Food safety incidents
During the second quarter of 2020, the INFOSAN Secretariat has been involved in 29 food security incidents with 59 WHO member states and two regions of WHO member states. There were 13 biological threat incidents (Salmonella (5), Listeria monocytogenes (3),
Clostridium botulinum (2), Vibrio cholera (1), and two include an unspecified biological hazard), six with a chemical hazard (methanol (3), histamine (2) and patulin (1)), five including an undeclared allergen (cashew and pistachio).
(1), sesame (1), wheat (1), mustard (1) and peanut (1)), three with one physical hazard (glass (3)), and two with unspecified hazards.
Food categories typically involved in 29 incidents during the second quarter of 2020 include fish and other seafood (5), alcoholic beverages (3), meat and meat products (3), mixed food (3), fruits and fruit products (3 ), Milk and dairy products
(3), cereals and cereal-based products (2), food for infants and young children (1), herbs, spices and spices (1), nuts and oilseeds (1), products for special nutrition (1) , Snacks, desserts and other products (1), vegetable and vegetable
Products (1), and legumes and pulses (1).
During such international food security incidents, the Infosain Secretariat relies on the rapid action of the National Infoson Emergency Contact Points to respond to requests for information. The rapid sharing of information through INFOSAN enables members to implement
Appropriate risk management measures to prevent disease.
Food security incidents in this quarter include from all WHO regions: Europe (34), followed by the Western Pacific (11), the Americas (6), Africa (5), southeast Asia (2), and finally the eastern Mediterranean. (2) ).
Multi-country outbreak of listeriosis associated with imported enoki mushrooms from the Republic of Korea
During the second quarter of the year, the Infosain Secretariat continued to follow this food safety incident after reports of listeriosis cases involving consumption of Enoki mushrooms from the Republic of Korea (ROK) in the United States (USA). (n = 36), and in Canada (n = 6) which are related to whole genome sequencing (WGS) in a group of cases in the United States. In addition, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) followed its food safety investigation and collected additional Enoki mushroom samples Listeria monocytogenes was detected. These findings subsequently prompted the recall of stranded products in Canada in March 2020. L. Monocytogens Isolations from these samples were also genetically associated with a group of cases.
In April 2020, the INFOSAN Secretariat was made aware of six listeriosis cases in Australia, notified between October 2017 and March 2020. The cases were linked to an outbreak of listerios in the United States through phylogenetic analysis of WGS that was related to consumption of Enoki mushrooms. Imported from the Republic of Korea (United States cases reported between 2016 and 2019). Investigations in Australia identified Enoki mushrooms imported from a single Korean supplier, which were also identified as being distributed to the United States. These were confirmed to be contaminated by the order of spread Listeria monocytogenes Through phylogenetic analysis. As a result, Enoki mushrooms were planted in Australia on 10 April 2020. Australia also reminded consumers of the risks of listeriosis and specifically advised that Enoki mushrooms should be cooked before consumption.
Through engagement with the INFOSAN Emergency Contact Point (ECP) at RoK, the INFOSAN Secretariat was made aware of the results of local investigations about the international distribution of transplanted Enoki mushrooms. The ECP in RoK confirmed that Enoki mushrooms were distributed by a single exporter from Australia, Canada, Hong Kong SAR (China), Indonesia, Myanmar, Netherlands, Philippines, Singapore and the United States. A series of actions were implemented by officials at RoK to reduce risk, such as on a package of enoki mushrooms to alert consumers to food safety education and the need to cook products before consumption. Incorporation of a notice.
The INFOSAN Secretariat notified the ECP to the recipient countries of the distribution of the enochi mushrooms and referred them to WGS details previously shared on the INFOSAN Community website to assist in the identification of related clinical or food isolates that may be First identified. In addition to cases reported in Australia (n = 5), Canada (n = 6) and the USA (n = 36), French authorities confirmed that five isolates from Enoki mushrooms collected from Röke collected in 2017 and distributed through the Netherlands , Similar shared core genome multicoccus sequence typing (cgMLST).
The Implan Secretariat was not told of any additional disease associated with the consumption of burnt mushrooms.
