chicken samples, down from 83% in the same months of last year. The results for the first quarter show: 15% of chickens tested positive for campylobacter within the highest band of contamination* 76% of chickens tested positive for the presence of campylobacter 0.3% of packaging tested positive at the highest band of contamination 6% of packaging tested positive for the presence of campylobacter *More than 1,000 colony forming units per gram (cfu/g). These units indicate the degree of contamination on each sample. In this first quarter, 1,032 samples of fresh whole chilled UK-produced chickens and packaging have been tested. The chickens were bought from large UK retail outlets and smaller independent stores and butchers. The new survey commenced sampling in July 2015. The FSA has been testing chickens for campylobacter since February 2014 and publishing the results as part of its campaign to bring together the whole food chain to tackle the problem. Campylobacter is the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK, making an estimated 280,000 people ill every year. As with the previous survey, the data shows variations between the retailers. Testing of chickens from Co-op and Waitrose show both retailers have made the most significant reductions in the proportion of the chickens they sell that are most highly-contaminated. Steve Wearne, Director of Policy at the FSA said: ‘It is good to see that some retailers are getting to grips with campylobacter. However, we want to see all of them pulling together to achieve real and lasting reductions. ‘I am also pleased that we are starting to see retailers and processors being open with consumers about what they are doing to tackle the problem and about the impact their interventions are having on the chickens they are selling.’ – See more at:

USA – Celery E.coli Recall Updates

Food Poisoning Bulletin

An E. coli outbreak linked to contaminated celery in Costco Rotisserie Chicken Salad has triggered the recall of 71 other products sold at various retailers including  Vons, Tony’s, King Soopers, Pantry, Savemart and 7 Eleven. At least 19 people in seven states have already been sickened, two of them have hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) a life-threatening complication that causes kidney failure.

New Zealand – Frozen Berries – Hepatitis A

MPI Black_Butte_blackberry

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Director General has issued a statement warning of a potential risk associated with imported frozen berries, following 4 human cases of Hepatitis A thought to be linked to packaged imported frozen berries.

USA -Dog Chew Bones – Salmonella

Food Safety News

Blue Buffalo Company of Wilton, CT, is recalling one production lot of Cub Size Wilderness Wild Chews Bones because the product has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

The product was distributed starting Nov. 19, 2015, in PetSmart stores located in the following nine states: California, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.

USA – Cost of Food Safety – Hepatitis A Jabs

Food Safety News

Hep A Vaccinations for 3,000 Cost $100,000 After NY McDonald’s Exposure

USA -Legionnaires’ Disease Bacteria at Minneapolis VA

Food Poisoning Bulletin legionellac

Legionella, the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ Disease, has been discovered in the water system at the Minneapolis Veterans Medical Center. No illnesses have been reported.

USA -Raw Milk Salmonella

Food Poisoning Bulletin Salmonellaa

Salmonella in raw milk from Jerry Dell Farm Inc. in Freeville, New York has triggered a food safety alert from the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets. At the time of the alert, no illnesses has been reported in connection with the unpasteurized milk. However, consumers who have purchased this milk should not drink it as Salmonella can cause serious illness or death.