Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Outbreaks and Alerts: July 13, 2010

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

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United States
  • Utah. July 9: During April 29--June 3, 2010, a total of 10 Salmonella Newport cases were reported to the Utah Department of Health; all 10 patients had consumed unpasteurized milk from one of two stores, supplied by the same raw milk producer. The patients ranged in age from 2 to 56 years (median: 21 years); six were female. One patient was hospitalized.Cultures of frozen, unpasteurized milk samples stored at the dairy from batches of milk sold during the outbreak period yielded S. Newport isolates indistinguishable from the outbreak strain.
  • Atlanta, GA. July 12: Nearly 1 out of every 25 restaurant-associated foodborne outbreaks with identified food sources between 1998 and 2008 can be traced back to contaminated salsa or guacamole, more than double the rate during the previous decade. Inappropriate storage times or temperatures of the salsa or guacamole were reported in 30 percent of the outbreaks in restaurants or delis, and may have contributed to the outbreaks. Food workers were reported as the source of contamination in 20 percent of the restaurant outbreaks.
  • Dallas County, IA. July 12: About 80 residents in the River Oaks Development are under a boil advisory after E. coli was found in their water supply last week.
  • Baton Rouge, LA. July 12: Two hundred and twenty-seven oil spill exposure-related cases have been reported to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) to date, according to its sixth surveillance report released today. One hundred and ninety-three of those cases involved workers on oil rigs or workers involved in the oil spill clean-up efforts, while 34 were reported by the general public.
  • St. Petersburg, FL. July 13: BP Oil Spill: NOAA modifies commercial and recreational fishing closure in the oil-affected portions of the Gulf of Mexico. The new closure measures 83,927 sq mi (217,371 sq km) and covers about 35% of the Gulf of Mexico exclusive economic zone. All commercial and recreational fishing including catch and release is prohibited in the closed area; however, transit through the area is allowed.
  • Battle Creek, MI. July 13: An aromatic hydrocarbon called methylnaphthalene in the packaging of some Kellogg's cereals was the source of the off-odors that resulted in the company's recall of 28 million boxes of breakfast cereals, according to a report in Food Safety News.

  • Zealand, Denmark. July 9: At least 79 Danes have been infected with Salmonella Typhimurium U323 since March 2010. Contaminated pork products from a single Zealand slaughterhouse is the source of the outbreak.
  • Paris, France. July 9: The Direction générale de la Santé has alerted physicians to be on the alert for possible cases of E. coli O157:H7 infections and associated hemolytic uremic syndrome, in conjunction with a recall last week of Carrefour and Casino fresh ground beef that was found to be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.
  • Mainz, Germany. July 11: A children's camp in Homberg has been closed after an outbreak of Norovirus sickened 30 of the boys and girls attending the camp. Eleven children were hospitalized for rehydration.
  • Vladivostok, Russia. July 12: Scientists have found algal toxins in shellfish caught off the coast of Primorye.
  • Brussels, Belgium. July 13: Twenty-four Turkish children were hospitalised in Belgium with suspected food poisoning. The children, aged from 10 to 16, were taking part in a holiday camp organized by a Turkish cultural centre in Sint-Niklaas.
  • Yekaterinburg, Russia. July 13: Fifteen employees of the Ordzhonikidze district tax service were diagnosed with Hepatitis A virus after a dinner in the dining room of the local university. All fifteen Tax Officers were hospitalized; two have since been released.

Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands
  • Arusha, Tanzania. July 9: A total of 45 dogs have died so far in Arusha, since the end of June 2010, due to aflatoxin contaminated maize or maize flour, but there are no reports of any human beings affected.
  • South Bastar, India. July 12: A suspected cholera outbreak has killed around an estimated 60 people in Bijapur District of South Bastar, Chhattisgarh since the 7th of June.
  • Hanoi, Vietnam. July 12: Health officials have closed 60 butchers and dog meat restaurants in areas surrounding the city after the cholera bacteria was found in two animals. Dog meat is considered to be a delicacy by Vietnamese.
  • Taipei, Taiwan. July 13: Thirteen out of 20 samples of lipstick sold in Taipei City were found after examination to be substandard, mainly because of poor package labeling.
  • Taipei, Taiwan. July 13: The Taipei City Department of Health fined a Subway restaurant NT$30,000 for a roasted chicken submarine sandwich containing excessive bacteria levels and coliform counts.
  • Beijing, China. July 13: A senior health official said on Monday that more breaches in food safety, such as the latest melamine-tainted milk scandal in Northwest China, are likely given China's size and unbalanced development. The remarks were made during an international food safety forum.
  • Jerusalem, Israel. July 13: The Knesset has voted to add the designer "party drug" known as hagiga to the list of dangerous and illegal drugs.
  • Beijing, China. July 13: A tiny, toxic mushroom has been identified as the probable cause of the Yunnan Sudden Death Syndrome, which has caused approximately 400 deaths over the past 30 years.
  • La Trinidad, Philippines. July 13: A contaminated underwater source is suspected to be behind an increase in the number of typhoid cases in this area. The outbreak is under investigation.
  • Hyderabad, India. July 13: Approximately 100 patients per day are being admitted to area hospitals with symptoms of food poisoning and gastroenteritis. A few of the patients – notably the children – are severely dehydrated.

Australia and New Zealand
  • Coromandel, New Zealand. July 13: Ongoing weekly monitoring has shown continuing high levels of paralytic shellfish poison (PSP) present in shellfish along the coastline of Coromandel and the Bay of Plenty. A health warning advising against the collection and consumption of shellfish from the affected areas has been in place since December 2009.

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