September 4, 2015

Los Chilangos Had Expired Permit During E. coli Outbreak

Food Truck

Los Chilangos had an expired food service permit at the time it was linked to an E. coli outbreak that sickened 10 people and hospitalized three including a 4-year-old girl with HUS kidney failure.  Those who became ill ate food from Los Chilangos food trucks while attending the Issaquah and Sammamish farmers markets on August 8th and August 12th. Taqueria Los Chilangos uses shared kitchen space at Eastside Commercial Kitchen and operates two food trucks serving seven farmers markets in King and Snohomish counties. Health department documents show Los Chilangos was operating with an expired food permit at the time of the outbreak and did not have a spotless food safety record prior to the outbreak. Each Los Chilangos truck has had three inspections this year.  Of the six … [Read more...]

After Sickening 10 With E. coli, Los Chilangos Cleared to Reopen

E. coli Photo

After being linked to an E. coli outbreak that has sickened 10 people, the Seattle Food truck operation Los Chilangos was cleared to reopen September 2. The food truck operation had been closed since August 21 after it was linked to illnesses among attendees of the Issaquah and Sammamish farmers markets on August 8th and August 12th. Taqueria Los Chilangos uses shared kitchen space at Eastside Commercial Kitchen with about a dozen companies. It operates two food trucks serving seven farmers markets in King and Snohomish counties. Documents from the county health department show Los Chilangos was operating with an expired food permit. Both trucks were cleared to reopen after: paying for a permit, discarding all food, washing and sanitizing all equipment, completing an inspection of … [Read more...]

Report: Lawsuits Provide “Significant”  Food Safety Protections

McKissicks became food safety advocates.

With regulatory agencies underfunded and outgunned by private companies that put profit before quality, are lawsuits the last, best defense of food safety in America? Yes, according to a new report by the American Association for Justice. The report, Food Safety and the Civil Justice System, looks at a our food system which annually sickens 48 million Americans at a cost of $77 billion and asks how producers of food responsible for 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths  every year are held accountable. “The civil justice system is not just the major deterrent to negligent behavior, it also serves as the most effective tool for rooting out systemic problems in the food chain. While regulators’ investigatory efforts are limited to the external factors of the food chain—for … [Read more...]

Cyclospora Sickens 92 in Canada

Cyclospora Outbreak

At least 92 people in Canada have been sickened by food contaminated with Cyclospora. Health officials do not know the food source of the outbreak, which began in May, but are continuing to investigate. Most of the illnesses, 82, have been reported from Ontario. In British Columbia there are four cases, in Quebec, five; and one in Alberta. Two people have been hospitalized. Cyclospora is a parasite usually associated with travel to developing countries with tropical climates. But in recent years, it has travelled to the U.S. and Canada in various kinds of produce including salad greens and cilantro. Cyclosporiasis, the infection caused by the Cyclospora parasite, causes profuse diarrhea that can last two months or more. Other symptoms, which can also last more than 60 days if … [Read more...]

Legionnaires at Quincy Illinois Veterans Home Sickens 23

Legionella bacteria iStockphoto

A Legionnaires Disease outbreak has sickened at least 23 people at the Illinois Veterans’ Home in Quincy. The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) are working with the Adams County Health Department to identify the source of the outbreak. Test results for other residents are pending. “Our Quincy Home staff and the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) leadership are taking this situation seriously, as we do with any other situation facing our fellow veterans and residents,” said Erica L. Jeffries, Director, IDVA.  “The health, safety, and high quality of life for the residents remains our highest priority.  We will work with local, regional, and state partners to find and eliminate any potential source … [Read more...]

Five Things You Should Know About Raw Milk


Raw milk has been making headlines lately. Despite illnesses and outbreaks associated with drinking this unpasteurized dairy product, about 1 percent of Americans drink raw milk and advocate for the right to buy or sell it in the states where they live. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has compiled several reports on raw milk. Here are five things the agency wants you to know: Laws governing the sale of raw milk vary from state to state. About 20 states have laws prohibiting the sale of raw milk, about 30 allow some form of it. At least 143 Listeria, Campylobacter, Salmonella, and E. coli outbreaks have been linked to raw milk since 1987. They have included serious illnesses, miscarriages, still births, kidney failure and deaths. Some advocates of raw milk believe that … [Read more...]

NYC Used Whole Genome Sequencing to Solve Legionnaires Outbreak

Cooling Towers

New York City health officials used whole genome sequencing (WGS) and pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) to solve the Legionnaires Disease outbreak linked to the Opera House Hotel in the South Bronx. The outbreak, which sickened 128 people in the South Bronx  killing 12 of them, was the city's largest-ever. Legionnaires’ Disease develops when water mist contaminated with Legionella bacteria is inhaled. It does not spread from person-to person. Symptoms include fever, cough, fatigue, confusion, aches and lung inflammation. The source of contaminated water mist can be showers, faucets, whirlpools, swimming pools, fountains or cooling towers in air conditioning systems.  City and state health officials worked together with investigators from the Centers for Disease Control and … [Read more...]

Study: Purported Health Benefits of Raw Milk are “Myths”


A new study evaluating the risks and purported benefits of raw milk finds ample risk but no health benefit to drinking unpasteurized dairy. The study, which appears in the current issue of Nutrition Today, was authored by John A. Lucey, PhD,  a professor of food science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and director of the Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Lucey, who researches the chemistry of dairy products and the properties of food proteins, has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and more than 21 book chapters. In this study, he critically evaluates the purported benefits of drinking raw milk and finds that they "have no scientific basis and are myths." Myth 1- Pasteurization … [Read more...]

Antibiotic Resistant Salmonella in Kapowsin Pork Sickens 152


Antibiotic resistant Salmonella in pork from Kapowsin Meats of Graham. Wash.  has sickened 152 people, sending 24 of them to the hospital, according to the latest update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). All of the illness have occurred in Washington, many of those who were sickened attended events where whole pigs were roasted. Kapowsin has temporarily suspended all operations and as recalled all of its products. The recall includes 523,380 pounds of pork products distributed to Alaska, Oregon and Washington that may be contaminated with an antibiotic resistant strain of Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:-.   Antibiotic resistance can lead to complications of illness such as bloodstream infections and treatment options.  The CDC has determined that the … [Read more...]

Cascadian Farm Green Beans Recalled for Listeria Sold at Whole Foods, Kroger


Cascadian Farms cut green beans recalled for Listeria were sold nationwide by a number of  retailers including Whole Foods and Kroger. Although no illnesses had been reported at the time, consumers who have purchased this product should not eat it as Listeria can cause serious, sometimes fatal, illness. The recalled 10-ounce bags of frozen Cascadian Farm Cut Green Beans have “Better If Used By” dates  of 10APR2016 or 11APR2016. Pregnant women are at special risk as Listeria can cause miscarriages and stillbirths. Symptoms include high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea.     … [Read more...]

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