Friday, July 13, 2018

McDonalds Pulls Salads After Being Linked To Cyclospora Outbreak

McDonald's restaurants in the mid-west have pulled their salads after being linked to a large outbreak of Cyclospora.  This comes after last month's outbreak linked to Del Monte's trays of sliced vegetables.

The reference below lists some of the difficulties of this is that it may be more resistant to sanitizers and the other is the ability to attach to produce.

So basically, the parasite gets into water used for irrigation.  The source being fecal contamination from someone who became ill.  Once on the crops, it may not be easy to get rid of it.

Not a lot is know about cyclospora, one of the issues being is that humans are the only known reservoir.  This makes studying using animal models impossible.

Jan. 2010, p. 218–234 Vol. 23, No. 1
0893-8512/10/$12.00 doi:10.1128/CMR.00026-09
Copyright © 2010, American Society for Microbiology.
Update on Cyclospora cayetanensis, a Food-Borne and Waterborne Parasite
Yne´s R. Ortega* and Roxana Sanchez
University of Georgia, Center for Food Safety, Griffin, Georgia 30223-1797

"Individuals with Cyclospora infection excrete unsporulated oocysts in their feces (Fig. 1). These oocysts require 7 to 15 days to sporulate under ideal conditions (23 to 27°C) and presumably become infectious to a susceptible host. When food or water contaminated with infectious oocysts is ingested
by a susceptible host, the oocysts excyst and sporozoites are released to infect epithelial cells of the duodenum and jejunum."

"Cyclospora is highly resistant to disinfectants commonly used in food and water processing. This resistance may also be enhanced by the apparent higher binding affinities of the parasite for certain fresh produce. In the case of raspberries, which have been implicated in several outbreaks, the topography of the fruit is characterized by fine hair-like projections that facilitate the entrapment of the “sticky” Cyclospora oocysts. The microenvironment of the berry provides a favorable environment for parasite retention on the fruit. The stickiness of Cyclospora oocysts seems to be stronger than that of Cryptosporidium or Giardia oocysts. The adhesins responsible for this strong attachment to produce are unknown."

NY Times
McDonald’s Salads Linked to Intestinal Parasite Outbreak in Midwest
By Matthew Haag
July 13, 2018

Recalled Sugar Smacks Cereal Still on Shelf, Still Causing Illness

FDA released an update on the Salmonella outbreak associated with Kellogg's Honey Smacks Cereal.  Although a recall was issued in mid June, FDA learned that some retailers are still selling recalled product.  There are now 100 people in 33 states who have become ill.

The outbreak strain of Salmonella has been found in the contract manufacturing facility by FDA during their environmental swabbing analysis.  The facility has discontinued making product.

This cases demonstrates the difficulty in getting recalled product off the shelf, and with that, getting consumers to look in their pantry for recalled product.

Also of note is that this was contract manufactured product.  As a RTE product with post-leathality exposure (from the time it is extruded until it is packaged), environmental control is critical.  The fact that FDA was able to find Salmonella in the environment would indicate this this co-manufacturer's environmental program was not adequate.
FDA Investigating Multistate Outbreak of Salmonella Mbandaka Infections Linked to Kellogg’s Honey Smacks Cereal
July 12, 2018 Update

This Week in Mislabeled Product for Week Ending July 14, 2018

Wrong Kind of Nuts - AZ is voluntarily recalling 148 units of the Superfood Salads due to misbranding and undeclared peanuts.  The product contains peanuts which are not declared on the product label as packages of peanuts were mistakenly included in the kits instead of cashews.

Wrong Labels Result in Undeclared MSG - An Oregon establishment, is recalling approximately 102 pounds of ready-to-eat beef jerky products due to misbranding,  - the beef jerky products may contain monosodium glutamate (MSG) that is not declared on the finished product labels. " The problem was discovered on July 5, 2018 by the firm during a routine label review.  Specifically, the firm produced “Old Fashioned Silver Dollar Beef Jerky” products with case code 81471, and inadvertently labeled the products within the case with the “Teriyaki Beef Jerky” label. The “Old Fashioned Silver Dollar Beef Jerky” contains monosodium glutamate (MSG), but the Teriyaki Beef Jerky does not."

Supplier Reformulation Results in Allergens Not Accounted for on Label - A Wittenberg, Wis. establishment, is recalling approximately 12,946 pounds of pork products due to misbranding - the products may contain brown rice flour and glycerin, ingredients that are not declared on the product label.  The problem was discovered on June 29, 2018 when the firm informed FSIS that the supplier had reformulated the product without notifying the firm

Milk Not on Label - Portland, Oregon is recalling Naked Bread Hamburger Buns #NothingToHide, 8 pack, affected lot codes F6 Best By June 16th, 2018 through July 16th 2018, because it may contain undeclared milk. The recall was initiated after it was discovered that product containing milk was distributed in packaging that did not reveal the listing of milk.

