May 2, 2016

New IL Legionnaires Disease Case: Quincy Veteran’s Home Possible Source

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced on Friday that a confirmed case of Legionnaires' Disease has been diagnosed in an Adams County resident. That county is where the Quincy Veteran's Home, which had a Legionnaires' outbreak last fall, is located. That outbreak in August and September 2015, sickened 45 people and killed twelve. Most of those who were sickened lived or worked at the Veteran's Home. The buildings at that facility are old, but officials replaced the water system after that outbreak, and they added a new water treatment facility that provides thermal and chemical treatments to control bacteria. The water systems in older buildings are more likely to harbor legionella bacteria. The bacteria are released into the air through vapor or mist from showers, … [Read more...]

Food Poisoning Bulletin Breaks Story: Dole Knew About Listeria

On March 10, 2016, Food Poisoning Bulletin broke the story that Dole knew about Listeria contamination in its plant long before this year's deadly listeriosis outbreak that was linked to its salad products. Carla Gillespie submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the Food and Drug Administration in February 2016, asking for reports of inspections at Dole facilities, particularly the company's plant in Springfield, Ohio. We were the first news outlet to do so. Now the Justice Department is opening an investigation into that outbreak and how Dole handled it. In the documents we received, the company found Listeria in the plant in early 2014 and "infrequently" in the years before that. In fact, in 2014 Dole recalled many of its bagged salads for possible Listeria monocytogenes … [Read more...]

Justice Department Launches Investigation of Dole Listeria Outbreak

The U.S. Department of Justice has launched an investigation into the Dole Listeria outbreak, according to a statement on the company's website. Listeria outbreaks in the U.S. and Canada were linked to salads produced at the company's plant in Springfield, Ohio. Thirty three people were sickened between July 2015 and January 2016, four people died. Years before the outbreak, Dole found Listeria at the plant, Food Poisoning Bulletin was first to report in March 2016 by obtaining records through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The documents show the company found Listeria in the plant in early 2014 and “infrequently” before that. The records, dating back to a 2012 inspection triggered by a Listeria recall show FDA investigators noted the plant is not constructed in a … [Read more...]

Second Fatality Attributed to Ohio Church Potluck Botulism Outbreak

A second fatality has been associated with the botulism outbreak linked to a potluck meal at Cross Pointe Free Will Baptist Church in Ohio one year ago,  according to WSYX/WTTE in Ohio. Marcella Barbee, 65, died in November 2015 after contracting botulism at the April 2015 potluck, according to the report. Previously, one fatality had been reported in connection with the outbreak that sickened 29 people who attended a potluck at Cross Pointe Free Will Baptist Church in Ohio. The outbreak is the largest botulism outbreak to strike the U.S. in 40 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Botulism is caused by a nerve toxin produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum which is found in soil and dust. Symptoms include: double vision, blurred vision, … [Read more...]

Salmonella Outbreaks in Australia and US Highlight Risk of Sprouts

Salmonella outbreaks in the U.S. and Australia highlight the danger of sprouts.  In South Australia, 223 people have been sickened with Salmonella St Paul infections after eating bean sprouts. Forty three of them have been hospitalized. In the U.S., a Salmonella outbreak linked to alfalfa sprouts has sickened 13 people in four states, hospitalizing five of them. Sprouts are a known source of food poisoning that have been the source of more than 40 outbreaks over the last 20 years, causing 2,405 illnesses, 171 hospitalizations, and three deaths federal health officials say. Some of these outbreaks were linked to sprouts contaminated with Salmonella, others were linked to sprouts contaminated with E. coli or Listeria. The warm, humid environments with nutrient-rich soils that are ideal … [Read more...]

After Deadly Salad Listeria Outbreak, Dole Restarts Production at Springfield Plant

After being linked to a salad Listeria outbreak, Dole’s plant in Springfield, Ohio has reopened, according to a press release on the company's website. The outbreak included 19 confirmed cases in the U.S. and one fatality. In Canada, 14 people were sickened and three of them died, although health officials in Canada have not been determined if Listeria was the cause of those deaths. All case patients in both countries were hospitalized. One illness was reported in a pregnant woman. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency completed their investigations of the Springfield, plant, according to the statement. Production has restarted and will ramp up in the coming weeks.  “We’re grateful for the support of all our employees … [Read more...]

In British Columbia, Raw Dog Food Causes Human Salmonella Outbreak

A Salmonella outbreak in British Columbia has been linked to raw dog food, according to the BC Centre for Disease Control. Four people who feed their pets raw dog food have been sickened by the same strain of Salmonella, according to the agency. The BC Centre for Disease Control is working with BC health authorities, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and Health Canada to investigate  the outbreak. Raw pet food contains raw animal proteins like meat, bones, organs, and eggs. Raw meats often contain bacteria that can lead to illness in people. Illness can occur by handling the raw product and then not adequately washing hands before eating, drinking or preparing food. Animals can also be carriers of Salmonella, but show no signs of illness. Health officials remind everyone to … [Read more...]

Costco in Canada Provided Free Samples of Berry Blend Linked to Hepatitis Outbreak

Costco stores in Canada provided free samples of a frozen berry blend product that was later linked to a Hepatitis A outbreak, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. The agency said previously that 13 people had been sickened, but adjusted the case count yesterday to 11. Four people have been hospitalized. A recall has been issued for Nature’s Touch Organic Berry Cherry Blend sold at Costco stores inOntario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundlandand Labrador. Consumers who have purchased this product should not consume it. Hepatitis A  is a highly contagious virus. It is transmitted Hepatitis when contaminated food or water is eaten or through contact with an infected person’s stool. Sometimes, people infected with the virus show no symptoms. Those who do … [Read more...]

Pizza Ranch is Latest E. coli Outbreak Linked to Dough

Beef is the most common source of E. coli outbreaks, but it's not the only one. E. coli outbreaks have been linked to vegetables, dairy, fruit, poultry, frozen foods and dough. The nine-state outbreak linked to Pizza Ranch restaurants is the latest example of an E. coli outbreak linked to dough. The E. coli O157:H7 outbreak sickened 13 people in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Carolina, New Jersey, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Minnesota between December 6, 2015 and January 16, 2016. Dough used to make desserts was the source of the outbreak. The company, which has discontinued using the dough, faces lawsuits stemming form the outbreak. Both of them on behalf of children who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a complication of  E. coli infections that most often … [Read more...]

Garden of Life Raw Meal Replacement and Shake Mix Salmonella Outbreak Ends

A Salmonella outbreak linked to Garden of Life Raw Meal Replacement and Shake mix has ended after sickening 33 people in 23 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Six people were hospitalized. Garden of Life issued a recall on January 29, 2016  and expanded on February 12, 2016.  The recall included chocolate, original, vanilla, and vanilla chai flavors. The expanded recall was issued after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed the presence of the outbreak strain of Salmonella Virchow in Organic Moringa Leaf powder used in RAW Meal Organic Shake & Meal Replacement products. Salmonella can cause an infection in the intestinal tract called salmonellosis. Symptoms, which include nausea, abdominal cramps and diarrhea that can be … [Read more...]

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