Sunday, July 4, 2010

Outbreaks and Alerts: July 4, 2010

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

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United States
  • Oregon. July 1: Oregon Public Health and Douglas County Health Department have issued a Health Advisory for Lemolo Lake, due to high levels of blue-green algae.
  • Nebraska. July 2: A health alert has been issued for toxic blue-green algae at Johnson Lake in Gosper County, and an alert continues at Swan Creek Lake 5A near Tobias in Saline County, which was first placed on alert last week.
  • Grand Lake St. Mary's, OH. July 2: State officials are advising the public to avoid contact with the water in Grand Lake St. Mary's due to the presence of algae-related toxins in the water.
  • Oregon. July 2: The Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife have extended the area closed to recreational razor clam harvesting to include the coast from Bandon north to Tillamook Head. The closure is due to elevated levels of domoic acid.
  • Baton Rouge, LA. July 2: The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals announced the partial closures of oyster harvesting areas 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 in response to the BP oil spill in the Gulf.
  • Henderson, CO. July 2: At least five people in Colorado and one in New York State are suffering from E. coli O157:H7 gastroenteritis. The outbreak strain has been linked to the consumption of ground bison products supplied by Rocky Mountain Natural Meats of Henderson, CO. Rocky Mountain has recalled approximately 66,000 pounds of ground bison meat and tenderized steak bison products in response to the outbreak. Please see the eFoodAlert Recall Roundup for July 4th to access a partial retail distribution list for the recalled bison products.
  • Grant County, WA. July 2: Seven cases of salmonellosis – three from Washington state and four from British Columbia – have been confirmed in people who attended a Memorial Day weekend concert at the Gorge Amphitheater.

  • Ukraine. July 4: Seven university graduates were taken to hospital on July 2nd and 3rd with symptoms of gastroenteritis after attending their graduation party, held at a winery restaurant on June 30.

Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands
  • Taipei, Taiwan. July 3: Officials at the Taipei municipal Department of Health confirmed that toxicologists have suggested consumers not to leave water contained in PET bottles for too long under the sun, as the heat may cause toxic materials to be released into the water.
  • Taipei, Taiwan. July 3: The Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) has arrested six suspects in Taipei for allegedly manufacturing and selling counterfeit skin care products and food supplements. NT$2 million worth of counterfeit products were seized by authorities.

Australia and New Zealand
  • New South Wales, Australia. July 2: The state has introduced a new Egg Food Safety Scheme, as part of the new Food Regulation 2010 - a regulation that aims to reduce the incidence of foodborne illness in food industry sectors with a higher food safety risk. Under the new regulations, certain egg businesses will be required to be licensed with the NSW Food Authority by 18 August 2010 and implement certain food safety requirements.
  • Christchurch, New Zealand. July 3: Christchurch Hospital is struggling with a norovirus outbreak. Twenty-five patients and one or two staff members have fallen ill in the last two weeks.
  • Wellington, New Zealand. July 4: The government has initiated a total ban on kosher slaughtering (known as "shechitah") in New Zealand, claiming that the slaughtering method is inhumane.

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