Salmonella I 4,,12:i:- Outbreak Prompts Costco Rotisserie Chicken Salad Recall
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/foodborne-illness-outbreaks/salmonella-i-4512i-outbreak-prompts-costco-rotisserie-chicken-salad-recall/#.V_ry4k5H2Ul
By Denis Stearns (Oct 9, 2016)
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing a public health alert out of an abundance of caution due to concerns about illnesses caused by Salmonella that may be associated with a chicken salad product sold from Costco Store #1190, in Lynwood, Wash.
The chicken salad item for this public health alert was produced Aug. 26 through Sept. 2, 2016. The following product is subject to the public health alert:
•Varying weights of “Costco Rotisserie Chicken Salad”.
This product was sold directly to consumers who shopped at Costco Store #1190 in Lynwood, Wash.
On September 26, 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notified FSIS of an investigation of Salmonella I 4,,12:i:- illnesses in the state of Washington. Working in conjunction with CDC and the Washington State Department of Health, FSIS determined that there is a possible link between rotisserie chicken salad from Costco’s Alderwood store in Lynwood, Wash. and these illnesses. Based on epidemiological evidence, four Salmonella I 4,,12:i:- case-patients have been identified with illness onset dates ranging from September 2 to September 6, 2016. Traceback investigation indicated that three of these case-patients consumed rotisserie chicken salad purchased on August 26, August 31 and September 2, 2016 from this Costco location. No product has tested positive for this strain of Salmonella. Clinical isolates associated with this investigation were tested for antibiotic-resistance, and three isolates from Washington State were found resistant only to tetracycline and susceptible to other antibiotics commonly used to treat salmonellosis. FSIS continues to work with Costco and public health partners on this investigation, and will provide more information as it becomes available.
Consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses. The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating the contaminated product. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days. Most people recover without treatment. In some persons, however, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Older adults, infants, and persons with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop a severe illness. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact their health care provider.
FSIS and the company are concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers’ freezers.
Consumers who have purchased this product on August 26, August 31 and September 2, 2016 are urged not to consume it.
Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Salmonella outbreaks. The Salmonella lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Salmonella and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $600 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation. Our Salmonella lawyers have litigated Salmonella cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as cantaloupe, tomatoes, ground turkey, salami, sprouts, cereal, peanut butter, and food served in restaurants. The law firm has brought Salmonella lawsuits against such companies as Cargill, ConAgra, Peanut Corporation of America, Sheetz, Taco Bell, Subway and Wal-Mart.
If you or a family member became ill with a Salmonella infection, including Reactive Arthritis or Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Salmonella attorneys for a free case evaluation.
Hurricane Matthew re-entry food safety tips
Source : http://savannahnow.com/hurricane-guide-news/2016-10-09/hurricane-matthew-re-entry-food-safety-tips
By Savannah Morning News (Oct 9, 2016)
Residents facing the daunting task of cleaning up flooded homes and wondering whether high water or power outages have ruined their food can follow a simple rule: When in doubt, throw it out.
Once power is off, the refrigerator keeps food at safely cold temperatures for 4 hours, while food in a freezer remains safe for approximately 8 hours. If your power is off longer, your food is not safe to eat and should be discarded.
Do not consume anything that flood water may have touched. Flood water carries disease-causing organisms.
•Do not eat any food that may have come into contact with flood water. If in doubt, throw it out.
•Do not eat food packed in plastic, paper, cardboard, cloth, and similar containers that have been water damaged.
•Discard food and beverage containers with screw-caps, snap lids, crimped caps (soda bottles), twist caps, flip tops, and home canned foods, if they have come in contact with flood water. These containers cannot be disinfected.
•Undamaged, commercially-prepared foods in all-metal cans or retort pouches can be saved if you remove the labels, thoroughly wash the cans, rinse them, and then disinfect them with a sanitizing solution consisting of 1 tablespoon of bleach per gallon of potable water. Finally, re-label containers that had the labels removed, including the expiration date, with a marker. Discard any canned foods that are dented as this can increase the risk of contracting botulism, a rare but very serious illness.
For more information, please go to www.fda.gov.
Hepatitis A infection confirmed in Shop ‘N Kart bakery worker
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2016/10/hepatitis-a-infection-confirmed-in-shop-n-kart-bakery-worker/#.V_rtik5H2Ul
By News Desk (Oct 9, 2016)
People who ate cakes and cup cakes from the Shop ’N Kart bakery in Chehalis, WA, in recent days are urged to consult with their doctors on whether they should receive a post-exposure vaccination for Hepatitis A.
Officials with the Lewis County Public Health & Social Services Department posted a notice Friday announcing the possible exposure timeframe.
“On Oct. 6, a case of Hepatitis A in a bakery worker was reported to the Health Department,” Danette York, Lewis County Public Health & Social Services director, said in the public notice.
