Norovirus sickens more than 120 in Slovenia; contaminated packaging suspected

Norovirus was the cause of more than 120 illnesses in late December 2021 in Slovenia, according to findings of an investigation.

The National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ), the Administration for Food Safety, Veterinary Sector and Plant Protection (UVHVVR) and the National Laboratory of Health, Environment and Food (NLZOH) investigated the outbreak in the town of Ilirska Bistrica.

Officials said based on the clinical symptoms of patients, the duration of disease and results of laboratory tests, the cause of the illnesses was norovirus.

Between Dec. 25 and 30, 2021, an outbreak of an infectious disease was detected in Ilirska Bistrica and 123 people became ill with at least one person being hospitalized.

Most people infected suffered from vomiting and watery diarrhea but some also reported a fever, nausea and abdominal pain.

Spread linked to packaging
Norovirus was isolated as the causative agent in nine fecal samples from infected individuals. Bacillus … Read more

Meat smugglers are out to breach U.S. borders, endangering pork industry

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s job of keeping African Swine Fever out of the United States is not helped by stepped up and all too common meat smuggling.

Whether commingled in those shipping containers stacked up at U.S. ports or moved across a southern border run by cartels, there are more opportunities for meat smuggling into the United States than ever before.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection keeps turning up evidence about how it’s working. At the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport April 6 through June 6, 2021, CBP intercepted 19,555 pounds of prohibited pork, chicken, beef, and duck arriving from China.

At a big port like LA/LB, the “unmanifested animal products” were commingled in boxes of headphones, door locks, kitchenware, LCD tables, trash bags, swim fins, cell phone covers, plastic cases, and household goods. All those items are typical covers for the attempts to smuggle illegal meats.… Read more

California citrus industry invests half a million in CPS produce safety research

Citrus producers from California are making a collective $500,000 contribution to Center for Produce Safety’s research capital campaign to fund produce-specific food safety research. 

The funds will support CPS’s work to identify produce safety questions, call on researchers to answer them, and then share the learnings to industry, government, public health and other stakeholders.

 When asked what motivated one of the citrus company’s, Sunkist, to support the CPS, President and CEO Jim Phillips pointed to his company’s history of leadership.

 “As the longest-standing agricultural cooperative in the nation, it’s important to us that we are always delivering a safe product to consumers,” Phillips said. “Sunkist is doing our part to represent California citrus at the highest level, by supporting critical food safety research.”

 President Zak Laffite of Wonderful Citrus noted the citrus industry’s commitment to consumer health and well-being motivated the industry’s repeat contribution to CPS.

 “Our company’s promise is Read more

Salmonella sickens 16 in Norway; source unknown

A rare type of Salmonella has infected 16 people in Norway with the majority needing hospital treatment.

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (Folkehelseinstituttet) reported that the Salmonella Blockley outbreak had affected people living in several counties in the country.

The source of infection is unknown, so an investigation has been started with the Norwegian Food Safety Authority (Mattilsynet) and the Norwegian Veterinary Institute.

People have fallen sick from the end of November 2021 up to the first week of January 2022. They are aged 1 to 80, and 11 of them are women.

Five ill people live in Trøndelag, three each in Viken and Troms og Finnmark, two in Nordland and Vestland and one in Rogaland.

Likely less severe cases not being found
Bacteria with the same genetic profile has been detected in 12 of 16 patients which means they were likely infected from the same source.

Salmonella Blockley … Read more

Pre-cut cantaloupe determined to be cause of Salmonella Javiana outbreak

The FDA has quietly announced that cut cantaloupe is behind an outbreak of Salmonella Javiana infections. The CDC remains mum on the topic.

In a weekly update, the Food and Drug Administration added two words to a line item about the Salmonella Javiana outbreak — cut cantaloupe. The outbreak has sickened at least 65 people but the FDA has not revealed what states the people live in.

The FDA reports that as of Jan. 13 the outbreak has ended. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have not released any information about the outbreak despite the FDA has identified the probable cause. The FDA has not reported information regarding the patients’ ages or illness onset dates. Neither did the agency report whether there were any hospitalizations or deaths in the outbreak.

According to information released by the FDA in December 2021, fresh-cut fruit from Taylor Cut Produce, which was eventually … Read more