September 14, 2014

Deadly E. coli Cases in Pacific NW Have Officials Scrambling to Find Source

E. coli Infections and HUS

E.coli illnesses that have killed two children and left another hospitalized in serious condition have health authorities in the Pacific Northwest scrambling to find the source. At this point in the investigation, they believe two of the cases are linked but do not believe that there is a public health threat. The two cases that are likely linked are Brad Sutton, 5, and his friend Serena Profitt, 4. Their families have been lifelong friends and spent the last two weekends of August together. During that time, the children swam in a pond fed by running irrigation water, shared a turkey sandwich at a restaurant and had exposure to a goat and other animals. All three are potential sources of the infection. Symptoms of an E. coli infection, which include bloody diarrhea and abdominal … [Read more...]

Applebee’s E. coli Outbreak Source Was Likely Cabbage, Officials Say

Cabbage

Green, whole head cabbage was the likely source of an E. coli O111 outbreak that sickened at least 15 people who ate at the Yard House or one of several Applebee's restaurants in MN, the Minnesota Department of Health said today. Four people were hospitalized and  have recovered. Thirteen patients ate at Applebee's restaurants in Minnesota in June and July 2014.  Most of those sickened ate the Oriental Chicken Salad at the Applebee's restaurant.  Applebee's temporarily removed the item from the menu and changed the ingredients before making it available again. The outbreak strain of E. coli O111 has not been seen in the United States before this particular outbreak. Health officials say the cabbage was likely contaminated before it was delivered to restaurants. A common out-of-state … [Read more...]

Utah Campylobacter Outbreak Linked to Ropelato Dairy Raw Milk

raw-milk

Public health officials in Utah are investigating an outbreak of Campylobacter illnesses associated with the consumption of raw milk. So far, 45 people have been diagnosed with the infection. Those people said they consumed raw milk the week before they got sick. Cases have been reported from Cache, Davis, Morgan, Salt Lake, Utah, and Weber counties. Two cases have been reported from out of state residents who live in California and Idaho. The illness onset dates range from May 9, 2014 to July 21, 2014. The case patients range in age from 2 to 74 years. All of the cases are linked to the consumption of raw milk or cream purchased at Ropelato Dairy in Weber County. The license of that dairy to sell raw milk was suspended on August 4, 2014 after tests of raw milk samples at the farm … [Read more...]

Peanut Butter Salmonella Outbreak Linked To Recall

Salmonella Outbreak linked to recalled peanut butter

A peanut butter Salmonella outbreak has been linked to peanut butter made by nSpired Natural Foods and sold under brand names including Arrowhead Mills, MaraNathha, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Walmart , Safeway and Kroger and other stores, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Four people in four states have been sickened, one person has been hospitalized. Health officials used pulsed field gel electrophoresis and whole genome sequencing tests to identify the outbreak strain, Salmonella Braenderup, in the four patients and in environmental samples collected from inspections at nSpired Natural Foods  in January and July 2014. The four case patients, from Connecticut, Iowa, Tennessee,  and Texas, reported onset of illness dates ranging from January 22, 2014, … [Read more...]

Consumer Reports States Pregnant Women Should Not Eat Tuna

Tuna in Can

Consumer Reports has published a special report about eating fish and mercury exposure. They say that to limit your risk, choose the right fish. And they advise pregnant women to avoid eating tuna altogether. They also recommend that anyone who eats 24 ounces or more of fish per week should avoid species high in mercury. Almost all seafood contains the toxic metal in different amounts. Too much mercury can damage the brain and nervous system, especially in children and fetuses. Adults who consume too much mercury can have problems with speech, sleep, walking, and fine motor coordination. More than 95% of the methylmercury in seafood is absorbed into your body when you eat it. Mercury levels in the northern Pacific Ocean have increased by 30% in the past 20 years, and are expected to … [Read more...]

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

Petting zoo E. coli outbreak

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 September … [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...]

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