lunes, 4 de mayo de 2015
Listeriosis is a notifiable disease in Portugal, but active surveillance is just starting.
The first reported foodborne listeriosis outbreak in Portugal highlights the need for an effective surveillance system for early detection and prompt submission of isolates for typing, according to researchers. The number of cases between March 2009 and February 2012 was 30 with a fatality rate of 36.7%. Cheese was the probable source of infection, found the report in Eurosurveillance.
The long duration of this outbreak, (March 2009 to February 2012) linked with queijo fresco (fresh cheese) is noteworthy and reinforces the importance of setting up an effective multidisciplinary team able to help ensure rapid notification of cases and the prompt submission of L. monocytogenes isolates for routine laboratory typing.
A retrospective study involving 25 national hospitals led to the awareness of the outbreak, meaning the time between the presumed onset and its detection was 16 months. Notifiable disease but no active surveillance In Portugal, listeriosis has been notifiable since April 2014, but there is no active surveillance program. As there is no such program, outbreak detection is extremely difficult and work on the one reported was due mainly to retrospective investigations.
Between January and July 2010, a high number of listeriosis cases was observed (40 compared with 20 during all of 2009) particularly in the Lisbon and Vale do Tejo region.
Molecular typing of the 40 L. monocytogenes clinical isolates revealed 18 serotype IVb isolates presented the same PFGE type and ribotype observed for five isolates recovered in 2009. Continued monitoring detected two more cases with the outbreak strain in November 2010, three more in January, February and March 2011 and two in February 2012.
Processing plant investigation: The food safety authority inspected 42 food retailers and collected 103 samples for analysis (51 meat products, 24 dairy products, 13 ready to eat foods and 15 environmental swabs). L. monocytogenes was found in four samples collected at a retailer: three from queijo fresco and one from a swab from a ham slicingmachine; one queijo fresco sample contained Listeria counts greater than 100 CFU/g.
PFGE typing revealed isolates recovered from two queijo fresco samples of different brands from the same retailer showed the same PFGE type as the clinical isolates with the outbreak strain.
In European countries with established surveillance programs, such as France, Germany and the UK, the incidence of listeriosis is reported to be increasing and the distribution of cases is shifting, primarily affecting elderly persons and those with predisposing medical conditions, leading to a high case fatality rate.
martes, 28 de abril de 2015
To prevent infections ground beef must be carefully cooked to a temperature of 160 °F.
Skyline Provisions, Inc., a Harvey, Ill., establishment, is recalling 1,029 pounds of beef products contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.
Produced 15-25 April 2015, the following products are subject to recall:
· 17 ½ boxes of Aurora Packers Intact Beef Round Flats
On April 15, 2015, Skyline sold the product under their D&S label (Establishment number: 19300), ground and tested one and a half cases of the product. On April 21, 2015, these products were positive for E. coli O157:H7. The remaining intact, products were sold to Jack & Pat's Old Fashioned Market in Chicago Ridge, Ill., where the product was ground and sold in various amounts of ground chuck patties, ground chuck, ground round, sirloin patties and porter-house patties.
FSIS discovered the problem during a routine sampling program. Neither FSIS nor the company received any reports of illnesses associated with consumption of this product. FSIS and the company are concerned that some product may have been sold and stored in consumers' freezers.
E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause dehydration, bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps 2–8 days (3–4 days, on average) after exposure the organism. While most people recover within a week, some develop a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). This condition can occur among persons of any age but is most common in children under 5-years old and older adults. Symptoms included easy bruising, pallor, and decreased urine output. Persons who experience these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately.
FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and confirm that the product is no longer available to consumers.
FSIS advises all consumers to safely prepare their raw meat products, including fresh and frozen, and only consume ground beef that cooked to a temperature of 160 °F, the only way to confirm that ground beef was properly cooked to kill harmful bacteria.Source: http://1.usa.gov/1cDxcDQ
lunes, 27 de abril de 2015
In many cases, infection is a life sentence.
