Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Outbreaks and Alerts: June 8, 2010

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

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United States
  • Anchorage, AK. June 7: Sapphire Princess completes Alaska cruise after 96 passengers come down with Norovirus gastroenteritis. Some of the infected passengers were "asked" to remain in their rooms for the duration of the voyage to limit the spread of the highly contagious virus. The ship was "super-sanitized" in Seattle before the next load of passengers was permitted to embark.
  • Silver Spring, MD. June 7: Lifesoy Inc., a San Diego-based manufacturer of ready-to-eat soy products that was cited by FDA for preparing, packing, and holding articles of food under insanitary conditions, has entered into a consent decree of permanent injunction in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. The consent decree requires Lifesoy to stop manufacturing and distributing food products until the company registers with the FDA and complies with federal laws regarding sanitary practices.
  • Springfield, IL. June 7: 48 cases of Salmonella Hvittingfoss have now been associated with the ongoing investigation of illnesses among customers who ate at certain Subway restaurants in 18 Illinois counties. All patients, of which 17 had been hospitalized, are recovering. Health investigators still have not traced the illnesses to a specific food source.
  • San Bernardino, CA. June 7: Two persons were issued citation for hawking (illegal selling) infractions, 16 persons received citations for misdemeanor food violations, and one person received a citation for felony violation of dairy products during an "Illegal Vendor Compliance Operation" conducted by the Rural Crime Task Force and the West Foothill Sheriff's Station. Three of the violators later returned to the area and were arrested and booked into the West Valley Detention Center for a Health and Safety Code. The action was taken following complaints from the public about an increase in the number of illegal roadside food vendors in the area.
  • Saratoga Springs, UT. June 8: The Utah County Department of Health thinks that the Campylobacter outbreak in Saratoga Springs may be waning. As of the last published update (May 20th), there have been 17 confirmed and 333 probable cases of Campylobacter gastroenteritis. The outbreak has been blamed on contaminated drinking water.

  • Ottawa, ON. June 7: The Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services has shut down the Little Angels Academy daycare facility on Cedarview Road in the Barrhaven area, citing health reasons.

  • Aberdeen, Scotland. June 7: MV Hjaltland, which is currently docked at Aberdeen harbour, has been taken out of service for 48 hours for extensive cleaning after a bus party from Hereford became ill within an hour of boarding the vessel on Friday in Lerwick.
  • France. June 8: The number of confirmed cases of salmonellosis in the outbreak that has been linked to contaminated dried sausage from Salaisons du Lignon has risen to 90 people. The manufacturer has expanded an earlier product recall to encompass all Lou Montagnard brand "Saucisse s├Ęche droite nature La Pause Auvergnate" with expiration dates up to and including 24/08/10.
  • Sweden. June 8: The National Food Administration has received complaints of a metallic taste in some pine nuts. After extensive lab testing, NFA toxicologists have been unable to detect any hazardous chemical or toxin in the pine nuts.
  • Vladivostok, Russia. June 8: Food safety specialists are warning consumers that 3.5 million eggs that were past their expiration dates were sold in the Vladivostok area. These eggs may present a health risk if consumed.

Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands
  • Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. June 7: Food poisoning has caused 10 deaths and 704 illnesses in Vietnam during the past month. Of the 704 illness victims, 517 sought hospital treatment.
  • Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria. June 4: Three people have died of apparent food poisoning in a local farming community. Leftover food and soup that the victims shared has been sent for analysis to determine the cause of the deaths.

Australia and New Zealand
  • Wellington, NZ. June 8: Medsafe has placed sales restrictions on some cough and cold medicines for children. Cough and cold medicines for children under 12 years old will now be sold only in pharmacies except for those containing ingredients such as honey, lemon and other natural substances.
  • Sydney, Australia. June 8: Suchen Trading Pty Ltd, the previous owner of Tum Tum’s Thai restaurant in Sydney’s Darlinghurst was charged with 24 offences under the Food Act, including poor food handling, pest infestation, poor hygiene, unclean premises and lack of maintenance of the premises during inspections conducted in January 2008. Suchen was ordered by the Industrial Magistrate's Court to pay $35,200 in fines and costs.

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