Methanol poisoning is associated with consumption of adulterated alcoholic beverages
An outbreak of methanol poisoning often occurs when methanol is used to adulterate illegally produced alcoholic beverages. In the second quarter of 2020, the INFOSAN Secretariat was exposed to three such outbreaks in Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Cambodia. While the events are localized and not interconnected in the context of adulterated products, they highlight a common issue whereby fraudsters can take advantage of opportunities where the sale of alcohol is legally prohibited so that their To promote own sales. Such opportunities occur more frequently during the COVID-19 epidemic where the sale of alcohol has been reduced or restricted in some jurisdictions.
In May and June 2020, more than 100 deaths in Mexico were linked to consumption of alcoholic beverages adulterated with methanol. The INFOSAN Secretariat was associated with the ECP in Mexico and was informed that the transplanted alcoholic beverages were not distributed internationally. Investigations are on to identify further fake alcoholic beverages possibly associated with the outbreak.
In addition, the ECP in the Dominican Republic linked the consumption of adulterated alcoholic beverages to the INFOSAN Secretariat in June in an outbreak of methanol poisoning in the country. It was reported that 215 fatalities and 340 cases of methanol poisoning were reported in the Dominican Republic.
Authorities in the Dominican Republic conducted a campaign in coordination with the Office of the Attorney General for Crime and Delinquency, the Directorate General of Health, Drugs, Food and Health Products, National Police and the Provincial Health Directorate of Santiago. As a result, three people have been arrested within secret factory facilities and 2,864 bottles seized. More details can be found in the press release from the Ministry of Public Health of the Dominican Republic.
In June 2020, the Infosain Secretariat was informed of an outbreak of methanol poisoning in Cambodia, which was linked to alcohol consumption. There have been a total of 43 cases and 7 deaths in connection with the outbreak. The INFOSAN Secretariat has contacted the INFOSAN Emergency Contact Point in Cambodia to ask for information about the potential international distribution of the affected products. The investigation is on.
News and activities
Food Sector and COVID-19 Epidemic
COVID-19 and measures taken to reduce the global impact of the epidemic have disrupted food production and food supply chains around the world. However, everywhere, ensuring a continuous and safe food supply is an important issue for the health of all people. Two FAO / WHO guidance documents have been developed in collaboration with the Infosain Secretariat and published in April 2020. Their title is: COVID-19 and Food Safety: Guidance for Competent Officers for Competent Food Safety Control System, And COVID-19 and Food Safety: Guidance for Food Businesses. These documents provide advice and recommendations for national food safety authorities to optimize food control functions and maintain the integrity of food safety systems and prioritize critical services and also highlight additional measures that food businesses should take Is needed so that the integrity of the food chain remains, and an adequate and safe food supply is available to consumers. The INFOSAN Secretariat is working with partners to support network members during the COVID-19 epidemic and has distributed several webinars in various languages to discuss recommendations contained within these guidance documents.
Second World Food Security Day Commemoration
On June 7, 2020, the second World Food Security Day Theme highlighted, & # 39; Food safety is everybody's business & # 39 ;. This year, a presentation was jointly prepared by FAO and WHO to describe what everyone can do to ensure safe food in the market. The Infosain Secretariat made the presentation during three webinars in English, French and Spanish to discuss the subject with members of Infosain, and the sessions were attended by over 250 participants.
The INFOSAN Secretariat encouraged the members to commemorate this World Food Security Day and listed the available materials prepared by FAO / WHO as well as online activities for the date in which to participate. More information about how this day is celebrated on the World Food Security Day website is available.
INFOSAN Working Group
Following the input of multiple INFOSAN members, on the need to maintain a working group with members who are often involved in food safety incidents that involve communication through INFOSAN, and vice versa. Infoson Strategic Plan 2020-2025The INFOSAN Secretariat planned to host a series of work groups with these most frequently connected members. The INFOSAN Working Group (WG) aims to increase active participation of members, share common ideas and perspectives so that they can better participate in the network and offer a resource to support countries (e.g. friend systems, e.t.c)
The first meeting of the WG was held online in two sessions on 28 May and 12 June to accommodate different time zones in different regions. The first WG identified eleven themes that are important to the entire network and agreed to produce clear and tangible outputs that should be shared with the entire INFOSAN network at a later stage.