A year ago, Brad Frey never would have imagined he would be standing in front of officials from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and urging them to do more to prevent outbreaks of Despite living in the middle of “crop country” outside Santa Cruz, CA, he had never heard of , foodborne bacteria less well known than or , but one that can more often be fatal.
However, Frey was painfully aware of by December 2014, when his mother, passed away from a infection after eating a contaminated caramel apple purchased at Safeway.
Recently, he and other foodborne illness victims from around the U.S. traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with congressional aides and have the opportunity to address the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
Brad Frey holds his phone while a video plays of his parents dancing in their driveway two years ago. Frey and other victims shared their stories with federal lawmakers.
“In December, my mother passed away from,” Frey said, speaking to FDA officials in the audience and a panel of food industry representatives taking questions. “Since the caramel apple outbreak, we’ve seen three more outbreaks in the news. It’s pretty heartbreaking to know that testing could have saved lives, but not enough testing is being done.”
Frey went on to ask the industry panel and FDA what specifically they were going to do to reduce the risk of illnesses going forward.
None of the industry panelists opted to answer, but Frey did get a quick response from Roberta Wagner, director of regulatory affairs at FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.
That’s what FSMA is all about, Wagner said — making sure that food companies and FDA work to eliminate preventable foodborne illnesses because so many of them are preventable.
A similar case, presented by John McKissick, a retired teacher and consultant from Pennsylvania, who fell ill with three years ago after eating contaminated cheese imported from Italy and France. McKissick spent two months hospitalized, six weeks of that time unconscious. The infection caused significant nerve damage and, as a result, he had little choice but to retire from work. “In many cases, infection is a life sentence,” he told FDA officials. “It cannot be taken lightly.”
McKissick asked how FDA was going to reduce illnesses and improve the safety of imports through its foreign supplier verification program, a core component of the new regulations included in FSMA.
The foreign inspection program will require importers to take a new “proactive responsibility” for food safety.Source: http://fda.einnews.com/article__detail/262189827?lcode=8DWPqPuUsDVNDakfEIxsCA%3D%3D
miércoles, 22 de abril de 2015
Xylella fastidiosa is a bacterium thought to be behind the devastation of 74,000 acres of olive groves across southern Italy.
Policy The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has said plans to destroy up to 11 million olive trees in southern Italy lack sufficient research, after NGO Peacelink challenged the proposal.
The European Commission had proposed cutting down the trees to halt the spread of the pathogen Xylella fastidiosa – but Peacelink urged it to reconsider, saying the measure would be a great mistake. It claimed that more than 500 olive trees had returned to health after a treatment for fungi.
Following the NGO’s urging, the Commission asked EFSA for a scientific opinion on its proposal. “There is no published evidence that fungal disease management will reduce establishment, spread and impact of X. fastidiosa, other than the observation that improved orchard management more generally is beneficial for plant health,
EFSA said in its opinion, in disagreement with Peacelink’s assessment. However, EFSA shares the concerns over the situation in olive trees in the affected areas, and fully understands the need for further research on potential options to reduce the risk and damage caused by X. fastidiosa.
It is the remit of the European and national authorities – rather than EFSA – to decide on a control strategy, but EFSA highlighted gaps in knowledge about different agents thought to be involved in the olive quick decline syndrome, including the leopard moth Zeuzera pyrina, the trachea-mycotic fungi, as well as Xylella fastidiosa and the insects that spread it.
Xylella fastidiosa is a bacterium thought to be behind the devastation of 74,000 acres of olive groves across southern Italy.
The Commission had proposed emergency control measures to destroy olive trees in the affected area – 12% of which are contaminated. No one from Peacelink responded to a request for comment on EFSA’s opinion prior to publication.
lunes, 20 de abril de 2015
The highest number of listeriosis cases was from Germany
Awareness about listeriosis from RTE foods in risk groups, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Despite the relatively low number of cases caused by Listeria the average case fatality rate was 16%, for all other diseases looked at, the rate was below 1%. Findings come as part of a report looking at food and waterborne diseases in the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) between 2010 and 2012. The surveillance report looked at campylobacteriosis, listeriosis, non-typhoidal salmonellosis, shigellosis, Shiga toxin/verocytotoxin producing E.coli (STEC/VTEC) infections, typhoid and paratyphoid fever and yersiniosis.