“To prevent illness, persons who have not been vaccinated against Hepatitis A and ate decorated cakes or cupcakes from the bakery between Sept. 22 and Oct. 6 should contact their healthcare provider about treatment to prevent hepatitis A.”
People who ate the implicated foods between Sept. 8 and 22 may also have been exposed, but it is now too late for treatment to prevent illness. If you ate decorated cakes or cupcakes from the bakery and develop symptoms of Hepatitis A, contact your healthcare provider, health officials advised.
It can take up to 50 days for Hepatitis A symptoms to develop after exposure. Some infected people don’t exhibit any symptoms. When present, symptoms typically include fatigue, fever, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and yellowing of the skin or eyes. Symptoms usually develop two to seven weeks after exposure.
“Shop’N Kart contacted public health as soon as they became aware of the infection and have taken every precaution to ensure the safety of their customers. No cases of Hepatitis A associated with the bakery have been reported,” according to the notice from the health department.
Hepatitis A is a viral disease of the liver. It is spread from person to person by the fecal-oral route, often by inadequate hand washing after using the toilet or changing diapers. It can also be spread through food beverages and close direct contact with an infected person.
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Restaurant inspection grades easier to spot in Northern Ireland
Source : http://barfblog.com/2016/10/restaurant-inspection-grades-easier-to-spot-in-northern-ireland/
By Doug Powell (October 9, 2016)
Starting from, Friday 7 October, people in Northern Ireland will find it easier to see the food hygiene rating of places they eat out or buy food, as food businesses will now have to display their rating sticker by law.
The Food Hygiene Rating Act (Northern Ireland) 2016 and associated regulations have come into force, and this new legislation means that the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme is now mandatory, replacing the voluntary scheme run since the end of 2011 by district councils and the Food Standards Agency (FSA).
No matter what the rating of the food business, they will have to by law display the rating sticker given by the district council following inspection. This can range from ‘5’ which means the food hygiene standards are very good, down to ‘0’ where urgent improvement is necessary. This instant and visible hygiene rating information will help people choose where to eat out or shop for food, including restaurants, pubs, cafes, takeaways as well as supermarkets, other food shops and hospitals, care homes and schools.
The FSA has built a case for mandation in England using evidence from Wales where display is mandatory and where there has been an increased positive impact on hygiene standards compared with England. It is also exploring how a viable statutory scheme could be delivered in the future in line with the FSA’s Regulating our Future programme. In the meantime the current voluntary scheme in England is being aligned with the statutory schemes in Wales and N Ireland as far as possible without legislative requirements.
What To Eat During Hurricane Matthew: Food Safety Tips For a Power Outage
Source : http://www.ibtimes.com/what-eat-during-hurricane-matthew-food-safety-tips-power-outage-2428128
By Cortney Drakeford (Oct 7, 2016)
Hurricane Matthew has already left more than 300,000 Florida residents without power. Without the key utility, those in the storm's path who plan to remain home have been advised to take precautions to preserve food and protect themselves and loved ones against foodborne illnesses.
The National Hurricane Center predicts the Category 3 hurricane, which was making its way through Florida, will likely cause flooding in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Washington, D.C., Maryland, New York, Virginia, Connecticut and New Jersey.
Residents have been encouraged to be prepared for any power outage, including placing an appliance thermometer in both the freezer and refrigerator, according to recommendations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). This will help determine if food is safe to consume in the event of a power outage.
Zero degrees Fahrenheit or lower in the freezer and 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower in the refrigerator are considered safe temperatures for food. Leftover foods not needed immediately should be frozen along with refrigerator items in case of a power outage. FSIS suggests grouping foods together in the freezer — not only will they stay colder for longer in the case of a power outage, but the practice will also prevent cross-contamination should food start to thaw.
If power is lost, keep the refrigerator door shut for as long as possible. If kept closed, a refrigerator can remain cool for about four hours. Conversely, a full freezer can hold its temperature for about 48 hours — a half-full freezer will hold for 24 hours.
Should a refrigerator go below 40 degrees for more than two hours during a power outage, items to discard include eggs, fresh pasta, pasta, opened baby formula, milk, cream, vegetables, meat, tofu, cheese, fruit, seafood, opened canned meats and salad.
For more items considered unsafe following a power outage, visit the FSIS site. For any questions or concerns regarding food safety during Hurricane Matthew, call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline.
“When In doubt, throw it out,” is the primary approach recommended by FSIS if there is any question about what food to safely eat during severe weather events.
