February 1, 2015

Senators: New Salmonella, Campylobacter Standards for Poultry Will Reduce Illnesses

chicken-salmonella

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s  (USDA's ) proposed new pathogen standards for Salmonella and Campylobacter in poultry pieces will reduce the number of foodborne illnesses reported each year, say Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced yesterday the first ever proposed standards for Campylobacter and Salmonella on poultry parts and revised standards for ground poultry. The agency has implemented performance standards for Salmonella and Campylobacter on poultry sold whole since 1996, but has never had them for poultry sold in pieces such as breasts, wings and drumsticks or for Campylobacter in ground poultry. Only 20 percent of poultry sold is whole.  So most of the poultry … [Read more...]

USDA New Measures to Reduce Contamination in Poultry

Raw-Chicken-Breast

Yesterday, the USDA proposed new federal standards to reduce Salmonella and Campylobacter contamination in ground chicken, ground turkey, and raw chicken breasts, legs, and wings. These standards are part of FSIS' Salmonella Action Plan that was launched in December 2013. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said, "Today, we are taking specific aim at making the poultry items that Americans most often purchase safer to eat. This is a meaningful, targeted step that could prevent tens of thousands of illnesses each year." According to Consumer's Union, 71% of store-bought chicken is contaminated with pathogenic bacteria. And 8% of those products are contaminated with both Campylobacter and Salmonella. Government studies have found that 25% of cut up chicken, and about 50% of ground … [Read more...]

Old Silvana Creamery Raw Milk Recalled for Possible Campylobacter

raw-milk

Raw milk from Old Silvana Creamery in Arlington, Washington state is being recalled for possible Campylobacter contamination. Raw milk with expiration dates of January 23 and January 24, 2015 is recalled. The product is sold in 15 stores in western Washington state. An independent lab discovered the pathogenic bacteria in a sample that is sent weekly for testing. No illnesses have been reported to date. Symptoms of a Campylobacter infection include abdominal cramps, diarrhea, pain, and fever. They usually occur within a few days after exposure. Serious complications from Campylobacter infections include Guillain-Barre syndrome, which can lead to paralysis. If you purchased this milk, do not drink it. Discard or return to the place of purchase for a refund.   … [Read more...]

Wisconsin Issues Final Report on Durand Raw Milk Campylobacter Outbreak

E.coli in raw milk sickened 12

A final report about the raw milk Campylobacter outbreak in Durand, Wisc. has been issued by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS). The 25-page report confirms that the September outbreak, which sickened 38 people and hospitalized 10 who attended a football team potluck dinner, was caused by contaminated raw milk. The report does not name the farm that provided the milk, referring to it throughout as Farm A, but the name of the farm was released by the state agriculture department in response to an open records request by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The owners of  the Arkansaw, Wisc. farm, Roland and Diana Reed, did not tell attendees at the football potluck that the milk they contributed was unpasteurized.  The Reeds sell their milk to a local cheese maker and are … [Read more...]

WI Names Farm Linked to Durand High School Campylobacter Outbreak

raw-milk

Wisconsin health officials say the source of a Campylobacter raw milk outbreak that sickened 38 people in Durand Wis. earlier this fall is a farm operated by Roland and Diana Reed in Arkansaw, Wis. The name of the farm was released in response to an open records request by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.  At least 38 people in Durand contracted Campylobacter infections from raw milk that the Reeds served at a banquet for the Durand High School football team. Eight people were hospitalized. Banquet attendees were not told the milk provided for the banquet was unpasteurized.  Dozens of the students who attended the banquet became sick. Two football games had to be canceled because so many players were seriously ill. Bri­anna Win­nekins, a man­ager of the foot­ball team, was … [Read more...]

In Raw Milk Campylobacter Outbreak, Farmer Could Face Penalties

raw-milk

The farmer who supplied raw milk that sickened dozens who attended a football team's potluck dinner in Durand, Wisc. could face penalties or other enforcement actions, according to a local news report. The farmer, whose name has not been released by health officials,  did not tell attendees that the milk was not pasteurized. At least 38 people, many of them high school students, contracted Campylobacter infections from the raw milk. Some students and athletes were so sick they were hospitalized. Two football games were canceled because so many players were seriously ill. After students recovered from the initial illness,  families were left with medical bills and worries about long-term complications that Campylobacter infections can trigger such as reactive arthritis which causes … [Read more...]

UK Study Finds 70% of Chickens Contaminated with Campylobacter

FPBchickeninpackage

A new study published by the Food Standards Agency in the UK finds that most of the chickens sold in that country test positive for the presence of Campylobacter bacteria. The study is the first part of a year-long survey of Campylobacter on fresh chickens. The FSA states that its number one food safety priority is tackling Campylobacter contamination on poultry. The results show that 18% of chickens tested positive for Campylobacter above the highest level of contamination (above 1,000 colony forming units per gram). They also found that 70% of the chickens tested positive for Campylobacter. And 6% of packaging tested positive for Campylobacter with only one sample at the highest level of contamination. So far, 1,995 samples of fresh whole chilled chickens have been tested out of a … [Read more...]

South Dakota Campylobacter Cases Linked to Raw Milk

campylobacter-raw-milk-SD

A recent outbreak in Durand, Wisconsin is the latest example of a Campylobacter outbreak linked to raw milk. It's a common pairing. The South Dakota Department of Health tracked Campylobacter cases from January 2012 to August 30, 2014. Of the 791 total cases of campylobacteriosis reported during that period, 42 were associated with raw milk, or about 5 percent. Most of those affected,  23 of the 42 cases , were children 19 and under. Ten case patients were 5 and under. The cases were reported in the following counties: Beadle, Brookings, Butte, Clark, Davison, Day, Faulk, Gregory, Haakon, Hamlin, Hanson, Kingsbury, Lawrence, Lincoln, Marshall, Meade, Miner, Minnehaha, Perkins, Roberts, Todd and Union. (Image from the South Dakota Department of Health.) … [Read more...]

WI Raw Milk Outbreak Raises Ethical, Legal Questions

Durand-Raw-Milk-Campylobacter

A raw milk outbreak that sickened 38 people in Durand, Wisconsin, is raising ethical and legal questions. The milk was served at a potluck for the football team on September 18. Many of those sickened were high school students. The parent who supplied the milk told no one that it had not pasteurized. Two days after the dinner, reports of illnesses started rolling in. Like other bacteria that causes food poisoning, Campylobacter produces symptoms including diarrhea that can be bloody, vomiting, abdominal cramping and fever. Eight people were hospitalized. So many of the football players were so sick for so long that the school had to forfeit two football games. The outbreak also triggered a massive cleaning effort at the school and, before the source of illness was determined, … [Read more...]

Raw Milk and Campylobacter: A Frequent Pair

Wisconsin-Campylobacter-Law

Raw milk is a frequent source of Campylobacter outbreaks, as high school students in Durand, Wisconsin learned this fall. Thirty eight people developed Campylobacter infections when they unknowingly drank raw milk provided by a parent for a football banquet. The outbreak, which hospitalized eight people, left many students and players sick for weeks forcing the cancelation of two football games. It also triggered a massive cleaning effort at the school and prompted many students to stay home from class to avoid becoming ill. Campylobacter is a bacteria that causes illness when food or beverages contaminated with animal feces are consumed.  Symptoms of campylobacteriosis include diarrhea, which is sometimes bloody, abdominal cramping, fever, nausea and vomiting. Serious, long-term … [Read more...]

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