Monday, July 12, 2010

Outbreaks and Alerts: July 12, 2010

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

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United States
  • Burlington, VT. July 8: Algae accumulations or “blooms” are occurring in several sections of Lake Champlain (Main Lake and Burlington Bay), including shoreline areas in Burlington, Shelburne, Charlotte, Ferrisburgh, Panton, near Long and Thompson’s Points, around Juniper Island in the Main Lake, and near Westport and Port Henry in New York. Boaters, swimmers, water-skiers, waders, parents, pet-owners and residents should all avoid contact with dense accumulations of algae. Children are at higher risk because they are more likely to drink the water. Do not allow pets into algae-contaminated water, because they will also drink the water and consume algae that accumulates on their fur.
  • Sacramento, CA. July 9: The California Department of Food and Agriculture has imposed penalties on a Santa Rosa grower as a result of violations pertaining to the National Organic Program. Valley End Farm sold produce mislabeled as organic to consumers and did not maintain adequate records to substantiate the sale and production of organic products.
  • Manhattan, KS. July 11: The Dairy Queen located at 3116 Anderson Avenue has been cited for 8 critical violations. A follow-up inspection will take place in the near future.
  • Cedar Rapids, IA. July 10: State health officials are warning Iowans about touching reptiles after two Eastern Iowans contracted Salmonella. According to the Iowa Department of Public Health (as reported on, the two illnesses could be associated with a national outbreak linked to exposure to snakes, turtles, lizards or other reptiles.
  • Ellensburg, WA. July 12: The strain of E. coli that infected children who attended three day care facilities in Ellensburg was E. coli O26, according to a report on Marler Blog.
  • Utah. July 12: A Utah investigation into the astronomically high levels of arsenic in two local children has determined that the arsenic levels came from the children's backyard chickens. The source of the arsenic was chicken feed that contains roxarsone, a legal arsenic-based additive that is used to prevent the chickens from contracting parasitic diseases.
  • St. Petersburg, FL. July 12: NOAA modifies commercial and recreational fishing closure in the oil-affected portions of the Gulf of Mexico. The new closure measures 84,101 sq mi (217,821 sq km) and covers about 35% of the Gulf of Mexico exclusive economic zone.

  • Aberporth, Wales. July 12: The Environment Agency said the stream at Aberporth was running clear after the source of a sewage spill was fixed, but signs advising swimmers not to go into the water would remain for now.
  • France. July 12: Residues of 365 different pesticides – 76 of them in cereal products – have been identified in fruits and vegetables consumed in Europe, according to a study released by the European Agency for Food Safety.

Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands
  • Abu Dhabi, UAE. July 12: Dr. Mariam Hareb Sultan Al-Yousuf, Executive Director, Policy and Regulation, Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) and Member, National Committee for Food Safety, stressed the need for and importance of an early alert system for food and feed in the UAE. She said that the proposed system should be linked to the European Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (EU-RASFF) and the International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN).

Australia and New Zealand
  • New Zealand. July 11: The major importers of baby bottle brands which include Avent, Nuby, Tommee Tippee and Watties Baby Basics are not restocking products that contain Bisphenol (BPA), a chemical linked to cancers, according to a news report in the New Zealand Herald.

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