Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Outbreaks and Alerts: July 7, 2010

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

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United States
  • Tallahassee, FL. July 2: The state of Florida has eliminated food safety inspections at hospitals, day care centers and nursing homes because of budget cuts. Food safety inspections will be maintained for prisons.
  • Baton Rouge, LA. July 5: The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals announced today the closures of oyster harvesting areas 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 in response to the BP oil spill in the Gulf.
  • Washington, DC. July 6: USDA updates its list of substances that may be used in the production of meat, poultry, and egg products.
  • Rhode Island. July 6: Rhode Island Department of Health issues a precautionary boil water advisory for customers of the United Water, Narragansett Pt. Judith, Narragansett North End, South Kingstown South Shore, and South Kingstown Middlebridge water systems, after water pressure drops below acceptable levels.
  • Olympia, WA. July 6: A "boil water" health advisory issued Saturday for the City of Vader water supply has ended because lab tests show the water meets safe drinking water standards.
  • Texas. July 7: The Texas Department of State Health Services has issued an advisory warning people not to consume any species of fish from portions of the Trinity River in Tarrant, Dallas, Ellis, Kaufman, Henderson, Navarro, Freestone and Anderson counties after lab tests of fish samples found elevated levels of dioxins and polychlorinated byphenyls, or PCBs.
  • Ellensburg, WA. July 7: Kittitas County Public Health has cleared two Ellensburg day-care facilities to reopen today following an E. coli bacteria outbreak. Creative Kids Learning Center and Little Tot Town Childcare Center are approved to reopen; a third Ellensburg day care, Foursquare Church Daycare and Preschool, is expected to reopen Saturday, the release said. Thirteen children were confirmed to have become infected with E. coli in this outbreak.

  • Ottawa, ON. July 5: The City of Ottawa has lifted the no-swim advisory for Westboro and Britannia beaches meaning all city beaches are open and safe for swimming. The advisory was in place because the water had tested positive for higher than recommended levels of E. coli.

  • United Kingdom. July 6: The Food Standards Agency is commissioning a range of research projects to tackle the food poisoning microbe Campylobacter, which causes over 300,000 illnesses per year and costs the economy more than £583m (more than US$885 million).
  • Geneva, Switzerland. July 6: The Codex Alimentarius Commission has ruled that powdered infant formula must contain no more than one (1) milligram of melamine per kilogram; the amount of the chemical allowed in other foods and animal feed is 2.5 mg/kg.
  • Llantrisant, Wales (UK). July 7: An unannounced spot check at Royal Glamorgan Hospital revealed "poor and sub-optimal" standards of cleanliness, including dirty commodes, dusty equipment trolleys, and inadequate infection control training for staff members.
  • Angarsk, Russia. July 7: In a follow-up to a recently reported outbreak of food poisoning that prompted the hospitalization of 12 campers and one adult, an inspection of the camp kitchen revealed inadequate cooking of hamburgers and incorrect storage temperatures for compote.

Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands
  • Lahij, Yemen. July 6: Four people are dead and 183 have been hospitalized in what is suspected to be an outbreak of cholera.
  • Hanoi, Vietnam. July 7: Cholera has returned to northern Vietnam. The Hanoi-based Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases has received 13-15 new acute diarrhea patients daily over the past week, compared to just several patients a day previously. The Hanoi Preventive Health Centre has reported 144 acute diarrhea patients in Hanoi since June 13th. Up to 66 percent of them ate dog meat, raw vegetables, shrimp paste and snail vermicelli before coming ill.

Australia and New Zealand
  • Sydney, Australia. July 7: The New South Wales Food Authority and the processed meat and poultry industry will be hosting a Listeria Safety Summit on July 8th. The goal of the Summit is to "... seek out best practices in managing food safety," according to Primary Industries Minister Steve Whan

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