July 23, 2014

Cornell Develops Faster Salmonella Detection


Scientists at Cornell University have developed a way to detect Salmonella bacteria faster, which could help solve food poisoning outbreaks much more quickly. The Cornell Food Safety Lab, led by dr. Martin Wiedmann and research associate Henk den Bakker, worked with the New York State Department of Health on the next-generation DNA sequencing techniques. The traditional method of identifying outbreak strains of bacteria, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) is not always precise enough to identify specific pathogen strains, including their relationships to each other and if they have a common origin. With Salmonella Enteritidis, for example, 85% of strains can be grouped into five PFGE types. Instead, rapid whole-genome sequencing gives doctors and public health officials much … [Read more...]

Salmonella Likes Bruised Blueberries

Frozen Berry Mix

Salmonella can grow on bruised blueberries kept at shipping or retail display temperatures, according to a new study in the Journal of Food Protection. The study was conducted by researchers at the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Citrus Research and Education Center at the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida, Strawberries and blueberries harvested at or near full-ripe maturity and softer than those that are not as ripe and therefore more susceptible to bruising during harvest and transport. The researchers wanted to see how E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella behaved on bruised fruit and intact fruit at shipping temperature, 35.6˚ F, and retail display 59.9˚ F. So they The bruised the berries inoculated them with bacteria and … [Read more...]

Antibiotic Resistant Salmonella Paves the Way for Typhoid Fever Resurgence

Resistant Salmonella and typhiod fever

Antibiotic resistant Salmonella is paving the way for a resurgence in typhoid fever, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The report, which compared antibiotic resistance levels during 2012 to levels between 2003-2007, found that the bacteria that causes typhoid fever, Salmonella typhi, increased resistance to quinolone drugs 68 percent in 2012. Typhoid fever is a serious illness spread by contaminated food and water. Symptoms usually develop one to two weeks after exposure and last up to four weeks. They include lasting fever that becomes constant, abdominal pain, muscle weakness, lethargy,  headache, and loss of appetite. Some patients also have chest congestion, constipation and a skin rash. In rare cases, internal bleeding or death can … [Read more...]

Sprouts Recalled in Canada for Possible Salmonella

Fresh Sprouts Recall

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Fresh Sprout International are recalling fresh bean sprouts because they may be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria. Sprouts are often contaminated and have caused many illnesses because of the way they are grown in a warm and moist environment. The FDA recommends that no one who is at risk for foodborne illness consume uncooked sprouts. No illnesses have been reported in connection with the consumption of this product. The recalled product is Fresh Sprouts brand fresh bean sprouts in 454 gram/1 pound containers. The UPC number is 8 27468 00100 0 and the code on the product is 14/JUL/07. The product was sold in Ontario. If you purchased this product, do not eat it. Discard in a closed container or return to the place of purchase for a refund. … [Read more...]

FDA: Know the Risks of Raw Food Pet Diets

FDA says no to raw pet food

The FDA has released advice for consumers about the risks of feeding raw diets to their pets. Not only can your pets become ill, but you can too, either through contact with contaminated food or if your pet sheds pathogenic bacteria. Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes are two bacteria found in raw diets that are especially dangerous to pets and humans. Raw pet food is meat, bones, and organs that have not been cooked. FDA does not believe feeding raw pet foods to animals is "consistent with the goal of protecting the public from significant health risks." The agency recommends cooking raw meat and poultry to kill pathogenic bacteria before you give the food to your pets. One of the problems with a raw food diet is that people think it's natural for animals to eat raw meat. Feral … [Read more...]

Costco Recalls Foster Farms Salmonella Chicken

Chicken Salmonella Lawyer

Costco is reminding consumers that fresh chicken products sold under the Foster Farms and Kirkland brand produced in March are being recalled for Salmonella contamination. The products are linked to a huge nationwide outbreak that has been ongoing since March 2013. The recalled items have "use or freeze by" dates ranging from March 17, 2014 to March 31, 2014. The identifying plant marks on the recalled products are P-6137, P-6137A or P-7632 that should be inside the USDA mark of inspection. If you have these products in your freezer, discard immediately or return to the place of purchase for a refund. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water after handling these products.   … [Read more...]

Study Identifies Risky Home Food Safety Practices

A new study at UC-Davis has identified many risky practices of consumers in their homes. The study looked at the preparation of raw poultry. The two most common mistakes were cross contamination and insufficient cooking. Christine Bruhn, director of the Center for consumer research at the university, who authored the study said in a statement, "the most surprising aspect of these findings to me was the prevalence of undercooking. We are now in summer, the peak season for foodborne illness, and these results come at a time when more consumers can benefit from being aware of better food safety practices." Those good practices include always washing hands with soap and water before cooking and after handling raw meat, poultry and eggs, never rinsing poultry in the sink, and always using … [Read more...]

Salmonella Illness Prompts Foster Farms Recall of Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast

Foster Farms products sold at military bases.

A Salmonella illness has prompted a Foster Farms recall of boneless, skinless chicken breast produced in March. The limited recall, which now only applies to products consumers may have frozen, is the only recall the company has issued in the 10 months since it was first linked to a Salmonella outbreak that had sickened at least 574 people in 27 states by the end of May. It was issued at the request of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA's FSIS) "because this product is known to be associated with a specific illness," according to the announcement. On the packaging of recalled products, the establishment number “P6137,” P6137A” or “P7632” appears inside the USDA mark of inspection. The recalled boneless, skinless chicken products, produced March … [Read more...]

Scientists Discover Salmonella’s Crucial Nutrient


A study published in PLOS Pathogens has discovered that Salmonella bacteria relies heavily on a single nutrient called frustose-asparagine (F-Asn) when it grows in the intestine. This nutrient is crucial to Salmonella growth in the inflamed intestine. When it doesn't have access to this specific nutrient, the bacteria is significantly weakened. Since there are so many nutrients available to that bacterium in the intestine, doctors have thought that targeting those nutrients with drugs to stop the bacterial growth is next to impossible. But stopping access to a single nutrient is another story. Researchers found that a mutant of Salmonella that cannot get fructose-asparagine is "severely attenuated, suggesting that F-Asn is the primary nutrient utilized by Salmonella during … [Read more...]

Salmonella from Backyard Poultry Flocks Sickens 251 in 37 States


Salmonella from live poultry kept in backyard flocks has sickened 251 people in 37 states, according to the latest update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  That's an increase of 125 cases since the last update on May 30, 2014. Fifty four people have been hospitalized. Health officials have linked the outbreak to chicks, ducklings and other live poultry from Mt. Healthy Hatcheries in Ohio through epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback investigations. This is the same mail-order hatchery that has been associated with multiple outbreaks of Salmonella infections linked to live poultry in past years, including in 2012 and 2013. Onset of illness for those who became ill, who range in age from less than one year to 95 years, were from February 4 and June 4. … [Read more...]

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