April 17, 2014

Spring Celebration Egg Food Safety Advice

Hard Cooked Egg

The folks at FightBac.org are offering some tips for keeping your food safe during spring celebrations. Easter and Passover feature lots of eggs, which can be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria, especially Salmonella enteritidis. Clean hands are key. Always wash your hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds before and after food handling. Be careful about cross-contamination. Always wash utensils, food contact surfaces, cooking equipment, blenders, cutting boards, etc. in hot water and soap between uses. Since bacteria grow in moist, protein-rich foods, always refrigerate eggs and foods made with egg. Make sure your refrigerator is set at 40°F or below, and always use a refrigerator thermometer to monitor the temperature. Remember the two hour rule: after two hours, … [Read more...]

Foster Farms Chicken Salmonella Outbreak Grows to 524 Sick

Foster Farms Chicken Salmonella Outbreak 4.9.14

The huge and long-lasting Foster Farms chicken Salmonella outbreak has now sickened at least 524 people in 25 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Using the multiplier of 30.3, that means that at least 15,877 people nationwide have been sickened by the poultry produced by Foster Farms. Most of the ill persons (76%) live in California. The outbreak case count by state is: Alaska (1), Arkansas (1), Arizona (24), California (399), Colorado (9), Connecticut (1), Delaware (1), Florida (4), Hawaii (1), Idaho (5), Illinois (1), Kentucky (1), Louisiana (1), Michigan (4), Missouri (5), North Carolina (1), Nevada (10), New Mexico (2), Oregon (13), Puerto Rico (1), Tennessee (1), Texas (12), Utah (4), Virginia (4), Washington (17), and Wisconsin (1). These … [Read more...]

CDC Issues Report on Crave Brothers Listeria Outbreak

Crave Brothers Cheese Recall and Outbreak

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a new report on the multistate outbreak of listeriosis linked to Crave Brothers soft-ripened cheese in the summer of 2013. The Minnesota Department of Health notified the CDC about the outbreak on June 27, 2013, when two patients with invasive Listeria monocytogenes infections were sickened with Listeria bacteria that had indistinguishable PFGE patterns. The outbreak, which sickened six people, killed one person, and caused one miscarriage, was linked to one of three varieties of Crave Brothers cheese, including Les Frères, Petit Frère, or Petit Frère with truffles. Three patients bought the cheese at three different restaurants; two purchased the cheese at two different grocery stores. The cheeses had been purchased as … [Read more...]

Oklahoma E. Coli Outbreak Investigated

Cow State Fair

Dr. Lauri Smithee, Acute Disease Service Director of the Oklahoma State Department of Health, spoke to Food Poisoning Bulletin and confirmed that an E. coli outbreak is associated with the Oklahoma Youth Expo held at the Oklahoma state fairgrounds in March 2014. Twelve people are sick, in various stages of confirmation. Four people have been confirmed ill with E. coli infections through lab tests. Two children are sick with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and are hospitalized. One is two years old; the other is eight. The investigation is still broad. Initial cases were reported following a livestock show, but more recent patients said they have had animal contact, but not at that particular show. Right now investigators are concentrating on case control studies and PFGE matches to … [Read more...]

E. coli Outbreak at Oklahoma Youth Expo

E. coli Infections and HUS

Several people are sick with E. coli after attending the Oklahoma Youth Expo in Oklahoma City, OK the week of March 12 - 20, 2014, according to news reports. Several children are hospitalized, and at least one child is in intensive care as a result of the illness. Others have been treated at the hospital and released. The Oklahoma State Department of Health has confirmed through lab  tests that the illnesses are caused by the E. coli bacteria. Public health officials are investigating to try to determine the source of the bacteria. The bacteria that causes these types of illness are found in the intestinal trays of ruminant animals, such as cows, sheep, and goats. Livestock and food trucks present at the event are also being checked out for any problems. Attorney Fred Pritzker has … [Read more...]

New York City Fish Closed for Listeria Problems

Gavel

Federal Judge Roslynn Mauskopf granted the U.S. government's request for a permanent injunction against New York City Fish on Monday, March 30, 2014. Inspectors found that the fish had been processed and packed under "unsanitary conditions where it may be contaminated by filth". The motion for preliminary injunction had been filed on May 17, 2013. Inspectors looked at the facility six times between 2006 and 2012 and found Listeria monocytogenes bacteria in the environment and in the finished product. In addition, there was no evidence that many of the company's employees had been trained to ensure compliance with the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. Employees were observed spraying antimicrobial solution in the brining solution and spraying it directly on in-process seafood products during … [Read more...]

Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Illegal Mexican Cheese in Illinois

Salmonella bacteria

The Illinois Department of Public Health has issued a warning about a Salmonella outbreak linked to illegally manufactured Mexican cheese. At least 100 people are sickened in this outbreak that has affected 13 counties. They are: Boone, Cook (including Chicago), DuPage, Fayette, Kane, Lake, LaSalle, Macon, Marion, McHenry, Vermillion, Washington, and Will. The illnesses have been occurring since July 2012. The same strain of Salmonella has sickened 100 people and is associated with the cheese. The average patient age is 9 years, and one-third of all patients have been hospitalized in this outbreak. A sample of the cheese taken from the home of a patient tested positive for Salmonella bacteria. Public health officials are trying to identify the manufacturer of the cheese. The cheese … [Read more...]

Maryland Raw Milk Bill Dies

Raw milk is the source of a Campylobacter outbreak.

Maryland House Bill 3, the legislation that would have allowed individual cow-share or herd-share in that state, making raw milk legal, is dead.  The bill was stuck in committee after a report by the Department of Legislative Services found that the bill would double raw-milk outbreaks and increase the number of individual illnesses from raw milk. That study showed that making raw, or unpasteurized, milk legal would increase government costs in that state by at least $66,000 per year, up to $95,000 per year in four years. That is independent of the costs of illness, medical bills, and lost wages. Dr. Katherine Feldman, of the Maryland Health Department's infectious diseases bureau, said that "pasteurization if the cornerstone of milk safety and a triumph of public health." States … [Read more...]

Denmark Successfully Controls Salmonella in Poultry

Salmonella bacteria

An article in the Oregonian details how Denmark started an intensive effort twenty years ago to try to control Salmonella infections in poultry after an increase in human illness. In the U.S., at least 200,000 people are sickened ever year by Salmonella in poultry. The USDA launched a Salmonella Action Plan last year that has been widely criticized because it just controls contamination during poultry processing. Meanwhile, Denmark has practically eradicated Salmonella in chicken. There is zero tolerance for Salmonella bacteria in poultry in Denmark. In the U.S., Salmonella contamination  is accepted as a given. The huge Foster Farms chicken Salmonella outbreak from early 2013 through this year, which has sickened at least 14,000 consumers and hospitalized hundreds, is considered … [Read more...]

USDA FSIS Explains Rancho Recall, Kind Of

Beef carcasses

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS) has decided it won't be adding more names to the 210 page list of retailers involved in the Rancho Feeding Corp beef recall. And it's issued an explanation of the recall, kind of. In an announcement today, the agency said  it has completed all recall checks and determined that the recall has been effective and that no more additions will be made to the retail distribution list. However, because of high interest in the recall, for the time being, the recall information will remain in the "active" section of the agency's recall website rather than being moved to the archived section. The recall included all meat processed at Rancho, the only slaughterhouse in the Bay Area, during 2013. FSIS said some … [Read more...]

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