FSIS Discovers Missing Milk on Label - A Boston, Mass. establishment, is recalling approximately three pounds of chicken wrap products due to misbranding and undeclared allergens, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today. The products contain milk, a known allergen, which is not declared on the product label.  The problem was discovered by FSIS personnel during routine in-plant verification activities.
AZ Firm Issues Voluntary Product Recall Due to Undeclared Peanuts in Superfood Salad
For Immediate Release
July 12, 2018

Food for thought: Eight tips for making good choices at farmers markets

PSU News
Food for thought: Eight tips for making good choices at farmers markets
Amy Duke
June 28, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Traveling throughout Pennsylvania in the summer and fall, you don't have to go far to find a roadside stand or farmers market touting baskets of colorful fruits and vegetables.

However, as with any food purchase, a little know-how can go a long way in keeping you and your family safe from foodborne illness, advises a food safety educator with Penn State Extension.

"Farmers markets are undoubtedly an important — and historical — part of agriculture," said Sharon McDonald, senior extension educator and food safety specialist, when referring to the 310 markets in the state. "As these food venues continue to blossom – fueled by demand for locally grown and produced foods – so does the need to educate consumers about potential food safety hazards."

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Outbreak of Salmonellosis at State College Church Picnic

A Salmonella outbreak has affected 50 people who attended a picnic held by a State College, PA church over the weekend.  No specific food has been yet identified.
At least 50 people treated at Mount Nittany after salmonella infection
By Lauren Muthler And Jeremy Hartley
July 10, 2018 03:23 PM

Raw Meat Cat Food Recalled Due to Pathogens

Radagast Pet Food, Inc. of Portland, OR is recalling raw cat food after internal testing found pathogens present on the product. 

  • Three lots of Rad Cat Raw Diet Free-Range Chicken Recipe because testing results indicate they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. 
  • One lot of Rad Cat Raw Diet Pasture-Raised Venison Recipe because testing results indicate it has the potential to be contaminated with Shiga Toxin producing E. coli O121. 
  • The Company discovered these lots were potentially contaminated during enhanced quality testing it conducted as a follow-up to its March 2018 recall.

As for the chicken, it appears the company is using HPP treated chicken as an ingredient.  While the HPP will reduce the level of pathogens associated with the raw chicken - Salmonella and Campylobacter,  the product is still subject to contamination after the bags are opened, mixed, and then packed.  The concern of course will be Listeria monocytogenes contamination as an environmental contaminate.

Venison meat is a risk for  STEC E. coli. Trim can be a concern and may be surface treated by the venison processor.  Even if so, not a guarantee to eliminate venison.

As with any raw pet food, there is the risk of pathogen contamination.  It would be best to consider using a HPP process on the finished product as a pathogen reduction step.  Instead, the company is relying on ingredient control as well as environmental control.  Monitoring is good for verification, but may not catch low level contamination.

Some components of the quality systems from the company website.
Raw Cat Raw Diet Safety and Quality

Thursday, July 5, 2018

EU - Frozen Vegetables Linked to Listeria Outbreak with Nine Deaths

In Europe, frozen vegetables, primarily corn, from a Hungarian processing facility have been linked to a Listeria outbreak where 47 have become infected including 9 deaths.

It appears that the same strain of Listeria has persisted in this plant for at least the last three years.

While corn has been the primary food associated with illness, it can be likely that more products are contaminated especially when similar equipment is used to pack the product.  Perhaps there was more of a tendency to under-cook the corn before eating or using frozen corn in ready-to-eat applications, such as using it in a salad or fresh salsa.
Listeria monocytogenes: update on foodborne outbreak
3 July 2018

Frozen corn and possibly other frozen vegetables are the likely source of an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes that has been affecting Austria, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom since 2015.

Monday, July 2, 2018

CDC Update on Cyclospora Outbreak Associated with Trays of Cut Vegetables

CDC released an update of the cyclospora outbreak associated with cut vegetable trays.  There are  185 laboratory-confirmed cases of cyclosporiasis in persons who reportedly consumed pre-packaged Del Monte Fresh Produce vegetable trays containing broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and dill dip.  The outbreak has been centered in 4 states.   Seven people have been hospitalized,.
Multistate Outbreak of Cyclosporiasis Linked to Del Monte Fresh Produce Vegetable Trays — United States, 2018

Low-tech food-safety training still best for some audiences
Back to the future: Low-tech food-safety training still best for some audiences

Jeff Mulhollem
July 2, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — While current training for food safety and sanitation usually incorporates high-technology presentations, such as videos and slide shows, there is still a need for low-tech approaches, according to Penn State researchers.