Contaminated water linked to E.coli outbreak in Ireland

IRELAND – The Health and Service Executive (HSE) of Ireland is investigating an outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), in the town of Gorey in North Wexford linked to consumption of contaminated water. There have been 52 confirmed illnesses tied to the incident, with a number of hospitalizations. At Gorey water treatment plant in County Wexford, there was a power outage and a chlorine pump failure resulting in water leaving the plant and entering the public supply without the appropriate level of disinfection for five days beginning Aug. 19.…

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Researchers find lettuce from low-income communities to be contaminated

U.S – Researchers from the University of Houston have established that Houstonians living in low-income and urban neighborhoods are at a higher risk of contracting gastrointestinal illnesses, possibly linked to the lettuce they purchase from grocery stores in their community. The findings, published in the Journal of Food Protection, focus on loose-leaf romaine lettuce. According to the study, loose-leaf romaine lettuce, when purchased from supermarkets in low-income communities in Houston, was found to be contaminated with disease-causing microorganisms. Researchers said the discovery raises questions about quality and safety. “Looking at…

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Scientists discover cronobacter in RTE foods of plant origin

POLAND – Scientists in Poland have uncovered the presence of cronobacter in samples of nuts, seeds and dried fruit during a study aimed at determining the microbiological quality of commercial ready-to-eat food (RTE) products of plant origin. Analyses were carried out on 64 samples of nuts, dried fruits, candied fruits, seeds, and mixes of seeds, dried fruits and nuts. Samples were tested for the total plate count of bacteria (TPC), counts of yeasts and molds, and the occurrence of cronobacter. Cronobacter bacteria are ubiquitous organisms often linked with life-threatening infections…

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Vietnam’s giant noodle makers Acecook, Thien Huong face products recall

VIETNAM – The Food Safety Authority of Ireland has recalled some batches of Vietnam’s leading noodle maker, Acecook’s Hao Hao and ‘Good’ branded noodles owing to the presence of ethylene oxide, an illegal pesticide. Ethylene oxide is a chemical used as a pesticide or sterilizing agent, and classified as a mutagen, carcinogen and reproductive toxicant by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). It has been banned in the European Union (EU) since 1981 and Ireland is a member. Although the chemical is banned in the EU, it’s still used in non-EU…

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Scientists come up with National Genomic Atlas to aid in Listeria tracking

U.S – Cornell University food scientists have created a new genomic and geological mapping tool that may soon prove Listeria monocytogenes, one of the most noxious foodborne pathogens, easier to track down in food recalls and other investigations. The national atlas will inform scientists on the residence of listeria and other related species within the contiguous United States, which could help them trace and pinpoint sources of listeria found in ingredients, food processing facilities, and finished products, according to research published in Nature Microbiology. “As we’re trying to figure out…

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FAO/WHO publishes review of Vibrio risk assessment tools

GLOBAL – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO) have published a review of risk assessment tools for Vibrio in 2020 that covers an expert meeting  held at the Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) in the United Kingdom, in order to provide an update on the state-of-the-art advice regarding risk assessment for Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Vibrio vulnificus in seafood. The discussions on Vibrio in seafood have revealed a number of developments in recent years. Contributors included Erin Stokes, of…

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Namibia recalls Tiger Brands products as other affected countries follow suite

SOUTH AFRICA – Namibia’s health ministry has instructed local environmental health practitioners to withdraw various KOO canned products, Hugo’s Baked Beans and Helderberg Peas, produced between 1 May 2019 and 5 May 2021, from Namibian shelves. Canned products forming part of this recall cover various KOO canned vegetable products, excluding all KOO canned fruit products, KOO pilchards and KOO products packaged in glass. South African manufacturer Tiger Brands recently issued a recall of some 20 million KOO and Hugo’s canned vegetable products, as they may have a defective side seam…

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