August 31, 2015

Cyclospora Sickens 92 in Canada

Cyclospora Outbreak

At least 92 people in Canada have been sickened by food contaminated with Cyclospora. Health officials do not know the food source of the outbreak, which began in May, but are continuing to investigate. Most of the illnesses, 82, have been reported from Ontario. In British Columbia there are four cases, in Quebec, five; and one in Alberta. Two people have been hospitalized. Cyclospora is a parasite usually associated with travel to developing countries with tropical climates. But in recent years, it has travelled to the U.S. and Canada in various kinds of produce including salad greens and cilantro. Cyclosporiasis, the infection caused by the Cyclospora parasite, causes profuse diarrhea that can last two months or more. Other symptoms, which can also last more than 60 days if … [Read more...]

NYC Used Whole Genome Sequencing to Solve Legionnaires Outbreak

New York City health officials used whole genome sequencing (WGS) and pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) to solve the Legionnaires Disease outbreak linked to the Opera House Hotel in the South Bronx. The outbreak, which sickened 128 people in the South Bronx  killing 12 of them, was the city's largest-ever. Legionnaires’ Disease develops when water mist contaminated with Legionella bacteria is inhaled. It does not spread from person-to person. Symptoms include fever, cough, fatigue, confusion, aches and lung inflammation. The source of contaminated water mist can be showers, faucets, whirlpools, swimming pools, fountains or cooling towers in air conditioning systems.  City and state health officials worked together with investigators from the Centers for Disease Control and … [Read more...]

Antibiotic Resistant Salmonella in Kapowsin Pork Sickens 152


Antibiotic resistant Salmonella in pork from Kapowsin Meats of Graham. Wash.  has sickened 152 people, sending 24 of them to the hospital, according to the latest update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). All of the illness have occurred in Washington, many of those who were sickened attended events where whole pigs were roasted. Kapowsin has temporarily suspended all operations and as recalled all of its products. The recall includes 523,380 pounds of pork products distributed to Alaska, Oregon and Washington that may be contaminated with an antibiotic resistant strain of Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:-.   Antibiotic resistance can lead to complications of illness such as bloodstream infections and treatment options.  The CDC has determined that the … [Read more...]

Blue Bell Ice Cream Listeria Outbreak Timeline

Sue Blue Bell

Blue Bell ice cream will begin appearing on store shelves next week- four months after a deadly Listeria outbreak prompted a recall of all of its products and the temporary closure of its production facilities. Many of the illnesses were linked to contaminated single-serve ice cream products made for Blue Bell's institutional clients. Those at highest risk of Listeria include seniors, children, the frail and the immune compromised are served by these institutional clients which include hospitals, nursing homes, schools and retirement communities like the one where David Philip Shockley worked. Shockley, 32, is the plaintiff in a federal lawsuit filed May 19 against Blue Bell.  He was an administrator at a Houston retirement community that was one of Blue Bell institutional … [Read more...]

Kapowsin Meats Expands Salmonella Pork Recall, Suspends Operations


Linked to a Salmonella outbreak that has sickened at least 152 people, Kapowsin Meats of Graham, Wash., is expanding its recall of pork products and suspending operations. The recall now includes 523,380 pounds of pork products that may be contaminated with Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:-. The U.S Food and Drug Administration Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS) has been monitoring the plant since the initial recall August 13, 2015. FSIS inspectors feel the company has made insufficient progress in addressing food safety issues since the initial recall. The recall now includes whole hogs for barbeque and pork products including pork offal, pork blood, and pork trim. The recalled products, which have the establishment number “Est. 1628” inside the USDA mark of inspection, … [Read more...]

Martha’s Vineyard Oyster Beds Closed for Vibrio

Raw Oysters

The Massachusetts Department of Health has ordered a precautionary closure of oyster beds in Edgartown in Katama Bay effective August 26, 2015. There are three confirmed cases of Vibrio food poisoning linked to consumption of raw oysters harvested in that area. Environmental conditions are conducive to the growth of the Vibrio parahaemolyticus bacteria there. Harvesting and processing of shellfish from these areas for commercial use is prohibited for the next seven days. If more cases are confirmed, an extended FDA-enforced closure could be issued. This is the first time a harvest area in Massachusetts has been closed because of Vibrio contamination this year. Vibrio bacteria grow in warmer waters, multiply as the temperature increases. The current water temperatures in Katama Bay … [Read more...]

Details on South Bronx Legionnaires’ Outbreak Investigation

Legionnaires' Disease Bacteria

The New York City Health Department has released information about the details of their investigation into the deadly Legionnaires' Disease outbreak in the South Bronx. That outbreak has sickened 124 people and killed 12 this summer. Most of the Legionnaires' Disease outbreaks that have occurred in the past have been linked to large buildings. Scientists believe that those buildings have more complex cooling and HVAC systems, which allow the bacteria to grow and spread. The source of the outbreak was the cooling towers at the Opera House Hotel. Epidemiologic and environmental investigations found the outbreak strain of the bacteria at that site. The report states that "inadequate maintenance and inadequate levels of biocide may have contributed" to the outbreak. All cooling towers in … [Read more...]

Cyclospora: Outbreak and Symptoms Go On and On


At least 495 people in 30 states have been sickened with with parasitic infections from food contaminated with Cyclospora. Cilantro imported from Mexico has been identified as the source of illness clusters in Texas and Wisconsin. Investigations are ongoing to determine the source in the remaining 28 states. In three states: Texas, Wisconsin, and Georgia, illnesses have been linked to food served at restaurants. But health officials have not released the names of those establishments Cyclosporiasis, the infection caused by the Cyclospora parasite, causes profuse, often explosive, diarrhea that can last two months or more. Other symptoms, which can also last more than 60 days, include abdominal cramps, bloating, gas, nausea, fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss, vomiting, body … [Read more...]

Food Poisoning at Simi Valley Chipotle Strikes 77


At least 77 people who ate at a Simi Valley, California Chipotle last week got food poisoning, one of them was hospitalized. Health officials are investigating the outbreak that includes sixty customers and 17 employees. Symptoms of the illnesses, associated with food eaten on August 18 and August 19, include diarrhea, vomiting, chills and fever. The restaurant, on the 1200 block of Simi Town Center Way, was closed for one day last week while food was discarded and the restaurant was cleaned. Even after the cleaning health inspectors found some food safety violations including dirty restrooms;  unsanitary floors, walls ceilings; utensils and equipment that were not clean or not properly maintained and some workers who did not have valid food handler cards.  The violations did not … [Read more...]

Legionnaires Lawsuit Filed In New York’s Opera House Outbreak

Legionella bacteria iStockphoto

A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of a man sickened in the Legionnaires' Disease outbreak linked to the Opera House Hotel in New York City. At least 128 people in the South Bronx were sickened in the outbreak which began July 10. Twelve people died. Legionnaires’ Disease causes pneumonia-like symptoms including fever, cough, fatigue, confusion, aches and lung inflammation. It is transmitted when contaminated water mist from showers, faucets, whirlpools, swimming pools, fountains or cooling towers in air conditioning systems is inhaled. It does not spread from person-to person. City and state health officials worked together with investigators from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to find the source of the city's largest-ever Legionnaires' outbreak. They … [Read more...]

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