July 30, 2014

Multistate Cyclospora Outbreak Sickens 202 People

Cyclospora has sickened 202 people in 19 states

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

food-safety-signing-and-map

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

Gavel

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...]

Minnesota E. coli O111 Outbreak Sickens 13

MN E. coli O111 outbreak

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is investigating 13 cases of E. coli O111.  All of the illnesses were caused by the same genetic strain, as determined by laboratory testing. The ill persons are not related, which indicates the illnesses result from a widely distributed food item. This genetic strain of E. coli O111 has not been seen in the United States until this outbreak. Seven of the people sickened reported to MDH that they ate at Applebee's restaurants in Minnesota between June 24 and 27, 2014, but the other cases have no apparent connection to the restaurant. The Applebee's restaurants involved in the outbreak are in Blaine, Duluth, Monticello, Roseville and Woodbury. According to MDH, Applebee's is cooperating with the investigation and with public health … [Read more...]

Foster Farms Salmonella Chicken Recall Updated

chicken-salmonella

The recall of Foster Farms chicken products for Salmonella contaminated has been updated to "clarify and correct" the use or freeze by and best by date ranges. The government is also adding an updated product list. At the same time, the USDA says the recall is not expanded. These products are associated with a huge Salmonella outbreak that has sickened at least 621 people in the U.S. The recalled product is fresh and frozen chicken sold under Foster Farms or private label brand names with "use or freeze by" dates ranging from March 16 through March 31, 2014, and August 29, 2015 through September 2, 2015. Also recalled are frozen Sunland Chicken products with "best by" dates from March 7 through March 11, 2014 and August 29 2015 through September 2, 2015. Consumers will only be able … [Read more...]

Best and Safest Fish to Eat in the Summer

FPBSeafood

The Center for Food Safety is offering tips on the best and safest seafood to eat this summer. Most seafood sold in the U.S. is imported, and less than 2% of those products are inspected for contamination. Moreover, those fish are often caught in places where environmental and health standards are weak or non-existent. By eating locally caught, sustainable seafood, you are protecting your family from foodborne illness as well as potential problems from other contaminants such as PCBs and mercury. Buy local if possible, and choose wild over farmed. If the seafood is farmed, choose that produced in the U.S. Favor fish caught by hook, line, handling, jig, or speargun. Avoid trawl fishing, which is destructive to the environment. Avoid fish high in mercury, PCBs, or farmed fish that are … [Read more...]

Foster Farms Salmonella Chicken Outbreak at 621 Ill

Foster Farms Salmonella Chicken Outbreak 7514

The CDC has updated their investigation into the multistate outbreak of multidrug-resistant Salmonella Heidelberg infections linked to Foster Farms chicken. The case count now stands at 621 ill in 29 states and Puerto Rico. Thirty-six percent of patients have been hospitalized. Most ill persons live in California. With the multiplier used for Salmonella infections since they are so underreported, at least 18,800 people have been sickened in this outbreak. Patients are sick with seven outbreak strains of Salmonella Heidelberg; four of those are resistant to more than one antibiotic. Antibiotic resistant bacteria are associated with increased risk of hospitalization; and in fact, the hospitalization rate for this outbreak is almost double the usual number for Salmonella … [Read more...]

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