Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Outbreaks and Alerts: June 30, 2010

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

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United States
  • Black Forest, CO. June 29: More than 50 campers, mostly children, have become ill from the norovirus at La Foret Conference Center and Retreat Center in the Black Forest.
  • Baton Rouge, LA. June 29: The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals is reopening oyster harvesting areas 27 and 28.
  • Glencoe, IL. June 29: The Cook County Department of Health continues to investigate an outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis gastroenteritis that has been linked to the Skokie Country Club in Glencoe. At least 29 laboratory-confirmed illnesses have been reported; seven people were hospitalized. More than 50 additional cases of illness are still under investigation.
  • Ellensburg, WA. June 29: The Kittitas County Public Health has closed the Creative Kids Learning Center and Little Tot Town child care facilities after one confirmed and two suspected cases of E. coli gastroenteritis were reported to the county. During their investigation, public health officials discovered that a number of other children and adults also were suffering from gastroenteritis. Children who attend Creative Kids Learning Center or Little Tot Town will not be able to attend any child care facility until they have two tests showing they are free of illness.
  • Lancaster County, PA. June 30: The Department of Agriculture has informed Alvin J. Stoltzfus, of Paradise, Lancaster County, that his raw milk permit has been reinstated, and that he may once again sell raw milk after two samples taken on separate days from his dairy tested negative for Listeria monocytogenes.

  • Toronto, ON. June 30: Siena Foods was caught changing the "best before" dates on packages of ham about a month before it had to recall peppercorn salami when samples tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes.

  • Scotland, UK. June 30: A six-year-old child has left hospital after being treated as a result of one of two E. coli O157 outbreaks confirmed in rural parts of Dumfries and Galloway. Six cases have been confirmed in the Wigtown and Whithorn area, including the primary pupil. A second incident involves three cases in Canonbie and other parts of Annandale and Eskdale.

Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands
  • Fiji. June 16: The Northern Division of this island nation has experienced a significant increase in reported Shigella infections this year. Most of the 144 reported cases involve children nine-years old and younger.
  • Bangalore, India. June 29: City doctors have been remarking about the sudden spurt in cases of hepatitis A. With the rains setting in, cases of food poisoning and diarrhoea are on the rise; with it, there are complaints that also relate to the functioning of the liver.
  • Hong Kong. June 30: The Centre for Food Safety released the findings of its Food Safety Report for May. Of the 4,500 food samples tested, 25 samples were found to be unsatisfactory (of which 12 samples were from the same brand) and the overall satisfactory rate was 99.4%.
  • Hong Kong. June 30: The Centre for Food Safety recently completed two targeted surveillance projects on the microbiological quality of lunch boxes and prepackaged food that requires reheating before consumption. All the results were satisfactory.
  • Ziyang, China. July 1: Since December last year, the Singapore non-governmental organisation, Mercy Relief, has bored new wells to supply potable water to five villages within the township. The water is delivered to each of the 574 households in the villages through a new piping system.

Australia and New Zealand
  • New South Wales, Australia. June 30: The New South Wales Food Authority has announced the start of a six-month Scores On Doors trial program. More than 20 Local Councils will be participating in the program, including: Goulburn, Holroyd, Tumbarumba, Forbes, Parkes, Taree, Warringah, Kogarah, Blacktown, Sydney, Ashfield, Randwick, Parramatta, Upper Hunter, Newcastle, Mosman, Waverley, Wyong, Penrith and Cessnock. "Scores on Doors will allow the public to see how a food service business complies with food safety and hygiene requirements by featuring a scorecard with a simple, easy to recognise ranking system of an A, B or C or a P grading" Minister Whan said.

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