Foodborne Disease Scan for Mar 31, 2016

Salmonella in lab worker
Listeria from packaged salad

CDC laboratorian with salmonellosis may have acquired infection at work

A laboratory worker at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may have acquired salmonellosis during work in a biosafety level 2 (BSL-2) facility, said an afternoon press release from the agency.

The strain of Salmonella identified in the worker, who is now well and back at work, appears in preliminary testing to match the strain being worked on in the person's lab. No other staffers at the lab are known to have been exposed. The worker had received the appropriate safety training, the release says, and followed standard safety protocols.

BSL-2 labs work with pathogens that are common and treatable. The CDC "is investigating to see if additional safeguards are needed," says the agency.

Several safety lapses at high-containment US research labs have been reported over the last few years, prompting procedure and policy reviews, reforms, and plans for more transparency.
Mar 31 CDC press release


CDC says listeriosis outbreak related to packaged salads is over

One more listeriosis infection has been reported in a nine-state outbreak tied to packaged salads from a Dole processing plant, raising the case total to 19, the CDC reported today.

All 19 case-patients in the outbreak were hospitalized, and the source of Listeria monocytogenes was identified as bagged salad produced by a Dole processing plant in Springfield, Ohio. One patient from Michigan died of the illness, the CDC said.

Patients ranged in age from 3 to 83 years, and 74% were female. Specimens were collected between Jul 5, 2015, and Jan 31 of this year, and Dole voluntarily recalled affected packaged salads on Jan 27.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) also reported 14 listeriosis cases, all of which required hospitalization and were linked to salads from the Dole facility. The PHAC said three deaths were potentially associated with the outbreak.

Given that all packaged salads have now passed their expiration dates or been recalled, the CDC said that the outbreak is over.
Mar 31 CDC final update
Feb 25 CIDRAP News
item on the outbreak

In other listeriosis news, a study of L monocytogenes infection risk from deli meats published today in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) found that many meat-slicer machines are not regularly cleaned.

Interviews with managers and workers at 298 retail delis revealed that only 45.8% of delis fully cleaned slicers at the recommended frequency of every 4 hours. Factors associated with frequent cleaning of meat slicers included chain ownership of the retail deli, stores with more customers and more slicers, written policies, and food safety training for deli managers and staff.

Listeriosis causes the third highest number of foodborne illness deaths in the United States every year, and meats sliced and packaged at retail delis are the main source of Listeria from deli meant, the CDC said.
Apr 1 MMWR study

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