According to a study, an outbreak of ciguatera poisoning from contaminated fish affected 19 people on a ship in Australia.

The food poisoning outbreak was reported to the Central Queensland Public Health Unit in December 2021.

A bulk carrier sailing from Higashiharima, Japan, to Gladstone, Australia, reported an incident of sudden illness, with 19 of 20 sailors on board having a combination of gastrointestinal and neurological symptoms.

All 20 sailors consumed a self-caught barracuda and squid prepared by the ship’s cook the day before. Leftover samples of the fish and squid were sent for testing. According to the study published

Continue Reading 19 sailors sick in Ciguatera outbreak

The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) has unearthed a novel seafood toxin responsible for ciguatera poisoning.

The toxin, known as ciguatoxin, is found in large fish such as barracuda, moray eel, snapper and grouper, and can cause tingling and numbness in fingers and toes, nausea, abdominal pain, and even poisoning.

Ciguatera poisoning affects approximately 500,000 people globally each year and stems from algae consumed by these fish. While the toxins were previously known to occur in the Caribbean Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, they have recently been detected in new regions, including the Canary Islands, the

Continue Reading NRC discovers novel seafood toxin that causes ciguatera poisoning

The United States is to lead work on a document covering the prevention or reduction of ciguatera poisoning.

The plan was given the go-ahead at a recent Codex Committee on Contaminants in Foods meeting.

An electronic working group, chaired by the U.S. and co-chaired by France, Spain, and Panama, will work on a proposed code of practice or guidelines for consideration at the next meeting of the committee in 2024.

In 2022, the committee established a working group chaired by the U.S. and co-chaired by the European Union to prepare a discussion paper on the topic.

Generally, codes of practice

Continue Reading U.S. heads up Codex ciguatera efforts

Almost 30 cases of ciguatera fish poisoning have been recorded so far this year in Vanuatu.

The 27 patients range in age from 6 to 67 years old with the majority aged 35 and older. More men than women have been affected. No deaths have been recorded, said the country’s Ministry of Health.

Most cases consumed unspecified reef fish but 16 percent ate snapper and 15 percent had grouper. Ciguatera toxin does not affect the appearance, odor, or taste of fish. Freezing or cooking fish once it has been contaminated will not kill the toxin.

Ciguatera is a foodborne disease

Continue Reading Vanuatu reports ciguatera cases; puffer fish kills 1 in Malaysia

Salmonella was responsible for more than half of all foodborne outbreaks in Australia in 2017, according to recently released figures.

A total of 179 foodborne outbreaks were reported in 2017. They affected 2,130 people resulting in at least 290 hospital admissions and five deaths.

Eggs continued to be a source of Salmonella Typhimurium infection across the country, with 49 egg-related outbreaks affecting 746 people with 163 hospitalizations. The largest sickened 119 people.

Campylobacter was the most common pathogen in 2017 with almost 28,500 cases, despite only becoming notifiable in New South Wales in April 2017. A slight decline in

Continue Reading Salmonella dominates Australian outbreaks

A project looking at the surveillance and control of ciguatera poisoning in Europe has been given a second edition.

A launch meeting for EuroCigua II was attended this past week by representatives of 11 organizations involved in food safety and public health from five European countries.

Partners include the Spanish Institute of Agrifood Research and Technology (IRTA), Canary Islands Health Service (SCS), the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES), German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), Portuguese Economic and Food Safety Authority (ASAE), and Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM).


Continue Reading Ciguatera in Europe project granted follow-up

A German survey has looked at what food issues the population is concerned about.

Half of the respondents think that food bought in Germany is safe and 44 percent think that food safety will continue to increase, said Andreas Hensel, BfR president. Only 12 percent said food was not safe and 18 percent said food safety is decreasing.

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment’s (BfR) consumer monitor looks at people’s perception of health risks.

Half of the respondents are concerned about antibiotic resistance and microplastics in food, found the poll which is done every six months. More than 1,000
Continue Reading Survey reveals food safety concerns in Germany; consumers urged to be wary of wild garlic

An advisory council has urged European and national agencies to recognize that different fish production methods can cause different food safety risks.

The Aquaculture Advisory Council (AAC) said food safety authorities need to give consumers accurate information about the risks related to fish species depending on whether the production method was farmed or caught.

The council, which includes industry and other stakeholders, provides advice to the European Commission and member states on new regulations at EU or national levels that impact aquaculture.

Fish contributes to a healthy diet but can also expose the public to food safety hazards that need
Continue Reading Group stresses safety differences for farmed and caught fish

Salmonella dominated reported outbreaks in Australia in 2016 causing several large incidents, according to a study published recently.

A total of 177 foodborne outbreaks were reported affecting 3,639 people, with at least 348 hospital admissions and four deaths. A food vehicle was identified in 109 outbreaks, researchers report.

Salmonella was the most frequently-identified agent in outbreaks in 2016, responsible for 73 incidents and more than 2,000 illnesses with almost 300 hospitalizations, according to the study published in the latest edition of the Communicable Diseases Intelligence journal.

A previous article covered Australia’s annual surveillance report of notifiable diseases for 2016.
Continue Reading Salmonella top cause of foodborne outbreaks in Australia

The number of foodborne outbreaks declined in the Netherlands this past year with officials citing COVID-19 related measures as the main reason.

In 2020, there were 559 outbreaks with 1,907 patients reported. This is less than 756 outbreaks affecting 2,805 people in 2018 and 735 outbreaks sickening 3,058 in 2019.

Norovirus, Salmonella and Campylobacter are still the cause of most outbreaks, but at a much lower level than previous years. Eight Campylobacter outbreaks were recorded, five for Salmonella and three for norovirus. There were three Listeria outbreaks and one each for Bacillus cereus, Ciguatera and Shigella. The agent was unknown
Continue Reading Netherlands reports decrease in outbreaks related to food