Research – Drinking Raw Milk Dramatically Increases Risk for Foodborne Illness

Science Direct imagesCAZ9J1WP

An analysis conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF) found that the risks of drinking raw (unpasteurized) cow’s milk are significant. Consumers are nearly 100 times more likely to get foodborne illness from drinking raw milk than they are from drinking pasteurized milk. In fact, the researchers determined that raw milk was associated with over half of all milk-related foodborne illness, even though only an estimated 3.5% of the U.S. population consumes raw milk.

USA – Frozen Spinach Outbreak Updates – Listeria monocytogenes

Food Poisoning Bulletin

Cadia, Meijer, Wild Harvest and Wegmans brands of  frozen spinach are being recalled for potential Listeria contamination. Coastal Green Vegetable Company LLC of Oxnard, CA  supplied the spinach to Twin City Foods, Inc. of Stanwood, Washington which distributed the product sold under those four brand names. Cadia is the store brand for Tops Markets. Wild Harvest is a Supervalu brand.

Food Poisoning Bulletin

Simply Balanced Frozen Organic Chopped Spinach sold exclusively at Target stores nationwide is being recalled for possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. There have been several recalls of spinach for Listeria in the past few days. No illnesses have been reported to date, but listeriosis, the illness caused by this pathogenic bacteria, can take up to 70 days to appear.

Food Poisoning Bulletin

La Terra Fina is recalling spinach dips sold at Costco and Smart & Final stores for possible Listeria contamination. No illnesses has been reported at the time of the recall, but consumers who have purchased these products should not eat them as Listeria can cause serious illness or death.

The recall was issued after La Terra Fina received a recall notice from its organic spinach supplier of possible Listeria monocytogenes. The recalled products were distributed to Costco stores in the Northwest, Midwest, Northeast and Southeast regions and Smart & Final stores along the West Coast only.

Canada – CFIA Recalls – Chicken Broth – Salmonella – Chicken Breast – Listeria monocytogenes


The food recall warning issued on March 23, 2015 has been updated to include additional product information. This additional information was identified during the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) food safety investigation.

Simple Remedies Herbal Solutions is recalling organic vegetarian chicken broth powder from the marketplace due to possible Salmonella contamination. Consumers should not consume the recalled product described below.

The following product has been sold from a bulk bin at Simple Remedies Herbal Solutions located at 1111 Fort Street, Victoria, British Columbia from March 4, 2015 to March 20, 2015.

Recalled products

Brand Name Common Name Size Code(s) on Product UPC
None Organic vegetarian chicken broth powder Variable None None


Lilydale Inc. is recalling Lilydale brand Oven Roasted Carved Chicken Breast from the marketplace due to possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. Consumers should not consume the recalled product described below.

Recalled products

Brand Name Common Name Size Code(s) on Product UPC
Lilydale Oven Roasted Carved Chicken Breast 400 g Best before 2015 AL 28 0 65843 83104 4

UK Food Standard Agency – Two Reports on Viruses in the Food Chain Published Today

FSA Norwalk_Caspid

The Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF) has published its extensive review of viruses in the food chain, and the FSA has issued its Chief Scientific Advisor’s first Science Report, also focusing on foodborne viruses.

The ACMSF, an independent advisory committee which provides expert advice to the FSA, set up a group to revisit the issue of foodborne viruses in light of developments in this area. The final report considered the most important viruses associated with foodborne infections – norovirus, hepatitis A, and hepatitis E.

The report makes a number of recommendations for government departments, including the need for more research in certain areas, and for clear advice for consumers, for example on cooking shellfish and pork products and information on washing leafy green vegetables and soft fruit. The government will respond in due course when the recommendations have been considered in detail.

In anticipation of the publication of the ACMSF review, the topic of foodborne viruses was chosen for the first report from the FSA’s Chief Scientific Advisor. These regular updates from Professor Guy Poppy will aim to give a greater understanding of the FSA’s science, with each edition focusing on a topical scientific issue.

This first report explores what viruses in food are, how they cause disease, how the FSA is working with others to use science to understand them, and some of the challenges around reducing the risks.

Professor Guy Poppy, FSA Chief Scientific Advisor, said: ‘I’m pleased to have published the first in my series of science reports. Science is at the heart of what we do at the FSA and these regular summaries will lift the lid on the cutting edge work that goes on, often in the background, and I hope it encourages debate on the issues.

