Friday, July 10, 2015

Food Safety Update for July 10, 2015

Avian Influenza Outbreak in birds has come to a halt with no new cases reported since June 17th.  It has been one of the most devastating outbreaks of bird flue with approximately 48 million birds affected.  According to reports, there is a lot of room for improvement in responding to such a serious outbreak.
In Texas, there are an increased number of illnesses due to the parasite Cyclospspora.  There have been 151 cases reported.  (Story/link below).
In North Carolina, one restaurant has been linked to 267 cases of salmonellosis.  Bad BBQ.  (Story/Link below)
In a recent study, it was found that farmers should wait for 24 hours after a rainfall or irrigating before harvesting.  The research was based upon the presence of Listeria.
Texas Department of Health News Updates
July 10, 2015
Cyclospora – July 10, 2015
A recent surge in reports of illnesses due to the parasite Cyclospora has prompted DSHS to investigate the infections in hopes of determining a common source. DSHS has received reports of 151 Cyclosporiasis cases from around Texas this year.
Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal illness caused by consuming food or water contaminated with the Cyclospora parasite. The major symptom is watery diarrhea lasting a few days to a few months. Additional symptoms may include loss of appetite, fatigue, weight loss, abdominal cramps, bloating, increased gas, nausea, vomiting and a low fever. People who think they may have a Cyclospora infection should contact their health care provider.
DSHS recommends thoroughly washing fresh produce, but that may not entirely eliminate the risk because Cyclospora can be difficult to wash off. Cooking will kill the parasite. 
Last year, Texas had 200 cases, some of which were associated with cilantro from the Puebla region in Mexico.
NCDHHS Salmonella Information
267 cases of diarrheal illness associated with eating food from Tarheel Q Restaurant have been identified.
(As of noon on Tuesday, July 7, 2015)
  • Of these 267, case distribution includes 21 North Carolina counties and 6 states 
  • Of the North Carolina cases 77% of cases are residents of Davidson County and Davie County
  • Laboratory testing indicates that the BBQ sample and a sample from a patient who became ill during the beginning of the outbreak are both positive for Salmonella species. The serogroup was found to be Typhimurium. Both samples have the same PFGE pattern (i.e. DNA fingerprint).
  • Over 50 additional clinical specimens are pending results at the state lab 
  • Of these 267 cases, 58% are male, 42% are between the ages of 20 and 49, 20% have visited their provider, 12% have visited the ED, 9% have been hospitalized, 1 death has been identified (Further details regarding the deceased are not available to protect patient confidentiality.) 
  • 80% of cases had illness onset dates between Tuesday, June 16, 2015, and Sunday, June 21, 2015.

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