Salmonella enteritidis Outbreak in Liverpool

An outbreak of Salmonella enteritidis has reportedly taken place in Liverpool, at the Kirkby takeaway, Woks Cooking. According to the report published in the Liverpool Echo, the outbreak has been linked with infected german eggs and improper maintenance of hygiene in the kitchen. This food outlet has had a history of run ins with the health authorities as it was shut down in July last year, only to be re-opened under new management the very next month.

The current outbreak has been associated with the use of German eggs, which have also been implicated in other outbreaks elsewhere. Salmonellosis is usually spread from fecal contamination of eggs, but this current crop of cases attributed to this single source has also been seen in consumers Grade A eggs, which are clean and do not have any cracks or other ways of getting contaminated. It is believed that the infection had occurred during ovulation and may have been cloistered within as the eggshell formed.

Texas Listeria Cluster Linked to Ice Cream

The Outbreak News Today blog has reported an outbreak of Listeriosis associated with Blue Bell ice cream in Texas, with the following message:

Retailers are urged not to sell or serve products from the Oklahoma plant. They can be identified by checking for letters “O,” “P,” “Q,” “R,” “S” and “T” following the code date printed on the bottom of the product package. Consumers should discard or return Blue Bell products with those letters.

Norovirus Behind Outbreak on Cruise Ship

The passengers and crew on board the cruise ship “Legend of the Seas” were hit by a spate of gastrointestinal symptoms, manifesting as diarrhea and vomiting, caused by Norovirus. In the past few months the CDC has verified five cruise ship outbreaks, in four of which Norovirus was implicates as the causative organism. The cause of the fifth outbreak is yet to be confirmed.

A very contagious infection, Norovirus has emerged as one of the leading causes of gastroenteritis outbreaks in the US.


Ciguatera Fish Poisoning in Canada

Fourteen crew members of a Panamanian ship have been taken ill after suffering from food poisoning attributed to Ciguatera fish. For more, information here is the report: The Star.

This food poisoning is causes by Ciguatoxins, which are some of the most potent sodium channel openers known in nature. Ciguatoxins are formed in the body of fish that feed on dinoflagellates like Gambierdiscus toxicus. These dinoflagellates contain Gambiertoxins, which, after being fed on by carnivorous fishes, get converted into the highly lipid soluble ciguatoxins. There are a number of other toxins involved in the disease process which primarily presents with gastrointestinal symptoms. They include: maitotoxin, scaritoxin and palytoxin. The GI symptoms can make way for neurological symptoms when the patient deteriorates. One of the pathognomonic symptoms in the late stage is cold allodynia, that is a burning sensation in touching something cold.

These toxins are colorless, odorless, tasteless and very heat resistant, making it almost impossible to detect them or destroy them during conventional cooking. Three of the affected 14 crew members are supposedly admitted to the Intensive Care Unit. While there is no specific antidote to this toxin, supportive care and early diagnosis form the keystones of major recovery.