miércoles, 25 de abril de 2012

Salmonella Bareilly infection has been confirmed in the multistate outbreak linked to sushi tuna.

The implicated frozen raw yellowfin tuna product - known as "tuna scrape"

At least 160 people in 20 states and the District of Columbia have been sickened, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported Friday.However, this outbreak is probably much larger, and many more illnesses likely occurred than those confirmed through lab analysis of stool specimens. For every case of salmonellosis reported, the CDC estimates 38.6 go unreported. That would translate to about 6,176 people ill from eating tainted tuna.
The implicated frozen raw yellowfin tuna product - known as "tuna scrape" because it is back meat scraped from tuna bones - was imported from India and has been recalled by the California-based distributor, Moon Marine USA.  The Nakaochi Scrape resembles ground tuna and is used to make sashimi, ceviche and sushi, particularly "spicy tuna" sushi.
According to the CDC's latest update, the 19 new Salmonella outbreak cases include 14 reported by Massachusetts, two reported by New York and one each reported by Illinois,
To date, a total of 7 clusters at restaurants or grocery stores have been identified where 2 or more unrelated ill persons reported eating in the week before illness. In each cluster, at least one ill person reported eating sushi purchased at the restaurant or grocery store. These clusters are located in 5 states: Connecticut, Maryland, Rhode Island, Texas, and Wisconsin.
Several methods were used to evaluate the association between tuna and illness in this outbreak. To estimate the frequency of consumption of tuna and "spicy tuna" among all sushi eaters, investigators assembled a comparison group from 1) diners who ate at one of the cluster restaurants or grocery stores or 2) a restaurant where a single ill person, who was judged to have a reliable memory, recalled consuming sushi only once in the week before illness. Records were collected on sushi orders that were placed at the same time of day (lunch or dinner) and as close to the date when the ill person ate at the restaurant.
The Salmonella ill people range in age from 4 to 78 years; median age is 30. Sixty-six percent are female. At least 26 have been hospitalized.
Source:CDC http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/bareilly-04-12/index.html

martes, 17 de abril de 2012

Reduction targets for Salmonella in turkeys to further reduce human cases

Active surveillance in all EU Member States will help to have a better estimate of the true incidence of human salmonellosis.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) was asked by the European Commission to evaluate the impact on public health of reducing Salmonella levels in turkeys across the European Union (EU). The presence of Salmonella in turkeys is considered a risk for public health through the consumption of contaminated meat from these animals. EFSA’s work will support any consideration by the Commission of setting new targets to control Salmonella in turkeys.
In a new scientific opinion, experts from EFSA’s Panel on Biological Hazards identify the main Salmonella serovars* in turkeys and indicate that transmission from breeding stock to fattening flocks is an important source of Salmonella infection as well as such sources as contaminated feed or turkey houses.
 Through the use of a modeling tool and the analysis of harmonized EU-wide data on Salmonella in animals and on reported cases of human salmonellosis (the Salmonella-derived infection that affects humans), the Panel estimated the relative public health impact of Salmonella transmitted to humans from four different animal sources: turkeys, broiler hens, laying hens and pigs. A reduction of Salmonella levels in 2012 to 1% or less for all the serovars considered in the model in fattening turkey flocks would result in an estimated 2.2% reduction across the EU of all cases of human salmonellosis compared to 2010. The Panel emphasized that the individual EU Member States’ contributions to the estimated reductions vary greatly.
 Targets are being set for the reduction of certain Salmonella serovars in different poultry populations and in pigs within the framework of EU legislation on the control of zoonotic diseases (infections or diseases that can be transmitted between animals and humans, for instance by consuming contaminated food).
 Among the recommendations on data gathering and surveillance measures, the Panel highlights the need to enhance active surveillance in all EU Member States in order to better estimate the true incidence of human salmonellosis. Human salmonellosis cases may not always be identified as such and can also go unreported.

