September 1, 2014

Salmonella Outbreak at Reading Summer Festival in Michigan

County Fair

Forty one people who attended the Reading Summer Festival between July 31 and August 3 contracted Salmonella infections, according to the Hillsdale Daily News. There were eight laboratory confirmed cases and 33 probable cases associated with the food served at the county fair on Michigan's southern border. Health authorities have not identified the food source because notifications of illness began nine days after the festival and there weren't many leftovers to test. Many of those who were sickened were in their seventies. Seniors, children and those with compromised immune systems are at special risk for Salmonella poisoning which causes fever, vomiting and diarrhea. Symptoms usually develop within 12 to 72 hours of exposure and  can last up to a week. In some cases, a serious, … [Read more...]

Texas Cyclospora Outbreak Source is Cilantro from Mexico, Again

cyclospora texas

Cilantro from Mexico is the source of a cyclospora outbreak in Texas for the second straight summer. At least 126 people in Texas contracted infections from eating food contaminated with the parasite before health officials declared an end to the outbreak late yesterday. Last year, 270 Texans contracted cyclosporiasis from cilantro grown in the same area identified the source this year, Puebla, Mexico. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducted traced the source to Puebla by starting at a four investigations at four restaurants in Texas where some of the illnesses were reported.  The agency has increased surveillance sampling on cilantro imported that region and is working with Mexican officials to narrow the source to a specific farm or growing area.  It is possible that … [Read more...]

CDC: Cyclospora Sickens 304 in 19 States

Cyclospora in 19 states

Food contaminated with cyclospora sickened at least 304 people in 19 states this summer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Most of the illnesses, 133, are in Texas where health authorities have identified cilantro imported from Puebla, Mexico as the source of the illnesses. Cilantro from Puebla, Mexico was also the food source of a 2013 cyclospora outbreak in Texas that sickened 270 people. Cyclospora is a parasite found in tropical or sub-tropical regions. If ingested in its mature state, the parasite causes an infection called cyclosporiasis.  Only about 150 of these infections are reported nationwide each year. Normally associated with travel. Epidemiological and traceback investigations conducted at four restaurants in Texas indicated fresh … [Read more...]

Raw Milk Campylobacter Illnesses for Second Time at Utah Farm

Campylobacter in raw milk

Campylobacter in raw milk products from Ropelato Dairy in Weber County Utah has caused an outbreak of illness for the second time since 2010. Since May, at least 45 people have become ill after drinking the milk or cream. There have been two cases reported from residents in California and Idaho and 43 cases from Cache, Davis, Morgan, Salt Lake, Utah and Weber counties in Utah. The farm's license to sell raw milk has been temporarily suspended. In 2010, nine people from Weber, Davis and Cache counties contracted campylobacteriosis after drinking the milk. The farm's license was also temporarily suspended at that time. Symptoms of campylobacteriosis include diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, headache, nausea and vomiting.  These symptoms can last up to a week. “In some severe cases, … [Read more...]

Salmonella Outbreak in England Sickens 247 People

Raw egg

An outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis PT14b in England has sickened almost 250 people, according to Public Health England. That is an increase from 158 cases reported in early August 2014. The government also stated that overall case reporting slowed over the past week. Public health officials say that "there is now evidence to indicate that cases in Europe with the same strains of Salmonella infection were associated with consumption of eggs from a single source. This egg supply also reached distributors and food outlets in England, but at this stage we cannot conclusively demonstrate that this is the infection source in this country." The case count by region is as follows: Hampshire (99 cases), London (30 cases), Cheshire and Merseyside (39 cases), and West Midlands (54 cases). … [Read more...]

Ropelato Dairy Disease Outbreak Spotlights Utah Raw Milk Law


A large Campylobacter outbreak associated with Ropelato Dairy in Ogden, Utah, is drawing attention to the state's "Raw Milk for Retail'' rules, legal code that allowed authorities to suspend Ropelato's state-authorized operating permit while officials investigate the cause of so many illnesses. So far, 45 cases of Campylobacter infection have been reported by the Utah Department of Health. The size of the current outbreak is almost as large as the 2002 raw milk outbreak in Ohio that is cited in the Utah Administrative Code as one reason the state's Department of Agriculture and Food -- with FDA concurrence -- "strongly advises against the consumption of raw milk'' for health reasons. According to a review of  Utah Rule R70-330 by Food Poisoning Bulletin, the state warns its residents … [Read more...]

Did Zerebko Petting Zoo Provide Enough E. coli Prevention?


Petting zoo E. coli outbreaks like the one in Minnesota this summer have been studied in the U.S. for decades. A watershed outbreak 10 years ago at the North Carolina State Fair was the worst in recent history. A total of 108 case patients were identified, including 41 with laboratory-confirmed illness and 15 who experienced kidney failure as part of life-threating complication known as E. coli hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Within months after the North Carolina outbreak, in March 2005, the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians (NASPHV) published new recommendations for operators that are still viewed as important safety standards. At the time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was saying that its own control measures for petting zoos, published … [Read more...]

Salmonella, E.coli Cases in MN Linked to Contact with Animals

Petting zoo E. coli outbreak

Salmonella and E.coli infections from contact with animals have been reported in Minnesota this summer. Sone of the illnesses were from pets, others were from petting zoos. Thirteen people who visited petting zoos at county fairs during July in Minnesota were sickened by E.coli.  Lab test showed that source of the illnesses was the Zerebko Zoo Tran traveling petting zoo which made appearances at the Nashwauk 4th of July Festival, July 3-5 , the Polk County Fair, July 9-13; the Rice County Fair, July 15-20;  and the Olmsted County Fair, July 21-27. Two of the 13 who were sickened developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which can cause kidney failure. Three Minnesotans were part of a 36-state Salmonella outbreak linked to pet bearded dragons. The lizards that are native to Australia … [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...]

Botulism Outbreak in Western Alaska

Clostridium botulism

According to Alaska Dispatch News, state officials are investigating a botulism outbreak in Western Alaska. Two people have been sickened and one person died after eating a meal of fermented fish heads. The patients lived in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. Samples of food are being tested, and samples from people who have been sick are being examined for the botulinum toxin. If the death is confirmed as from botulism poisoning, it will be the first death in that state from botulism since 2007. The person who died complained of seeing double and feeling sick after eating the fish. Botulism toxin is produced by the Clostridium botulinum bacteria. The bacteria grows in anaerobic (no oxygen) conditions, such as in canned low-acid foods. A tiny amount of the toxin is enough to kill a person. … [Read more...]

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