Sunday, 25 August 2013

New test system identifies 193 different yeasts and bacteria known to cause illness

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today allowed marketing in the U.S. of the first mass spectrometer system for automated identification of bacteria and yeasts that are known to cause serious illness in humans. The VITEK MS can identify 193 different microorganisms and can perform up to 192 different tests in a single automated series of testing, with each test taking about one minute.

The VITEK MS can identify yeasts such as those from the Candida, Cryptococcus and Malassezia groups, and bacteria from the Staphylococcaceae, Streptococcaceae, Enterobacteriaceae, Pseudomonadaceae, and Bacteroidaceaefamilies, which are associated with skin infections, pneumonia, meningitis, and bloodstream infections. People with immune systems that are compromised or weakened by HIV/AIDS, cancer treatment, or anti-rejection therapy following an organ transplant are particularly vulnerable to these infections.

It may also prove useful in food safety outbreak investigations in the future.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Freemans Confectionery Supplies recalls Many Thanks Pralines with Hazelnut Filling

Freemans Confectionery Supplies is recalling its Many Thanks Pralines with Hazelnut Filling with a 'best before' date of 20 March 2014, as the product contains peanuts that have been labelled incorrectly as groundnuts. This means the product is a possible health risk to anyone with an allergy to peanuts.
Follow the link for more details.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

FSA action over DNP 'fat burner substances'

The Food Standards Agency is aware that 2,4-Dinitrophenol, known as DNP, is still available and being used by some people within the body building community and by those trying to lose weight. DNP is an industrial chemical that is extremely dangerous to human health.

Depending on the amount consumed, signs of acute poisoning could include fever, dehydration, nausea, vomiting, restlessness, flushed skin, sweating, dizziness, headaches, rapid respiration and rapid or irregular heart-beat, possibly leading to coma and death. Consuming lower amounts over longer periods could lead to cataracts and skin lesions and affect the heart, blood and nervous system. The FSA is taking action both to crack down on the illegal sale of DNP and to raise awareness of the dangers of its use. Follow the link to read more.

Source: FSA

ASDA withdraws one date code of its own-brand Cocktail Sausage and Tomato Dip pack due to a labelling error resulting in incorrect allergen information

The product contains mustard and soya, which have not been declared on the label. This means the product is a possible health risk to anyone with allergy to mustard or soya.
 Follow the link for product details.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

CFIA recalls this week

Undeclared milk in certain Perugina brand chocolate products

Undeclared milk in certain Hometown and Genuine Bakery Deli & Catering brands of bread products

Undeclared sulphites in certain Mom's brand products

Undeclared sulphites in certain ThomasHaas brand confections

Buurma Farms, Inc. Recalls Fresh Cilantro Due to Possible Health Risk

Buurma Farms, Inc. is voluntarily recalling 465 boxes of Cilantro Lot #02D312A4. Buurma Farms recalled this product due to possible Listeria monocytogenes. Buurma Farms, Inc. has not received any case of reported illness related to this product to date. The Cilantro was sold to distributors in Michigan on August 3, 2013. The product was also shipped to retail stores in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. The Cilantro, which was distributed through Meijer and Ben B Schwartz and Sons in Michigan the week of August 5-9, could be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

The Cilantro has a Buurma Farms twist-tie on it. Product affected by the recall is: Cilantro, fresh, UPC #4889, Lot #02D312A4, GTIN: 0 33383 80104 9 Product is sold in ~4 oz. bunches with a Product of USA Buurma Farms #4889 labeled twist tie, Consumers who may have purchased this product should return or dispose of the product. Buurma Farms Inc. became aware of this issue after the Michigan Department of Agriculture conducted a routine test on a sample obtained at Ben B Schwartz and found that sample contained the bacteria. The recall does not affect any other Buurma Farms produce products. Upon learning of the potential contamination, Buurma Farms quickly alerted the retailer and wholesaler and requested they remove the produce from their shelves. The source of the contamination is still under investigation. To date Buurma Farms has not been able to find any other evidence of contamination within their supply chain. Buurma Farms, Inc. is fully co-operating with the FDA in its investigation.

