So-called risky foods have been found on menus of healthcare facilities in Germany and Italy, according to a study published this spring.

Products that may present a risk to vulnerable people – including deli salads, raw/fermented sausage products, soft cheese, smoked fish or frozen berries – were offered on the menu of all facilities in Germany, and one-third of Italian sites. 

Researchers looked at the use of electronic food menu data to support investigations of healthcare-associated foodborne outbreaks through a survey of 35 healthcare facilities in Germany and Italy. They found the use of food menu data in outbreak investigations

Continue Reading Study finds risky foods often available at healthcare facilities

Will knowing which foods are most likely to cause severe foodborne illness increase consumer and industry vigilance? “Risky Meat,” Center for Science and the Public Interest’s (CSPI) April 23 report stated this as their goal, but they miss an opportunity to offer guidance that could really make a difference. “Risky Meat,” written by Sarah Klein and Caroline Smith DeWaal, ranked meat and poultry products from highest to lowest risk based upon 12 years of CDC outbreak data and over 1,700 outbreaks. Rather than merely counting illnesses, the severity of the illness was calculated using the hospitalization rate. For
Continue Reading Risky Meat, Missed Opportunity

Fourteen foodborne pathogens cost $14.1 billion and present a significant public health burden, according to a report released today by the University of Florida’s Emerging Pathogens Institute. The study is the first comprehensive ranking of pathogen-food combinations, identifying the top 10 riskiest pairs.

Campylobacter and poultry, Toxoplasma and pork (and unknown sources), Listeria and deli meats, Salmonella and poultry, and Listeria in dairy products top the list.

Next in the ranking: both Salmonella and Norovirus from “complex foods,” Salmonella from produce, Toxoplasma from Beef, and Salmonella from eggs.

Ninety percent of the health burden is caused by five pathogens: Salmonella

Continue Reading Report Ranks Riskiest Food-Pathogen Combinations

Sprouts . . . nutritionally dense, next to irresistable on sub sandwiches, and an exceptional medium for the proliferation of dangerous bacteria.

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Sprouts have been called one of the 10 riskiest foods.  They have been estimated to have caused 40 percent of foodborne illness outbreaks linked to fresh produce.  And now they are implicated in a major Salmonella outbreak linked to Jimmy John’s sandwiches in Illinois.  Why?  Unlike other fresh produce, seeds need warm and humid conditions to sprout and grow . . . conditions that are also ideal for the growth of bacteria, including Salmonella, Listeria, and E. coli.

Continue Reading Sprouts Again–This Time an Illinois Outbreak