Thursday, August 12, 2010

Outbreaks and Alerts: August 12, 2010

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

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United States
  • Columbia, SC. August 11: State reduces section of Edisto Beach under swimming advisory. The affected area now includes 200 feet above and below the beach access at Mikell Street.
  • Waldo County, ME. August 11: The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) is investigating a third case of acute hepatitis A. All three are residents of Waldo County and at least one attended a number of social functions in different areas of Maine while infective which included attendees from across the state. Maine CDC believes that other people may be at risk for contracting the illness and may be showing signs and symptoms of it in the coming days and weeks.

  • Denmark. August 12: The Danish Food Authority reminds consumers to wash fruits and vegetables before eating them. The Food Authority's information film about safe handling of fruits and vegetables is displayed on DR OBS weeks 33-35.

Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands
  • Leh, India. August 12: Doctors have reported a steady rise in the cases of gastroenteritis due to contaminated drinking water. They have also found symptoms of cholera and typhoid.
  • Hong Kong. August 12: The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) has completed investigations on a food complaint about a canned luncheon meat found to contain mercury droplets. Centre had collected 23 follow-up samples for tests following the incident, among which 11 were of the same batch as the sample found to contain mercury. None of the 23 follow-up samples contained mercury. A visit to the facility where the luncheon meat was produced did not reveal any flaws in the process or control systems that would account for the mercury contamination.
  • Hanoi, Vietnam. August 12: The City Industry and Trade Department is drafting regulations that will close traditional inner-city slaughterhouses that fail to meet hygiene and food safety standards before the end of the year. Outer suburban abattoirs will be forced to close with the completion of eight modern abattoirs by 2012. The steps are being taken in order to eliminate unhygienic abattoirs and provide Hanoi with safe, clean meat.
  • Hanoi, Vietnam. August 12: Hanoi will invest VND80 billion (US$420,000) to install waste water treatment systems at 16 hospitals by the end of this year.The plan, which includes installation of treatment systems at an additional 15 public hospitals next year, aims to reduce pollution from waste water at hospitals being discharged into the surrounding environment.
  • Borno, Nigeria. August 12: A cholera outbreak has killed 40 people and infected 115 others in northern Nigeria's Borno State in the past week.

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