Source: FDA

CFIA allergy recalls

Undeclared mustard and wheat in Haechandle brand Soybean Paste (Jaeresic)

Undeclared mustard in certain Margaritaville Sweet French Style Dressing

Undeclared milk and hazelnuts in certain Spartak (in Russian language) brand Aerated Chocolate Bar Spartak with Cognac Flavor

esco recalls various own brand ambient meals due to a production fault which may result in mould contamination

There has been a production fault with the convenience meals listed in the alert, which could cause the rice in some packs to become mouldy during storage. Follow the link to read more.
Source: FSA

Voluntary Recall of Limited Lots of Maple Almond Butter Jars and Chocolate Hazelnut Butter Jars

Justin’s has initiated a voluntary recall of certain lots of its Maple Almond Butter 16oz jars and its Chocolate Hazelnut Butter 16oz jars due to the presence of foreign metallic fragments in unpackaged nut butter. While no metal has been found in any individual jars, out of an abundance of caution, Justin’s initiated this voluntary recall. There have been no consumer complaints, illnesses or injuries reported to date.

Whole Foods Market Recalls Sour Cherry and Blueberry Crostatas Due to Undeclared Allergen

Whole Foods Market’s Northern California region is recalling its sour cherry and blueberry crostatas due to use of an egg wash that was undeclared on the product label. People who have allergies to eggs run the risk of serious or life-threatening reactions if they consume this product. Follow the link for more details.

Source: FDA

Certain raw oysters and clams harvested in British Columbia may contain paralytic shellfish toxin

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is warning the public not to serve or consume the raw shellfish products described in the press release because they may contain paralytic shellfish toxins that can cause illness if consumed. These shellfish products were primarily distributed to wholesalers and institutional clients such as restaurants.

However, the affected shellfish products may also have been sold in smaller quantities at some retail seafood counters. Consumers who are unsure whether they have the affected products are advised to check with their retailer or supplier. These products have been distributed in Alberta and British Columbia. However, they may have been distributed in other provinces and territories. There have been no reported cases of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) associated with the consumption of these products.

 Paralytic shellfish toxins are a group of natural toxins that sometimes accumulate in bivalve shellfish that include oysters, clams, scallops, mussels and cockles. Non-bivalve shellfish, such as whelks, can also accumulate PSP toxins. These toxins can cause PSP if consumed. Symptoms of PSP include tingling and numbness of the lips, tongue, hands and feet, and difficulty swallowing. In severe situations, this can proceed to difficulty walking, muscle paralysis, respiratory paralysis and death in as quickly as 12 hours. The shellfish processors are voluntarily recalling the affected products from the marketplace. The CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.

Certain Clic, Al Nakhil and Al Koura brand Tahina products may contain Salmonella bacteria

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is warning the public, food service establishments, and retailers, not to consume, serve, use, or sell the tahina products described in the press release because they may be contaminated with Salmonella. Some of the affected product was sold in bulk and may have been repacked at retail. Consumers who cannot determine the original product identity are advised to check with their retailer to determine if they have one of the affected products. There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of these products.

The CFIA is working with the Canadian importers to remove all affected products from the market place. The CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall. All Tahina products, manufactured by Al Nakhil Co, of Lebanon between September 5, 2012 and April 21, 2013, are affected by this alert. At this time, the following products have been identified:

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Diwa brand frozen grated coconut from the Philippines may contain Salmonella bacteria

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Diwa Products Ltd. are warning the public not to consume Diwa brand Grated Coconut described in the press release because it may be contaminated with Salmonella. The Diwa brand coconut, sold frozen, product of Philippines, is affected by this alert. There have been no confirmed illnesses associated with the consumption of this product. The importer, Diwa Products Ltd., Toronto, ON is voluntarily recalling the affected product from the marketplace. The CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.

