August 22, 2014

Zerebko Petting Zoo MN E. coli Outbreak One in a Long Line

Girl at Petting Zoo

The ongoing E.coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to the Zerebko Zoo Tran traveling petting zoo is just one in a long line of outbreaks at state and county fairs around the country in the last few years. The Zerebko zoo goes from fair to fair during the summer months, providing animals for children to see and play with. An E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to that organization has sickened at least 13 people in Minnesota. Seven people have been hospitalized in this outbreak; two have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), and one person is still hospitalized. Zerebko Zoo Tran has been at the Rice County Fair, the Nashwauk 4th of July Festival, the Polk County Fair, and the Olmstead County Fair. In 2013, there were at least two outbreaks associated with petting zoos. An outbreak in … [Read more...]

Minnesota E. Coli Fair Outbreak Linked to Traveling Petting Zoo

E. coli outbreak linked to petting zoo is investigated by food safety lawyers

An E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to various county fairs and events around the state of Minnesota has sickened at least 13 people. The illnesses were caused by a traveling petting zoo, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. That traveling group, Zerebko Zoo Tran, goes from fair to fair during the summer. All of the confirmed cases have infections with E. coli O15:H7 bacteria with the same genetic fingerprint. Two of those cases are secondary cases, who were exposed to people sickened in the primary outbreak. Environmental and animal fecal samples collected from Zerebko Zoo Tran yielded the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7. The owner has been cooperating with the government's investigation and voluntarily withheld he animals from the last two fairs he was scheduled to … [Read more...]

Wawona Packing Expands Recall of Fruits

Sweet 2 Eat Listeria Recall f

Wawona Packing has expanded its recall of fresh, whole peaches, plums, nectarines, and pluots because of possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. The recall advisory from the FDA does not mention any illnesses, however listeriosis, the illness caused by Listeria monocytogenes bacteria, can take 70 days to develop. It can take weeks before any illnesses are reported to the FDA. Listeriosis is a reportable disease. The recall on July 18, 2014 covered specific lots of products packed from June 1 through July 12, 2014. The recall is expanding to cover all products packed in the Wawona Packing Company facility from June 1, 2014 through July 17, 2014 because they haven't found the source of Listeria bacteria in the facility. Beginning on July 18, 2014, no products have been … [Read more...]

Foster Farm Salmonella Heidelberg Outbreak Appears Over

Foster Farms Salmonella Chicken Outbreak 73114

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that the Salmonella Heidelberg outbreak linked to Foster Farms chicken appears to be over. This outbreak sickened at least 634 people in 29 states and Puerto Rico from March 1, 2013 to July 11, 2014. Since the last update on July 4, 2014, 13 more people were reported ill in California (10) and Illinois (3). Epidemiological and traceback investigations indicate that Foster Farms brand chicken was the source of this massive outbreak.   The final case count by state is:  Alabama (1), Alaska (1), Arkansas (1), Arizona (25), California (490), Colorado (9), Connecticut (1), Delaware (1), Florida (4), Georgia (1), Hawaii (1), Idaho (5), Illinois (4), Kentucky (1), Louisiana (1), Michigan (4), Missouri (5), Montana (1), … [Read more...]

Multistate Cyclospora Outbreak Sickens 202 People

Cyclospora sickens three in MI

According to Minnesota's Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), there is a multistate outbreak of Cyclospora going on right now that has sickened at least 202 people in 19 states. Last year a huge Cyclospora outbreak sickened at least 621 people in 25 states. Some of those cases were never solved; one group was linked to produce imported from Mexico. There have been 77 more cases reported in the last week. More than half of the cases are in Texas, which has 110 of the ill persons. The counties affected in Texas include Dallas (21 cases), Tarrant (11 cases), and Harris (8 cases), among others. Six more states reported cases, which brings the total of affected states to 19, along with New York City. The latest states to report cases are Michigan, Minnesota, … [Read more...]

UC Davis Food Safety Partnership with China


The University of California, Davis will be part of a new Sino-U.S. Joint Research Center for Food Safety in China. Researchers form the university will work with officials from China’s Northwest Agricultural and Forestry University in Shaanxi province on the new project.  "We are incredibly pleased to join forces with Northwest A&F University and look forward to making discoveries and realizing solutions that will promote food safety in China and around the world,” said UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi.  "The food industry has become the largest industry in China; and food safety is a critical area for China and the U.S. to have creative cooperation and learn from each other," said Zhang Laiwu, China's vice minister of science and technology. "It not only involves technologies, … [Read more...]

If You Bought Fruit Recalled for Listeria, Here’s What to Do

Fruit Recalled for Listeria Contamination

We have received quite a few responses to the story about the recall of fruit from Sam's Club, Costco, and Trader Joe's stores for possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. It's difficult to hear about this story, especially if you have already consumed the fruit and fed it to your family. Here's what to do. First, make sure you actually bought the recalled fruit. The FDA has published the Wawona Packing List that contains all of the fruit with lot and BlockID numbers. You can also see all the pictures of the packaging and crates with the UPC numbers and product sizes at the FDA web site. If you aren't sure if you did buy the recalled products, contact the store where you purchased the fruit; they should be able to tell you if you did buy it. Secondly, if you ate the fruit and … [Read more...]

Now 15 Cases of E. coli O111 Confirmed in Applebee’s MN Outbreak

MN E. coli O111 outbreak

Two more cases of E. coli O111 have been confirmed in Minnesota by the Minnesota Health Department, bringing the total number of cases in that state to 15. The CDC has stated that two more cases in two other states may also be a part of this outbreak, but PFGE results determining the specific strain of bacteria have not been completed for those patients. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is also investigating this outbreak. The numbers of those sickened who said they ate at Applebee's restaurants in Minnesota has also changed. Previously, only 7 of the ill persons said they ate at Applebee's. Now 12 of the 15 people sickened in this outbreak say they ate at Applebee's restaurants between June 23 and June 29, 2014. That is an expansion of dates from the times officials thought … [Read more...]

Applebee’s E. coli O111 Lawsuit Filed by Pritzker Olsen Law Firm

E. coli Infections and HUS

The Pritzker Olsen law firm has filed a lawsuit against Apple Minnesota, LLC, dba Applebee's Neighborhood Grill and Bar on behalf of Keith Comstock. He was diagnosed with an E. coli O111 infection after eating at the Applebee's restaurant in Woodbury, Minnesota. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. Attorneys Ryan Osterholm, Brendan Flaherty and Fred Pritzker are representing Mr. Comstock. Mr. Comstock dined at the Applebee's restaurant on or about June 24, 2014. He ordered the Oriental Chicken Salad, which contained, among other ingredients, carrots, cabbage, and greens. About three days later, he began to suffer from the symptoms of E. coli O111 food poisoning and tested positive for the bacteria. He remained ill for several weeks. Attorney … [Read more...]

Pritzker Olsen Retained in Minnesota E. coli O111 Outbreak


Pritzker|Olsen, P.A., a Minneapolis law firm that represents food poisoning clients throughout the country, has been retained in the E. coli O111 outbreak associated with Applebee's restaurants in the Twin Cities. Keith Comstock, a young man who lives in the area, was sickened after he ate at the Applebee's restaurant in Woodbury. Noted attorney Fred Pritzker said, "my firm has represented thousands of foodborne illness victims in hundreds of outbreaks across the country. Virtually all of them involve failure to follow the rules: FDA regulations and USDA regulations, industry guidelines, and worst of all, the offending company's own safety rules. The sad fact of this outbreak, like so many others, is that it's preventable; it should never have happened." E. coli O111 is not one of … [Read more...]

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