Sunday, December 5, 2010

Outbreaks and Alerts: December 5, 2010

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

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United States
  • Los Angeles, CA. December 1st: An employee of Jerry's Deli in Westwood (10925 Weyburn Ave) has been diagnosed with acute hepatitis A. The LA Department of Public Health recommends that patrons who ate hot or cold sandwiches at the restaurant or who ate catered sandwiches from this location on November 18, 21, 23 or 24 should receive an immune globulin shot or hepatitis A vaccination no later than 14 days after their exposure.
  • Ashland, KY. December 1st: The Ashland-Boyd County Health Department has confirmed a sixth case of hepatitis A.

  • UK. December 3rd: Over the last two years the Health Protection Agency (HPA) has noticed an increase in the number of outbreaks of Campylobacter infections associated with the consumption of poultry liver pâté/parfait at a number of catering establishments. HPA urges caterers, chefs and consumers to thoroughly cook chicken livers in order to avoid the risk of Campylobacter infections from these products.
  • Cardiff, Wales, UK. December 3rd: Health officials are investigating an outbreak of gastroenteritis, thought to be due to norovirus, which has affected 127 guests at the Park Plaza hotel in Cardiff between November 24th and 27th.
  • Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, UK. December 3rd: Health inspectors found live rodents in a gnawed box of dried noodles, and dead mice rotting under freezers, during a routine inspection of the Dragon Palace. The shop has been ordered to close until it meets hygiene standards, and the Chinese takeaway restaurant may face criminal charges.
  • Vladimir region, Russia. December 5th: An outbreak of gastroenteritis among 9th-grade students has been traced to norovirus, possibly spread through the school canteen.

Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands
  • Shanghai, China. December 1st: More than 90 employees of a Dutch company in Shanghai were sickened after having lunch at the dining hall of Hunter Douglas Architectural Products (China) Co. Ltd. Nitrite poisoning is suspected.
  • Beijing, China. December 1st: The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine advise consumers not to believe blinding in foreign dairy items after 670 tons of imported milk products were found to be substandard from March to August of 2010. About 70% of the substandard products were baby formulas, which contained excessive fungi or heavy metals.
  • Hong Kong. December 2nd: The Chinese Medicine Ordinance concerning the mandatory registration of proprietary Chinese medicines becomes effective December 3rd.
  • Damietta, Egypt. December 5th: Six people were taken ill after drinking juice that had passed its expiration date.
  • Fiq, Ethiopia. December 5th: An outbreak of cholera has been in progress for the past month. A blockade of the movement of people and goods in the region, together with a lack of clean drinking water, have delayed news of the outbreak and exacerbated the problem.
  • Makkah, Saudi Arabia. December 5th: Unlicensed and unhygienic roadside food vendors have become a health hazard for pilgrims during the annual Haj season.

Australia and New Zealand

Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Haiti. December 4th: As of November 30th, the cumulative number of cholera related deaths in Haiti was reported to be 1,882. According the Ministry of Health, 84,391 hospital visits have been recorded; 39,010 people have been hospitalized due to cholera and 1,034 remain in hospital.
  • Dominican Republic. December 4th: The number of confirmed cases of cholera in Haiti's next door neighbor has risen to 16. There have been no cholera-related deaths in the Dominican Republic.

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