Listeria concerns. Of special concern are Listeria infections among the elderly. Hospital related outbreaks remain a significant concern and underscore the high infection risk related to processed, ready to eat (RTE) foods in settings where vulnerable population groups. An increasing trend in domestically acquired listeriosis cases between 2008 and 2012. In the two years, 4,851 cases, representing an average rate of 0.35 per 100,000 population and 517 deaths. The highest number of listeriosis cases was from Germany, accounting for 23% of all reported cases, followed by France with 19% and the UK with 11%. Reported human listeriosis cases were most frequently associated with serotypes 1/2a and 4b and there was increase in notification rates in age group older than 65 years.
Campylobacter and Salmonella: Campylobacteriosis continued to be the most commonly reported zoonosis, with 662,521 confirmed cases and an average notification rate of 67 per 100,000 population in 2010–2012. Confirmed cases in the EU/EEA followed an increasing trend in the last five years (2008–2012), with a clear seasonality and peaking of cases in June–August. The majority (about 90%) of Campylobacter infections acquired in EU/EEA countries. C. jejuni remained stable, while C. coli increased significantly in 2008–2012.
A stable trend in confirmed shigellosis cases with the average notification rate of 1.8 per 100,000 population, with 21,969 reported cases in 2010–2012. Two thirds of the reported cases were travel related from countries outside the EU/EEA. Shigella sonnei was the most commonly reported species (56% of total species reported) in 2010–2012, followed by S. flexneri (33% of total species reported). The trend in S. flexneri cases significantly increased during 2008–2012. STEC/VTEC infections showed a significantly increasing trend over the surveillance period. Even without counting, the cases reported in the STEC/VTEC O104:H4 outbreak in Germany in 2011, the trend was significantly increasing in 2008–2010. In 2010–2012, 18,995 confirmed STEC/VTEC cases (1.7 cases per 100,000 population). The number of cases reported in 2012 increased by 55% (2,037 cases) compared with 2010. An increasing number of reports of confirmed STEC/VTEC cases is possibly an effect of increased awareness and improved capacity in the EU/EEA countries following the outbreak.
Of those isolates of known serogroup, the most frequent was E. coli O157 (55%). The five most common STEC/VTEC serotypes were O157:H7 (26%), O157:H (10%), O104:H4 (6.1%), O26:H11 (5.8%) and O103:H2 (5.7%), 90% of infections were of domestic origin.Source: http://ecdc.europa.eu/en/healthtopics/listeriosis/Pages/index.aspx
jueves, 16 de abril de 2015
Thirty-one ill people result hospitalized, and seven died with Listeriosis
Bidart Bros. is the source of a Listeria outbreak that has sickened at least 32 people and has links to three deaths. The traceback investigation confirmed the apple supplier, based in Bakersfield, California, is the only one that supplied apples to the Happy Apple Company and Merb’s Candies, said the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The companies, along with California Snack Foods, of El Monte, California, have issued voluntary recalls of caramel apples. Listeria isolated from environmental samples FDA laboratory analyses showed that environmental Listeria isolates from the Bidart Bros. facility were indistinguishable from outbreak strains by Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE).
The agency said test results confirm two strains at the apple processing facility and were associated with the outbreak. Leonard Bidart, president at Bidart Bros, said the results are devastating to the family but they are cooperating completely with the US Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the California Department of Public Health.
Expanded recall: The Company has recalled all Bidart Bros. Granny Smith and Gala apples still in the marketplace. Bidart Bros. last shipped Granny Smith apples to customers on December 2, 2014. In its latest update (January 10) the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said 32 people infected with the outbreak strains of Listeria monocytogenes from 11 states.
