Two studies have been published looking at Toxoplasma in Spanish dry-cured meat products and in meat of adult sheep.

Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by Toxoplasma gondii. Transmission has been attributed to eating undercooked or raw meat.

In the first study, published in the journal Food Control, 552 samples of commercial dry-cured hams, shoulders and dry-cured sausages of different brands from different parts in Spain were purchased for analysis. These were 311 dry-cured hams/shoulders and 241 dry-cured sausages, including samples of chorizo, fuet/longaniza, and salchichón. Dry-cured meats are ready-to-eat (RTE) products and can be consumed without prior cooking.

Information on labels of each meat

Continue Reading Researchers detect low Toxoplasma risk from cured meat products

Researchers have been awarded a grant to help determine how disease caused by a parasite progresses in warm-blooded animals, and how it is transmitted in food.

A team from the United Kingdom and Brazil were given funding of around £500,000 ($650,000) from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (BBSRC-FAPESP).

Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite that can infect all warm-blooded animals. It may cause severe disease in pregnant women and immuno-compromised. People and animals become infected through the ingestion of parasite eggs (oocysts) from cat feces, eating undercooked
Continue Reading Scientists get grant to study Toxoplasma

A study on the presence of Toxoplasma gondii in retail meat in Scotland has highlighted venison as potentially high risk.

Toxoplasma gondii DNA was detected in 48 of 149 venison samples over two sampling periods. Consumption of undercooked meat is a known risk factor for toxoplasmosis infection.

Findings could be used to inform quantitative microbial risk assessments of foodborne toxoplasmosis in Scotland, according to the study published in the journal Food and Waterborne Parasitology.

Sampling results

Of the 300 meat samples purchased for testing in the first sampling period, 39 were positive for Toxoplasma gondii DNA. It was detected
Continue Reading Study suggests higher risk of Toxoplasma infection from venison

Consumer knowledge in Germany of Toxoplasma was better than that of Campylobacter, according to a recent report on a study.

Researchers surveyed 1,008 consumers in August 2017 in Germany via an online panel on Campylobacter, Salmonella and Toxoplasma and transmissibility via meat. The questionnaire had 43 questions in five sections.

Consumers were most informed about Salmonella and general knowledge of Toxoplasma is better than Campylobacter. Campylobacter, despite its high incidence in Germany, was largely unknown to consumers.

With almost 70,000 confirmed cases in 2017, Campylobacter is the main bacterial infection causing diarrheal disease reportable in Germany. Second was salmonellosis with
Continue Reading Survey finds low Campylobacter knowledge in Germany

Australian researchers have detected Toxoplasma gondii in more than one third of sampled ground lamb.

Toxoplasma is a parasite that causes inflammation of the retina, which is the nerve layer of the eye. Anyone may develop retinal inflammation after infection but it is more common and severe in babies, older adults and people with compromised immune systems.

Toxoplasma can be contracted from eating raw or undercooked meat, according to the study published in the Australian New Zealand Journal of Public Health. In Australia, toxoplasmosis is not a notifiable disease. Consequently, health care providers do not have to report confirmed
Continue Reading Study finds Toxoplasma common in Australian lamb meat

Every minute 44 people fall sick from eating contaminated food, according to the World Health Organization.

More than 23 million become ill and an estimated 4,700 die per year, according to data for the WHO’s European Region in a report based on 2010 figures and presented ahead of the first World Food Safety Day June 7. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) are sponsoring World Food Safety Day and intend to make it an annual event.

Officials from the European Region warned figures represent only the “tip of the iceberg”
Continue Reading World Health Organization-Europe says foodborne illness figures are just the ‘tip of the iceberg’

Dutch researchers have advised freezing filet americain to reduce infection risk from the microscopic parasite Toxoplasma.

If filet americain, known in the United States as steak tartare, is frozen for a minimum of 48 hours at a temperature of minus 12 degrees, a Toxoplasma infection can be prevented. Steak tartare is made with raw ground meat, usually beef in the U.S. and sometimes horse or other meats in other countries.

A drop in Toxoplasma infections could lead to a decline in the disease burden of toxoplasmosis, a decrease in healthcare costs, costs of special education, and costs due to productivity
Continue Reading Scientists say freezing steak tartare can decrease Toxoplasma infections

The two federal agencies in charge of food safety in the U.S. have jointly published a manual of advice for avoiding foodborne illness during pregnancy. Pregnant women are at higher risk for severe illness from certain foodborne pathogens, including Listeria monocytogenes and Toxoplasma gondii, because hormonal changes render their immune systems more susceptible to infection. Listeria, Toxoplasma and other bugs can be dangerous or even fatal to both the mother and her unborn baby. “Food Safety for Pregnant Women” was released Wednesday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture along with updated
Continue Reading Government Releases Food Safety Manual for Pregnant Women