Researchers have raised questions about the threat Yersinia enterocolitica poses to public health.

The study, involving the Quadram Institute, University of East Anglia, and the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) found diverse populations of Yersinia enterocolitica on foods.

The number of yersiniosis cases is low, but it is likely there is underreporting. Not everyone with gastroenteritis reports it; such patients aren’t routinely screened for Yersinia.

Yersinia enterocolitica was isolated from 37 of 50 raw chicken, 8 of 10 pork and salmon samples, and 1 of 10 leafy green samples collected at retail in the UK in 2021.

The percentage of food contamination

Continue Reading Yersinia findings in UK prompt call for better surveillance

Eight times since 2017, growers of leafy greens, especially those producing Romaine lettuce, have been rocked by outbreaks of E. coli O157:H7.  The pathogen associated with the intestines of cows rode in on the greens, causing sicknesses, sending people to hospitals for treatment of kidney ailment, and, oh yes, killing seven who made the mistake of eating a salad.

With more care or just plain luck, the private Leafy Green Marketing Agreement and the public Food and Drug Administration are experiencing a break in E. coli outbreaks that has lasted about two years.

The LGMA and FDA recently volunteered

Continue Reading There’s a break in leafy green outbreaks, but work to eliminate them forever continues

FAO and WHO have published the full report of an analysis looking at reducing the risk of microbiological hazards in fresh fruits and vegetables.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO) document covers leafy vegetables and herbs, berries and tropical fruits, melons and tree fruits, and seeded and root vegetables.

The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Meetings on Microbial Risk Assessment (JEMRA) released a summary of findings last year, but now the final report is available as part of the Microbiological Risk Assessment (MRA) series.

In 2019, the Codex Alimentarius Commission approved the development of guidelines for

Continue Reading FAO and WHO release full report on hazards in produce

Researchers in Canada have detailed the first known outbreak of E. coli O157 associated with kimchi outside of East Asia.

Fourteen Shiga-toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) O157 cases were identified in two provinces in Western Canada. Thirteen patients lived in Alberta and one in Saskatchewan.

Symptom onset dates ranged from Dec. 11, 2021 to Jan. 7, 2022. The age of cases was from 0 to 61 years old and 64 percent were female. No hospitalizations or deaths were reported.

Fermented vegetable products are acidic, so thought to be a poor environment for pathogens, and an unlikely vehicle for outbreaks, according to the study published

Continue Reading Researchers describe first Canadian kimchi E. coli outbreak

The California LGMA (Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement) has announced the initiation of a 2-year food safety study called “Romaine Test & Learn.” 

Approved unanimously by the LGMA Advisory Board, the study aims to collect and analyze pathogen test data for romaine lettuce from LGMA members, encompassing both pre-harvest and post-harvest testing.

Jan Berk, LGMA Chair, expressed the significance of “Romaine Test & Learn,” stating, “This program will allow our members’ individual testing data to collectively provide meaningful, aggregated data to better understand potential risks.” According to LGMA,  the study was Inspired by the Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing program

Continue Reading California LGMA announces romaine testing study

The FDA and CDC are reporting that an outbreak of infections from Listeria monocytogenes in leafy greens has ended.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention first reported on the outbreak on Feb. 15 this year, but the agency determined that the first patient in the outbreak became ill in July of 2018. Laboratory tests showed the victims were infected by the same strain of Listeria.

“When this investigation began, there was not enough information to identify the source of the outbreak,” according to the CDC. “State and local health officials collected as much information as they could by asking

Continue Reading Federal officials declared an outbreak of Listeria infections linked to leafy greens over

Officials in Georgia are investigating an outbreak of cyclospora infections in the northwest part of the state.

The Georgia Department of Public Health Northwest Health District has not released any numbers, but it is urging people with symptoms of cyclospora infection to seek medical treatment and report any confirmed infections to local public health officials.

Click on the graphic to enlarge.

Cyclosporiasis is often associated with eating fresh produce, usually, that was grown outside the United States, according to Georgia officials. However, in recent years there have been confirmed cases in people who have eaten leafy greens or cilantro grown

Continue Reading Cyclospora outbreak in Georgia prompts public health alert

Lancaster Foods has updated their May 5 recall notice to add one product — Lancaster Brand Spinach, item #41714 — because of possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. 

The recall was initiated after notification that a random sample of a single bag of Chopped Kale Greens product with a “BEST IF USED BY May 1 2023” date collected by the New York Agriculture and Markets Food Safety Division tested positive for the Listeria pathogen.

These products were distributed through retailers and distributors in the states of Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania.

The recalled products are beyond their

Continue Reading Lancaster Foods’ leafy green products recall expanded

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services has determined that a laboratory error incorrectly caused last week’s recall announcement concerning lēf Farms “Spice” Packaged Salad Greens. The products from lēf Farms are safe and the recall has been canceled.
 
On May 5, the department issued a press release regarding a potential contamination of E. coli O157 bacteria of a specific lot of lēf Farms “Spice” Packaged Salad Greens. Upon being informed, lēf Farms initiated a recall of the potentially affected products. Subsequent whole genome sequencing was conducted, which determined that the control sample and the lēf Farms

Continue Reading State cancels recall of lēf Farms salads because of lab error

Consumer Reports is out with a new analysis of what it describes as risky foods consumers should know about. 

The list was compiled after the organization looked at data from 2017 through 2022. The researchers focused on widely consumed foods that had recalls during the study period. They did not include recalled food related to allergens or extraneous materials. The report ranked recalls based on how many people died or became ill, as well as how widespread the outbreaks were and how many times a food was recalled.

The 10 foods that made the list are:

  • Deli cheese
  • Continue Reading Consumer Reports compiles a list of 10 ‘risky foods’ to watch out for