Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Outbreaks and Alerts: September 7, 2010

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

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United States
  • New York, NY. September 6th: A "reddish sheen" on the water of the upper harbor of New York has been identified as an outbreak of red tide algae. The algae are a potential health hazard to boaters and swimmers if they ingest tainted water, and also can deplete oxygen in affect waters, resulting in fish kills.

  • United Kingdom. September 3rd: A study carried out by researchers at Keele University on 15 brands of ready-made and powdered milks for infants has found concentrations of aluminum that were up to 40 times higher than the levels present in breast milk and several times higher than the amount permitted in drinking water.
  • Perm, Russia. September 7th: Sodium nitrate was determined to be the cause of an outbreak of food poisoning that sickened 40 staff members of the Perm confectionery factory. Sodium nitrate is a food preservative and color enhancer. It is easily soluble in water and may have been confused with salt during the preparation of food.

Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands
  • Mumbai, India. September 6th: Nearly 40 students of a coaching class were hospitalized with food poisoning after eating cake and snacks supplied by Hari Om sweet mart and served during a Teacher's Day celebration. The shop's owner and its cake maker were arrested after the snacks were found to be unhygienic.
  • Taipei, Taiwan. September 6th: Three out of 36 tea products tested in the capital contained excessive pesticide residue, according to results of the Taipei City government's latest food safety checks released on Monday and reported in The China Post.
  • Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. September 7th. More than 1.2 million Malaysians were without piped water Tuesday, authorities said, as contamination from a landfill forced a treatment plant to close. The water was found to be contaminated with ammonia at more than four times the acceptable level.
  • Hong Kong. September 7th. One more patient in Kowloon Hospital (an 81-year old male) developed symptoms of Norovirus gastroenteritis today. Today's rehabilitation ward patient is the latest in a cluster of illnesses. Infection control measures have been intensified and admission to the ward is suspended.

Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Tamaulipas, Mexico. September 6th. Heavy rains and high temperatures have provoked an increase in the number of reported cases of diarrhea. To date, more than 10,000 caseshave been recorded.

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