Follow the link for product details.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Cyclospora Outbreak: 539 Sick

As of August 12, 2013, CDC has been notified of 539 cases of Cyclospora infection in the US from the following 19 states: Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York (including New York City), Ohio, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Certain Ballarini brand gorgonzola cheese may contain Listeria monocytogenes

The public warning issued on August 2, 2013 has been updated to include additional Best Before date codes of the affected product. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Jan K Overweel Ltd. are warning the public not to consume the Ballarini brand Gorgonzola cheese products described in the press release because the products may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. The following Ballarini brand Gorgonzola cheese, product of Italy, is affected by this alert. Also affected by this alert are the above products which may have been sold in smaller packages, cut and wrapped by some retailers. Consumers are advised to contact the retailer to determine if they have the affected products. There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of these products. The importer, Jan K Overweel Ltd., Woodbridge, ON, is voluntarily recalling the affected products from the marketplace. The CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.

Certain veal liver sold in Quebec may contain E. coli O157:H7 bacteria

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and White Veal Meat Packers Ltd. (EST 412) are warning the public not to consume Veal Liver described in the press release because they may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. The affected product, Veal Liver, was sold from the following retail stores in Quebec from July 31, 2013 to August 9, 2013, inclusive. Consumers who are unsure if they have purchased the affected product are advised to contact their retailer. There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product. White Veal Meat Packers Ltd., (EST 412), Toronto, ON is voluntarily recalling the affected product from the marketplace. The CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

ASDA withdraws all date codes of own brand Beastie Bites due to undeclared allergens

The product contains mustard, celery and wheat, which have not been declared on the label. This means the product is a possible health risk to anyone with allergy to mustard, celery or wheat or an intolerance wheat or gluten.

Product identification: Product: ASDA Chosen by you Beastie Bites Pack size: 6 x 25g Best before date: all date codes

Action taken by the company: The company has withdrawn the above product from sale. Customer notices have been displayed in stores to alert consumers to the reasons for the withdrawal and to explain the actions they can take if they have purchased this product. An updated copy of the point of sale notice is attached to this alert and has been posted to the ASDA website. In addition, the company has updated the relevant allergy support organisations who will inform their at-risk members of the withdrawal. No other ASDA products are known to be affected.

Advice to consumers: Customers with an allergy to mustard, celery or wheat or an intolerance wheat or gluten are advised not to eat this product but to return it to the nearest ASDA store for a full refund. Customers can also contact the ASDA Customer Relations – 0800 952 0101.

Source: FSA

Cyclospora Outbreak Nears 400

As of August 1, 2013 (5pm EDT), CDC has been notified of 400 cases of Cyclospora infection from the following 17 health departments: Iowa, Texas, Nebraska, Florida, Wisconsin, New York City, Georgia, Illinois, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Connecticut, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, and Ohio. Follow the link to find out more.

Source: CDC

Certain Ballarini brand Gorgonzola cheese may contain Listeria monocytogenes

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Jan K Overweel Ltd. are warning the public not to consume the Ballarini brand Gorgonzola cheese products described in the press release because the products may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. Also affected by this alert are the below products which may have been sold in smaller packages, cut and wrapped by some retailers. Consumers are advised to contact the retailer to determine if they have the affected products. There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of these products. The importer, Jan K Overweel Ltd., Woodbridge, ON, is voluntarily recalling the affected products from the marketplace. The CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.

Hepatitis A Outbreak 10 State, 158 People

As of August 1, 2013, 158 people have been confirmed to have become ill from hepatitis A after eating ‘Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend’ in 10 states: Arizona (23), California (77), Colorado (28), Hawaii (8), New Hampshire (1), New Jersey (1), New Mexico (9), Nevada (6), Utah (3), and Wisconsin (2). Currently, 6 of the confirmed cases are household contacts of confirmed cases (secondary cases). 11 children age 18 or under were also ill.

None were previously vaccinated. Illness onset dates range from 3/31/2013 – 7/14/2013 69 (44%) ill people (all over 18 years of age) have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported By combining information gained from FDA’s traceback and traceforward investigations and the CDC’s epidemiological investigation, FDA and CDC have determined that the most likely vehicle for the hepatitis A virus appears to be a common shipment of pomegranate seeds from a company in Turkey, Goknur Foodstuffs Import Export Trading. FDA will detain shipments of pomegranate seeds from Goknur when they are offered for import into the United States. These pomegranate seeds were used by Townsend Farms to make the Townsend Farms and Harris Teeter Organic Antioxidant Blends and by Scenic Fruit Company to make the Woodstock Frozen Organic Pomegranate Kernels.

