Saturday, August 7, 2010

Outbreaks and Alerts: August 7, 2010

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

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United States
  • Harrisburg, PA. August 6: The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has informed Aquila and Lydia Stoltzfus of Mill Hall, Clinton County, that the raw milk permit for Cedar Hollow Farm has been reinstated. The farm may once again sell raw milk after two samples taken on separate days tested negative for Campylobacter. Cedar Hollow Farm's raw milk permit had been suspended since May 2 after the department found potentially harmful levels of Campylobacter in milk samples taken on April 12. No illnesses were reported to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
  • Harrisburg, PA. August 6: The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture advises consumers who purchased raw milk from Norman Z. and Edith B. Sauder, of Jersey Hollow Farm in Kutztown, Berks County, to discard the product immediately because of potential bacterial contamination. A Department of Agriculture lab found Salmonella in a milk sample taken from the dairy on July 19, 2010. The department is moving to suspend Jersey Hollow Farm's raw milk permit until additional milk samples are tested and found to be free of Salmonella and other pathogens. The farm also must pass a state inspection before raw milk sales can resume.
  • Grants Pass, OR. August 6: Fifteen residents of Spring Village Assisted Living Community in Grants Pass have developed symptoms of Norovirus infection. The virus has been confirmed in four of the residents. Josephine County Public Health Department considers this an official disease outbreak, and is monitoring the situation.
  • Sacramento, CA. August 6: California Department of Public Health (CDPH), warns consumers not to eat ground beef products being recalled by Valley Meat Company of Modesto, because they may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, which can cause serious illness. The ground beef products were sold to small markets, grocery stores and food service facilities in California, Arizona, Oregon, Texas and internationally. Valley Meat Company initiated a voluntary recall on August 5th after CDPH notified it that laboratory results from a sample of their ground beef tested positive for E. coli O157:H7. CDPH has been investigating an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses in Northern California, and had collected the sample from a patient’s freezer. At least seven California residents have been sickened by the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 between February and June, 2010.

  • Ottawa, ON. August 6: Public Health Agency of Canada reports that the number of confirmed cases of Salmonella Chester infections in Canada has risen to 29. Twenty-six of the cases were reported by British Columbia; there is one case each in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario. All 29 cases have been linked to the consumption of Freybe brand headcheeses.

Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands
  • Beijing, China. August 7: Environmental authorities in east China's Anhui Province warn of the danger of a blue algae outbreak in Chaohu Lake, the country's fifth largest fresh water lake. The algae bloom has not yet affected drinking water supplies.

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