Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Outbreaks and Alerts: August 25, 2010

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

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United States
  • Ossining, NY. August 20: Customers who purchased uncooked foods and sandwiches prepared at Delgado’s Deli, also known as J&D Deli & Catering, 173 Croton Avenue in Ossining, may have been exposed to Hepatitis A by an infected employee. The potential exposure occurred between July 26 and August 9.
  • Rhode Island. August 24th: Department of Health and Department of Environmental Management advise that a recent algae bloom in the Ten Mile River, Central Pond, Turner Reservoir, and Omega Pond may form a naturally occurring algal toxin. People should avoid recreational activities (like swimming, boating, or fishing) in these areas until further notice. In addition, people should not drink water or eat fish from any of these areas.
  • Traverse City, MI. August 24th: Three E. coli cases in children are linked their attendance at the Northwestern Michigan Fair in Grand Traverse county between August 9th and August 13th.
  • Douglas County, OR. August 24th: A health advisory prompted by concern for high algae levels in the South Umpqua River, Lawson Bar off Interstate 5 Exit 102 near Canyonville has been issued. Water testing for the presence of blue-green algae is underway following the death of a pet dog in the area and visual observation of algae scum. Public health officials advise that swallowing or inhaling water droplets should be avoided, as well as skin contact with water by humans or animals. Drinking water from Umpqua River near Lawson Bar is especially dangerous.
  • Jackson County, OR. August 24th: A health advisory prompted by high algae levels found in Whetstone Pond in the Denman Wildlife Area, located six miles north of Central Point has been issued. Water monitoring has confirmed the presence of blue-green algae that can produce toxins harmful to humans and animals. Swallowing or inhaling water droplets should be avoided, as well as skin contact with water by humans or animals. Drinking water from Whetstone Pond is especially dangerous.

  • Nanaimo, BC. August 25th: Nanaimo Regional General Hospital has eliminated the latest outbreak of Clostridium difficile, after nearly five months of battling the infection. The microbe disease infected 49 patients; it was directly responsible for the death of two patients' deaths since the outbreak was declared March 29, and also contributed to two other deaths. A total of 13 people who had C. difficile died during the outbreak.

  • Gibralter. August 24th: Checks carried out on August 17th and August 18th revealed very high levels of E. coli in the water at Western Beach. The Environmental Agency is continuing to monitor the situation.
  • Córdoba, Spain. August 25th: The Department of Health has determined that the food poisoning outbreak that occurred on August 15th among guests at a wedding in Villanueva was due to seafood that was contaminated with Bacillus cereus.
  • Berlin, Germany. August 25th: A third baby died Monday night at the University Hospital of Mainz in central Germany. Eight other babies are in serious or critical condition. The sick infants were fed liquid food intravenously, and it is suspected that the catheters were contaminated. German prosecutors are looking into whether the hospital should be charged with negligent homicide, according to news reports.

Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands
  • Hong Kong. August 24th: The Department of Health advises advised members of the public not to consume a Chinese herb called "Flos Campsis (凌霄花)" purchased from a licensed Chinese herbal medicines retailer, Wah Keung Medicine Co. (華強中西藥行), in Tai Hing Estate, Tuen Mun. It is suspected that the herb was substituted by a toxic herb Flos Daturae Metelis (洋金花). A 57-year old woman was admitted to hospital with symptoms consistent with datura poisoning.
  • Singapore. August 24th: The Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) has lifted the suspension of N & N Agriculture Farm. The farm had suspended selling their eggs or removing any of their eggs or birds after antibiotic residues were detected in the eggs.
  • Bethlehem. August 24th: Three people suffered food poisoning after eating out-of-date canned meat purchased from Rami Lavi stores.
  • Kano, Nigeria. August 24th: The death toll from cholera and related diarrheal disease in northern Nigerian has risen to 283 from 231 within a week. The number of confirmed cholera chases has risen in the past two weeks to above 5,000 (from 4,600).
  • Katsina, Nigeria. August 24th: At least 16 people in Gombe and six in Katsina have died of suspected gastroenteritis.
  • Hong Kong. August 25th: The Centre for Food Safety has completed a survey of Chinese regional cuisines commonly served in Hong Kong establishments. One sample of chicken with chili was contaminated with Salmonella, and one sample of Sichuan mala mandarin fish contained a small amount of the veterinary drug residue nitrofuran. All of the 300 other samples that formed this phase of the survey were satisfactory.

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