NEWS SCAN: Egypt launches new H5N1 measures; more pepper recalled

Mar 8, 2010

Egypt launches new strategy to curb H5N1 spread
In the wake of rising human H5N1 avian influenza outbreaks, coupled with an increasing number of outbreaks in poultry, Egypt's health ministry said it is implementing new measures to curb the spread of the virus, including restricting the sale of poultry across governorate borders, the United Nations' Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN) reported today. The health ministry said it will also launch a campaign to warn the public about the risk of raising poultry at home and will stop vaccinating poultry, because the practice has not curbed the spread of the disease, according to IRIN. Egypt has reported several dozen poultry outbreaks so far this year, most of them in household birds. The country has also experienced a surge in human cases since the first of the year, with14 so far, including 3 deaths, according to a recent update from the World Health Organization (WHO). In other developments, Egypt's health ministry reported another H5N1 death, according to translated reports that appear today on the FluTrackers infectious-disease message board. The death appears to be that of a 53-year-old man from Qalyubia governorate whose illness was detailed in a Mar 4 WHO update. He had been listed in critical condition.
Mar 8 IRIN story
FluTrackers thread on Egypt's 104th H5N1 case

More black pepper recalled in Salmonella outbreak
A second company that supplied ground black pepper to the sausage company involved in a 44-state Salmonella outbreak has issued a recall, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported on Mar 5. Mincing Overseas Spice Co., Dayton, N.J., recalled black pepper lots 3258 and 3309, both involving 50-, 25-, and 20-pound cartons bearing the company name. The FDA said a sample from lot 3258 tested positive for Salmonella, and further testing was still under way to determine if it matched the outbreak strain of Salmonella Montevideo. Mincing and Wholesome Spice Co. of Brooklyn, N.Y., both supplied pepper to Daniele Inc., maker of salami and other sausage products linked to the outbreak (Wholesome previously recalled some pepper products). The FDA said it has also tested pepper samples from other customers that received pepper from Mincing and Wholesome. So far, two of those samples have tested positive for strains of Salmonella not associated with the current outbreak. The findings prompted Mincing's recall of lot 3309 and also prompted another company, Heartland Foods Inc. of Indianapolis, to issue a recall, the FDA reported. Heartland's Mar 1 recall notice covered all its coarse black ground pepper distributed between Oct 19, 2009, and Feb 17, and sold in 1-, 4-, and 8-pound containers. The FDA also said it is working on a spice risk profile that could lead to new guidance for the spice industry and FDA inspectors and possibly to new regulations.
Mar 5 FDA update on Salmonella investigation
Mar 5 Mincing recall notice
Mar 1 Heartland Foods recall notice

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