FOOD OUTBREAK NEWS SCAN: More salmonellosis from live poultry, cost of EU sprout outbreak, Vibrio illnesses from shellfish

Jul 23, 2012

Salmonella linked to mail-order poultry sickens 37 in 11 states
At least 37 people in 11 states have been infected with Salmonella Hadar from live poultry bought for consumption or egg production or as pets, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today. Patients range in age from 1 to 69 years, with 37% being 10 years or younger. Among 26 patients with available information, 8 (31%) have been hospitalized. Of 27 case-patients interviewed, 24 (89%) reported contact with live chicks, ducklings, or turkeys before becoming ill. Dates of illness onset range from Mar 19 to Jul 6. The number of cases in each state is: Arizona (2), California (1), Colorado (3), Idaho (5), Illinois (2), Oregon (5), Tennessee (2), Texas (1), Utah (5), Washington (9), and Wyoming (2). The CDC said an unnamed mail-order hatchery in Idaho has been pinpointed as the source of the outbreak and is cooperating with the investigation. In 2011 and earlier this year, four multistate Salmonella outbreaks linked to chicks and ducklings from mail-order hatcheries in Ohio and Missouri sickened 285 people combined.
Jul 23 CDC press release

EC: More than $1.2 billion economic impact from 2011 E coli sproutbreak
The 2011 Germany-centered Escherichia coli O104 outbreak caused by fenugreek sprouts resulted in a loss of more than 1 trillion euros ($1.2 billion) to the European food supply chain, according to a European Commission (EC) "lessons learned" report that also outlined recommendations for future outbreaks. In just the first 2 weeks of the outbreak—which would eventually sicken more than 4,000 people—the European economic hit was estimated at a minimum of 812 million euros ($985 million), according to the report. Some recommendations from the EC include expanding Europe's rapid-alert outbreak system, conducting regular preparedness exercises, providing dedicated foodborne disease investigation training, developing rules on seed and sprout production, and improving continent-wide cooperation and communication.
Jul 20 EC report
Jul 20 EC press release

FDA warns against eating oysters from NY site after 8 Vibrio illnesses
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Jul 20 warned consumers not to eat raw or partially cooked oysters and clams from Oyster Bay Harbor (in Nassau County, N.Y.) after at least eight people in four states became sick from Vibrio parahaemolyticus bacteria. A week earlier, the New York state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) banned shellfish harvesting in Oyster Bay Harbor. The DEC and the state's health department documented illnesses in three people who ate raw or undercooked shellfish from the harvest area, and three other, unnamed states also reported five illnesses. Lab tests confirmed that all the cases were caused by V parahaemolyticus, which proliferates in warmer water, the DEC said. The FDA said of the recalled shellfish, "If the tag indicates the harvest area was Oyster Bay Harbor and a harvest date on or after June 1, 2012, the product should be disposed of and not be sold or served."
Jul 20 FDA news release
Jul 12 DEC press release

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