Tag Archives: foodborne illness

Foodborne outbreak due to E. coli

“At least 40 people in 16 states have been sickened by the E. coli outbreak, and “romaine lettuce from the Salinas, Calif., growing region is a likely source of this outbreak,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday. ” click here

Exposure to Disinfection Byproducts can occur via Vegetables

Coroneo V, Carraro V, Marras B, Marrucci A, Succa S, Meloni B, Pinna A, Angioni A, Sanna A, Schintu M. PRESENCE OF TRIHALOMETHANES IN READY-TO-EAT VEGETABLES DISINFECTED WITH CHLORINE. Food additives and contaminants. Part A, Chemistry, analysis, control, exposure and risk assessment. Food Addit Contam Part A Chem Anal Control Expo Risk Assess. 2017 Sep 21. doi: 10.1080/19440049.2017.1382723.

Trihalomethanes (THMs) – CHCl3, CHCl2Br, CHClBr2 and CHBr3 – are drinking water disinfection by-products (DBPs). These compounds can also be absorbed by different types of foods, including ready-to-eat (RTE) fresh vegetables. The potential absorption of THMs during washing of RTE vegetables could pose a potential risk to consumers’ health. The concentration of THMs in the water used in the manufacturing process of these products shall not exceed the limit of 100 or 80 µgL-1 according to European Union (EU) and United States legislation respectively. By contrast, there is little information about the presence of such compounds in the final product. This study evaluated the concentration of THMs in different types of RTE vegetables (carrots, iceberg lettuce, lettuce, mixed salad, parsley, parsley and garlic, rocket salad, valerian) after washing with chlorinated water. In the 115 samples analyzed, the average value of total THMs was equal to 76.7 ng g-1. Chloroform was the THM present in the largest percentage in all the RTE vegetables. These results show that the process of washing RTE vegetables should be optimized in order to reduce the risk for consumers associated with the presence of DBPs.

E. coli 0157:H7 Outbreak Linked to Iceberg Lettuce and Agricultural Water

Richard J. Gelting,  Mansoor Baloch,  Max Zarate-Bermudez,  Maha N. Hajmeer,
J. Christopher Yee, Teresa Brown,  Benson J. Yee. A systems analysis of irrigation water quality in an environmental assessment of an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in the United States linked to iceberg lettuce. Agricultural Water Management. Mar2015, Vol. 150, p111-118.

A foodborne Escherichia coli O157:H7 outbreak in December 2006 included 77 illnesses reported in Iowa and Minnesota. Epidemiologic investigations by health departments in those states and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified shredded iceberg lettuce ( Lactuca sativa L.) as the vehicle of transmission. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Minnesota and California public health agencies traced the lettuce to several growing regions in California based on information from a lettuce processor in Minnesota. Samples from an environmental investigation initiated by the California Food Emergency Response Team (CalFERT) revealed a genetic match between the outbreak strain and environmental samples from a single farm, leading to an in-depth systems-based analysis of the irrigation water system on that farm. This paper presents findings from that systems-based analysis, which assessed conditions on the farm potentially contributing to contamination of the lettuce. The farm had three sources of irrigation water: groundwater from onsite wells, surface water delivered by a water management agency and effluent from wastewater lagoons on nearby dairy farms. Wastewater effluent was blended with the other sources and used only to irrigate animal feed crops. However, water management on the farm, including control of wastewater blending, appeared to create potential for cross-contamination. Pressure gradients and lack of backflow measures in the irrigation system might have created conditions for cross-contamination of water used to irrigate lettuce. The irrigation network on the farm had evolved over time to meet various needs, without an overall analysis of how that evolution potentially created vulnerabilities to contamination of irrigation water. The type of systems analysis described here is one method for helping to ensure that such vulnerabilities are identified and addressed. A preventive, risk-based management approach, such as the Water Safety Plan process for drinking water, may also be useful in managing irrigation water quality.

Fluoride in the food chain, Bihar, India

Ranjan S, Yasmin S. Assessment of Fluoride Intake Through Food Chain and Mapping of Endemic Areas of Gaya District, Bihar, India. Bulletin of environmental contamination and toxicology 2014 Oct 8.

Accumulation of Fluoride (F) was found in the soil and vegetation of the F-endemic villages of Gaya district, Bihar, India. The mean F level in the groundwater of F non-endemic (control) area was 0.59 ± 0.03 (n = 11), while that of F-endemic area was 2.36 ± 0.23 (n = 27). Water soluble F (WSF) and total F (TF) in the soil of F-endemic villages were significantly higher as compared to the F non-endemic area. Similarly, WSF and TF in the vegetables and the grain crops (cereals, legumes and oilseeds) of the F-endemic area were significantly higher as compared that of the control area. Leafy vegetables showed higher accumulation of F with WSF and TF in spinach ranging from 3.62 to 4.82 and 9.88-12.88 mg/kg respectively. The WSF and TF in coriander ranged from 9.66 to 10.88 and 23.11-25.73 mg/kg respectively.

Click here for full paper (Open Access).

aspartame deemed safe by European Food Safety Authority

“Aspartame and its breakdown products are safe for human consumption at current levels of exposure, EFSA concludes in its first full risk assessment of this sweetener. To carry out its risk assessment, EFSA has undertaken a rigorous review of all available scientific research on aspartame and its breakdown products, including both animal and human studies.”

click here for press release.


Foodborne illness more frequent than from drinking water

Dozens ‘violently ill’ after mass Denver Rescue Mission ‘food poisoning’

“Dozens of people were rushed to hospital after a suspected mass food poisoning   at the Denver Rescue Missiona, authorities said.”

Click here for full article…..

Multi-state salmonella outbreak caused by contaminated food

Drinking water is typically blamed falsely for illness, but contaminated food causes millions of illnesses each year…….Salmonella in particular.

Click here for news report of the current foodborne Salmonella outbreak spanning 19 states….

Click here for more informatiom on Salmonella…