October 17, 2018

GAO Says USDA Should Cut More Pathogens in Meat and Poultry

On April 18, 2018, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said that the USDA should take more action to cut pathogens in meat and poultry products it regulates. That agency develops standards to limit the amount of pathogens in products it regulates. But, no standards have been set for products such as pork chops, ground pork, and turkey breasts. And the report states that the agency's process for deciding which products should have new standards for pathogens is not clear. In addition, the pathogen standards for ground beef, beef carcasses, and pork carcasses have not been updated since 1996. At that time, the standards were set at industry-wide prevalence levels, not at levels that may protect human health. Standards for other products are outdated, according to the report, … [Read more...]

Raw Milk From Conoco View Dairy in Blain, PA Recalled for Possible Campylobacter

Raw whole milk from Conoco View Dairy in Blain, in Perry County Pennsylvania is being recalled for possible Campylobacter contamination, according to a press release issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. Tests completed during routine sampling found the pathogenic bacteria. The plastic half gallon and gallon containers of the whole milk were sold in Perry County at Newport Health Foods, Leid’s Market, Skyline Market, Mountain Supply, and The Pantry, and at Castle Creek Farm in York County. The on-farm market sold the milk in glass half gallon containers. The milk has a sell by date of February 16, 2018. No confirmed reports of illness have been received to date in connection with this recall. Raw milk can be contaminated with pathogenic bacteria such as … [Read more...]

Raw Chicken Necks are Linked to APN Paralysis in Dogs

According to a study conducted at the University of Melbourne, raw chicken necks have been linked to a potentially fatal form of paralysis. The illness is called acute polyradiculoneuritis (APN), which shares similarities with Guillain-Barre syndrome in humans. The bacteria in question is Campylobacter. Scientists studied 27 client-owned dogs suffering from suspected APN and 47 healthy dogs. The researchers collected fecal samples from each dog and performed direct culture, DNA extraction, and polymerase chain retain to look for Campylobacter. The research revealed that dogs with APN were 9.4 times more likely to be positive for Campylobacter species compared to dogs in the control group. And a significant association was found between dogs affected by APN and the consumption of … [Read more...]

IFSAC Releases Foodborne Illness Source Attribution Estimates for 2013 for Salmonella, E. coli O157, Listeria, and Campylobacter

The Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration (IFSAC) has released foodborne illness source attribution estimates for 2013 for four bacteria: Salmonella, Escherichia coli O157, Listeria monocytogenes, and Campylobacter. This agency is a collaboration between the CDC, the FDA, and the USDA-FSIS. The agency identifies foods that are important causes of human illness. It focuses its efforts on those four bacteria, which are responsible for most food poisoning illnesses in the United States. The CDC estimates that these four pathogens cause 1.9 million foodborne illness cases every year. They base that estimate by calculating the most common food sources that are linked to illnesses. Overall, about 9,000,000 Americans are sickened with food poisoning. More than 56,000 are … [Read more...]

Why Doesn’t Everyone Who Drinks Raw Milk Get Sick?

Over the years, Food Poisoning Bulletin has received many, many messages from people defending raw milk consumption. Every one of these messages has used the claim, "I have drunk raw milk for years and I have never gotten sick." There are several problems with that statement: one is the logical fallacy of a small sample size. But first, some history. There is a Salmonella outbreak that was just discovered in Washington state. Raw milk from Pride & Joy Dairy has teated positive for a rare strain of Salmonella Dublin that sickened and hospitalized two people in that state in January 2017. The dairy's license to sell raw milk was pulled by the Washington State Department of Health. Raw milk has been consumed by people for many years. And many people have been sickened and … [Read more...]

UK Experts Urge Shoppers to Wash Hands After Handling Chicken Packages

We all know that raw chicken can contain pathogenic bacteria such as Campylobacter and Salmonella. But experts were more concerned with the bacteria on the inside of the basic plastic supermarket wrapping. Now experts in the UK are warning shoppers to wash their hands after handling these packages, since the bacteria could also be on the outside. An investigation by the Daily Telegraph found that the plastic exterior of more than 1 in every 100 raw chickens sold in Britain may have a potentially infectious level of Campylobacter bacteria. That means that 9,000,000 packages of chicken are sold with a "dangerous dose of deadly bacteria on the outside." When a shopper picks up a package of chicken, then snacks on food while shopping, they could get sick. Campylobacter is the leading … [Read more...]

Acid Suppression Drugs Increase Gastroenteritis Risk

A study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology has found that taking acid-suppressing medications increases the risk for bacterial gastroenteritis in the community and in hospital-based settings. The population-based, propensity-score matched cohort study was conducted at the University College London. The study identified 188,323 patients from a community in Scotland who took these drugs between 1999 and 2013. Those results were compared with 376,646 matched controls from the same community who did not take the prescribed medications. The medications in question include proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and H2 receptor antagonists (H2RA). The study's authors reported positive test results for Clostridium difficile, Campylobacter, Salmonella, and E. coli O157 in … [Read more...]

Campylobacter Outbreak in UK Linked to Raw Milk

At least 56 people are sick in the United Kingdom with Campylobacter infections after drinking raw milk purchased from a vending machine on a farm. The patient age range is from one year to 86 years. Sales of raw milk from that farm were suspended after the outbreak was discovered. A judge banned the farm from selling any more of its unpasteurized milk last week. The farm is Low Sizergh Barn Farm in Kendal, UK. The raw cow milk was recalled in December 2016 after the outbreak was first announced. According to news sources, the farms' owner allegedly knew that the milk contained bacteria but kept selling it. The number of registered farms that produce and sell raw milk in the UK has decreased in the last 20 years from 570 to 100. It is illegal to sell raw milk and cream in … [Read more...]

New Study Shows How Campylobacter in Chicken Causes Guillain-Barre

A new study at Michigan State University is the first to show how Campylobacter jejuni triggers Guillain-Barre Syndrome. That complication of the bacterial infection can cause paralysis. If the chicken isn't cooked to 165°F, the bacteria can survive and cause serious illness. Campylobacter infections have also been caused by raw, or unpasteurized milk and other contaminated products. Linda Mansfield, lead author and MSU College of Veterinary Medicine professor said, "What our work has told us is that it takes a certain genetic makeup combined with a certain Campylobacter strain to cause this disease. The concerning thing is that many of these strains are resistant to antibiotics and our work shows that treatment with some antibiotics could actually make the disease worse." GBS is … [Read more...]

Raw Milk: A Risky Food

It never ceases to amaze me why people drink raw milk. Raw milk, as all should know, is unpasteurized. Pasteurization is the process by which milk, juices and other products are heated in order to kill off dangerous pathogens. Without pasteurization, bacteria that harm or even kill people remain in the milk. Pasteurization, a simple procedure that’s been used for about 150 years, is absolutely effective. Pasteurization does not affect the taste of milk. It does not reduce or degrade milk’s beneficial and nutritional qualities. Any claims that it does have been debunked by scientists and physicians. The only people who claim raw milk is good for you are people who ignore science. The only people who claim pasteurization makes milk less nutritious ignore science. This is … [Read more...]

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