China records large spike in mushroom poisoning incidents

The amount of mushroom poisonings and the number of people affected doubled this past year in China compared to 2019. In 2020, the number of investigations reached 676, involving 102 species of poisonous mushrooms, 24 of which were newly recorded in China. Mushroom poisoning incidents from 24 provincial-level administrative divisions involved 1,719 patients and 25…

Irish complaints include hair, snails, moths, stones, live insects in food

Consumer complaints in 2020 included hair in foods, glass in soup and insects and rodent droppings in products, according to the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI). In total, 2,772 grievances were handled by the FSAI’s advice line this past year, with 34 percent relating to unfit food and 30 percent to poor hygiene standards.…

EU extends changes to control rules again because of COVID-19

Temporary rules covering official controls in Europe because of the coronavirus pandemic have been extended for the fourth time. The implementing regulation covers a variety of activities to ensure food and feed law, as well as rules on animal health and welfare and plant health and protection products. The controls initially came into force in…

Researchers find connection between meat-production chain contamination and UTIs

Researchers have found epidemiologic and genomic evidence that the meat-production chain is a possible major source of Staphylococcus saprophyticus causing human urinary tract infections. The study titled, “Foodborne Origin and Local and Global Spread of S. saprophyticus Causing Human Urinary Tract Infections,” provides insight into the origin, transmission, and population structure of pathogenic S. saprophyticus…

Studies highlight outbreaks in India and Philippines

Three studies have been published describing water and foodborne outbreaks in India and the Philippines. The articles, in a supplement of the International Journal of Infectious Diseases, involve Salmonella, Hepatitis A and suspected anthrax. They are accepted conference abstracts that were to be presented at the International Congress on Infectious Diseases in September 2020 in…

More soft cheeses added to concerns linked to Listeria outbreak

Federal officials have broadened a warning about soft cheese linked to a Listeria monocytogenes outbreak. The warning now includes all cheese sold under the brand name El Abuelito. “Out of an abundance of caution, and due to the severity of Listeria infection, the FDA is expanding its warning to include all El Abuelito brand cheeses…

Letter From The Editor: Does the USDA do it?

Opinion Tom Vilsack is again the Secretary of Agriculture, having won U.S. Senate confirmation in a 92-to-7 vote Tuesday. Sonny Perdue is back home in Georgia playing with his grandchildren. Long live the Secretary of Agriculture, but it’s going to be difficult for some to see much difference with this transition. We are talking about two popular…

Nine countries part of Salmonella outbreak linked to raw, frozen poultry...

Nearly 200 people in eight European countries and the United Kingdom are involved in a Salmonella outbreak ongoing since May 2018. Salmonella Enteritidis infections have been linked to frozen breaded chicken products from Poland with the most recent illness in the UK in December 2020. Denmark has two infections, Finland has four, France has 33,…

New study predicts food irradiation market growth over coming years

An intelligence report published by Advance Market Analytics details insights about the potential future of food irradiation around the world, pointing to food safety among the benefits. United States companies will contribute to the maximum growth of the global food irradiation market throughout the predicted period of 2021-2026, according to the report “Food Irradiation Market…

Investigators still looking for source of outbreak of E. coli infections...

Austrian authorities are investigating an outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) infections that has affected a handful of people. Between September and December 2020, six people fell ill with infections from E. coli O146:H28. Those sick live in five federal states. Two people needed hospital treatment. As yet, there is no indication as to…

Study looks at USA outbreaks of foodborne Salmonella Enteritidis from 1990-2015

A Michigan team of researchers has published “Outbreaks of Foodborne Salmonella Enteritidis in The United States 1990-2015: Epidemiologic and Spatial-temporal Trends Analyses” in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases. The 37-page report is posted in the Journal’s February issue. Results, according to the abstract, “found that egg-based dishes were the most common food vehicle reported…

Dozens report illnesses after eating at Arby’s restaurant

Since Feb. 15, at least 40 people have reported becoming ill after eating at an Arby’s restaurant in Springfield, IL. Health officials are investigating and an inspection on Feb. 25 still showed a food temperature violation. Officials have not yet found the cause of the illnesses. The Sangamon County restaurant inspection records show the original…