Hurricane Matthew Heading Towards You? Keep Your Food Safe
Source : https://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2016/hurricane-matthew-heading-towards-you-keep-your-food-safe/
By Linda Larsen (Oct 6, 2016)
The USDA is offering food safety recommendations for people who are in the path of Hurricane Matthew. This storm will hit the eastern coast of Florida the evening of October 6, 2016 and will move up the east coast over the weekend. Forecasters expect heavy rain and significant flooding. Power outages and flooding can compromise the safety of food that is stored in your home.
Take steps now to keep your food safe. Keep appliance thermometers in your refrigerator and freezer in case the power goes out. Safe temperatures are 40°F or lower in the fridge, and 0°F or lower in the freezer. Freeze water in one quart plastic storage bags or containers before the storm. These can be put into your fridge and freezer to help keep food cold. Know where you can get dry ice or block ice, and have coolers on hand if the power is out for more than four hours.
Freeze refrigerated foods that you won’t use immediately. You can freeze leftovers, milk, meat, and poultry. This will help keep these foods at a safe temperature for a longer period of time.
Grouping foods together in the freezer creates an ‘igloo’ effect that helps the food stay cold longer. A full freezer will keep foods cold longer as long as the door stays closed.
If the power does go out, keep the fridge and freezer doors closed as much as you can. A fridge will keep food cold for only four hours if the door is closed. A full freezer will keep food cold for 48 hours if full, 24 hours if only half full. Put frozen meats on one side of the freezer or on a tray so if it does thaw the juices don’t contaminate other foods.
Keep a few days’ worth of ready to eat foods on hand that do not need cooking or refrigeration. Dried fruits, peanut butter, bread, crackers, canned fish, canned vegetables, granola bars, breakfast cereals, nuts, and jerky should be considered.
After the storm is over, check the temp inside the freezer and fridge. Discard any meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, or leftovers that have been above 40°F for more than two hours. Throw out any food that feels warm to the touch or has an unusual odor or color. For a list of perishable foods that should be discarded if they are out of refrigeration for more than two hours, visit the USDA web site.
If frozen food still has ice crystals, it can be safely refrozen. Never taste a food to see if it’s safe to eat. When in doubt, throw it out.
If your home was flooded, never eat any food, even if it was in a sealed container, that was in contact with flood water. That includes raw fruits and vegetables, cartons of milk, or eggs.
Most containers are not waterproof and should be thrown away if it is touched by floor water. Those containers that are not safe are those with screw caps, snap lids, pull tops, and crimped caps. Discard cardboard juice, milk, and baby formula boxes and home canned foods. Flood water can get into those packages and contaminate the food.
Commercially canned foods should be safe to eat as long as the can wasn’t damaged. Damaged cans will swell or leak, and will have punctures, holes, fractures, deep rusting, or crushing and denting.
For more information, see A Consumer’s Guide to Food Safety During Severe Stores & Hurricanes. Also take a look at Food Safety During Power Outages, a video on YouTube.
A fourth of Hawaii’s Hepatitis A victims admitted to hospitals
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2016/10/a-fourth-of-hawaiis-hepatitis-a-victims-admitted-to-hospitals/#.V_ruwE5H2Ul
By News Desk (Oct 6, 2016)
About one in every four of the 288 people confirmed in Hawaii’s ongoing Hepatitis A outbreak has had symptoms so severe that they’ve required hospitalization.
The first person confirmed as part of the outbreak became ill on June 12, with the most recent victim having become sick on Sept. 28, according to Wednesday’s weekly update from the Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH). All of the victims have been adults and all but six are Hawaii residents.
State and federal authorities identified the source of the infections to be frozen scallops from the Philippines that were served raw by Genki Sushi fast food restaurant locations on Oahu and Kauai. State officials ordered the restaurants to close on Aug. 15 and embargoed the scallops.
“Although the 50-day maximum incubation period from the date of the scallops’ embargo has passed, HDOH continues to be alert for people who have had onset of illness earlier but may present late to a clinician, as well as possible secondary cases. Secondary cases have been rare in this outbreak and have been limited to household members of cases or close contacts of cases,” according to the Wednesday update.
Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration are involved in the outbreak investigation, the federal agencies have not posted updates since Aug. 19 and 24, respectively.
What to watch for and what to do
The CDC reports some people — especially children — who are infected with Hepatitis A do not have any symptoms. If symptoms occur, they usually appear two to six weeks after exposure. Symptoms usually develop over a period of several days.
If you do have symptoms, they may include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, clay-colored bowel movements, joint pain, and a yellowing of the skin or eyes referred to as jaundice.
Symptoms usually last less than two months, although some people can be ill for as long as six months.
Almost all people who get Hepatitis A recover completely and do not have any lasting liver damage, although they may feel sick for months. Hepatitis A can sometimes cause liver failure and death, although this is rare and occurs more commonly in persons 50 years of age or older and persons with other liver diseases, such as Hepatitis B or C.
