Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) in South Eastern Tasmania

CDI March 2013 – Alison Turnbull, Rosalind Harrison, Scott McKeown


– PSP is a public health risk worldwide, resulting from the consumption of seafood that has bioaccumulated toxins produced by microalgae

– A male fish farm worker developed symptoms approximately 20 minutes after ingesting 12 fresh cooked wild mussels

– Mussels were collected from the side of commercial fish cages in Port Esperance, south eastern Tasmania.

– Those cages already under microalgae quarantine / health warning due to water and flesh monitoring results

– commercial fisheries are covered by shellfish QA programs, but recreational harvesting is an unmanaged public health risk.

‘Surprise’: Outbreak of Campylobacter infection associated with chicken liver pâté at a surprise birthday party, Adelaide, Australia, 2012.

Western Pac Surveill Response J. 2012 Nov 13;3(4):16-9. doi: 10.5365/WPSAR.2012.3.4.011. Print 2012 Oct.


– surprise birthday party at a restaurant

– significant association between illness and consumption of chicken liver pâté

– cooking process used in the preparation of chicken liver pâté may have been inconsistent, resulting in some portions not cooked adequately to inactivate potential Campylobacter contamination.

– chicken liver products are a known source of Campylobacter infection; therefore, education of food handlers remains a high priority.


International outbreak investigation of Salmonella Heidelberg associated with in-flight catering

07/26/2013 from Epidemiology and Infection, FirstView Article, pp 1-10

– Outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg was identified in a group of Irish travellers returning from Tanzania.

– Significant association between illness and consumption of milk tart (OR 10•2) and an egg dish (OR 6) served on-board the flight.

– No food consumed before the flight was associated with illness.

BOTULISM – Dozens of Italians taken to hospital after being poisoned by ‘contaminated pesto sauce’

More than 50 people hospitalised from pesto contaminated with Botulinum

Company confirmed presence of C. botulinum in one batch of its pesto, and said tests are ongoing

In 2012, the UK Food Standards Agency identified an outbreak from Italian olives




– Man canned Elk meat himself  “Borrowed a pressure cooker, used an old family recipe for canning,” he said.

– Had way too much meat to deal with,” he said. The pressure cooker was too small. So he decided to shortcut the process.

– Once the jars sealed airtight he would take them out of the pressure cooker and start a new batch.

– The next day, he heard a pop in the pantry. He found the jar with the popped seal, put it in the fridge and ate it the next day.

– The following week he heard another lid pop. Just as he had before, He found the jar and stuck it in the fridge. And a few days later he ate it for supper.

– Hospital, paralysis, anti-toxin injected, slow recovery, still requires cane to walk



RTI (right to information): restaurants fined for filthy conditions


– 35  (Gold Coast) restaurants prosecuted in the first five months of this year, along with 93 businesses in 2012.

– Biggest fines were given to Lemongrass Thai (Main Beach), Eddie’s Crazy Fish Sushi Bar (Southport), India@Q Restaurant (Mermaid Waters) and Good Choice Restaurant (Helensvale).

– Breaches like filthy work conditions and poor hygiene led to the restaurants being fined almost $50,000.

Teachers run away after 21 kids die from poisoned lunches at Indian school

Posted by Doug Powell on 07/17/2013 from Barfblog

– 21 children died and more than two dozen were hospitalized Tuesday after being poisoned by an insecticide-laced lunch.

– Children complained that the food tasted odd and soon suffered severe vomiting and diarrhea.

– After the children’s complaints, the school’s cook tasted the meal and promptly fell ill as well.

– School meal programs in India, like many government programs, are rife with fraud.

– After seeing the children get sick, the school’s teachers and administrators fled the school

– Parents brought the sickened children to the hospital. Seven were dead on arrival and seven died soon after



FSANZ Consumer Level Recalls

JULY-8AUG 2013

-Eden Smokehouse Smoked Mussels Mexican Chilli

Sapphire Coast Smoked Fish Pty Ltd – L. monocytogenes

– Glico Collon Biscuits – Accord United – Undeclared allergens

– beng-beng’ Chocolate Bar Box – Carefour – Undeclared allergens (milk and soy)

From www.foodstandards.gov.au


Statement on contaminated dairy products imported from New Zealand

FSANZ 4/8/13

– Fonterra recall of several batches of whey protein concentrate (WPC) possibly contaminated with C. botulinum

– subsequent recalls of two Nutricia products

– WPC used in a range of dairy products including baby formula and sports supplement drinks.

– No cases of illness associated with the products have been reported.

– Australia received two batches of the potentially contaminated WPC from New Zealand.

– One failed a test for the presence of Clostridia so was not allowed to be sold for human consumption. Some of this product may have been sold as stockfeed and tracing of this product has commenced.

– Other was used as an ingredient in products that have been exported to New Zealand, Thailand, Malaysia and China. The consignments were tested for Clostridia bacteria and found to meet

A body building supplement has been assessed by New Zealand as having negligible risk to human health because it has been subject to heat (UHT) treatment.




Journal of Food Protection.  2013. 76: 1466-1470.

Genetic Characterization of Listeria monocytogenes Isolates from Food Processing Facilities.

Eglezos, S., G. A. Dykes, B. X. Huang, M. S. Turner and R. Seale.


I will be presenting for AIFST at  Café Scientifique – Safe Food and Longer Shelf Life

On Thursday 15 August 2013, 5:00pm – 9:00pm

Free industry event at Health and Food Sciences Precinct

39 Kessels Rd, Coopers Plains

More info  http://safefoodlongershelflife.eventbrite.com.au

AIFST Food Spoilage seminar series

Preservation of Foods by the Application of Non Thermal Processing

Michelle Bull – CSIRO

Wednesday 21st  of AUGUST, 2013 – 6:30pm – 8:00pm

Room W413 University of Southern Queensland TOOWOOMBA

TRANSPORT TO TOOWOOMBA – Cars/bus will be leaving from the carpark

of CSIRO FNS (39 Kessels Road, Coopers Plains) at 3:30pm.

Details/booking on AIFST’s ‘Events Calendar’ on aifst.asn.au.