Source: EFSA, April, 2012

Salmonella population to rebound in humid storage

The uninterrupted cold storage is a key factor for safer produce operations
The potential of Salmonella population to rebound on non-washed and washed roma tomatoes and jalapeño peppers in humid storage at 4°C, 10°C, 15°C, 21°C, or 35°C for ≤12 days was investigated.
The initial inoculation levels of Salmonella on peppers and tomatoes were 5.6 and 5.2 log CFU/cm2, respectively. Air-drying of fruit surfaces resulted in contamination levels of 3.9 and 3.7 log CFU/cm2 on inoculated peppers and tomatoes, respectively. At 21°C and 35°C, the levels of air-dried Salmonella inoculums on produce surfaces increased ≥2 log cycles, with the most rapid growth in the first 3 days.
Mechanical washing on rollers (rinsing; R-treatment) or revolving brushes (rinsing and brushing; RB-treatment) with water decreased Salmonella counts by ≥2.5 log CFU/cm2 on both peppers and tomatoes. After R- or RB-treatment, peppers stored at 21°C and 35°C permitted residual Salmonella (≤1.4 log CFU/cm2) to grow to 2.6–3.9 log CFU/cm2. During storage, residual Salmonella (≤1.0 log CFU/cm2) on washed tomatoes increased to 3.1 log CFU/cm2 at 35°C following R-treatment and 3.8 log CFU/cm2 at 21°C following RB-treatment.

Cold storage at 4°C and 10°C effectively prevented the proliferation of Salmonella on both washed and non-washed produce. The current study on jalapeño peppers and roma tomatoes demonstrated that Salmonella population can rebound on produce in humid storage before or after washing. The finding highlights the benefit of uninterrupted cold storage for safer produce operations.

Source: http://www.plospathogens.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.ppat.1002647
Foodborne Pathogens and Disease, April 2012, 9(4): 361-366

lunes, 16 de abril de 2012

Campylobacter in chickens down but not enough in the UK

One in five chicken products sold in UK supermarkets are contaminated with Campylobacter
The study included organic and free-range whole chickens and chicken portions from different producers:  Aldi, Asda, The Co-operative, Lidl, M&S, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose. A total of 193 samples were analyzed one in five (18%) were contaminated with Campylobacter jejuni, while 14% had Listeria monocytogenes and 1.5% with Salmonella spp.
The consumer organizations said that while the results suggest an improvement on the FSA’s findings in 2009 that 65% of fresh chickens were contaminated with Campylobacter jejuni at point of sale, the levels of contamination were still too high to be acceptable.
It pointed to its research last year, which revealed that 82% of the public want better control of Campylobacter throughout the supply chain, rather than having to deal with contamination when cooking and handling chicken.
Consumers think the situation is improving but it is still unacceptable that one in five chickens were found to be contaminated with Campylobacter. It is necessary that the risk of contamination will be minimized at every stage of production, because for far too long consumers have been expected to clean up mistakes made during processing.
Source: http://www.campylobacterblog.com/campylobacter-watch/campylobacter-in-chickens-down-in-uk/

martes, 10 de abril de 2012

Instituto de Salud Pública confirma primer caso de Salmonella serovariedad Fluntern en el país

Este agente es poco frecuente y está asociado a animales exóticos

El Instituto de Salud Pública de Chile (ISP) realiza la confirmación bioquímica y tipificación serológica de las cepas de Salmonella, y hasta ahora, no había detectado Salmonella serovariedad Fluntern en el país.
Sin embargo, tras recibir una cepa aislada de una menor de seis meses de edad se confirmó el primer caso positivo de Salmonella serovariedad Fluntern.
Este agente es transmitido principalmente por reptiles, que afectan a los seres humanos aunque no necesariamente a los animales. El cuadro clínico se manifiesta con enterocolitis con aparición repentina de cefaleas, dolor abdominal, diarrea, nauseas y a veces vómitos. Rara vez es mortal, excepto en niños de corta edad, adultos mayores o inmunodeprimidos.
Según cifras del Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), de EE.UU., entre los años 1999 y 2009, se reportaron 41 casos causados por este agente en el mundo.
En Chile la importación de reptiles es cada vez más frecuente. Por lo anterior, el ISP recomienda los siguientes cuidados con el manejo de animales exóticos:
-Mantener estos animales alejados de los alimentos y zonas de preparación y almacenamiento de los mismos.
-Lavado de manos inmediatamente después de tocar un reptil o anfibio, o la zona donde viven y deambulan.
-Evitar el contacto de menores de 5 años con este tipo de animales.
-Asesoría de un médico veterinario experto en este tipo de animales exóticos, respecto a las medidas de prevención y mantención de éstos.
Fuente: ISP

lunes, 9 de abril de 2012

Less Salmonella cases in humans  but Campylobacteriosis remains the most reported zoonotic infection.
According to the report, the likely main reasons for the decrease in human salmonelosis cases are the successful EU Salmonella control programmes for reducing the prevalence of the bacteria in poultry populations, particularly in laying hens. Salmonella was found most often in chicken and turkey meat.