‘It is fitting to have chosen foodborne viruses as the first subject, as it provides a background to the ACMSF’s important review and highlights the work the FSA is already doing to address this major issue. These two reports demonstrate how the science and evidence collected by the FSA and our collaborators informs our advice to the public and helps us to understand how we can better protect UK consumers.’

Professor Sarah O’Brien, Chair of the ACMSF, said: ‘Until recently it has been difficult to assess accurately the impact of foodborne viruses on public health. However, significant advances in our ability to detect viruses in food, coupled with up- to-date estimates of the burden of illness, highlighted in the ACMSF’s latest update, show us that viruses are very important, preventable causes of foodborne illness.’

Research – Norovirus Vaccine

Science Direct

A multivalent candidate vaccine elicits broad antibody responses to a range of norovirus strains, including strains not included in the vaccine or previously encountered by participants, according to a new study. The results of the study indicate that a vaccine to norovirus may be available in the future.

UK – E.coli O157:H7 and the Law – Hugh Pennington

Scottish Justice Matters ecoli

E.coli O157 infections in humans are commoner in the

UK than in any other European country, and they are a lot

commoner in Scotland than in England: we have the highest

incidence of infections in the world. The only good news is

their relative rarity: Scotland recorded 234 in 2012 but 6333

Campylobacter cases. Norovirus is even commoner, by orders

of magnitude. It is the common cold of the bowels. However,

excepting civil actions by passengers who contract Norovirus

gastroenteritis on cruise liners and in hotels, neither of these

common pathogens involves lawyers, except as victims. This

is not true for E.coli O157. Its life changing effects and lethality

explain why.

Research – Antimicrobial Resistance Campylobacter on Poultry – Microbial Biofilms in Seafood

Science Direct –  Five-year study on prevalence and antimicrobial resistance of Campylobacter from poultry carcasses in Poland

During 2009–2013 a total of 2114 swab samples collected from broiler carcasses in all 16 voivodeships (administrative districts) of Poland were examined for the presence of Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli. The antimicrobial resistance of the isolates to ciprofloxacin, tetracycline and erythromycin using the MIC method was also tested. It was found that 1151 (54.4%) carcasses were contaminated with Campylobacter, with 50% of C. jejuni and C. coli species isolated from positive samples. The temporal trend in the prevalence of Campylobacter-positive samples demonstrated that the highest percentage of carcasses was contaminated during the first year of the survey (70.5%) whereas in the last year (2013) only 36.3% of broilers contained these bacteria. Antimicrobial resistance analysis showed that overall 939 (81.6%) of isolates were resistant to ciprofloxacin, 646 (56.1%) to tetracycline but only 28 (2.4%) to erythromycin. Significant differences in resistance profiles between C. jejuni and C. coli were observed with greater resistance level observed in the latter species. Furthermore, a significant increase in the percentage of C. jejuni resistant to ciprofloxacin (from 59.6% in 2009 to 85.9% in 2014) and to tetracycline (from 23.2% to 70.4%, respectively) was identified. Only 20 (1.7%) Campylobacter isolates displayed a multiresistance pattern.

Science Direct – Microbial biofilms in seafood: A food-hygiene challenge

Seafood forms a part of a healthy diet. However, seafood can be contaminated with foodborne pathogens, resulting in disease outbreaks. Because people consume large amounts of seafood, such disease outbreaks are increasing worldwide. Seafood contamination is largely due to the naturally occurring phenomenon of biofilm formation. The common seafood bacterial pathogens that form biofilms are Vibrio spp., Aeromonas hydrophila, Salmonella spp., and Listeria monocytogenes. As these organisms pose a global health threat, recent research has focused on elucidating methods to eliminate these biofilm-forming bacteria from seafood, thereby improving food hygiene. Therefore, we highlight recent advances in our understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms of biofilm formation, the factors that regulate biofilm development and the role of quorum sensing and biofilm formation in the virulence of foodborne pathogens. Currently, several novel methods have been successfully developed for controlling biofilms present in seafood. In this review, we also discuss the epidemiology of seafood-related diseases and the novel methods that could be used for future control of biofilm formation in seafood.