Thirty-one ill people result hospitalized, and seven died. Listeriosis contributed to at least three of these. Ten illnesses affected pregnant women with one illness resulting in a fetal loss and three meningitis among otherwise healthy children aged 5–15 years. To date, 25 (89%) of the 28 ill people interviewed reported eating commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples before becoming ill. The three ill people, who did not report eating caramel apples did eat whole or sliced green apples not covered in caramel but the source remains unknown, said CDC. Canada investigation
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has identified two cases of listeriosis with the same DNA fingerprints, or PFGE patterns, as seen in the US outbreak.
miércoles, 15 de abril de 2015
The inexpensive, portable sensor can detect gases emitted by rotting meat.
A team of MIT chemists has developed a small sensor that's capable of telling consumers whether the meat in their refrigerators is safe to eat. The team believes that the inexpensive device, which makes use of modified carbon nanotubes, could help cut down on food waste.
The idea behind the sensor focuses on chemically altering carbon nanotubes so that their ability to carry an electric current is inhibited when a certain gas is present. The nanotubes were modified with metal-containing compounds known as metalloporphyrins, in this case containing a single cobalt atom bound to numerous nitrogen-containing rings.
That compound is effective at binding to compounds known as biogenic amines, such as cadaverine and putrescine, which are produced by meat when it starts to decay. When these gases are present, the the electrical resistance in the carbon nanotube is increased, with the reaction easily measured to provide feedback to the user.
The sensor was tested on pork, beef, chicken, salmon and cod, successfully detecting decay in the samples when left unrefrigerated.
The sensors are cheap and easy to manufacturer, use very little power, and do not require any expertise to use. As such, the team believes that the devices could be incorporated into the packaging of meat products, allowing them to offer much more accurate safety information than a standard expiry date.
This isn't the first time we've seen carbon nanotubes put to work checking that produce is fresh. Back in 2012, MIT developed a similar sensor that uses the same concept, in that case watching out for the gas ethylene, which causes fruit to begin to ripen.
Source: MIT, http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/sensor-detects-spoiled-meat-0415
lunes, 13 de abril de 2015
A concern raised by China is that NPEs may be endocrine disruptors.
Led by China, some importers are demanding new restrictions on residues contained in U.S. dairy products. The latest target is nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPE), a compound commonly used in the past in teat dipping.
The growth in dairy exports markets, and since most processors have limited capability to segregate milk or dairy products within their facilities, forced several of them to institute a complete ban on the use of NPEs by their dairy farmer milk suppliers. Over the past few months, several cooperatives art asking farmer to switch iodine dipping for other products without NPEs.
What are NPE’s? NP are surfactants which are widely used in industrial cleaning applications, hard surface degreasers and laundry detergents. NPEs have been eliminated from many household product over the past 20-30 years, primarily because of biodegradation and aquatic toxicity concerns.
On dairy farms, NPEs can be found in external surface cleaners and laundry detergents. There is minimal likelihood these applications would result in NPE residues in milk. It is more probable NPE residues result from clean-in-position (CIP) sanitation applications – although a majority of CIP detergents do not contain standard NPEs because they are high-foaming. NPEs have also been used in iodine teat disinfectants supplied by most teat dip manufactures in the U.S. market.
Despite their drawbacks – skin irritation – they are effective as a low-cost way to solubilize iodine. A 1% iodine teat dip product would typically contain 7%-10% NPE.
A concern raised by China is that NPEs may be endocrine disruptors. This relates to the chemical structure of nonylphenol, mimicking certain hormones similar to estrogen. The potential effects are greatest to infants and young children who consume the highest amounts of fluid milk.
The industry is actively recommending non-NPE alternatives, or reformulating their iodine products. Copper dipping without NPE, presently tested in Chile, should be an excellent option.
Whether required by their dairy processor or not, dairy farmers may want to ask their teat dip supplier whether or not the product contains NPEs, and what the cost difference will be for a non-NPE product. The encouraging news is U.S. dairy producers have viable options, including non-NPE teat dips already on the market.
viernes, 10 de abril de 2015
European Center for Disease Control present this new technology during the World Health Day in which the year’s theme was food safety.