At the same time, while salmonelosis decreases, in 2010, a total of 212,064 Campylobacter cases in humans were reported, an increase for the fifth consecutive year with 7% more cases compared to 2009. In foodstuffs, Campylobacter, which can cause diarrhea and fever, was mostly found in raw poultry meat. In order to combat Campylobacter, the European Commission is currently carrying out a cost-benefit analysis of the control measures for the bacteria at different stages of the food chain. EFSA has supported this work by among others analyzing an EU-wide baseline survey on the prevalence of Campylobacter in chicken and providing scientific advice on possible reduction measures.

The report also gives an overview of other food-borne diseases. Human cases of Shiga toxin/verotoxin -producing Escherichia coli (STEC/VTEC) have been increasing since 2008 and amounted to 4,000 reported cases in 2010. Among animals and foodstuffs, VTEC was most often reported in cattle and their meat.

A decrease for the fifth consecutive year was recorded for human cases of Yersinia enterocolitica, The number of human cases of trichinellosis - a parasitic zoonosis – decreased significantly in 2010 (223 cases compared to 748 in 2009) with a corresponding reduction of Trichinella findings in pigs, an important source of the parasite.

Listeria infections in humans showed a slight decrease with 1,601 confirmed cases in 2010. In 2013, EFSA will be analysing the results of an EU-wide baseline survey on Listeria in ready-to-eat foods including smoked fish, heat-treated meat products and soft and semi-soft cheeses, which will provide further valuable information on its prevalence and the factors contributing to this in these high-risk foods. To complement this work, EFSA and ECDC will carry out a joint molecular typing analysis for human and food Listeria strains to identify potential links between human cases and food.

The report says that 5,262 food-borne outbreaks were recorded in the EU in 2010, slightly less than in 2009. These reported outbreaks affected over 43,000 people and caused 25 deaths; however, these figures may in reality be higher due to under-reporting. The most frequently reported causes were Salmonella (31% of all outbreaks), viruses such as norovirus (15%) and Campylobacter (9%). The most important food sources in the outbreaks were eggs and egg products, mixed and buffet meals and vegetables and derived products. The importance of vegetables as sources of outbreaks increased from previous years.

The report covers 15 zoonotic diseases, including Q fever, brucellosis, bovine tuberculosis, rabies and the parasitic zoonoses echinococcosis. The full version of the report with data by country and annexes is available on EFSA and ECDC websites.

jueves, 5 de abril de 2012

Salmonella Outbreak: Sushi Suspected as Source

An outbreak of an unusual strain of salmonella called Salmonella Bareilly has hit 19 states and the District of Columbia, infecting 90 people since late January.

The outbreak was made public on Tuesday (April’s 4th) when an internal memo was sent to everyone at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), according to agency spokesperson Curtis Allen. According to the memo, the source of the outbreak is suspected to be sushi, ”with spicy tuna roll sushi highly suspect,” but the FDA is not yet certain of the origins of the infection.

Health officials are still conducting interviews with those who have fallen ill to see what they had recently eaten. “On initial interviews, many of the ill persons reported consuming sushi, sashimi or similar foods in a variety of locations in the week before becoming ill,” CDC spokeswoman Lola Russell said.

No deaths have been reported, but some people have been hospitalized. The FDA still cannot confirm which states have infected patients or how many. Until further notified by the CDC, the public does not need to avoid any particular food or restaurant, health officials said.

