Saturday, May 22, 2010

Outbreaks and Alerts: May 22, 2010

A daily digest of international outbreaks, alerts and food safety news

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United States
  • Hendersonville, TX. May 18: About 100 students from Indian Lake Elementary School became ill last week with flu-like symptoms, including headaches, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea. Preliminary tests confirmed that the illnesses were due to Norovirus. Health officials are trying to determine the source of the infections.
  • Baton Rouge, LA. May 19: Louisiana has partially reopened oyster harvesting areas 14 and 15, and all of areas 2, 3 and 4.
  • Baton Rouge, LA. May 20: Louisiana has partially reopened oyster harvesting area 17.
  • Baton Rouge, LA. May 20: Louisiana closes oyster harvesting area 13. As of this date, areas 8 and 28 remain closed; areas 2 through 7 and portions of areas 14, 15 and 17 north of the 29.10.16 N latitude line were recently reopened.
  • San Diego, CA. May 21: San Diego County is investigating three cases of Salmonella gastroenteritis that match the alfalfa sprout outbreak strain. Alfalfa sprouts from a California grower are responsible for at least 23 cases of Salmonella Newport infections nationwide. According to County Environmental Health officials, Trader Joe's is believed to be the only retailer of the implicated sprouts in San Diego County.

  • Ottawa, ON. May 20: With the beginning of barbecue season, Health Canada reminds Canadians of steps they can take to avoid foodborne illness caused by bacteria such as Salmonella and other pathogens.
  • Ottawa, ON. May 21: Health Canada clarifies that, contrary to media reports, the federal agency has not approved the sale of any pre-mixed alcoholic energy drinks.

  • United Kingdom. May 20: The Food Standards Agency has published an update on its investigation – in conjunction with Spanish authorities – into an outbreak in mid-August 2009 of Salmonella Enteritidis phage type (PT) 14b was possibly linked to an egg production premises in Spain.
  • United Kingdom. May 20: This year's Food Safety Week runs from the 7-13 June with a focus on preventing Campylobacter food poisoning by highlighting the importance of proper cooking and avoiding cross contamination.
  • Netherlands. May 20: Investigators in the Netherlands publish an update on the investigation of an outbreak of Hepatitis A infections linked to semi-dried tomatoes in oil.

Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands
  • Xi'an, China. May 22: Bad milk or eggs are suspected to have sickened 42 primary school students at a Ziwu Street Central Primary School, in Chang'an District Friday. The students became ill with symptoms of a mild gastroenteritis after eating a breakfast of milk and eggs. They were treated and returned to class the same afternoon.
  • Moroto District, Uganda. May 22: Cholera has spread to 40 villages in the district. Five deaths and 220 cases of cholera have been reported since the outbreak was detected on April 16.

Australia and New Zealand

Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Chacharramendi, Argentina. May 22: La Escuela Hogar 176 de Chacharramendi has suspended classes after an outbreak of gastroenteritis that sickened at least 20 students, three teachers and one villager. The school is scheduled to reopen on May 26th, following a thorough cleaning and disinfection.

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