April 18, 2015

Botulism Outbreak Sickens Two From Lea County NM

botulism

Two people from Lea County, NM have been hospitalized in Texas with botulism, according to the New Mexico Department of Health. Officials have not yet determined the source of the outbreak but they believe it is contaminated food. Botulism causes illness and paralysis and can be fatal. It 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, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, muscle weakness, decending paralysis, difficulty breathing and shortness of breath. If untreated, death can occur if the paralysis reaches the respiratory muscles. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should see a doctor. There are three kinds of botulism: foodborne, wound and … [Read more...]

Campylobacter Outbreak Linked to Undercooked Liver Pâté

Campylobacter

Undercooked chicken liver in restaurant pâté was the source of a January 2014 Campylobacter outbreak, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  This is the second time a multistate outbreak of campylobacteriosis has been linked to undercooked chicken livers. Two Oregon restaurants were involved in the outbreak that sickened five people. Tests on chicken livers taken from the restaurants were positive for the same strain of Campylobacter found in a culture from one of the patients. Three of the patients, ages  31–76,  were women. Two of the patients were from Ohio and visited an Oregon restaurant, two patients who dined at a second restaurant were from Oregon. A fifth case was discovered in Washington state. That patient had been advised by a naturopathic … [Read more...]

Caramel Apple Listeria Recall Totaled 15.25 Million Pounds

Lawyer for Caramel Apple Lawsuit

New enforcement documents on file with the Food and Drug Administration show the full spectrum of apple recalls made by Bidart Bros. -- a voluntary action that applied to 15.25 million pounds of Gala and Granny Smith varieties from the 2014 harvest. The product quantities totaled 33,900 cases of Gala apples and 347,970 cases of Granny Smith apples, with each case weighing between 40-45 pounds, according to the reports. Distribution incorporated Minnesota, California, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington, Tennessess, Texas, Michigan, Arizona, Maryland, Oregon, Kansas, Illinois, Georgia, New Jersey, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri and Canada. The Bakersfield, Calif., company is facing numerous Listeria apple lawsuits in connection with an outbreak that hospitalized 34 people in 12 … [Read more...]

Focus of Blue Bell Listeria Outbreak Shifts to Texas

Listeria Focus Shifts to Texas

The most recent government findings in the Listeria food poisoning outbreak associated with Blue Bell ice cream have placed Texas in an even greater spotlight than before. Already recognized as the home state of the 108-year-old Blue Bell Creameries Co., Texas has now been confirmed by federal health investigators as the location of a second cluster of illnesses in the outbreak. Based on reports from the FDA, CDC and the Texas Department of State Health Services, three Texas hospital patients became ill with listeriosis over a period of time from 2011-2014. Officials who have studied the molecular fingerprints of Listeria found in Blue Bell ice cream say it matches the strains in the Texas hospital patients. None of the agencies would provide details about the Texas case patients, but … [Read more...]

Subway Employee in Morrilton, Arkansas Has Hepatitis A

Vaccine

An employee of a Subway restaurant in Morrilton, Arkansas has tested positive for the hepatitis A virus, according to the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH). That restaurant is at 1812 AR-9 Bus, off the I-40 Exit 108. Anyone who ate there between March 25, 2015 and April 5, 2015 may have been exposed to the virus. Hepatitis A and immune globulin vaccinations are only effective if given within 2 weeks of exposure. If you ate there on March 31, 2015 or before, you can no longer get a vaccination. Monitor yourself for the symptoms of hepatitis A, which include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), clay-cloned bowel movements, and joint pain. There are no specific treatments for this illness, but, … [Read more...]

PritzkerOlsen Retained in Blue Bell Listeria Outbreak

Kansas Blue Bell Lawsuit

PritzkerOlsen, a national food safety law firm, has been retained in the Blue Bell Listeria outbreak which has sickened at least eight people in two states, killing three of them. "Because Listeria is one of the deadliest foodborne bacteria, producers should have a heightened level of vigilance to keep it out of America’s food supply," said Listeria lawyer Elliot Olsen, who is representing a client in this outbreak. About 20 percent of Listeria cases are fatal, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Almost 60 percent of Listeria infections occur in adults 65 and older, about 14 percent of cases occur in pregnant women among whom these infections can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, and illness and death of newborns. Others at elevated risk of … [Read more...]

Texas Health Issues Listeria Advisory to Healthcare Providers

Listeria monocytogenes

The Texas State Department of Health Services has issued a Listeria advisory to healthcare providers. Patients with symptoms, who are in high-risk groups and may have been exposed to Listeria through a contaminated product should be tested, the advisory states.  Specifically, "diagnostic testing should include cultures of blood and other specimens, such ascerebrospinal fluid, as indicated by the clinical presentation." Symptoms of a Listeria infection can take 70 days to develop. They include high fever, severe headache, stiff neck, other muscle stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Listeria infections can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women. Those at high risk for an invasive Listeria infection include pregnant women, adults 65 and older, those with … [Read more...]

Oklahoma Inspectors Liked Blue Bell Plant Just Before Finding Listeria

Dairy Services inspectors for the state of Oklahoma liked what they saw at the Blue Bell Ice Cream plant in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, just weeks before the company shut down production there and expanded recalls related to an ice cream Listeria outbreak. "Great job,'' "Keep it up!'' and "No violations observed!' were among the remarks written into the report from a March 18 food safety review at the plant, according to an inspection document obtained by The Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act. A few days earlier, federal health officials had linked Blue Bell ice cream made in Texas to an outbreak of listeriosis that killed three people in Wichita, Kansas. Then, on March 22, Kansas officals informed Blue Bell that they found Listeria monocytogenes in a Blue Bell 3-ounce … [Read more...]

Listeria Lawyer: Blue Bell Shows Need for Better Ice Cream Testing

Kansas Blue Bell Lawsuit

The Blue Bell Listeria outbreak has highlighted the need for improved testing at facilities that make frozen dairy products, according to Brendan Flaherty, a food safety attorney with PritzkerOlsen in Minneapolis. Over the last four years, Listeria in ice cream products made at Blue Bell facilities in two states has sickened at least eight people, killing three of them. “These products have been making people sick, not for months, but for years. This is not a one-time problem but a systemic problem," said Flaherty who is representing clients from Minnesota and New Mexico in the caramel apple Listeria outbreak. How did Blue Bell's Listeria problem go on for years without detection? Part of the problem is that Blue Bell's plants weren't regularly tested by state and federal health … [Read more...]

Dallas County Health Agency Issues Listeriosis Advisory in Texas

Attorney for Blue Bell Listeria families

Three cases of listeriosis in Texas have been confirmed to be part of a multistate outbreak of Listeria illnesses related to Blue Bell ice cream products. That linkage has prompted a health advisory to the Dallas County medical community. The Texas Listeria advisory was issued by the Dallas County Health and Human Services agency to heighten awareness of the outbreak. The identical strain of Listeria monocytogenes that recently killed three hospital patients in Wichita, Kansas, also sickened three people in Texas between 2011 and 2014, the FDA has said. “While we have not received any reports of cases in Dallas County related to Blue Bell ice cream products, DCHHS is monitoring the situation to ensure we are abreast of any information related to this outbreak,” said Zachary Thompson, … [Read more...]

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