California raw milk dairyman is nonplussed about recall and quarantine

Valley Milk Simply Bottled is the California raw milk that’s been quarantined and ordered recalled four times since 2019, most recently last week.

The Modesto Bee just paid a visit to the dairy, which is located six miles west of the City of Modesto. The local dairy newspaper reports finding dairyman Joe Bento “unfazed.”  

 “Even though we’re going through stuff like this, I still enjoy it,” Bento told the Bee.

When he says “stuff like this, “ Bento means the recent report by the California Department of Health about illegal levels of Campylobacter jejuni found by the state’s Department of Food and Agriculture in raw cow milk produced and bottled by his company. 

A mandatory recall and quarantine resulted from “stuff like this.”

Bento told the Bee that he is looking forward to getting back to selling raw, unpasteurized milk directly to consumers.  With the recall and quarantine,  the … Read more

30 sick in Salmonella outbreak in Sweden

Swedish officials are trying to find the source of a national outbreak of Salmonella that has affected more than 30 people.

From late August up to mid-September, 31 people across the country have fallen sick with Salmonella Coeln infections.

The source of infection is suspected to be a food with a wide distribution in Sweden.

Whole genome sequencing has shown patients had the same type of Salmonella Coeln, which means it is likely they were infected by a common source.

Those sick range in age from 0 to 85 years old with a median age of 28. They live in 12 different regions in Sweden and 18 are men.

Local infection control units and municipalities are involved in the outbreak investigation with the Swedish Food Agency (Livsmedelsverket) and Public Health Agency of Sweden (Folkhälsomyndigheten).

The number of people affected by Salmonella Coeln in Sweden in 2020 and 2019 was in … Read more

Studies stress botulism education in Romania and Italy

Two studies in different European countries have both emphasized the need to improve consumer awareness and education to prevent botulism.

The first study looked at epidemiological data on foodborne botulism in Western Romania over the past decade. Botulism poisoning is a rare illness caused by toxins produced by Clostridium botulinum bacteria.

Medical records from one hospital were analyzed from 2010 to 2020 for all food botulism cases and a test was performed with type A, B and E anti-botulinum sera to establish the kind of toxin involved.

Domestic dangers
Overall, 18 cases of foodborne botulism were admitted to hospital during this period and were confirmed by laboratory analysis, according to the study published in the MDPI journal Healthcare.

Patients ranged in age from 19 to 72. Most were men and lived in rural areas. The majority had gastrointestinal symptoms within 12 to 24 hours after eating contaminated food and all … Read more

Foodborne illnesses decreased in 2020; could be result of pandemic factors

Foodborne illnesses in the United States decreased by 26 percent in 2020 compared with the average from 2017-19, according to a report released today.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that its FoodNet surveillance system identified 18,462 infections, including 4,788 hospitalizations and 118 deaths, according to the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report from the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP).

The decrease could be related to the coronavirus pandemic in more than one way, according to the researchers.

“The researchers speculated that pandemic-related behaviors, such as more handwashing, less international travel, and restaurant closures, may have contributed to the decrease in foodborne illnesses, but they note that changes in healthcare delivery and healthcare-seeking behaviors may have caused underreporting,” according to the report.

“While they also note that lab-testing practice changes may have had an effect, they found that the proportion of infections diagnosed by culture, compared … Read more

Source remains a mystery for the growing Salmonella Oranienburg outbreak

In the 21 days since it was first reported, an investigation has not yet identified a food as the cause of a fast-growing outbreak of Salmonella Oranienburg infections — at least officially.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta say public health and regulatory officials in several states are still collecting different types of data to investigate the multistate outbreak.

In three weeks, the Salmonella Oranienburg outbreak grew from 20 infections to 279 confirmed cases. While there have been no deaths, there have also been no recalls because no food is yet linked to the outbreak.

The rapidly growing outbreak has spread to at last 29 states with illnesses starting on dates ranging from Aug. 3 to Sept. 13. Sick people range in age from less than 1 year to 89 years, with a median age of 35, and 59 percent are female. Of 86 people … Read more