July 22, 2014

CDPH Issues Final Report on 2013 E. coli Outbreak at Trader Joe’s and Walgreens

E. coli O157:H7 Salad Outbreak 12.11.13

The California Department of Public Health has released a report on their investigation into the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in October 2013 associated with pre-packaged salads sold at Costco and Walgreens stores. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released their final report on this outbreak in December 2013. Thirty-three people were sickened in this outbreak; seven of those people were hospitalized. Two people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a serious complication of an E. coli infection, from their illness. No deaths were reported. The outbreak count per state was: Arizona (1), California (28), Texas (1), and Washington (3). The STEC O157:H7 PFGE pattern was new to the PulseNet database. Epidemiologic and traceback investigations indicated that Field … [Read more...]

E. coli Outbreak on Fond du Lac Reservation

Applebees-Lawsuit-Minnesota

An E. coli outbreak has sickened between six and 12 members of the Fond du Lac band of Lake Superior Chippewa on the reservation in northeastern MN near Cloquet, about 20 miles west of Duluth. Health authorities say they have not yet determined the food source of the outbreak or the specific bacterial strain. The Minnesota Department of Health is currently investigating an E.coli O111 outbreak in the Twin Cities area. That outbreak has sickened at least 15 people, some of whom ate at Applebee's restaurants between June 23 and June 29 before becoming ill. Four of those sickened in the Twin Cities area were hospitalized and are recovering. Labs do not normally test for E. coli O111, a less common strain of the bacteria, so some cases may not yet be diagnosed. Symptoms of an E. coli … [Read more...]

E. coli O111: Harmful Bug in Spotlight at Minnesota Applebees

Applebees-Lawsuit-Minnesota

The Applebees E. coli outbreak in Minnesota has prompted a lawsuit and put a well-known but less prevalent type of pathogenic E. coli in the public spotlight this summer. E. coli O111 can be just as virulent as its better-known cousin, E. coli O157:H7, but it makes fewer appearances in outbreaks that are confirmed by public health officials. In fact, the pathogen doesn't show up in any multi-state E. coli outbreaks tracked by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over the past decade, according to CDC data reviewed by Food Poisoning Bulletin. U.S. health records show the last time that E. coli O111 made a major splash in this country was August 2008 when one person was killed and another 340 people  were sickened in a foodborne outbreak linked to Country Cottage restaurant in … [Read more...]

Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Chia Powder Grows to 25

Salmonella Chia Powder Outbreak 71714

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have updated their investigation into the Salmonella outbreak inked to organic sprouted chia powder. Now 25 people in 15 states have been sickened. Three people have been hospitalized; no deaths are reported. There are three separate strains of Salmonella bacteria in this particular outbreak. As of July 14, 2014, a total of 25 ill persons infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Newport (16 persons), Salmonella Hartford (7 persons), or Salmonella Oranienburg (2 persons) have been reported from 15 states. The number of ill persons in each state is: Arizona (1), California (3), Colorado (1), Connecticut (3), Florida (1), Massachusetts (1), Michigan (1), New York (5), Ohio (1), Rhode Island (1), Texas (2), Utah (1), … [Read more...]

Now 15 Cases of E. coli O111 Confirmed in Applebee’s MN Outbreak

MN E. coli O111 outbreak

Two more cases of E. coli O111 have been confirmed in Minnesota by the Minnesota Health Department, bringing the total number of cases in that state to 15. The CDC has stated that two more cases in two other states may also be a part of this outbreak, but PFGE results determining the specific strain of bacteria have not been completed for those patients. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is also investigating this outbreak. The numbers of those sickened who said they ate at Applebee's restaurants in Minnesota has also changed. Previously, only 7 of the ill persons said they ate at Applebee's. Now 12 of the 15 people sickened in this outbreak say they ate at Applebee's restaurants between June 23 and June 29, 2014. That is an expansion of dates from the times officials thought … [Read more...]

