Public Health Updates 21 April 2015 – Blue Bell Ice Cream Recall
The Department of Health wishes to update Bermuda residents on how a recall of Blue Bell Ice Cream products in the United States affects Bermuda. Blue Bell Ice Cream of Brenham, Texas, is voluntarily recalling all of its icecream products including ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet and frozen snacks because of a possible health risk. A recently conducted enhanced sampling programme of Blue Bell ice cream products in the US revealed several positive tests for Listeria bacteria. The recall intends to remove from the market all products that might be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. The food and beverage wholesaler AC Brewer Distributors Ltd., who imports Blue Bell Ice Cream products into Bermuda, has suspended all of their deliveries to grocery stores today in order to enable their trucks to focus on removing all Blue Bell products from their customers' stores. AC Brewer Distributors Ltd. has advised retailers to accept back any product that may be returned by their customers which they will, in turn, collect for disposal. The Department of Health has also contacted all food establishments independently to ensure the products are removed. The recall was the result of findings from an enhanced sampling program initiated by Blue Bell which revealed that Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream half gallons produced on March 17, 2015 and March 27, 2015, contained the bacteria. Listeria monocytogenes is a bacteria which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headaches, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women. For more information on the recall go to: http://www.fda.gov/Food/RecallsOutbreaksEmergencies/Outbreaks/ucm438104.htm Download Department of Health press release here.
10 April 2015 – Increases in gastrointestinal illness in the community:
The Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit has received reports of clusters of gastrointestinal illness in the community. All clusters of illness are also reportable to the Unit, including diarrhoea and/or vomiting. Reports from the hospital and from private physician offices inform the ESU of the possibility of a disease outbreak in the community. A person can become ill with gastrointestinal illness such as diarrhea and vomiting by consuming contaminated food or water, directly from an ill person or contact with infected surfaces. Most importantly, persons who have symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea should not attend work and should not handle food for others while ill. Professional food handlers should consult their physician or the Department of Health before returning to work. Food that may have been contaminated by an ill person should be disposed of properly. Children with diarrhea and or vomiting should not attend school or day care center until 48 hours from the last episode of diarrhea or vomiting All members of the community have a role in preventing infectious disease outbreaks and in assisting the ESU to quickly identify an outbreak so that control measures can be put into place.
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We thank you for your anticipated cooperation, The STEPs to a Well Bermuda Team
Chief Medical Officer
Dept. of Health Sections
Chief Medical Officer Continental Building 25 Church Street Hamilton HM 12 P.O. Box HM 1195, Hamilton HM EX Telephone: 278-4921
Community Health Services (Victoria Street Clinic) Hamilton Health Centre 67 Victoria Street Hamilton HM 12 P.O. Box HM 1195, Hamilton HM EX Telephone: 278-6460
Environmental Health Metro Building 6 Hermitage Road Devonshire P.O. Box HM 1195, Hamilton HM EX Telephone: 278-5333
Dental Health Hamilton Health Centre 67 Victoria Street Hamilton HM 12 P.O. Box HM 1195, Hamilton HM EX Telephone: 278-6440
Central Government Laboratory P.O. Box HM 1195, Hamilton HM EX
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