FOOD SAFETY NEWS SCAN: Salmonella beef update, death in picnic outbreak, EU take on US food safety law

Jul 24, 2012

CDC says 11 have been hospitalized in beef-related Salmonella outbreak
At least 11 people have been hospitalized in the ground beef–related Salmonella Enteritidis outbreak that was first reported Jul 22, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced late yesterday. The outbreak, with 33 cases in seven eastern states, has triggered a ground beef recall by Cargill Meat Solutions of Wyalusing, Pa. The case numbers by state are Maine, 1; Massachusetts, 3; New Hampshire, 2; New York, 14; Rhode Island, 1; Virginia, 2; and Vermont, 10. Of 30 patients with available information, 11 reported being hospitalized. Illness onset dates ranged from Jun 6 to 26. The patients range from 12 to 101 years old, with a median of 55. As reported previously, federal and state investigators linked illnesses in five patients to the Cargill products.
Jul 23 CDC notice
Jul 23 CIDRAP News story on the outbreak

Ohio E coli picnic outbreak reaches 75 cases, 1 fatality
An Ohio Escherichia coli outbreak stemming from a customer-appreciation picnic has grown to at least 75 cases, including a fatality in a 73-year-old Germantown man, the Associated Press (AP) reported today. The outbreak began after a Jul 3 lawn-care-company picnic in Germantown, near Dayton. Fourteen patients have been hospitalized, including a 4-year-old girl and a teenage boy with hemolytic uremic syndrome, which can lead to kidney failure and even death. Investigators are assessing food preparation and handling practices to determine the source of the pathogen.
EU official raises issues with new US food safety law
European Union (EU) member countries have significant issues with the new US Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), signed into law in January 2011, reports a Food Safety News (FSN) story today. Implementation of the law, designed to protect food imports, has been held up for months as the White House Office of Management and Budget examines the regulations drafted by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Broad EU concerns include third-party auditing, inspections, and foreign supply verification procedures. One EU fear is that the US government will send auditors to hundreds of individual companies rather than work through national authorities, as the EU does. "Our concern is about duplication of controls," said Carlos Alvarez Antolinez, an EU food safety official who spoke yesterday in Providence, R.I., at the annual meeting of the International Association for Food Protection. Another concern is that the FDA will charge for inspections, which is not done in the EU. Mr. Antolinez expressed hope that acceptable solutions can be reached as implementation of the law moves forward.
Jul 24 FSN article

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