If you have had contact with an outbreak victim or consumed food or any beverages at one of the restaurants where an employee has been confirmed as a victim, consult a doctor immediately and specifically mention your possible exposure to Hepatitis A.
Public health officials are requesting that health care providers consider the outbreak when seeing patients with Hepatitis A symptoms and conduct appropriate tests.
People exposed to the virus who have not been vaccinated can receive a post-exposure shot that is effective at avoiding infection development. However, the shot must be administer within two weeks of exposure.
Information and resources from Hawaii health officials
•Frequently Asked Questions
•List of Vaccinating Pharmacies
•Information for Contacts of Cases
•Fact Sheet for Food Service Establishments
•Information for Healthcare Workers
•Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Information
Deli Meat Recall in Canada for Possible Listeria Expands
Source : https://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2016/deli-meat-recall-in-canada-for-possible-listeria-expands/
By Linda Larsen (Oct 6, 2016)
The recall of deli meat products for possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination sold at Tre Rose Bakery in Ontario, Canada has been expanded to include all deli meats sold before and including October 4, 2016. The original recall was issued on September 28, 2016 and was updated on October 4, 2016.
These new products were identified during the CFIA’s food safety investigation. The products were sliced and sold at Tre Rose Bakery at 2098 Kipling Avenue in Toronto, Ontario from September 30 to October 4, 2016. They may have also been incorporated into sandwiches and other products made in-store by the retailer.
There has been one illness reported in association with the consumption of these products. There may be more, since the illness caused by this bacteria can take up to 70 days to appear.
The store is now recalling ALL deli meat products that were sliced and sold at that location, up to and including October 4, 2016. If you purchased any deli meats from Tre Rose Bakery in Toronto, Ontario, throw them away.
If you bought any of these recalled products, or foods made with those products, do not eat them. Throw them away in a sealed container, or take them back to the store for a refund. Wash your hands well with soap and water after handling these products.
Then clean out your refrigerator with a solution of one tablespoon liquid chlorine bleach to one gallon of warm water to kill any bacteria. Listeria monocytogenes bacteria is very hardy and can grow at refrigerator temperatures. Freezing does not kill this bacteria.
If you ate any of these recalled products, watch yourself for the symptoms of Listeria food poisoning. Those symptoms include high fever, severe headache, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, and muscle aches. Some people may only have mild flu like symptoms. Pregnant women can suffer miscarriage or stillbirth if they contract listeriosis, even if they are only mildly ill. If you do get sick, see a doctor and tell her you ate these recalled products.
Climate Change To Require Land Use Changes to Sustain Global Food Needs
Source : http://www.qualityassurancemag.com/article/climate-change-to-require-land-use-changes-to-sustain-global-food-needs/
By (Oct 6, 2016)
A team of researchers led by the University of Birmingham warns that without significant improvements in technology, global crop yields are likely to fall in the areas currently used for production of the world’s three major cereal crops, forcing production to move to new areas.
With a worldwide population projected to top nine billion in the next 30 years, the amount of food produced globally will need to double. A new study led by the Birmingham researchers shows that much of the land currently used to grow wheat, maize, and rice is vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
This could lead to a major drop in productivity of these areas by 2050, along with a corresponding increase in potential productivity of many previously unused areas, pointing to a major shift in the map of global food production.
The study, published in Nature Communications, uses a new approach combining standard climate change models with maximum land productivity data, to predict how the potential productivity of cropland is likely to change over the next 50-100 years as a result of climate change.
The results show that:
•Nearly half of all maize produced in the world (43%), and a third of all wheat and rice (33% and 37% respectively), is grown in areas vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
•Croplands in tropical areas, including Sub-Saharan Africa, South America and the Eastern US, are likely to experience the most drastic reductions in their potential to grow these crops.
•Croplands in temperate areas, including western and central Russia and central Canada, are likely to experience an increase in yield potential, leading to many new opportunities for agriculture.
While the effects of climate change are usually expected to be greatest in the world’s poorest areas, this study suggests that developed countries may be equally affected. Efforts to increase food production usually focus on closing the yield gap, i.e. minimizing the difference between what could potentially be grown on a given area of land and what is actually harvested. Highly-developed countries already have a very small yield gap, so the negative effects of climate change on potential yield are likely to be felt more acutely in these areas.
"Our model shows that on many areas of land currently used to grow crops, the potential to improve yields is greatly decreased as a result of the effects of climate change," said lead researcher and University of Birmingham academic Tom Pugh. "But it raises an interesting opportunity for some countries in temperate areas, where the suitability of climate to grow these major crops is likely to increase over the same time period."
