News

US cyclosporiasis outbreak – update

US cyclosporiasis outbreak – update

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued an update of its investigation into an outbreak of human infections by the protozoan parasite Cyclospora, possibly linked to fresh produce. As of 3 August, CDC had received reports of 384 cyclosporiasis cases from 26 states in 2015. Of these, 226 people experienced onset […]

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FSIS issues warning over Salmonella risk at pig roasts

FSIS issues warning over Salmonella risk at pig roasts

The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has issued a Public Health Alert because of concerns about Salmonella infections that may be associated with pork products, especially whole pigs used for pig roasts. Eight clusters of illness caused by Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i- were identified in Washington State between April and July 2015 and FSIS […]

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Salmonella outbreak in Sweden linked to imported dried spice mix

Salmonella outbreak in Sweden linked to imported dried spice mix

An outbreak team at the Public Health Agency of Sweden has reported on their investigation into a nationwide outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis phage type 13a infection that is associated with imported dried vegetable spice mixes. The outbreak affected at least 174 people from 17 of the 21 counties in Sweden between December 2014 and July […]

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Report on multistate hepatitis A outbreak linked to frozen berries published

Report on multistate hepatitis A outbreak linked to frozen berries published

A multidisciplinary international team of public health and food safety experts from 13 European countries has published a report of its investigation into a multistate outbreak of hepatitis A infection that affected people across Europe in 2013 and 2014. The outbreak was first reported in May 2013 when the Italian authorities declared a national outbreak […]

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Editors blog

For some food safety risks consumers are still the last line of defence

For some food safety risks consumers are still the last line of defence

In recent weeks we have seen several Salmonella outbreaks all linked to the same type of food – namely frozen raw chicken products. An outbreak in Canada associated with chicken nuggets affected 47 people, while two more in the USA linked to stuffed chicken Kiev type products accounted for a further nine cases. Large recalls […]

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Food testing is useful, but not infallible

Food testing is useful, but not infallible

More and more testing is being performed on food products worldwide with every year that passes. Despite the advent of HACCP – and the virtual abandonment of quality control testing as a means of ensuring food safety and quality – ever lengthening supply chains and consumer concerns about safety have driven a steady increase in […]

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Antibiotic resistance in the food supply chain – time to act

Antibiotic resistance in the food supply chain – time to act

The issue of antimicrobial resistance in pathogenic bacteria is at last being taken seriously at a high level, with calls for more funding for the development of new drugs and action to prevent the overuse of clinically important antibiotics. This is very much a case of ‘better late than never’ – it’s about 45 years […]

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Food safety off the radar for UK politicians

Food safety off the radar for UK politicians

Polling stations open for business on Thursday morning in the UK and the country is firmly in the grip of election fever as I write. With the electorate poised to deliver its verdict on who should be entrusted with running things for the next five years it seems like a good time to examine the […]

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New Research

Researchers discover how Listeria grows on cold smoked salmon

Researchers discover how Listeria grows on cold smoked salmon

A team of researchers in the USA have discovered that the foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes uses different metabolic pathways to grow on refrigerated smoked salmon from those it uses when growing in laboratory culture media. The team, led by Dr Teresa Bergholz, assistant professor in the Department of Veterinary and Microbiological Sciences at North Dakota […]

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Study suggests some Klebsiella infections could be foodborne

Study suggests some Klebsiella infections could be foodborne

A newly published study by US researchers at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health found antibiotic-resistant strains of Klebsiella pneumoniae in meat that are very similar to those causing human infection. The researchers isolated Klebisella pneumoniae from 47% of 508 samples of meat (chicken, turkey and pork) taken from retail stores […]

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Simple cooking method lowers arsenic levels in rice

Simple cooking method lowers arsenic levels in rice

Researchers at Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland, have discovered a simple technique that effectively reduces the level of potentially carcinogenic inorganic arsenic present in cooked rice. Inorganic arsenic levels in uncooked rice are much higher than in other food commodities as a consequence of how the crop is cultivated in flooded fields. Arsenic contamination has […]

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Delay fresh produce harvest after rain to reduce risk

Delay fresh produce harvest after rain to reduce risk

Researchers at Cornell University in the USA have discovered that waiting 24 hours after rain or irrigation before harvesting can reduce the risk of foodborne illness from fresh produce. The researchers looked at the frequency of isolation of Listeria monocytogenes in spinach in fields in New York State and found that the chances of finding […]

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Feature Articles

THE HEPATITIS A VIRUS – an overlooked cause of foodborne disease

THE HEPATITIS A VIRUS – an overlooked cause of foodborne disease

Bacteria are by far the most common and best known causes of foodborne illness in the developed world and the food industry is well aware of the risks presented by Salmonella, E. coli O157 and other bacterial pathogens. But there are also a small group of disease-causing viruses that can be transmitted by contaminated food. […]

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A QUESTION OF CONFIDENCE – how food microbiology labs can ensure their results are reliable

A QUESTION OF CONFIDENCE – how food microbiology labs can ensure their results are reliable

Supply chains have become ever longer and more complex as food production has developed into a truly global industry. The need to monitor the safety of food at every stage means that microbiological testing remains a key weapon in the fight against food contamination and the volume of testing undertaken continues to grow. Today’s laboratories […]

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HOW CLEAN IS CLEAN? – Rapid food hygiene monitoring methods

HOW CLEAN IS CLEAN? – Rapid food hygiene monitoring methods

The HACCP-driven hygiene procedures in place in modern food production facilities are an essential part of ensuring safety and quality in the food supply chain. Clean food handling and processing equipment is a prerequisite for good hygiene, but the effectiveness of cleaning must also be monitored and recorded.

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ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE – a global food safety problem

ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE – a global food safety problem

The development of antibiotics in the 1940s led to a revolution in the treatment of infectious diseases. But after more than 60 years of use and misuse, many antibiotics have lost much of their effectiveness as bacteria develop resistance to them. This situation has arisen partly as a result of overuse in clinical medicine, but […]

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Other Recent Posts

Salmonella outbreak linked to raw tuna sushi – update

Salmonella outbreak linked to raw tuna sushi – update

| July 28, 2015

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is continuing to investigate an outbreak of Salmonella Paratyphi B variant L(+) tartrate(+) – previously known as Salmonella Java – infections linked to raw tuna consumption. As of 20 July, at least 62 people in 11 states had been affected by the outbreak, with 11 cases […]

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Barber Foods expands stuffed chicken product recall

Barber Foods expands stuffed chicken product recall

| July 14, 2015

The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has announced that Barber Foods, of Portland, Maine, is expanding a recall of frozen, stuffed, raw chicken products that may be contaminated with Salmonella Enteritidis. The company recalled approximately 58,000 pounds of a chicken Kiev product on 2 July after it was linked to four cases of […]

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Global food contamination data published

Global food contamination data published

| July 9, 2015

According to new data released by the Fera (the UK’s reference laboratory for chemicals in foods) HorizonScan service, Pesticides (13.5%), Salmonella (11.1%) and mycotoxins (7.1%) were the most frequently reported food contaminants globally over the last quarter. However, taken as a category, it was microbial contaminants that accounted for the highest number of reports (approximately […]

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