News Scan for Nov 08, 2018
More Saudi MERS cases; Restaurant food safety

Filed Under:
MERS-CoV; Foodborne Disease

Saudi MOH records new MERS cases in Riyadh, Qassim region

The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health (MOH) recorded two new cases of MERS-CoV for epidemiologic week 45.
The first MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) patient is a 35-year-old male household contact of another case-patient from Riyadh. He is hospitalized. The second patient is a 75-year-old man from the Qassim region. The source of his infection is listed as primary, meaning it's unlikely he contracted the virus from another patient or through camel contact.
The new cases raise the global number of MERS-CoV infections reported since 2012 to 2,264, at least 803 of them fatal.
Nov 8 MOH update

FDA report highlights food safety issues in restaurants

A new report from the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) shows that restaurants with in-place food safety management systems (FSMS) were much more likely to be in compliance with safe food handling regulations than those without.
The 2013-2024 FDA Retail Food Risk Factor Study is assessing both fast food restaurants and full-service restaurants. Yesterday's report looked at the first year of the study—2013-2014—to identify gaps and goals for restaurants in the next decade.
The best and most consistent food safety behaviors identified in the study was ensuring no bare-hand contact with ready-to-eat food and cooking raw meat to required temperatures. The report found employee hand washing and proper temperature maintenance of food that requires refrigeration to be lacking.
Established FSMS corresponded to much greater food safety ratings, the FDA said.
"Fast food restaurants with nonexistent FSMS averaged almost 4.5 data items out-of-compliance, while fast food restaurants with well-developed and documented FSMS averaged fewer than 1.7 data items out-of-compliance. For full-service restaurants, facilities with nonexistent FSMS averaged 5.8 data items out-of-compliance, while those with well-developed and documented FSMS averaged 2.1 data items out-of-compliance," the report concluded.
Nov 8 FDA report
Nov 8 FDA
fact sheet