The political, social and cultural effects of these major changes to the distribution of global cropland would be profound, as currently productive regions become net importers and vice versa. "Of course, climate is just one factor when looking at the future of global agricultural practices," Pugh added. "Local factors such as soil quality and water availability also have a very important effect on crop yields in real terms. But production of the world’s three major cereal crops needs to keep up with demand, and if we can’t do that by making our existing land more efficient, then the only other option is to increase the amount of land that we use."
Food Safety Advice for Residents in Hurricane Matthew's Path
Source : http://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/news/food-safety-advice-for-residents-in-hurricane-matthews-path/
By Staff (Oct 6, 2016)
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing food safety recommendations for those who may be impacted by Hurricane Matthew.
The National Hurricane Center expects the Category 3 hurricane will affect Florida’s Atlantic coast Thursday evening and Friday. Based on latest forecast models, Matthew is also likely to impact the Eastern United States as it moves up the East Coast this weekend. Significant flooding is possible from Georgia through Massachusetts, including South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. According to the National Hurricane Center, some slight strengthening is forecast during the next couple of days.
Hurricanes present the possibility of power outages and flooding that can compromise the safety of stored food. Residents in the path of this storm should pay close attention to the forecast through the week. Be aware that flooding from heavy rain, damaging winds, and storm surge is possible.
FSIS recommends that consumers take the following steps to reduce food waste and the risk of foodborne illness during this and other severe weather events.
Steps to Follow in Advance of Losing Power:
•Keep appliance thermometers in both the refrigerator and the freezer to ensure temperatures remain food safe during a power outage. Safe temperatures are 40°F or lower in the refrigerator, 0°F or lower in the freezer.
•Freeze water in one-quart plastic storage bags or small containers prior to a storm. These containers are small enough to fit around the food in the refrigerator and freezer to help keep food cold. Remember, water expands when it freezes so don’t overfill the containers.
•Freeze refrigerated items, such as leftovers, milk and fresh meat and poultry that you may not need immediately—this helps keep them at a safe temperature longer.
•Know where you can get dry ice or block ice.
•Have coolers on hand to keep refrigerator food cold if the power will be out for more than four hours.
•Group foods together in the freezer—this ‘igloo’ effect helps the food stay cold longer.
•Keep a few days’ worth of ready-to-eat foods that do not require cooking or cooling.
Steps to Follow if the Power Goes Out:
•Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. A refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours if the door is kept closed. A full freezer will hold its temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if half-full).
•Place meat and poultry to one side of the freezer or on a tray to prevent cross contamination of thawing juices.
•Use dry or block ice to keep the refrigerator as cold as possible during an extended power outage. Fifty pounds of dry ice should keep a fully-stocked 18-cubic-feet freezer cold for two days.
Steps to Follow After a Weather Emergency:
•Check the temperature inside of your refrigerator and freezer. Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs or leftovers) that has been above 40°F for two hours or more.
•Check each item separately. Throw out any food that has an unusual odor, color or texture or feels warm to the touch.
•Check frozen food for ice crystals. The food in your freezer that partially or completely thawed may be safely refrozen if it still contains ice crystals or is 40°F or below.
•Never taste a food to decide if it’s safe.
•When in doubt, throw it out.
Food Safety After a Flood:
•Do not eat any food that may have come into contact with flood water – this would include raw fruits and vegetables, cartons of milk or eggs.
•Discard any food that is not in a waterproof container if there is any chance that it has come into contact with flood water. Food containers that are not waterproof include those packaged in plastic wrap or cardboard, or those with screw?caps, snap lids, pull tops, and crimped caps. Flood waters can enter into any of these containers and contaminate the food inside. Also, discard cardboard juice/milk/baby formula boxes and home canned foods if they have come in contact with flood water, because they cannot be effectively cleaned and sanitized.
•Inspect canned foods and discard any food in damaged cans. Can damage is shown by swelling, leakage, punctures, holes, fractures, extensive deep rusting, or crushing/denting severe enough to prevent normal stacking or opening with a manual, wheel?type can opener.
Refrigerated perishable foods that should be discarded if your refrigerator measures more than 40 ?F for more than two hours as a result of a power outage:
•Raw or leftover cooked meat, poultry, fish, or seafood; soy meat substitutes
•Thawing meat or poultry
•Salads: Meat, tuna, shrimp, chicken, or egg salad
•Gravy, stuffing, broth
•Lunchmeats, hot dogs, bacon, sausage, dried beef
•Pizza – with any topping
•Canned hams labeled “Keep Refrigerated”
•Canned meats and fish, opened
•Casseroles, soups, stews
•Soft Cheeses: blue/bleu, Roquefort, Brie, Camembert, cottage, cream, Edam, Monterey
•Jack, ricotta, mozzarella, Muenster, Neufchatel, queso blanco, queso fresco
•Milk, cream, sour cream, buttermilk, evaporated milk, yogurt, eggnog, soy milk
•Baby formula, opened
•Fresh eggs, hard-cooked in shell, egg dishes, egg products
•Custards and puddings, quiche
•Fresh fruits, cut
•Opened mayonnaise, tartar sauce, horseradish (discard if above 50°F , or 10°C, for over 8 hours)
•Fish sauces, oyster sauce
•Opened creamy-based dressings
•Spaghetti sauce, opened jar
•Refrigerator biscuits, rolls, cookie dough
•Cooked pasta, rice, potatoes
•Pasta salads with mayonnaise or vinaigrette
•Pastries, cream filled
•Pies – custard, cheese filled, or chiffon; quiche
•Vegetables: Greens, pre-cut, pre-washed, packaged
•Vegetables, cooked; tofu
•Vegetable juice, opened
•Commercial garlic in oil
•Casseroles, soups, stews
FSIS will provide relevant food safety information as the storm progresses on Twitter @USDAFoodSafety and Facebook at Facebook.com/FoodSafety.gov.
