October 25, 2014

Salmonella, Campylobacter Cases Rise in Australia as Overall Food Poisoning Rates Decline

Raw egg

Salmonella and Campylobacter poisoning cases are on the rise in Australia, even as the overall rate of food poisoning there declines, according to a new study. Campylobacter and Salmonella are commonly associated with poultry and dairy products. Food poisoning is common in Australia, where one in five people suffer a bout each year, similar to the U.S. where one in six people are stricken annually. For this study, researchers included 23 pathogens in their analysis of a decade of data from 2000 to 2010. For most of the illnesses, about 80 percent of them, the specific pathogen was unknown. For illnesses where the pathogen was known, 93 percent were attributed to just four pathogens: E.coli, Camplobacter, Salmonella and norovirus. Overall the number of cases of food poising dropped … [Read more...]

GAO Report: USDA Efforts to Protect Consumers from Salmonella, Campylobacter in Poultry Lacking

FPBchickeninpackage

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service isn't doing enough to protect Americans from poultry contaminated with the pathogens Salmonella and Campylobacter, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO).  More than 2 million Americans are sickened by Salmonella and Campylobacter every year and poultry contaminated with those pathogens causes more deaths than any other commodity. The report,  requested by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) in March, outlines four flaws in the USDA's efforts to reduce pathogen contamination of poultry and makes four recommendations to address them. For example,  the USDA  guidelines to control Salmonella and Campylobacter on poultry farms, … [Read more...]

Raw Milk Campylobacter Illnesses for Second Time at Utah Farm

Campylobacter in raw milk

Campylobacter in raw milk products from Ropelato Dairy in Weber County Utah has caused an outbreak of illness for the second time since 2010. Since May, at least 45 people have become ill after drinking the milk or cream. There have been two cases reported from residents in California and Idaho and 43 cases from Cache, Davis, Morgan, Salt Lake, Utah and Weber counties in Utah. The farm's license to sell raw milk has been temporarily suspended. In 2010, nine people from Weber, Davis and Cache counties contracted campylobacteriosis after drinking the milk. The farm's license was also temporarily suspended at that time. Symptoms of campylobacteriosis include diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, headache, nausea and vomiting.  These symptoms can last up to a week. “In some severe cases, … [Read more...]

Utah Campylobacter Outbreak Linked to Ropelato Dairy Raw Milk

raw-milk

Public health officials in Utah are investigating an outbreak of Campylobacter illnesses associated with the consumption of raw milk. So far, 45 people have been diagnosed with the infection. Those people said they consumed raw milk the week before they got sick. Cases have been reported from Cache, Davis, Morgan, Salt Lake, Utah, and Weber counties. Two cases have been reported from out of state residents who live in California and Idaho. The illness onset dates range from May 9, 2014 to July 21, 2014. The case patients range in age from 2 to 74 years. All of the cases are linked to the consumption of raw milk or cream purchased at Ropelato Dairy in Weber County. The license of that dairy to sell raw milk was suspended on August 4, 2014 after tests of raw milk samples at the farm … [Read more...]

FSA: Poultry is Most Common Source of Food Poisoning in UK

FPBchickeninpackage

Poultry is the most common food source of food poisoning in the U.K., according to a new report from the Food Standards Agency (FSA). And, because it is often found in chicken, Campylobacter is the most common foodborne pathogen sickening at least 280,000 people in the U.K. each year. 'These findings will help the FSA to target its resources more effectively in tackling food poisoning. They confirm that the FSA is right to put campylobacter at the top of its priority list. It is the biggest food safety problem we have and more needs to be done to tackle it," said Professor Sarah O'Brien, the study's lead researcher from the University of Liverpool. Second after Campylobacter was Clostridium perfringens  with 80,000 cases. Norovirus was third with an estimated 74,000 cases. Although … [Read more...]

USDA to Set New Safety Standards for Campylobacter in Poultry

Foster Farms Salmonella

After the USDA announced they will set new safety standards for Salmonella in poultry, the agency has announced they will set new standards on Campylobacter in chicken products as well. The standards should be released by the end of September, 2014. In a letter sent to Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), USDA secretary Tom Vilsack stated that poultry slaughter modernization is a high priority. Consumer groups and food safety advocates have critized that plan, stating that increasing line speeds and turning inspections over to manufacturer's employees is not the best way to improve poultry safety. Senator Feinstein, along with Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) wrote to the USDA in March and April of this year. That letter urged the USDA to establish performance … [Read more...]

Progess Missing from CDC’s Food Safety Progress Report

Not everyone uses calorie counts at fast food restaurants

There isn't much progress in the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Food Safety Progress Report for 2013. The annual report which tracks reported cases of infection from foodborne pathogens such as Salmonella, Listeria, E. coli and Campylobacter, shows rates have remained flat in most cases and increased in others. E.coli, Listeria, Salmonella* and Yersinia food poisoning rates have all remained flat since 2006, while rates of infection from Vibrio and Campylobacter have increased. Infections from Campylobacter, which is most often associated with poultry and dairy products, have risen 13 percent since 2006. Vibrio infections, which are most often associated with eating raw shellfish, were at the highest level in 2013 since tracking began in 1996. However, rates of the … [Read more...]

CFA Says Little Progress in Reducing Foodborne Illness

CDC-2013-FBI-report

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released their annual report on the incidence of foodborne illness in the United States on Tuesday. It shows there has been little progress made on the prevention of food poisoning outbreaks in recent years. Salmonella and Campylobacter are the two bacteria that cause the most illness. Progress in reducing illness caused by E. coli O157:H7 bacteria has stalled. The data showed an increase in Campylobacter infections, but there was a small decrease in Salmonella illnesses when compared to 2010-2012. But Christopher Waldrop, Director of the Food Policy Institute at the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) said, "for most pathogens, we haven't really been able to move the needle win recent years. The decrease in Salmonella illnesses is … [Read more...]

Feinstein and Durbin Ask USDA to Address Poultry Contamination

Foster Farms Salmonella

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Representative Dick Durbin (D-IL) sent a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack this week, asking him to develop strong performance standards for poultry products to reduce foodborne illnesses. Both Campylobacter and Salmonella should be addressed in the new standards. The USDA is going to publish a new Salmonella standard for poultry parts by September 2014, and for ground poultry products by the end of the year. But the government does not have a timeline for establishing Campylobacter standards for those products. And the recent CDC Food Safety Progress Report states that there has been a 13% increase in Campylobacter infections in the U.S. from 2008 to 2013. The letter states that "it is critical that new … [Read more...]

Food Poisoning Outbreaks Linked To Chicken Liver

Campylobacter chicken liver pate outbreak

A Campylobacter outbreak linked to undercooked chicken liver has sickened at least five people in Oregon and Ohio, health officials say. Although it may seem unusual, this isn't the first time a food poisoning outbreak has been linked to chicken liver. A 2012 Campylobacter outbreak linked to undercooked chicken livers sickened six people in Vermont, New Hampshire and New York. Some of those sickened ate the liver at restaurants, others purchased it from a grocery store and prepared it at home. The six case patients ranged in age from 19 to 87 years old. The median age was 53.5 years. Three of them were male, three were female. Two of  the patients were hospitalized. In 2011, Salmonella in undercooked chicken livers sickened 190 people in six states. The chicken livers were sold at … [Read more...]

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