Monday, June 7, 2010

Outbreaks and Alerts: June 7, 2010

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

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United States
  • Baton Rouge, LA. June 6: The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals announced today the closure of oyster harvesting bed Area 9 in response to the BP oil spill in the Gulf. The closure is west of the Mississippi River in Plaquemines Parish.

  • United Kingdom and Spain. June 6: Eating the meat of animals hunted using lead ammunition can be more dangerous for health than was previously thought, especially for children and people who consume large quantities. Researchers have demonstrated that the levels of lead in some game meat that has already been cooked exceed the maximum allowances set by the European Union, due to the presence of remains of ammunition.
  • Karpinsk, Russia. June 6: Russia's Commissioner for Children's Rights will begin an independent investigation into safety and quality of food served to school children. The Commissioner's investigation is in response to the recent Salmonella outbreak that resulted in the hospitalization of 45 kindergarten children and 6 teachers and staff.
  • Scotland. June 7: An inquiry is beginning into the 2008/2009 Clostridium difficile outbreak at Vale of Leven Hospital in Alexandria, West Dunbartonshire that claimed 18 lives.

Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands
  • Abu Dhabi. June 1: Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority and Ireland Food Safety Authority signed a Memorandum of Understanding outlining several areas of cooperation between the two food safety agencies, including training, research and surveillance practices, communication strategies and awareness programs.
  • Taipei, Taiwan. June 6: Nearly six tons of cherries recently imported in two batches from the United States have been found to contain the pesticide malathion, the Department of Health (DOH) said yesterday. Taiwan does not allow any traces of malathion in cherries. If a third batch is found to contain malathion within the next six months, Taiwan will ask the U.S. to come up with a plan to improve the situation.
  • Manila, Philippines. June 6: Following the discovery of unregistered "Chinese medicine-based" drugs and cosmetics for sale in the Philippines, the country's Food and Drug Administration has invited Chinese Drug Importers/Distributors/Retailers to a forum to discuss ways to address related safety issues and concerns.
  • Chennai, India. June 6: Nine people died and several fell ill and were hospitalised due to suspected food poisoning in Resua block after attending a marriage celebration.
  • Chennai, India. June 6: The Mayor has categorically denied any prevalence of a cholera epidemic in Chennai and advised the people not to panic. The incidence of cholera in the city is normal for this time of year, according to the Mayor.
  • Taipei, Taiwan. June 7: Taiwan will for the first time send officials to conduct on-site inspections of slaughterhouses that have their beef exported to Taiwan. The inspections, to be carried out in August or September, are being undertaken to ensure that all U.S. beef exports are adequately labeled, as required by Taiwan's regulations.

Australia and New Zealand
  • Darwin, Australia. June 7: East Point beaches in Darwin Harbour were closed on the weekend, and anglers were warned not to eat the fish they caught in the area, after tests revealed E. coli levels were three to four times higher than recommended. The source of the contamination is under investigation.

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