On this occasion, ECDC launches the sero-incidence calculator tool for human Salmonella and Campylobacter infections and publishes the ‘Surveillance report on the seven priority food- and waterborne diseases in the EU/EEA, 2010-2012’.
Campylobacteriosis and salmonellosis are the two leading gastrointestinal diseases reported in the European Union. However, the reported number of cases represents only a small fraction of all infections that actually occur.
As a consequence, an ECDC funded project has developed a tool which provides additional information. The tool utilizes the measured combination of serum antibody levels (IgG, IgM, and IgA) at a given point in time and estimates the time since sero-conversion. This in turn gives an estimate on the frequency of exposure to Salmonella and Campylobacter in the tested population.
This tool builds upon an EU-wide study  on sero-incidence of salmonellosis which produced estimates showing tenfold differences by country in the frequency of exposure to Salmonella.
The sero-incidence tool enables the calculation of estimates for monitoring the effects of control programs as they provide more accurate information on the pressure of infection to humans in EU/EEA countries. Despite the decrease in the number of reported salmonellosis cases, this tenfold difference shows that continued surveillance and vigilance remains of utmost importance.
The ‘Surveillance report on the seven priority food- and waterborne diseases in the EU/EEA 2010-2012’ is the second dedicated epidemiological report for non-typhoidal salmonellosis, typhoid and paratyphoid fever, campylobacteriosis, Shiga toxin/vero-cytotoxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC/VTEC) infections, listeriosis, shigellosis and yersiniosis.
For most of the gastrointestinal diseases, the case-fatality rate was below 1%, except for listeriosis, for which the average case-fatality rate was 16% between 2010 and 2012. Of special concern are Listeria infections among the elderly, where case numbers have increased sharply, particularly in men over 65 years of age.
jueves, 9 de abril de 2015
Food safety and food quality should be used as a competitive advantage
There has been more change in the food safety landscape in the last few years compared to the previous 30.
The firm said over the years major drivers have included consumers, regulation and retailers. World Health Day is being celebrated recently (7 April), with WHO highlighting the challenges and opportunities associated with food safety under the slogan of “From farm to plate, make food safe.”
Technology driving change Kevin Habas, global scientific marketing and education manager, said the US Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) is now having an impact and the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) was an earlier driving force.
The change has been because industry in the past few years has overseen more technology develop than ever before. There has been more change in the past five to 10 years than the prior 30, it is more competitive in the space and some of that is driven by consumer groups.
These advocacy groups want fresh, local, organic and non-GMO food. Despite companies best efforts there are still global recalls and a few of the best companies in the world are sometimes implicated.” Today people assume, and rightly so, that all food they eat is safe. It is the government’s obligation to ensure that and the FDA or the USDA or their equivalents around the world must have the systems in place to make sure. “
Retailers are also involved as they have private label products that must be consistent and ensure uniformity and they are driving more standards around audits.
3M Food Safety provides indicator tests, sample handling, pathogen detection, hygiene and time temperature monitoring. The firm has worked with Dr Martin Wiedmann at Cornell University on quick time to results. Quicker reaction time is possible today to respond in one tenth of the time than previously detect where any problem is coming from, isolate it and find the cause to get it out of the marketplace.
A newer issue is information overload as there is so much data, you need the right data and in the right amounts. It is more of an issue as digitalized to find the important information and information to track. Things such as temperature, line speed and pressure are monitored as well as all the chemical and microbiological test results and you need to make sense of it all.
A ‘one size fits all’ approach does not apply to food safety. Food safety is not viewed as public health until a recall as there is no hard link.
Critical control points include sanitation schedules and robust hygiene monitoring plans, incoming raw materials and food contact surface testing. It is extremely important to increase awareness of issues globally, to promote best practice sharing and elevate the conversation.
Source: 3M Food Safety