Hawaii Hepatitis A Outbreak Moves Ever Closer to 300
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/foodborne-illness-outbreaks/hawaii-hepatitis-a-outbreak-moves-ever-closer-to-300/#.V_rzMk5H2Ul
By Denis Stearns (Oct 5, 2016)
sushiAs of October 5, 2016*:
Since the last update, HDOH has identified 6 new cases of hepatitis A. Seventy-one (71) have required hospitalization.
Findings of the investigation suggest that the source of the outbreak is focused on Oahu. Ten (10) individuals are residents of the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, or Maui, and six visitors have returned to the mainland or overseas.
Although the 50-day maximum incubation period from the date of the scallops embargo has passed, HDOH continues to be alert for people who have had onset of illness earlier but may present late to a clinician, as well as possible secondary cases. Secondary cases have been rare in this outbreak and have been limited to household members of cases or close contacts of cases.
CONFIRMED CASES OF HEPATITIS A – 288
Onset of illness has ranged between 6/12/16 – 9/28/16.
Superbug reportedly found in UK supermarket pork products
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2016/10/superbug-reportedly-found-in-uk-supermarket-pork-products/#.V_rxe05H2Ul
By News Desk (Oct 5, 2016)
A British newspaper has reported that tests on pork products sold at two major UK supermarket chains found three samples contaminated with a livestock strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA.
According to The Guardian newspaper, the test results raise concerns that the country “is on the brink of another food scandal” similar to recent revelations of Campylobacter, Salmonella and E. coli on chicken sold at retail.
The most recent tests were done on minced samples of 97 U.K.-produced pork products sold at Asda Stores Ltd., a subsidiary of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., and Sainsbury’s. They are two of the largest supermarket chains in Britain.
The report, a joint effort between the newspaper and the non-profit Bureau of Investigative Journalism, noted that a loophole in British import rules allows live pigs from Denmark and other countries to enter the U.K. although they may be infected with MRSA CC398, the livestock strain of the potentially deadly superbug.
Public health officials are concerned about superbugs because even the strongest antibiotics available might not cure some people who become infected by MRSA, which can be contracted from eating infected meat or through contact with infected animals.
And while MRSA can be destroyed by thorough cooking, it can be passed on to others through inadequate hygiene practices.
The Guardian reported that without sufficient action, MRSA CC38 could spread throughout the U.K. as it has in Denmark. It may have infected as many as 12,000 people in that country and has been found on two-thirds of Danish pig farms, according to the newspaper report.
“Thousands of people have contracted the livestock-associated strain of MRSA in Denmark and six have died from it in the last five years,” the Bureau of Investigative Journalism stated.
British pig farms are not regularly screened for MRSA CC398 because the government believes that it poses a relatively low risk to human health. The Guardian noted that two confirmed cases have been reported on U.K pig farms, one in eastern England and one in Northern Ireland.
“If we don’t have tight infection control and we don’t try to control the movement of live animals, infection can spread. The British are up in arms about the movement of people, but the EU also has a large movement of animals. We need biosecurity, we need to tighten up this livestock movement. You may get cheap meat, but in the long term it’s going to add to your public health problems,” said Tim Lang, a professor at the Centre for Food Policy at London’s City University.
In response to the report, Asda released this statement:
“Our customers can be assured that we are working closely with industry groups and farmers to make sure that antibiotics are used responsibly in farm animals. We are doing all we can to promote good animal health and welfare conditions without relying on antibiotics.”
A Sainsbury’s spokeswoman told The Guardian that the company was working with farmers to make sure they are taking advice from leading industry experts about antibiotic use.
“MRSA CC398 is uncommon in British pork and, through basic kitchen hygiene and thoroughly cooking meat, any food safety issue is removed,” she said.
