Norwegian cattle, swine and poultry are only rarely infected with Salmonella, according to the results of surveillance programs in 2020.

Occurrence of Salmonella in Norwegian production animals and animal products is very low compared to most other countries. Salmonellosis has increased in recent decades but the majority of infections are acquired abroad.

Surveillance covers live animals such as pigs, poultry and cattle, eggs and fresh meat from pigs and cattle. Any Salmonella isolated in the programs is notifiable to the Norwegian Food Safety Authority (Mattilsynet). The Norwegian Veterinary Institute coordinates the surveillance programs, examines fecal samples and reports the results.
Continue Reading Norwegian surveillance finds low levels of Salmonella

Sequence-based typing has helped to detect clusters and identify outbreaks of hepatitis A in Sweden, according to a study.

Researchers investigated hepatitis A virus (HAV) sequences of 447 cases reported in the country from 2009 to 2018. Findings were published in the journal Eurosurveillance.

In Sweden, hepatitis A is a notifiable disease and is monitored by a national passive surveillance system. Since 2006, sequence-based typing of clinical samples has been carried out by the Public Health Agency of Sweden (Folkhälsomyndigheten) as part of the national microbiological surveillance program.

During the 10-year study period, 990 confirmed hepatitis A cases were
Continue Reading Researchers assess method to help with hepatitis A surveillance

The system for monitoring chemical contamination of food in France works well most of the time but has some gaps, according to ANSES.

The French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) assessed the surveillance and control scheme in place between 2010 and 2014 for inorganic and organic contaminants excluding toxins, mycotoxins, marine biotoxins and plant toxins.

Checks for monitoring chemical contamination of food such as trace metal elements in milk were regarded as suitable and able to address health and regulatory issues in nearly three-quarters of cases.

However, in 16.8 percent of cases, mainly heavy metals
Continue Reading ANSES finds system to monitor chemicals in food largely effective

More than 10,600 people were poisoned by mushrooms and 22 deaths were reported from 2010 to 2017 in France.

A total of 10,625 cases of unintentional poisoning because of ingestion of mushrooms were recorded by French poison control centers (PCCs), according to a study published this month.

The poisonings involved two or more people during the same meal in more than half of the cases. The peak of cases was in October although there was a monthly peak in August for two years. Intoxications occurred mostly in the west, south and east of France.

Ages of patients ranged from 9 
Continue Reading Thousands poisoned by mushrooms in France in recent years

Preventing food safety incidents before they occur is essential to protecting the food chain with most crises avoidable with timely actions and the right investments, according to the FAO.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations believes early warning, prevention and rapid response can make a difference when threats arise. Foodborne diseases place a significant burden on public health and often disrupt trade.

Investing in prevention of food safety threats is more cost-effective and protective of people’s livelihoods and the environment than to respond to fully developed food crises, added the agency.

Surveillance, early detection and warning,
Continue Reading FAO says food safety focus must be on prevention

A limited number of countries contribute the majority of information exchanged through a global food safety network, according to a study.

The International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN) is managed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO) and helps exchange information globally during food safety related incidents.

Data from 2011 to 2017 reveals nine member states were each involved in 24 or more food safety events communicated through INFOSAN, whereas 123 nations were part of three events or less, including 36 countries involved in none. The study was published in the 
Continue Reading Only a few members make up bulk of information in INFOSAN

An government-commissioned study has come back with eight recommendations to improve food safety surveillance in the United Kingdom.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) commissioned the study by RAND Europe in February 2018. In late 2017, the agency started work on an approach to strategic surveillance for food safety that is data-driven, proactive and flexible. RAND Europe is a not-for-profit research organization that works on public policy.

The present approach to food surveillance includes random product sampling by local authorities. Instead of traditional sampling, the FSA wants to use modern analytic techniques and diverse data sources to create a new way
Continue Reading FSA given recommendations to improve food safety surveillance

Between 1998 and 2008, poultry, fish and beef were consistently responsible for the greatest proportion of foodborne illness outbreaks, according to a new government analysis. Experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reviewed the 13,405 food-related outbreaks reported during this time period, identifying 3,264 outbreaks that could be attributed to a specific food category. Fish and poultry remained responsible for the greatest share of these outbreaks over these 11 years — accounting for about 17 percent of outbreaks each — followed closely by beef, which was responsible for 14 percent of outbreaks. Eggs, on the other hand,
Continue Reading 11 Years of Data Show Poultry, Fish, Beef Have Remained Leading Sources of Food-Related Outbreaks

Sequestration is costing the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta about $450 million, or 8 percent of its total funding for fiscal year (FY) 2013. But since CDC is in the business of surveillance and prevention of infectious diseases, don’t look for the federal government to save any money in the long run from the cutback in those activities. The consulting firm GlobalData says not only will CDC be less capable, but also the cuts will fail to accomplish the goal of less government spending. “Disease prevention represents the most economically viable method to reduce long-term healthcare
Continue Reading CDC Cut of $450 Million Will Likely Come at a Greater Cost

In 1993, 623 people in the western U.S. fell ill with a little-known bacteria called E. coli O157:H7. Ultimately, four children would die from their infections; many others suffered long-term medical complications. The bug was later traced to undercooked hamburger served at Jack in the Box restaurants. This outbreak thrust foodborne illness onto the national stage as a real and present threat, sparking a sea change in the way Americans and the government treat this issue. To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 1993 Jack in the Box outbreak, Food Safety News has produced a series of retrospective stories chronicling
Continue Reading Outbreak Detection Since Jack in the Box: A Public Health Evolution