French authorities confirmed five food isolates collected in 2017, but no disease from enoki fungi from the Republic of Korea, and distributed via the Netherlands, shared the same multilocus genome base sequence typing (cgMLST) as from other countries.
Enoki mushrooms involved have been distributed by an exporter to Australia, Canada, Hong Kong SAR (China), Indonesia, Myanmar, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Singapore and the United States.
Measures to mitigate the risks have been taken by authorities in the Republic of Korea, such as food safety education for farmers and a note on the package of enoki mushrooms to alert consumers to the need to cook the products. before their consumption.
Second Quarter INFOSAN Highlights
The new information comes from the International Network of Food Safety Authorities (INFOSAN) summary of food safety events from April to June.
The network, managed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), was involved in 29 incidents in 2Q 2020 compared to 38 in the first quarter of the year. ‘year.
Of the 29 incidents, 13 were biological involving Salmonella five times, Listeria monocytogenes three times, Clostridium botulinum twice, Vibrio cholera once and two for unspecified biological risk.
The main food categories concerned were fish and other seafood, alcoholic beverages, meat products, composite foods, fruits, milk and dairy products, cereals and cereal products.
Foods for infants and young children, herbs, spices and condiments, nuts and oilseeds, products for special nutritional use, snacks, desserts and other products, plant and plant products, pulses and legumes were also mentioned in the alerts.
Six incidents involved a chemical hazard – methanol three times, histamine twice, and patulin once. Five were due to an undeclared allergen, including cashews and pistachios, sesame, wheat, mustard and peanuts. Three were due to glass as a physical hazard and the other two were unspecified hazards that appeared to be food related.
Cases of methanol poisoning
In the second quarter of 2020, the INFOSAN secretariat was informed of three outbreaks of methanol poisoning in Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Cambodia. It appears that the outbreaks were localized and not related to the adulterated product.
“They highlight a common problem where fraudsters can take advantage of opportunities where legal alcohol sales have been restricted in order to boost their own sales. Such opportunities appear to occur more frequently during the COVID-19 pandemic where alcohol sales have been reduced or restricted in some jurisdictions, ”according to INFOSAN.
“COVID-19 and the actions taken to mitigate the global impact of the pandemic have disrupted food production and food supply chains around the world.”
In May and June, more than 100 deaths in Mexico were linked to the consumption of fraudulent alcoholic beverages adulterated with methanol. As of June, 215 deaths and 340 cases of methanol poisoning were reported in the Dominican Republic. Three people were arrested in clandestine factories and 2,864 bottles confiscated.
A total of 43 cases and seven deaths have been reported in an outbreak of methanol poisoning in Cambodia, suspected to be caused by drinking wine.
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