On 21st November, 2016, an outbreak of foodborne illness occurred after a buffet lunch served during a stakeholders’ consultation meeting held in Accra. An investigation was conducted to characterise the affected people, determine the etiologic food, the source of contamination and the etiologic agent and to implement appropriate public health measures to prevent future occurrences. A retrospective cohort study was conducted via telephone interviews, using a structured questionnaire developed from the buffet menu. A case was defined as any person suffering from symptoms of foodborne illness e.g. diarrhoea and/or abdominal cramps after eating food served during the stakeholder consultation meeting in Accra on 21st November, 2016. The exposure status of all the members of the cohort was assessed by taking the food history of each respondent during the telephone interview. The data obtained was analysed using Epi Info 7. An environmental risk assessment was conducted to ascertain the source of the food contamination. Risks of foodborne infection from the foods eaten were determined using attack rates and odds ratios. Data was obtained from 54 people who consumed food served during the stakeholders’ meeting. Out of this population, 44 people reported with symptoms of food poisoning representing 81.45% (overall attack rate). The peak incubation period was seven hours with a minimum and maximum incubation periods of four and 17 hours, respectively. The commonly reported symptoms were diarrhoea (97.73%, 43/44), vomiting (84.09%, 37/44) and abdominal cramps (75.00%, 33/44). From the incubation period, duration of illness and the symptoms, toxin-mediated food poisoning was suspected. The environmental risk assessment of the implicated catering facility indicated a lack of time/temperature control, inadequate knowledge on food safety among workers and sanitation issues. Limited number of food samples was received for microbiological analysis. Multivariate analysis indicated that illness was significantly associated with the consumption of the snacks served (OR 14.78, P < 0.001). No stool and blood or samples of etiologic food were available for organism isolation; however, the suspected etiologic agent was Staphylococcus aureus or Clostridium perfringens. The outbreak could probably be due to the consumption of unwholesome snack (tuna sandwich or chicken. The contamination and/or growth of the etiologic agent in the snack may be due to the breakdown in cleanliness, time/temperature control and good food handling practices. Training of food handlers in basic food hygiene and safety is recommended.
Three strains of Vibrio parahaemolyticus (690, BCRC 13023 and BCRC 13025) implicated in food poisoning outbreaks in Taiwan were subjected to acid adaptation at pH 5.5 for 90 min. The growth behaviors of acid-adapted and non-adapted V. parahaemolyticus in the media supplemented with various nitrogen and carbon sources were investigated. The effects of acid adaptation on the thermostable direct hemolysin (TDH) secretion and fatty acid profiles of V. parahaemolyticus were also examined. Results showed that acid-adapted and non-adapted V. parahaemolyticus 690, BCRC 13023 and BCRC 13025 grew similarly in TSB-3% NaCl and basal media supplemented with various carbon and nitrogen sources during incubation period. Higher TDH secretion was noted with V. parahaemolyticus 690 among the three strains. However, acid-adapted strains produced less amounts of TDH than non-adapted strains when they were grown in TSB-3% NaCl. Additionally, acid adaptation increased the ratio of SFA/USFA in cells of V. parahaemolyticus strains.
Estimation of the magnitude and causes of poisoning was the objective of the current study. A retrospective study of medical records of all poisoning children admitted to Benghazi Children Hospital in Libya from January 2008 up to December 2010. Number of children admitted was 244; the age ranged from less than one to 13 years old. Most of cases were admitted with mild symptom and the majority of them were boys. Only few cases admitted to intensive care unit and there was no mortality recorded through the period of study. Age group 1 to 3 years (50.8%) had the highest frequency of admission and the peak of admission was during summer. The most common cause of admission was due to ingestion of medication (53.69%), House hold product exposure (26.64%) was the second causes of admission while, 19.67% of admissions were due to Food poisoning. Almost all admitted cases were accidental and medicines were the most consumed substances in addition, improper storage of toxic agents were the first risk factor of poisoning. Present results indicated that, children poisoning seems to be a common pediatric care problem which need to control and prevent.