August 29, 2016

Tropical Smoothie Employee Diagnosed with Hepatitis A

An employee at the Tropical Smoothie Cafe restaurant at 8069 Stonewall Shops Square in Gainesville, Virginia has been diagnosed with hepatitis A. That restaurant chain has been linked to a hepatitis A outbreak in Virginia that has sickened at least 35 people. But this news means that people who ate at that specific restaurant on certain dates should call their doctors. Anyone who visited that restaurant between July 28, 2016 and August 18, 2016 may have been exposed to hepatitis A by the employee as well as the imported strawberries that are linked to the outbreak. People who ate or drank anything at that restaurant in Gainesville on August 15, 16, 17, or 18 may still be eligible for a vaccination against the virus. Vaccinations are only effective if given within two weeks of … [Read more...]

Two Children Sickened After Consuming Life Rising Dietary Supplement

The FDA is investigating incidents associated with Life Rising dietary supplements from Ton Shen Health/Life Rising. The government was informed by the Cook County Department of Health in Chicago, Illinois that two children who may have consumed the product have elevated lead levels. In addition, the FDA is investigating reports of two people who consumed this product who died. It is not clear if the deaths are associated with the product, according to the FDA. Lead is a toxic heavy metal. In small amounts, it can cause brain damage and lowered IQ. In larger amounts, it can cause cancer and death. Lead can affect every bodily system, but those effects depend on the age of the person, the amount ingested, and the length of time the person is exposed to lead. Symptoms of lead … [Read more...]

Michigan Raw Milk E. Coli Outbreak Sickens Two Children

An E. coli outbreak linked to raw milk has sickened at least two children in Michigan. The E. coli O157:H7 cases, which were reported in Oakland and Wayne counties, underscore the dangers of consuming unpasteurized dairy products, state health officials said. Laws governing the sale of raw milk vary from state to state. In Michigan, it is not legal to sell raw milk at the retail level, but it can by obtained through membership in a herd or cow share program, which are not inspected or regulated under Michigan dairy laws. “The public should be aware that raw milk and other unpasteurized dairy products have not been heat-treated and, therefore, pose a potentially serious risk to human health,” said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive for Michigan Department of Health and Human … [Read more...]

35 Sick in Tropical Smoothie Cafe Hepatitis A Outbreak

The Tropical Smoothie Cafe Hepatitis A outbreak now includes 35 people, an increase of seven cases since the last update from the Virginia Department of Health. The most recent report of onset of illness is August 19, according to a health department spokeswoman. At of Friday, August 26, 2016, the 35 cases had been reported in four parts of the state: 14 in Northern Virginia, 5 in Northwest Virginia, 10 in Eastern Virginia, and 6 in Central Virginia. The outbreak has been linked to frozen strawberries imported from Egypt. Anyone who has ordered a smoothie or other food containing frozen strawberries from at a Tropical Smoothie Cafe in recent weeks should see a doctor and mention exposure to Hepatitis A. Symptoms of a Hepatitis A infection include: fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, … [Read more...]

CDC: Dole was First Listeria Outbreak Linked to Leafy Greens

The Dole Listeria outbreak evaded initial detection because leafy greens had never before been linked to a Listeria outbreak and were not included on food history questionnaires used in interviews of the first case patients, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Information (CDC). The deadly outbreak, linked to bagged salads produced at Dole’s plant in Springfield, Ohio and sold under a variety of brand names ended in April after sickening 33 people in the U.S. and Canada In  the U.S., 19 people were sickened and one of them died, according to the CDC. 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 … [Read more...]

Hawaii Scallop Hepatitis A Outbreak Sickens 228

The hepatitis A outbreak in Hawaii linked to imported frozen raw scallops has now sickened 228 people, according to an update by the Hawaii Department of Health. That is an increase of 22 cases since last week. All of the cases have been in adults. Fifty-eight people have been hospitalized because the illnesses are so severe. Illness onset dates have ranged from 6/12/16 to 8/16/16. There will probably be more cases identified in the coming weeks, since the incubation period for the virus is 2 weeks to 50 days, and the the product believed responsible for the outbreak stopped being sold in mid-August. The source of the outbreak is focused on Oahu. Public health inspectors found that raw scallops served at Genki Sushi restaurants on the islands of Oahu and Kauai were the likely … [Read more...]

How Does Hepatitis A Get on Strawberries?

The hepatitis A outbreak in Virginia that is linked to strawberries imported from Egypt and allegedly used in smoothies sold at Tropical Smoothie Cafe locations in that state is raising questions about how the virus is transmitted. The hepatitis A virus is very hardy and contagious. But how does it get on fruit? In 2013, a large nationwide hepatitis A (HAV) outbreak sickened at least 165 people. Those illnesses were linked to Townsend Farms frozen berries that were sold at Costco stores. Traceback investigations found that pomegranates in that product, imported from Goknur, Turkey, were the source of the virus. The genotype of hepatitis A in that outbreak was very rare on the American continent, but common in the Middle East. The food and drinks that are most likely to be … [Read more...]

Sea Scallops Recalled for Hepatitis A Sold to Restaurants in California, Nevada

Imported sea scallops linked to a Hepatitis A outbreak that has sickened 206 people in Hawaii were also sold to restaurants and retailers in California and Nevada. While it's not clear at this point, which areas of California might be affected, health officials in Nevada say they are not investigating any reports of illnesses linked to the scallops and that "small quantities of the product were received by a local distributor and subsequently discarded; none of the product had been used, distributed or sold." The scallops were supplied by Sea Port Products Corp.  which issued a recall for frozen bay scallops produced on November 23, 2015 and 24, 2015 with lot numbers 5885, 5886, and 5887. Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that is spread from person to person and through the … [Read more...]

FDA, CDC Join Hepatitis A Outbreak Investigation Linked to Sea Scallops

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have joined the investigation into a Hepatitis A outbreak in Hawaii that has sickened 206 people. Along with the Hawaii Department of Health, the agencies have conducted epidemiological, laboratory and traceback investigations that have identified sea scallops supplied by Sea Port Products Corp. as the source of the outbreak. On August 18, 2016, the company issued a recall for three lots of frozen bay scallops, produced on November 23, 2015 and 24, 2015, with lot numbers 5885, 5886, and 5887. The recalled scallops were distributed to restaurants and retailers in California, Hawaii, and Nevada. Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that is spread from person to person and through … [Read more...]

Tropical Smoothie Cafe Hepatitis A Outbreak at 17

The hepatitis A outbreak associated with Tropical Smoothie Cafe products in Virginia has now sickened at least 17 people, according to the Virginia Department of Health. The outbreak has been linked to strawberries imported from Egypt that were used in smoothies. Testing on the virus in ill persons has revealed it matches a hepatitis A strain that was found in Egyptian strawberries that caused outbreaks in the past. Tropical Smoothie Cafe is a chain restaurant with locations in Virginia in the cities of Oakton, Leesburg, Fredericksburg, Falls Church, Arlington, Alexandria, and others. There are five cases of the illness in the Eastern Region, four in the Northern Region, four in the Northwestern Region and four in the Central Region. The chain has found another source of … [Read more...]

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