Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Outbreaks and Alerts: September 14, 2010

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

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United States
  • Clackamas County, OR. September 14th: A health advisory prompted by high algae levels found in North Fork Reservoir was lifted after water monitoring confirmed a drop in the levels of blue-green algae.

  • Moscow, Russia. September 14th: Russia's top sanitary official says that he has been informed about attempts to bring U.S. chlorine-treated poultry into Russia
    via third countries. On January 1st, Russia introduced new sanitary standards that ban the treatment of meat with chlorine of a higher concentration than is used in drinking water.
  • Moscow, Russia. September 14th: According to the Federal Service for Supervision of Consumers' Rights Protection and Human Welfare, 56 children and staff members of Togliatti kindergartens were stricken with dysentery after consuming dairy products from the Zelenodolsky dairy farm in Tatarstan. Thirty of the children have been hospitalized, and the kindergartens have been closed temporarily while medical authorities take the appropriate sanitation and epidemiological measures.
  • Khabarovsk, Russia. September 14th: Fifty-six cases of acute enteric infection – 51 of them in children – have been reported in Troitskoye. Most of the children attend two pre-schools. Based on preliminary investigations, authorities suspect improperly cooked food and the use of expired products. The infections were spread further through secondary contact.
  • Omsk, Russia. September 14th: Some 200 tons of convenience foods that are at risk of containing Bacillus anthracis will be disposed of in Omsk, Khanty-Mansiisk, Tver, Surgut and other cities in the region. The suspect foods were produced between July 13 and August 6 by the Darina company and two other private enterprises using horse meat purchased from the Aitenov farm. Six workers at the farm were reported to have been stricken with anthrax, and one of the workers died. Anthrax cases were reported among horses at the farm.
  • Evpatoria, Ukraine. September 14th: The chief state sanitary doctor of the Crimean region has concluded that a recent outbreak of food poisoning among 67 students at the Evpatoria public school #12 was due to negligence on the part of the catering staff. The cause of the poisoning was determined to be Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
  • Dublin, Ireland. September 14th: The investigation into the current outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium DT8 linked with the consumption of duck eggs is ongoing, with five new cases in August. This brings the total number of confirmed cases to date to 24 and it is now the largest food poisoning outbreak of salmonellosis recorded in recent years in Ireland. In light of this, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) today reiterated its advice on the safe consumption of duck eggs. The people infected have ranged from 5 months to 80 years of age. The latest cases tend to be linked with the consumption of duck eggs from small backyard flocks / private farms. The confirmed cases are nationwide. Hens eggs are not implicated in this outbreak. The FSAI advises to only consume duck eggs that have been thoroughly cooked and to cease using raw duck eggs in any dishes that will not be cooked thoroughly prior to eating. It also cautions on the importance of good hygiene practices being followed, such as washing hands and preparation surfaces after handling or using duck eggs.

Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands
  • Gandhinagar, India. September 9th: Eleven students of the Institute of Hotel Management were admitted to hospital with symptoms of food poisoning. The students alleged that contaminated water and poor quality food were behind their illnesses.
  • Fayoum, Egypt. September 11th: Six members of one family were stricken with food poisoning after consuming a meal of herring. The family members were taken to hospital for treatment.
  • Hong Kong. September 13th: The Centre for Food Safety reports that 250 samples of various types of mooncake have been tested under its Seasonal Food Surveillance Programme and that all results were satisfactory.
  • Bangkok, Thailand. September 14th: A recent survey by the Thai Food and Drug Administration found that fruit sold by street vendors in Bangkok is often contains unsafe levels of bacteria and/or harmful chemicals. Two-thirds of 153 samples of fresh fruit contained high levels of coliforms; 40 percent of the samples contained salicylic acid; and 64 percent of pickled fruits were adulterated with hazardous chemicals such as dyes to enhance their color.
  • Orissa, India. September 14th: Cholera and other waterborne diseases have infected an additional 124 people in Orissa's Rayagada district in the last two days. According to the most recent count, 784 people have been infected. Thirty-nine people have died of waterborne diseases in the region since August.
  • Taiwan and Cambodia. September 14th: Fifty-eight members of a tour group consisting of employees of the Taiwan Life Insurance Company were stricken with diarrhea and fever during a recent visit to Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

Australia and New Zealand
  • Canterbury, New Zealand. September 13th: E. coli has been found in a water sample from Kaiapoi, reinforcing the need for residents of parts of Canterbury's Waimakariri district to boil their water after last week's earthquake. Residents of Kaiapoi, Pines Beach and Kairaki have been told to continue to boil their water for three minutes before use.
  • Canberra, Australia. September 14th: The Therapeutic Goods Administration said today it was monitoring the use of drugs containing diclofenac, and ibuprofen, following the release of a study showing their impact on the Danish population.
  • Albury, NSW, Australia. September 14th: The Albury Burger Bar was fined for selling unsafe food and for handling food in a manner that renders it unsafe, after a Salmonella outbreak that caused more than 170 people to fall ill was traced to raw egg aioli prepared and served at the takeaway restaurant. The Albury Burger Bar also was placed on the New South Wales Name and Shame register.

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