Source: Marler Blog

New Zealand recalls dairy products over botulism fears

New Zealand's main dairy exporter, Fonterra, has found a strain of bacteria causing botulism in some of its products, including infant formula and sports drinks. It has led to a global recall of up to 1,000 tons of dairy products across seven countries, including China.

Fonterra has not named the eight companies affected. Botulism is one of the most dangerous forms of food poisoning, often leading to paralysis. New Zealand's Ministry of Primary Industries confirmed on Saturday that the tainted products included infant formula, sports drinks, protein drinks and other beverages. The bacteria was found in three batches of Fonterra's whey protein used in infants' Nutricia Karicare follow-on formula, Fonterra said. Product lock down The whey product was produced in May 2012, with a dirty pipe at one of its processing plants in Waikato responsible for the contamination, the company said. Nutricia has locked down all five batches of formula believed to contain the tainted product and says none of its product was actually sold.

Fonterra - the fourth largest diary company in the world - says it has urged its customers to urgently check their supply chains. "We are acting quickly," Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings said. "Our focus is to get information out about potentially affected product as fast as possible so that it can be taken off supermarket shelves and, where it has already been purchased, can be returned." The countries affected beside New Zealand include China, Australia, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Saudi Arabia. Fonterra said there had been no reports of any illness linked to the affected whey product. The dairy industry powers New Zealand's economy, with the country exporting up to 95% of its milk. Fonterra is a major supplier of bulk milk powder products used in milk formula in China.

Source: BBC News

FSA food recalls this week

Lipari Foods Recalls Wholey Peeled Cooked Tail-on 31/40 Count Shrimp Because of Possible Health Risk - Salmonella

Whole Foods Market recalls Trois Comtois Morbier cheese because of possible health risk - Listeria Monocytogenes

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Alderman Farms Recalls Salmonella Tomatoes

Alderman Farms Sales Corporation has announced it is recalling one pint containers of Certified Organic Cherry Tomatoes because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. An Alderman Farms’ wholesale customer in Florida purchased 10 cartons containing 12 one-pint containers of the affected cherry tomatoes on 5/22/13. There were no other cherry tomatoes sold from this lot. Alderman Farms reports it became aware of the contamination after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration collected a sample of the cherry tomatoes located at Alderman Farms’ Packing facility located in Boynton Beach.

The sample of lot number 13269 found the cherry tomatoes to be contaminated with Salmonella. Alderman Farms is investigating the source of the contamination. Alderman Farms conducted an independent test on the above mentioned lot and it was found to be negative of Salmonella. No illnesses have been associated with the product.

Source: Food Poison Blog

E. coli Recall: National Beef Packing

National Beef Packing Company, a Liberal, Kan., firm, is recalling approximately 50,100 pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has announced.

 The following products are subject to recall: 10 lb. chub of “National Beef” 93/ 7 Fine Ground Beef, Product Code 0707 10 lb. chub of “NatureSource” 80/20 Fine Ground Chuck, Product Code 7031 10 lb. chub of “NatureSource” 85/15 Fine Ground Beef, Product Code 7054 10 lb. chub of “NatureSource” 90/10 Fine Ground Beef, Product Code 7344 10 lb. chub of “NatureSource” 93/ 7 Fine Ground Beef, Product Code 7004 10 lb. chub of “NatureWell 80/20 Fine Ground Chuck, Product Code 7484 10 lb. chub of “NatureWell” 85/15 Fine Ground Beef, Product Code 7454 10 lb. chub of “NatureWell” 90/10 Fine Ground Sirloin, Product Code 7577 10 lb. chub of “NatureWell” 93/7 Fine Ground Beef, Product Code 7404

All these products bear the establishment number “EST. 208A” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The products were produced on July 18, 2013 and were shipped in 40 to 60 pound cases to retailers, wholesalers, and food service distributors nationwide. The problem was discovered through routine FSIS monitoring which confirmed a positive result for E. coli O157:H7. An investigation determined National Beef Packing Co. was the sole supplier of the source materials used to produce the positive product. FSIS and the company have received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of these products. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact a healthcare provider.

Source: EColi blog