NEWS SCAN: Sprout inspection findings, cholera outbreak stabilizing

Jan 31, 2011

FDA details findings at Washington sprout grower
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently released its initial inspection report on Sprouters Northwest, a Bothell, Wash., producer linked to a Salmonella Newport outbreak that sickened about a half dozen people in Oregon and Washington in December. Details appear on the FDA's 483 form, which notes that inspectors found two different strains of Listeria on equipment surfaces at the plant but not Salmonella Newport. FDA inspectors were at the plant between Jan 3 and Jan 21. Their report said the company didn't take necessary precautions to protect food and food contact surfaces from contamination. They found Listeria monocytogenes on a stainless steel table in the packing room and Listeria seeligeri on a dirty support plate that was part of a rinse tank. Rodent droppings were found in the warehouse, with gaps at the bottom of some doors that could have allowed pests to enter the facility. The inspectors found open bags of sprout seeds, known to be a frequent source of contamination.
Jan 26 FDA 483 inspection report
Jan 4 CIDRAP News story

Cholera outbreak shows further signs of stabilizing
Haiti's cholera outbreak continues to show signs of stabilizing, along with the security situation in the country, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said in its latest update. It said the daily count of new cases is now "sometimes smaller" than on previous days. It's not clear if the security situation will hold, because election results have still not been resolved, the agency said. The country's Carnival celebration started yesterday, which PAHO said could either spark fresh violence or provide a window of opportunity to spread cholera prevention messages. The health ministry's latest numbers, from Jan 24, show 209,304 cases, including 4,030 deaths. In-hospital and overall case fatality rates continued to decline, according to health ministry figures. However, some health groups in rural areas are reporting increasing numbers of cases areas where healthcare access and disease surveillance are poor. PAHO said health officials are still investigating four cases of paralysis in cholera patients, but said polio will likely be ruled out as a cause. Lab results are still pending, and authorities are exploring the possibility of contaminated food, medicine, or other sources from hospitals or patients' homes.
Jan 28 PAHO health cluster bulletin

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