The Guardian had 100 samples of retail pork products tested last year sourced from both foreign and local farms and found nine with MRSA CC398. Eight of those were from Denmark and one was from Ireland, the newspaper reported. It was the first time the superbug had been found in food products sold in British supermarkets.
Challenges of Food Traceability
Source : http://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/enewsletter/challenges-of-food-traceability/
By Will Fisher (Oct 4, 2016)
There are many challenges to the successful implementation of food traceability. The Global Food Traceability Center has identified the following commonly encountered issues that are faced when trying to execute food traceability:
1. Rapidly shifting consumer preferences. Consumers demand rapid access to reliable and relevant information whenever they want it. There is also an increasing level of discomfort regarding product recalls. Their confidence is fragile. And then there is the power of social networks which cannot be overlooked.
2. There are many overlapping and conflicting demands from national regulators around the world. Different regulations on allergens, trace elements, pesticides and more. Global sourcing means that time zones play a significant role in response times. Food fraud and market substitution for economic gain is also a global challenge.
3. Another challenge is the lack of unifying requirements. Current internal systems do not provide a means for reliable and rapid response to trace back data across the food chain. Additionally, data can be difficult to analyze into relevant decision-making formats.
4. Traceability varies by industry and product. In exploring the numerous implementation projects involving traceability, there are a number of consistent principles that we have observed:
• In Agriculture/Farming/Fishery:
Identification starts with birth of livestock or planting of produce/grain and follows through the growth process, use of pesticide, nutritional records, vet records and transportation to market
• For Food Manufacturers/Processors:
Identification starts at the source for each ingredient and follows through processing, packaging, distribution and transportation
• In Retail and Foodservice:
Identification starts with receiving receipts/invoices to identify lot and batch information with regulations not requiring tracking “one-up” to final consumer
• In Transportation and Distribution:
Commingling points of contact are vectors for spread of disease
Waybills should contain source party and target party identification
Specific locations are needed for livestock in most countries
If products are disaggregated for smaller shipments, then records need to reflect lot/batch codes of the manufacturer or processor
5. In many cases the challenge is simply a lack of records. Increasingly complex products, require more complete traceability systems.
Readability of written documentation leads to the following:
• Human error
• Difficulties in quickly sorting product
• Slow trace back/forward ability
We simply must move toward electronic data management systems.
6. Weak technical systems prohibit rapid response times. Unfortunately, the usability of some technical solutions for small and mid-size firms are questionable. Interoperability from one system to another is lacking, so regulators must spend time creating the comparisons for each emergency. The good news is that technology is not an inhibitor: low cost and effective solutions are available via numerous software solution providers. However interoperability, different systems talking to each other, must be addressed.
Overcoming these challenged is essential to the successful use of traceability to maintain the safety of the food supply.
FDA warning letters: Pests, seafood HACCP issues, drug residues
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2016/10/fda-warning-letters-pests-seafood-haccp-drug-residues/#.V_rxxk5H2Ul
By News Desk (Oct 3, 2016)
The most recently posted food-related warning letters from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration went to a sprout operation, two seafood importers, a seafood processor and two dairy farms.
Chicago’s Indoor Garden was sent a warning letter on March 25 regarding an inspection FDA conducted from May 11-14, 2015, at the company’s sprout operation at 4459 Division St. in Chicago.
“During the inspection, we documented insanitary conditions and practices that render your green sprouts, wheatgrass, sunflower greens, pea shoots, and sprouted beans adulterated” under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, FDA wrote.
Investigators observed rodent droppings, insect-like bore holes in seed bags, and live and dead insects throughout the sprouting operation, according to the warning letter.
Other problems cited were an employee “repeatedly wiping their nose with a gloved hand and then returning to packaging finished red clover sprouts without washing or changing the gloves or washing their hands.”
FDA also noted that the firm soaks all seeds used to grow ready-to-eat green sprouts, wheatgrass, sunflower greens, pea shoots and beans without sanitizing chemicals or antimicrobial treatment. The letter stated this was a repeat observation documented during previous inspections in 2011 and 2012.
FDA recommends treating seeds for sprouting with one or more treatments, such as 20,000 ppm calcium hypochlorite, that have been approved for reduction of pathogens in seeds or sprouts, the letter pointed out.
The agency stated that condensate from the evaporator unit was observed actively dripping directly over uncovered bins of red radish sprouts in the walk-in cooler.
“We recommend that you take appropriate steps to protect your food from potential contamination from building surfaces through condensation or drip from these or other surfaces,” FDA wrote.
The firm submitted corrective actions to FDA on May 28, 2015, but the agency found that the problems “have not been adequately addressed.”
FDA sent a warning letter to SuperValu Inc. on Sept. 20 to say that “serious violations” of the seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulations had been noted during an inspection of its seafood processing facility in Denver, PA, performed between Aug. 10 and 19.
