October 19, 2017

Remember Listeria Outbreaks as Caramel Apple Season is Here

Caramel apple season is here. If you choose to make your own or buy commercially prepared caramel apples, be aware of the dangers of food poisoning. A 2014 Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to caramel coated apples sickened 35 people. Listeriosis contributed to at least three of the seven deaths reported in that outbreak, according to the CDC. Eleven of the 35 people sickened were pregnant. One woman lost her baby. Twenty-eight of the 31 ill persons interviewed ate commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples before they got sick. This outbreak was surprising, since the pH of apples is too low, and caramel is too high in sugar and therefore low in free water to support Listeria monocytogenes bacterial growth. The law firm of Pritzker Hageman, which underwrites Food … [Read more...]

If You’re Serving Kibbeh, Please Cook It First

Kibbeh is a dish from the Middle East and Africa that is traditionally served at some family celebrations. The variety known as Kibbeh nayyeh is prepared and served raw. And thus poses a risk of food poisoning. The dish is made from red meat, onion, cracked wheat, and spices. Many people who prepare this dish do try to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination, such as cleaning the grinding blades and keeping the meat cold, there is no way to ensure that the product is free from pathogenic bacteria other than to cook it. Any cut of beef or lamb could have pathogenic bacteria, such as E. coli O157:H7, on its surface. When this meat is ground, no matter where it is ground, whether the butcher or your home, the bacteria on the surface will be mixed all through the meat. No uncooked … [Read more...]

Mechanically Tenderized Steak Recalled for E. coli O157:H7

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Vantage Foods are recalling some mechanically tenderized steak for possible E. coli O157:H7 contamination. This type of steak has been injected with needles or blades to break up connective tissue, or has been injected with a marinade or tenderizer. This action can force pathogenic bacteria from the surface of the steak to the interior. No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this issue. The recalled products are Food Basics brand name. They are Mechanically Tenderized Hip Steak in variable sizes, with best before 2017OC17 and UPC number starting with 0 211030. The other recalled products is Mechanically Tenderized Steak FP in variable sizes, with best before 2017OC17 and UPC number starting with 0 224015. These steaks were sold … [Read more...]

Outbreak Investigated at North American Lighting Event in AL

A possible food poisoning outbreak at a catered event hosted by North American Lighting Co. in Muscle Shoals, Alabama is being investigated by the Colbert and Lauderdale County Health Departments, in conjunction with the Alabama Department of Health (ADH).   Thirty-six people have reported symptoms of gastrointestinal distress. The event was held on Sunday, October 15, 2017. Those sickened report vomiting and diarrhea lasting less than 24 hours. Officials are not saying what bacteria they suspect, but these symptoms, with such short duration and fast onset, are indicative of Clostridium perfringens food poisoning. These types of outbreaks typically occur at restaurants, institutions, and during catered events. Clostridium perfringens bacteria grow in food when the … [Read more...]

Hepatitis A Outbreak in Southeast Michigan

The hepatitis A outbreak in Southeast Michigan continues to grow. As of October 12, 2017, there are 397 cases in City of Detroit, and counties of Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, Wayne, and St Clair. Most of those patients have been hospitalized; 320, or 85.6%. And 15 people have died. Many of those sickened include the homeless, people with documented substance abuse, but some are healthcare workers and food workers. Most of the cases are male. Officials have not said if the four cases of food workers we have reported on are part of this larger outbreak. Those cases worked at the Meijer store in Mount Pleasant, Cardamom restaurant in Ann Arbor, and food workers at Uncle Paul’s Pizza at 21215 Mack Avenue in Grosse Pointe Woods, and Cabbage Patch Cafe & Catering at 15110 Kercheval … [Read more...]

Pacific Oysters Recalled in Canada for PSP

Some farm raised Pacific oysters are being recalled in Canada because they may contain a biotoxin that causes Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP). This naturally occurring toxin can cause difficulty walking, muscle paralysis, respiratory paralysis, and death. No illnesses have been reported in association with the consumption of these oysters. The oysters were sold in Alberta, British Columbia, Quebec, and possibly nationally. The processors of these oysters include Albion Farms and Fisheries Ltd. at 1900 No. 6 Road in Richmond, British Columbia. The products is farmed oysters in the shell. All sizes of product under P.O. number 87606 are recalled. These oysters were sold from October 9 to October 16, 2017, inclusively. The other recalled product is Union Bay Seafood Ltd. … [Read more...]

Spicely Organics Tarragon Recalled for Salmonella

Organic Spices is recalling Spicely Organics Tarragon because it may be contaminated with Salmonella. bacteria. No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem. The recalled product was distributed in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin through retail stores and e-commerce. The product is packaged in 0.4 ounce glass jars with black caps. The best if used by date is 12/31/20 OTW100134, Routine sampling revealed the presence of the bacteria. If you purchased this product, do not consume it. Throw it away or take it back to the place of purchase for a full refund.   … [Read more...]

Toma Celena Raw Milk Cheese Recalled for Possible Listeria

According to news reports, New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball is warning consumers not to eat Toma Celena Raw Milk Alpine Table Cheese because it may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. The cheese is made by Cooperstown Cheese Company in Milford. The recalled product is packaged in a white butcher paper covered wheel or in vacuum sealed plastic. The plant number on the product is 36-8524 and the code is 51017. All products with this code are recalled. The cheese was sold in Delhi, Hudson, Ithaca, Menands, Oneonta, Ontario, Peekskill, Phoenicia, Roxbury, and Tannersville, New York. A sample of the cheese was tested by the state food laboratory and was found to be contaminated. The company was told about this set on October 6, 2017 and the company … [Read more...]

Yummy Smoked Lake Trout Recalled After Botulism Illness in Canada

Yummy Market is recalling Yummy Market brand Smoked Lake Trout w/Pepper with Cracked Black Pepper for possible Clostridium botulinum contamination. It was sold from Yummy Market at 1390 Major Mackenize Drive West in Maple, Ontario. The recall was triggered by a consumer complaint. There has been one illness reported that may be associated with the consumption of this product. If you purchased it, do not eat it. Throw it away in a sealed package, or take it back to the place of purchase for a refund. Wash your hands well with soap and water after handling this product. You can see a picture of the recalled product at the CFIA website. Food contaminated with this toxin will not change the look, taste, smell, or texture of food. The bacteria that produces the toxin grows in anaerobic … [Read more...]

Merkts Port Wine Cheese Spread Recalled for Foreign Material

Bel Brands USA is recalling some of their Port Wine Cheese Spread because it may contain small pieces of plastic. No injuries have been reported because of the foreign material in this product. A few customers have reported finding the plastic in the spread. The recalled product is Merkts Port Wine Cheese Spread in 14 ounce containers. The UPC number is 76306 60200 and the Batch or Plant code is LC2442A. The best before date on the product is April 29, 2018 and it has a production date of September 1, 2017. The spread was sold nationwide at the retail level. If you bought this product, do not eat it. Throw it away or take it back to the store where you bought it for a full refund. … [Read more...]

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