Salmonella can cause diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The infection typically lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people are able to recover without treatment. However, some symptoms may be severe, and patients may need to be hospitalized.

martes, 3 de abril de 2012

Malas Prácticas obligan a clausura de locales de Pizza Pizza en la RM

Programa de Televisión muestra las nulas condiciones higiénicas y malas prácticas en locales de Pizza Pizza.
El programa de TVN “Esto no tiene nombre” reveló una serie de irregularidades en la preparación de alimentos por parte de algunos locales de la cadena Pizza Pizza. En este se puede observar como se preparan alimentos al lado de la basura, así como la presencia de fecas de ratones y vectores como moscas y cucarachas en dichos locales.
Asimismo, se observó el “reciclaje” de ingredientes para nuevas pizzas, situación que se trataría de una práctica habitual en la franquicia. El reportaje muestra además como los manipuladores no cuentan con los elementos mínimos para su higiene, como baños adecuados y dotados de jabón o alcohol gel y que otros manipulaban dinero antes de preparar alimentos.
Estos antecedentes implicaron la prohibición de funcionamiento (por parte de la Seremi de la RM) de 2 locales, en San Miguel y La Dehesa, mientras que otros 4 se encuentran con sumarios sanitarios.
Fuente: Bio Bio, TVN

Gold nanoparticles help to faster Salmonella detection in produce

Gold nanoparticles acts in the outer membrane of the Salmonella, killing the pathogen
The test for lettuce requires just a tiny sample of lettuce leaf, also It doesn’t take a trained laboratory technician to perform the test or read the results. If the color changes from pink to bluish, that signals the presence of Salmonella. The test is suitable for use in farm fields and in remote areas of the developing world. We believe it may have enormous potential for rapid, on-site pathogen detection to avoid the distribution of contaminated foods.
 To find the bacteria faster, researchers at Jackson State University enlisted gold nanoparticles that are 1 million times smaller than an ant. They attached antibodies similar to those that help the immune system find and fight infections with Salmonella, to the nanoparticles. Viewed under a powerful microscope, the gold nanoparticles look somewhat like individual pieces of popcorn.
When these antibodies encounter Salmonella pathogen, they attach to the outer surface of the bacteria, carrying along their cargo of gold popcorn-shaped nanoparticles. The test, with its pink-to-blue color change, detects those gold nanoparticle-antibody-Salmonella complexes.
 The approach also has potential for killing MDR Salmonella, Ray said. When you shine the right wavelength of light into contaminated water, for instance, the gold nanoparticles absorb that light and heat up. Those hot particles burn through the outer membrane of the Salmonella, killing the pathogen.
 The researchers first developed the popcorn-shaped particles to find and fight cancer. The shape was chosen because it boosts the signal for detection using something called Raman spectroscopy, which looks at the light given off after atoms or molecules absorb energy. According to the investigators this detection method is useful in other applications of the particles. In science this is called the lightning rod effect, describing how the splayed “tips” of the popcorn shape enhance the signal and make it easier to see. The group has also used the nanoparticles to detect other microbes, like E. coli.
 Despite gold’s stature as a precious and very costly metal, only tiny amounts are needed. About $90 worth of gold is enough to make gallons of the solution containing the nanoparticles. And only a few drops of the solution are needed seek out Salmonella pathogen.
 The new technology can be commercialized, and a patent is pending. With concerns about the potential health and environmental effects of many kinds of nanoparticles, the team is investigating the effects of gold nanoparticles remaining in purified water, for instance. So far, they have found no short-term toxicity and will be checking on any potential long-term toxicity.
 Funding for this research at JSU comes in part from the National Science Foundation.
Source: http://jacksonstate.wordpress.com/

Relacionan el uso de pesticidas con la baja producción de miel en Europa

La publicación de dos estudios en la revista Science, sugieren que los pesticidas neonicotinoides, pueden estar relacionados a una disminución de la población de abejas productoras de miel.  

La EFSA se encuentra analizando estos resultados en el marco de varios proyectos científicos relacionados con la salud de las abejas, principalmente en las áreas de plaguicidas, salud animal y vegetal, y organismos genéticamente modificados (OGM).
En concordancia con esto, la EFSA planea establecer una Evaluación de Riesgos que permita asesorar en forma integral la toma de decisiones respecto de este tema.  En estos momentos, la Autoridad se centra en la elaboración del "estado del arte", cuyo objetivo principal es identificar los beneficios de este enfoque integrado, tanto para las abejas como para los servicios que prestan a los seres humanos.