The firm did not take corrective action to control pathogenic bacterial growth or toxin formation when its process for storing seafood products deviated at a critical control point, FDA wrote, adding that an investigator documented 21 instances of temperature abuse between June 2 and Aug. 10.
“No corrective actions were documented in any of these instances,” according to the warning letter.
The company’s response to this observation was deemed inadequate because FDA stated that no evidence of testing or training was provided.
In a warning letter dated Sept. 15, FDA told Frontier Japan Inc. that its seafood importer establishment in New York City had serious seafood HACCP violations when it was inspected on July 14.
Imported fish must be processed under conditions that are equivalent to those required of domestic processors, FDA wrote. Because this did not occur, the firm’s imported fresh fillet yellowtail fish are adulterated “in that it has been prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions whereby it may have been rendered injurious to health,” the letter stated.
Arcadia Trading Inc. of Brooklyn, NY, was told in a Sept. 14 warning letter that a July 6 and 7 inspection of its seafood importing firm identified “serious violations” of the federal regulations, rendering its refrigerated, vacuum-packed, salted croaker adulterated under the law.
The company’s response dated July 22 was found to be inadequate, FDA wrote, because it did not provide an adequate affirmative step to make sure that the imported product is processed in accordance with the seafood HACCP regulations.
“Your product specifications should state that the dried or salted croaker fish will be fully eviscerated and processed in accordance with Good Manufacturing Practices,” the agency’s letter noted.
On Aug. 22, FDA wrote to Varel Farms LLC about an investigation conducted June 23-29 at its dairy operation in Bartelso, IL. The letter stated that on or about Feb. 18, the farm sold a cow for slaughter as food.
USDA analysis of tissue samples from this animal identified the presence of desfuroylceftiofur, a marker residue for ceftiofur, in the kidney tissue at a level of 21.47 parts per million, the agency pointed out. However, FDA’s tolerance level is 0.4 ppm for residues of desfuroylceftiofur in the edible tissues of a cow.
The investigation also revealed that the dairy operation failed to maintain complete treatment records, according to the warning letter.
A warning letter went out to Tensen Dairies LLC on June 17 to say that FDA investigators had found violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act during an investigation conducted Feb. 23 through March 2 at the dairy operation in Effingham, IL.
On or about Oct. 14, 2015, Tensen Dairies sold a cow for slaughter as food, FDA wrote. Analysis of tissue samples collected from this animal identified the presence of ampicillin at .26 ppm in the kidney tissue, according to the warning letter, while FDA has established a tolerance of 0.01 ppm for residues of ampicillin in the edible tissues of cattle.
The presence of this drug in edible tissue from this animal in this amount causes the food to be adulterated, the agency stated. A failure to maintain complete treatment records was also mentioned.
Recipients of FDA warning letters have 15 working days from receipt to respond with details of the procedures they have taken, or will take, to correct the current violations and prevent them from recurring.
FDA Warns About Serious Effects of Homeopathic Teething Products
Source : https://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2016/fda-warns-about-serious-effects-of-homeopathic-teething-products/
By News Desk (Oct 3, 2016)
The FDA is warning consumers that using homeopathic teething tablets and gels can pose a health risk to infants and children. Consumers should stop using these products immediately and throw away any they may have in their homes. These products are distributed by CVS, Hyland’s, and other stores, and are possibly sold in other retail stores and online.
Adverse events in children who have been given these products are being investigated by the FDA. Some of the issues include seizures in infants and children. Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research said in a statement, “we recommend parents and caregivers not give homeopathic teething tablets and gels to children and seek advice from their health care professional for safe alternatives.”
The FDA issued a safety alert in 2010 about homeopathic teething tablets. Hyland’s Teething Tablets were recalled in October of that year. The substance is made to contain a small amount of belladonna, a substance that can cause “serious harm” in larger doses. Health problems in children who are given these products are consistent with belladonna toxicity. According to WebMD, belladonna is “widely regarded as unsafe.” The compound blocks functions of the central nervous system.
Hyland’s Teething Tablets contained inconsistent amounts of belladonna, and there was allegedly substandard control of the manufacturing operation, according to the FDA recall notice. And the product did not have a child safety cap, so some children consumed more product than was recommended on the package.
Symptoms of belladonna toxicity include seizures, difficulty breathing, lethargy, excessive sleepiness, muscle weakness, skin flushing, constipation, and agitation after using the product. If a child is experiencing these symptoms, they should be taken to a doctor immediately.
There is no proven health benefit of these products, which are labeled as relieving teething symptoms in children. These teething tablets and gels have not been tested or approved by the FDA for safety or efficacy. The FDA is testing product samples and will have more information as it becomes available.
If your child has experienced adverse symptoms after using these products, see your doctor. You can fill out an adverse event reporting form at the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting System.
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