August 24, 2016

Tropical Smoothie Cafe Hepatitis A Outbreak in Virginia

The Virginia Department of Health is investigating a hepatitis A outbreak associated with smoothies from Tropical Smoothie Cafe restaurants in Virginia. Genetic testing shows that the illnesses were caused by a strain of the virus that is associated with previous outbreaks linked to frozen strawberries imported from Egypt. Tropical Smoothie Cafe immediately recalled all strawberries sourced from Egypt and found an alternative supply. So far, there are 10 people sick in this outbreak. Two cases are in eastern Virginia. Other restaurants and suppliers may have received the imported frozen strawberries. Public health officials, including the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and … [Read more...]

FDA Finds Hepatitis A in Sea Port Products Scallops

The FDA has found hepatitis A in two samples of Sea Port Products Corporation scallops that are at the center of the outbreak in Hawaii. On August 17, the analysis came back positive. The samples were collected on August 11, 2016. The tests were the result of a hepatitis A outbreak in Hawaii that has sickened at least 206 people. Fifty-one people are hospitalized because their illnesses are so severe. That outbreak has been ongoing since the June 12, 2016 and more cases are being diagnosed each week. The FDA is supporting the Hawaii Department of Health in the investigation. Those scallops were distributed to California, Hawaii, and Nevada but were not sold directly to consumers; they were sold to restaurants and other facilities. Yesterday, Sea Port issued a voluntarily recall … [Read more...]

Lawsuit: Bakery Supplier to Whole Foods, Kroger, Sam’s Club, Sysco and More Faked E. coli, Listeria Tests

A bakery supplier to Whole Foods, Kroger, Sam's Club, Sysco, Rich Products, and US Foodservice has been falsifying tests for Listeria and E. coli documents for more than a year, according to a lawsuit filed by whisteblowing employees. Orange Bakery Inc. of Irvine, California had previously employed a third-party lab, Silliker Inc., to test for bacteria. Before severing ties with the lab some time before January 1, 2015, Orange obtained blank testing forms which it then forged to show negative results for Listeria and E. coli, the lawsuit alleges. Orange sells raw dough for bakery products to clients who cover every part of the country. In addition to the major retailers and club stores including Whole Foods, the Kroger family of stores and Sam's Club, Orange also supplies dough to … [Read more...]

Hawaii Hepatitis A Outbreak Linked to Scallops at Sushi Restaurants

Health officials in Hawaii have named imported scallops, served raw at sushi restaurants, as the "likely source" of the hepatitis A outbreak on the islands. This is based on evidence gathered and analyzed during a two-month investigation. The press release states there is a "strong association" between a majority of cases in the outbreak and frozen imported scallops served raw at Genki Sushi Restaurants. Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler said in a statement, "after determining the strong probable link between the majority of cases, the department immediately notified Genki Sushi Restaurants, ordered the embargo of the frozen scallop product, and the closure of all Oahu and Kauai facilities. The business has complied with all orders, contacted all of their Hawaii restaurants, and … [Read more...]

Mr. Rick’s Flouted Permit Rule For Years Before Salmonella Outbreak

Mr Rick's Catering, the source of a Salmonella outbreak in Washington state, operated for years without a permit, ignoring health department warnings to stop doing so even after being fined.  Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department named Mr Rick's in a warning it issued about the importance of choosing a caterer with a permit to operate. The event was attended by as many as 175 people, but not all of them are sick. The health department "has notified Mr. Rick’s Catering not to operate several times since 2012, and as a result of the incident in Snohomish County, recently issued a $710 fee for continuing to operate without a permit. In the interest of protecting public health, and because the business owner continues to advertise as a viable business, Tacoma-Pierce County Health … [Read more...]

Salmonella Outbreak at Oscar’s Taco Bar in Colorado

A Salmonella outbreak has been linked to Oscar's Taco Bar in Breckenridge, Colorado. At least 16 people have been sickened. The restaurant was closed from July 15 through the 22, 2016, for inspection and cleaning. The outbreak was solved because those sickened visited their doctors after they became ill. The doctors sent stool samples to the state laboratory for confirmation of diagnosis, because Salmonella is a reportable condition in Colorado. Summit County inspection reports reveal problems at the restaurant. An inspection on July 15, 2016 focused on a complaint concerning possible illness. Officials found that a jug of milk was stored in the wine fridge that was 60°F and spoiled. A bag of spinach was in direct contact with raw beef in the walk in cooler. Raw fish was stored … [Read more...]

Weekly Food Recall Roundup: August 7, 2016

This week's food recalls include cheeses recalled after being identified as the source of an E. coli outbreak, frozen green beans recalled for Listeria and alfalfa sprouts recalled after being linked to a Salmonella outbreak. Food Recalls in the U.S. Pathogens Grassfields Cheese was recalled for E. coli after it was linked to seven illnesses.  The recall includes Gouda, Onion ‘n Garlic, Country Dill, Leyden, Edam, Lamont Cheddar, Chili Cheese, Fait Fras, Polkton Corners, and Crofters. Whole Foods was one of the retailers that sold the cheese. JML Ingredients Inc. of East Petersburg, PA is recalling IQF Cut Green Beans because they may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. Consumers who have purchased this product should not eat it as Listeria can cause serious illness … [Read more...]

Salmonella “Sproutbreak” Strikes Kansas for Second Time in 6 Months

An alfalfa sprouts Salmonella outbreak (sproutbreak) has struck Kansas for the second time in six months.  Eight people from Kansas are among the 30 sickened in nine states in an outbreak linked to contaminated alfalfa sprouts from Sprouts Extraordinaire in Denver. Many of those sickened, ate the contaminated sprouts at restaurants, but health officials have not released the names of those establishments. Five people have been hospitalized. A recall has been issued for the sprouts which are tainted with two strains: Salmonella Reading and Salmonella Abony.  Onset of illness dates range from May 21 to July 20. States reporting illnesses include: Colorado (13), Kansas (8), Minnesota (1), Missouri (1), Nebraska (2), New York (1), Oregon (1), Texas (1) and Wyoming (1). In February, … [Read more...]

Alfalfa Sprouts Linked to Salmonella Outbreak in 9 States

Alfalfa sprouts have been linked to a nine-state Salmonella outbreak that has sickened 30 people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Many of those sickened reported eating the contaminated sprouts at restaurants,  but health officials have not released the names of those establishments. Five people have been hospitalized. Epidemiologic and traceback evidence indicates that alfalfa sprouts from Sprouts Extraordinaire of Denver are the likely source of this outbreak, according to the CDC. The company today issued a recall for the sprouts which were sold in 5-pound boxes labeled "Living Alfalfa Sprouts." Health officials say restaurants and other retailers should not serve the recalled sprouts. The outbreak includes two strains. Twenty four people have … [Read more...]

Hawaii Hepatitis A Outbreak Now Stands at 135

The hepatitis A outbreak in Hawaii has now sickened 135 people, according to the latest update from the Hawaii Department of Health. Forty-two new cases have been identified since July 26, 2016. All of the ill persons have been adults. Thirty-nine people have been hospitalized because their illnesses are so severe. The latest findings of the investigation suggest that the source of the outbreak is on the island of Oahu. Seven of those sickened live on the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, and Maui. The dates of illness onset range from July 12, 2016 to July 24, 2016. Anyone who is in contact with those who have this illness should talk to their doctor about receiving a vaccination against hepatitis A. Shots are only effective if given within two weeks of exposure. A "contact" is all … [Read more...]

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