January 21, 2017

Indelible Catering Turns in Food Permit After AL Outbreak

The owner of Indelible Catering in Moulton, Alabama has surrendered his food service permit to the Department of Public Health. That facility prepared food for an event in Sheffield, Alabama on Saturday, November 12, 2016. At least 99 people were sickened with Salmonella enteritidis infections after attending that event. Twenty-two people were hospitalized because their illness was so severe. The Alabama Department of Public Health issued an emergency order on November 16, 2016 to prevent Indelible Catering from preparing food while the outbreak was fineg investigated. Dr. Scott Harris, Assistant State Health Officer said, "the health department's priority is the health of the public and preventing any additional foodborne illnesses. Make sure the caterer you hire for any event has … [Read more...]

FDA Announces Sprout Guidance: What Took so Long?

After eight multistate food poisoning outbreaks linked to raw sprouts in the past five years, the FDA is finally issued a draft guidance for comments to help sprout operations meet new standards that are designed to keep this product safe. Raw sprouts are often contaminated with pathogenic bacteria, and the damp and warm growing conditions are the perfect medium for bacterial growth. The Produce Safety Rule, under the FDA Food Safety Modernization act of 2011, mandated new requirements for sprout operations. Sprouts are a unique food poisoning risk because the conditions under which they are grown are ideal for the growth of pathogenic bacteria. Between 1996 and July 2016 there were 46 food poisoning outbreaks associated with sprouts in the United States. They caused 2472 … [Read more...]

E. coli O121 Outbreak in Canada

The Public Health Agency of Canada is investigating an outbreak of E. coli O121. Twelve confirmed cases of E. coli 0121 have been identified in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland. The cases all have a matching genetic fingerprint. Illness onset dates range from November to December 2016. Four people have been hospitalized. And officials do not know what caused the outbreak. The most common ways to contract an E. coli infection are by eating undercooked or raw ground meat, or by eating contaminated fruits and vegetables. You can also acquire this infection by petting animals, more specifically ruminant animals, which harbor the pathogenic bacteria in their intestines. The most recent E. coli O121 outbreak in the United States was the multistate outbreak linked to … [Read more...]

Tapeworm Found in Alaskan Salmon

Anyone who eats raw fish or raw meat is taking a risk of contracting foodborne illness. The hepatitis A outbreak in Hawaii last year is a case in point. That outbreak sickened almost 300 people, and it was linked to the consumption of raw imported scallops. In 2015, undercooked hamburgers were linked to an E. coli outbreak at Worthy Burger in Vermont, sickening at least six people. And in 2013, an E. coli outbreak linked to raw hamburger sickened at least three people in Wisconsin. Now the CDC is warning consumers to avoid eating raw salmon. They found Diphyllobothrium nihonkaiense, which is a type of tapeworm, in the muscles of wild pink salmon in Alaska. The study was published in the February edition of Emerging Infectious Diseases. This tapeworm is usually found in … [Read more...]

E. coli Outbreak at Captain Al’s in Gulfport, Mississippi

An E. coli outbreak associated with Captain Al's Steak & Shrimp restaurant in Gulfport, Mississippi has sickened dozens of people, according to the Mississippi State Department of Health. That restaurant is located at 11268 Lorraine Road. The Health Department closed the restaurant on January 3, 2017 after being informed that at least 50 people had been sickened after eating there. The notice states that "molecular testing at the Mississippi Public Health Laboratory has indicated that the causative organisms are types of E. coli referred to as enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC) and enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC). These types of E. coli are not Shiga toxin-producing E.coli (STEC), but are known to cause significant diarrheal illness." The restaurant has posted a sign on its … [Read more...]

E. coli O157 Outbreak Associated with Goat Dairy Farm Visits in 2016

The CDC has published a study about E. coli O157 infections that were associated with goat dairy farm visits in Connecticut in 2016 in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. A cluster of seven culture-confirmed Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infection were identified by the Connecticut Department of Public Health on March 24, 2016. All seven patients had bloody diarrhea. Three of them were hospitalized, and two developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Six of the seven sickened visited the same goat dairy farm in southeastern Connecticut the week before they got sick. In all, a total of 50 confirmed E. coli cases were associated with the outbreak, including 47 who had an epidemiologic link to the goat farm. Of the 50 confirmed cases, three did not have an … [Read more...]

Salmonella Outbreak at Schmidt Farm in Oregon

A Salmonella food poisoning outbreak linked to hazelnuts sold at Schmidt Farm and Nursery along Oregon Route 18 has been announced by the Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division and the Oregon Department of Agriculture.  Officials are telling consumers who purchased the nuts there to throw them away immediately. Dr. Paul Cieslak, medical director of the Public Health Division's Acute and Communicable Disease Prevention Section said in a statement, "people who have hazelnuts from the farm stand at Schmidt Farm and Nursery should toss them out right away." Five people are sick with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium. The illnesses began between October 15 and December 13, 2016. When interviewed, three of those sickened said they bought hazelnuts from the Schmidt … [Read more...]

University of Texas Develops Oral Salmonella Vaccine

Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston have developed an oral vaccine against Salmonella bacteria. The article is published in Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology. Researchers at that facility have developed potential vaccines against Salmonella Typhimurium, but that vaccine was given as an injection. An oral vaccination is much simpler to give to patients. And it uses the same pathway that the bacteria took to enter the body. Dr. Ashok Copra, UTMB professor of microbiology and immunology said, "In the current study, we analyzed the immune responses of mice that received the vaccination by mouth as well as how they responded to a lethal dose of salmonella. We found that the orally administered vaccines produced strong immunity against … [Read more...]

FDA Will Not Control Vibrio in Shellfish

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has stated that the FDA has denied their petition to control Vibrio in shellfish. Every year, Americans are sickened, and some die, after eating raw shellfish contaminated with Vibrio vulnificus. The FDA could set a performance standard that would control this issue. CSPI petitioned the FDA to use this power in 2012. The government denied the petition, citing "competing priorities." Most people who do contract this infection get sick during the summer months after eating raw oysters from Gulf Coast states. Vibrio infections are, unfortunately, occurring even in northern states as climate change is warming ocean waters. In September 2015, a Vibrio outbreak in Massachusetts closed oyster beds in the area. In August 2015, another Vibrio … [Read more...]

Campylobacter Outbreak in UK Linked to Raw Milk

At least 56 people are sick in the United Kingdom with Campylobacter infections after drinking raw milk purchased from a vending machine on a farm. The patient age range is from one year to 86 years. Sales of raw milk from that farm were suspended after the outbreak was discovered. A judge banned the farm from selling any more of its unpasteurized milk last week. The farm is Low Sizergh Barn Farm in Kendal, UK. The raw cow milk was recalled in December 2016 after the outbreak was first announced. According to news sources, the farms' owner allegedly knew that the milk contained bacteria but kept selling it. The number of registered farms that produce and sell raw milk in the UK has decreased in the last 20 years from 570 to 100. It is illegal to sell raw milk and cream in … [Read more...]

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