October 18, 2019

Researchers Find Sensing Mechanism in Food Poisoning Bacteria

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found a mechanism used by some types of bacteria that cause food poisoning. That mechanism is used to tell the bacteria when they are in the human gut, where they release the toxins that cause illness. Scientists studied Vibrio parahaemolyticus, a bacterium that grows in shellfish in saltwater during the summer months. Vibrio is one of the leading causes of food poisoning worldwide. And rising ocean temperatures because of global warming have contributed to the pathogen's growth. When people eat raw or undercooked seafood that contains the bacteria, they get sick. Dr. Kim Orth, Professor of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at UT Southwestern and senior author of the study, said, "during recent years, rising temperatures in the … [Read more...]

In Canada, Oysters Recalled for Vibrio

Industry is recalling oysters harvested from British Columbia coastal waters on or before August 18, 2015 and intended for use as raw consumption for possible Vibrio parahaemolyticus contamination. Consumers should not eat these oysters raw and retailers and food service establishments should not sell or use them. There is no UPC number on these products, and the oysters are sold in various sizes. If consumers are unsure if they have affected oysters, check with their place of purchase. Vibrio is a naturally occurring bacteria that is present at high levels in some coastal waters when the water is warm. Most people contract a Vibrio infection by eating raw or undercooked shellfish, especially oysters. There is a Vibrio outbreak associated with the consumption of these products. … [Read more...]

Vibrio Outbreak Sickens 67 in Canada

A Vibrio outbreak linked to raw oysters has sickened 67 people in Canada. The illnesses have been reported in British Columbia and Alberta. Vibrio parahaemolyticus bacteria naturally occurs in coastal waters during warmer months. Shellfish that is contaminated with Vibrio doesn't smell or taste off but it does cause illness. Symptoms of a Vibrio parahaemolyticus infection include watery or bloody diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal cramps lasting about three days. Young children, seniors, those with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women are at highest risk for illness. Most of the illnesses in this outbreak were reported between June 1 and August 7, 2015 . The investigation is ongoing.       … [Read more...]

Vancouver Restaurants Must Cook Oysters Before Serving

Vancouver Coastal Health has issued a public service announcement, stating that restaurants in that province must cook oysters harvested in British Columbia before serving. Only oysters harvested outside of that province may be served raw at this time. An ongoing outbreak of Vibrio parahaemolyticus relating to the consumption of raw oysters is ongoing in Canada. This bacteria is naturally occurring in coastal waters. This illness increases in the summer months, but the outbreak is large enough this year to warrant this preventative measure. Thirty-one people have been sickened with Vibrio infections so far in Vancouver. The actual number of Vibrio illnesses is probably much higher, since most cases of foodborne illness are not reported to authorities. Only 16 cases were reported in … [Read more...]

Florida Warns Shellfish Lovers About Vibrio Outbreak

The Florida Department of Health is warning shellfish lovers and beachgoers about a  Vibrio outbreak in that state. Vibrio is a flesh-eating bacteria that has infected seven people so far. Two people have died of their infections. People can develop this infection when they eat raw shellfish or if they swim in contaminated seawater with open wounds. The symptoms of a Vibrio infection include abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. A vibrio infection of the skin leads to ulcers and skin breakdown. Anyone with a weakened immune system can have serious complications with this type of infection. If the bacteria gets into the bloodstream, fever, chills, septic shock, and death can occur. There were only 32 cases of Vibrio reported in Florida all of last year. Most infections occur between … [Read more...]

18 Secret Food Poisoning Outbreaks of 2013

Did you hear about the six-state tilapia outbreak that sickened 33 people in 2013? Me either. A new CDC report about 2013 food poisoning outbreaks reveals 18 multistate outbreaks that were never made public. Five of them had fatalities. Of the 818 food posioning outbreaks that year, 26 included multiple states but only seven of those were made public in 2013. (Another outbreak on the list was announced in 2014.) The CDC defines an outbreak as two or more illnesses caused by the same source. The 18 never-before-announced outbreaks sickened 420, people, 85 hospitalizations and five fatalities. The food sources included: cucumbers, pistachios, tomatoes, lettuce, leafy greens, salmon, oysters, clams, papaya, sugarcane, cheese, pork, infused rice products and tilapia. They were … [Read more...]

Shellfishing Stopped in New York After Vibrio Outbreak

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has temporarily closed shellfishing areas in the Town of Huntington in Suffolk County after reports of foodborne illness. Lab tests have found that a "number of illnesses" were caused by the bacteria Vibrio parahaemolyticus, which is naturally occurring. The ban is effective starting Friday, September 5, 2014. This precautionary measure is being taken to protect public health until investigators decide if the shellfish are safe to eat. There is no word on how many people have been sickened. The ban on oyster harvesting affects about 4,400 acres, including all of Centerport Harbor, Duck Island Harbor, Northport Bay, Lloyd Harbor and a portion of Huntington Bay. The ban on hard clams affects 2,300 acres and includes all of … [Read more...]

Vibrio in Florida: 16 Illnesses, 3 Deaths

At least 16 people in Florida have been diagnosed with Vibrio infections this year, three of them have died. State health officials are warning people to take precautions that can prevent illness. Vibrio vulnificus is a bacterium found in warm salt water. People can get Vibrio infections two ways: eating raw shellfish or swimming in the ocean with open wounds. Vibrio infections in open wounds can cause the skin to breakdown and form ulcers that have difficulty healing.Some wounds may require surgery or lead to amputation. Foodborne Vibrio infections cause symptoms such as fever, chills, decreased blood pressure and blistering skin lesions.  In some cases, where the infection moves form the intestines to the bloodstream the infection can be fatal. Foodborne vibrio infections are … [Read more...]

Wegmans Recalls Oysters for Possible Vibrio Contamination

Wegmans has posted a recall for Kumamoto Oysters because they may be contaminated with Vibrio parahaemolyticus. This naturally-occurring bacteria can cause foodborne illness if the oysters are eaten raw. There is no word on whether or not any illnesses have been reported. The recall is for Albion Fisheries Ltd. harvested Kumamoto Oysters, sold individually at certain stores. Only those oysters with UPC number 21657100000, sold from July 17, 2014 through July 31, 2014 are recalled. The oysters were sold only at the Wegmans stores in Bridgewater, Manalapan, and Mt. Laurel in New Jersey; Pittsford in New York, and Montgomeryville and King of Prussia in Pennsylvania. If you purchased this product, do not eat it. Discard in a double bagged container or return to the place of purchase for … [Read more...]

Samish Bay WA Oyster Beds Closed After Vibrio Illness

The Washington State Department of Health has confirmed that oysters from Samish Bay is the source of at least one Vibrio illness, commercial harvesting has been ended until September 30, 2014. Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a bacteria that causes gastrointestinal illness in people. There have been nine reports of Vibrio illness this summer in Washington state. The latest confirmed illness is linked to a commercial, not recreational, harvest. There is no word on which specific commercial grower the contaminated shellfish came from. Low tides, hot weather, and sunshine increase the bacteria's population in the summer. Anyone who harvests oysters in that area should cook them to be safe. Vibrio are killed by cooking temperatures. In fact, the government suggests that all shellfish … [Read more...]

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