Thursday, July 1, 2010

Outbreaks and Alerts: July 1, 2010

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

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United States
  • Atlanta, GA. June 29: CDC posts its final report on the recent multistate outbreak of human Salmonella Newport infections linked to raw alfalfa sprouts. Consumption of the raw sprouts was responsible for 44 cases of Salmonella Newport gastroenteritis in 11 states. Seven people were hospitalized.
  • San Antonio, TX. June 29: The Texas Department of State Health Services has issued an advisory warning people not to consume any species of fish from Lower Leon Creek from the Old U.S. Highway 90 bridge downstream to the Loop 410 bridge in San Antonio. The advisory was issued after laboratory testing showed elevated levels of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, in fish samples collected from the creek.
  • Longmont, CO. June 30: Since June 10, 16 people who reported drinking raw milk from Billy Goat Dairy in Longmont have become ill. Lab tests have recovered Campylobacter and E. coli O157 from patients. Boulder County Public Health ordered the dairy to stop distribution of its raw milk products on June 29, 2010. Two children have been hospitalized, one has been released. Health officials urge anyone who has become ill after consuming raw milk or milk products from Billy Goat Dairy to call the BCPH Communicable Disease Control program at 303.441.1460. If illness continues, residents should contact their healthcare provider.
  • Baton Rouge, LA. June 30: Louisiana Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner advises coastal cattle producers to protect their livestock from exposure to oil from the British Petroleum oil disaster that could be pushed further inland by tropical weather systems.
  • Minnesota. July 1: Health officials remind Minnesotans to “swim healthy” this summer. Germs on and in swimmers’ bodies can make people sick; preventive measures can help people avoid illness.

  • Ottawa, ON. June 30: Ottawa Public Health (OPH) advises residents of an increase in the number of salmonellosis cases (23 so far this year) reported in the city and is reminding residents to protect themselves by using safe food handling and cooking practices. A similar increasing trend has been observed provincially. According to OPH, a "... significant number of these cases appear to be related to undercooked or inappropriately stored processed chicken products."

Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands
  • Hong Kong. June 30: The Centre for Health Protection has received a total of 75 reports of gastrointestinal illness involving patrons of a restaurant in the Jordan district. Stool samples from six of the affected individuals have yielded Vibrio parahaemolyticus. All of the victims ate at the restaurant on or before June 27th.
  • Bangkok, Thailand. June 30: In the first six months of 2010, 982 people have become infected with Vibrio cholerae – 505 of them in the southern region of Thailand. Five people have died as a result of their infections.
  • Dagestan, Russia. June 30: Six local residents, including three children, have been hospitalized after eating meat from anthrax-infected cattle.
  • Baguio, Philippines. June 30: The local health department reports a 50% increase in typhoid fever cases, especially among children, in the first semester of this year. Almost 70% of the typhoid fever victims are children aged five to 16 years old.
  • Bangalore, India. July 1: The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has proposed a regulation for energy drinks and has invited public opinion on the draft regulation. The draft advises restricting the use of these drinks, but does not say what is the desired level of consumption. An Australian study, reported in August 2008, found that energy drinks could increase the risk of strokes and heart attacks.

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