Fuente: EFSA

Advisory Committee Discusses New School Ground Beef Safety Criteria

The National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF), an interagency committee with outside experts, discussed ground beef purchasing requirements for federal food and nutrition assistance programs -- and unanimously accepted the group's recommendations on safety questions raised by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agriculture Marketing Service (AMS).

AMS asked NACMCF three questions to help develop microbiological criteria, pathogen testing methodology, and sampling plans for the National School Lunch Program ground beef purchases for 2012-2013:

1. AMS is considering elimination of the requirement to test for Staphylococcus aureus from the Federal Purchase Ground Beef Program and AMS asks NACMCF to provide considerations and scientific discussion regarding this action with respect to public health.

Answer: The committee concluded that the exclusion of S. aureus -specific testing will not negatively impact the safety or quality of ground beef in the National School Lunch Program and recommended that the "criterion be removed from the Federal Purchase Ground Beef Program."

2. Should AMS consider the use of alternative screening procedures beyond those stipulated in the FSIS Microbiology Laboratory Guidebook (MLG), and if so, would the AMS testing program results be comparable to FSIS' verification testing programs, and therefore useful to FSIS? What should be considered in distinguishing acceptable and unacceptable alternative screening procedures? Is it appropriate to allow alternative sample preparation procedures (portion size, enrichment broth, portion to broth ratio, enrichment time and temperature) which differed from the MLG, or which differed by AMS designated laboratory?

Answer. The committee recommended that AMS consider using validated alternative screening methods to "reduce the level of false-positive results and allow for more rapid release of raw product."

3. AMS asks NACMCF to evaluate boneless beef and finished product compliance program lotting and frequency of testing for pathogens and indicators of process control for both raw ground beef to be cooked on-site at schools.

The committee recommended that AMS "maintain high standard supplier control, HACCP implementation, carcass testing, traceability, etc as in current program." Adding, "With the exception of S. aureus testing, no changes to testing of indicator organisms are recommended at this time." The committee also said that, regardless of sampling program, ongoing program review needed to be strengthened.

The NACMCF, established in 1988, provides scientific advice on public health issues relative to the safety and wholesomeness of the U.S. food supply. The committee, chaired by Dr. Elisabeth Hagen, Under Secretary for Food Safety at USDA, serves the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service, Health and Human Services' Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Commerce's National Marine Fisheries Service, and Department of Defense's Veterinary Service Activity.

For a detailed justification for each recommendation, see the NACMCF draft response see: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/PDF/NACMCF_Response_to_AMS_Charge_032312.pdf

Poultry Inspectors Protest Inspection Proposal at USDA

Major changes can affect chicken safety “Chicken Inspection Isn't a Speed Sport”

Around 100 poultry inspectors gathered outside the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday, right under Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack's window, to protest a proposal to expand an inspection system that shifts federal inspectors away from inspecting for quality defects and allows slaughter lines to speed up.
The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service is responsible for examining all poultry carcasses for blemishes or visible defects before they are further processed. Under the proposed rule, the agency would transfer much of this quality-assurance task over to the poultry plants so that it can devote more of its employees to evaluating the companies' pathogen-prevention plans and bacteria-testing programs.
It basically moves the federal inspector further down the line, to right before the chiller, to make sure there's no fecal material on the birds before they take the plunge into the cooling tank.
FSIS argues that the system, formally known as the HACCP Based Inspection Models Project, or HIMP, will improve food safety and save taxpayer dollars. The consumer group Food & Water Watch, and the inspectors at the rally, take issue with the entire proposal, arguing that it privatizes inspection and puts consumers at risk. A handful of plants have been a part of the HIMP pilot program for 12 years.
According to a peer-reviewed risk assessment, expanding HIMP would save FSIS $85 to $95 million over the next three years and be a $250 million boost to poultry companies, which will be able to crank up line speeds and process birds at a faster pace, all while reducing an estimated 5,200 poultry-caused illnesses each year.
 "Cutting the budget does not justify putting the health and safety of consumers and workers in the balance," said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of FWW. "USDA inspectors receive extensive training to protect public health in poultry facilities, but there is no similar requirement for company employees to receive training before they assume these inspection responsibilities in the proposed privatized inspection system. This short-sided thinking could actually cost the federal government more to deal with a potential increase in foodborne illnesses caused by unsanitary, defective poultry and meat."
Source: FoodSafety News