Two disease outbreaks put authorities on alert
Thu, 19 Jul 2012 6:01p.m.
By Emma Jolliff
Health authorities are on alert after an outbreak of two notifiable diseases.
Sea Cuisine frozen oysters are being recalled after 30 people were infected with norovirus.
This recall comes just a day after pre-packaged meats from Bay Cuisine were recalled having been linked to two deaths from listeria infection in Hawke’s Bay hospital.
Hawke’s Bay DHB says pre-packaged meats are no longer being used in hospital catering after two elderly women died from an outbreak of listeria.
“Samples of ready-to-eat meats that were taken from our hospital kitchen have been shown to be contaminated with listeria,” says Hawke’s Bay director of public health Caroline McElnay.
Ministry of Primary Industries spokesman Andrew Coleman says the ministry is investigating the contamination.
“We've got some concerns about Bay Cuisine. Bay Cuisine has supplied cold meat cuts to the hospital.”
Bay Cuisine has initiated a voluntary recall of salami, pepperoni and cold cut meats, which are also sold through the Mad Butcher, which says it has no contamination, and Preston's in the lower North Island.
“It's still too early to say it's 100 percent from Bay Cuisine,” Mr Coleman says.
He says an unrelated case is also being investigated
“A death and an illness in Tauranga District Health area from listeria.”
The ministry receives some 25 notifications of the food-borne illness each year. Usually 5 percent are fatal, so three deaths are unusual.
And today, these Sea Cuisine frozen oysters imported from China are also being recalled because of the potential presence of another nasty notifiable disease, norovirus.
“There were two cases of norovirus involving 30 people in the northern part of the North Island, Auckland and Bay of Plenty,” Mr Coleman says.
Most people infected were at a Tauranga function.
The chief executive of United World Foods told 3 News the recall will cost the company tens of thousands of dollars, but that it's withdrawn the total line of imported oyster stock as a precaution to protect public health.
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