Cyclospora Outbreak Sickened 631

Cyclospora Parasites

A cyclospora outbreak that began one year ago was the largest food poisoning outbreak of 2013 sickeneing 631 people in 25 states before ending in late September. At least 49 people were hospitalized, Cyclospora is a rare parasite normally found in tropical regions. Health investigators determined that the outbreak had multiple food sources, but most illnesses were linked to tainted produce imported from Mexico. Eating food contaminated with cyclospora causes an infection called cyclosporiasis. The main symptom is watery diarrhea that can last up to two months if untreated. Other symptoms include fatigue,  low-grade fever, loss of appetite, weight loss, bloating, increased gas, nausea, vomiting and muscle aches. Although the outbreak included cases in 25 states, most of them, about … [Read more...]

MN E. coli O111 Applebee’s Outbreak May Have Expanded

FPB-Restaurant-Outbreak

The E. coli O111 outbreak in Minnesota associated with Applebee's restaurants may have expanded to two other states, according to NBC News. The CDC has not released any information about this expansion, but is apparently investigating two more cases of the rare bacterial strain. Public health officials will not name the states until they have confirmed that the patients are sick with the same outbreak strain of E. coli. This strain of E. coli O111 has not been seen in the United States until now. Pritzker Olsen has filed a lawsuit against Applebee's on behalf of a young man who ate the Oriental Chicken Salad at a Woodbury restaurant in late June. The original report of the outbreak was released on Monday, July 14, 2014 by the Minnesota Department of Health. Thirteen people are part … [Read more...]

Fred Pritzker on Applebee’s E. coli O111 Outbreak

E. coli Bacteria

Noted food safety attorney Fred Pritzker, who is representing a young man sickened in the E. coli O111 outbreak associated with food served at Applebee's restaurants in Minnesota, has some thoughts on the topic. Early reports are that those sickened may have eaten the Oriental Chicken Salad served at the restaurants. That item has been removed from the menu. Pritzker said, "this is a significant outbreak for several reasons. The outbreak strain of E. coli, O111, is very rare and hasn't been seen in the United States before this occasion. Many labs don't test for this particular strain of E. coli, so many people who may have gone to the doctor could have been misdiagnosed and the outbreak could be much larger than first indicated." Second, the most likely culprit is a fresh vegetable … [Read more...]

Kansas Measles Outbreak Associated with Restaurant

Measles

A measles outbreak has been associated with a restaurant in Wichita, Kansas. At least 11 cases have been reported in Sedgwick and Johnson counties to date. The disease is very contagious to anyone who has not been vaccinated. In fact, if one person who has the illness goes out in public, 90% of people who come close to that person will catch it. The illness is contagious from four days before to four days after a rash appears. An employee at Sal's Japanese Steakhouse at 6829 East Kellogg Drive in Wichita was diagnosed with the disease earlier this month. Public health officials ask that if you or anyone you know ate at that restaurant on June 20, 23, 25, 29, July 3, 5, and 7, 2014 and developed an illness with fever and rash, contact your doctor immediately. The measles virus is spread … [Read more...]

Applebee’s E. coli O111 Lawsuit Filed by Pritzker Olsen Law Firm

E. coli Infections and HUS

The Pritzker Olsen law firm has filed a lawsuit against Apple Minnesota, LLC, dba Applebee's Neighborhood Grill and Bar on behalf of Keith Comstock. He was diagnosed with an E. coli O111 infection after eating at the Applebee's restaurant in Woodbury, Minnesota. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. Attorneys Ryan Osterholm, Brendan Flaherty and Fred Pritzker are representing Mr. Comstock. Mr. Comstock dined at the Applebee's restaurant on or about June 24, 2014. He ordered the Oriental Chicken Salad, which contained, among other ingredients, carrots, cabbage, and greens. About three days later, he began to suffer from the symptoms of E. coli O111 food poisoning and tested positive for the bacteria. He remained ill for several weeks. Attorney … [Read more...]

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