Study assesses Salmonella impact on consumers in Hungary

The impact of Salmonella infections on consumers’ wellbeing has been estimated to be “very significant” by researchers in Hungary.

Salmonellosis is one of the most frequent foodborne illnesses in Hungary. Based on data from 2014 and 2018, Hungarian rates of confirmed Salmonella cases were more than two times higher than the European average, according to the research report published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Salmonella infections represent significant cost for households, the healthcare system and companies because of absent employees. Cost of the disease can be divided into direct and indirect costs.

Direct costs include cost of treatment and medication at home and in hospitals, while indirect costs include those because of altered consumer behavior as well as loss from pain and other psychological suffering. The study focused on the cost to households by analyzing wellbeing losses from Salmonella infections. Consumer behavior at home is … Read more

U.S. and Canada part of Salmonella outbreak linked to tahini and halva

The United States and Canada are part of an outbreak affecting Europe because of Salmonella in tahini and halva from Syria.

The United States has reported six Salmonella Mbandaka cases, one in 2020 and the rest this year.

Interviews were conducted with two people: both report shopping at international markets that stock mostly Arabic and Middle Eastern foods and ingredients, and ate items containing tahini. Interviews are pending on the remaining ill people. Two have traveled to Syria and have not been reachable by public health officials.

Ill people range from less than one to 57 years old, with a median age of 19.5 years. Illness onset dates are from Nov. 19, 2020 to Sept. 5, 2021.

Canada has eight confirmed cases: five of Salmonella Mbandaka, two of Salmonella Havana and one of Salmonella Orion from 2019 to 2021.

Salmonella Mbandaka cases have dates of illness onset between November 2019 … Read more

USDA denial of poultry handling rule is subject to Administrative Procedures Act review

A federal judge in Rochester, NY, has ruled he can review the denial of a rulemaking petition that suggests USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service should prohibit behavior that has the potential to cause birds to die other than by slaughter.

The FSIS denied the petition in 2019, saying its humane handling authority does not extend beyond poultry slaughter establishments. The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) and Farm Sanctuary, represented by Harvard Law School’s Animal Law & Policy Clinic, appealed the denial of the rulemaking petition in August of 2020.

The USDA asked the U.S. District Court for Western New York to dismiss the complaint, but District Judge Charles J. Siragusa opted to keep the case alive.

“Consistent with the Supreme Court’s reasoning, the Court finds in the present case that FSIS’ denial of plaintiffs’ rulemaking petitions was not an agency decision that has been precluded from judicial review as an … Read more

Face egg shortage or adopt national standard are choices for Massachusetts

The country is ready to panic over all sorts of shortages, but Massachusetts has something specific to fear: an egg shortage. It is so bad a possibility that some call it an “Egg Armageddon.”

And unlike some of the shortages causing empty shelves around the country, the possibility of an egg shortage has Massachusetts politicians taking it seriously.

All this stems from the popular 2016 ballot measure that some saw as supportive of food safety by mandating space requirements for certain farm animals.

Egg-laying hens got 1 and 1/2 square feet of floor space under the 2016 law that was to become effective this month as regulations drafted by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey went live.

But during the summer, it became clear that few egg producers could meet the Massachusetts standard. State lawmakers jumped in with another law to reduce the minimum required for each laying hen to one … Read more

Retailer’s Campylobacter test results in maximum FSA category

Marks and Spencer has recorded the highest Campylobacter in chicken results in the most recent quarterly figures reported in the United Kingdom.

The newest data covers April to June for nine retailers on Campylobacter in fresh, shop-bought UK-produced chickens.

For Marks and Spencer, 5 percent were in the maximum category in April, 9 percent in May, and 9 percent in June based on a sample of 376 chickens taken from store shelves across the United Kingdom. This compares to 2 percent above 1,000 CFU/g in January, 3 percent in February and 4 percent in March based on tests of 292 chickens.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) maximum level is 7 percent of birds with more than 1,000 colony forming units per gram (CFU/g) of Campylobacter.

Waitrose has not updated its results from the first quarter of this year or provided them to Food Safety News when asked to do so. … Read more