October 22, 2014

Oasis Recalls Cheese for Listeria Monocytogenes; Illnesses Reported

Oasis Lacteos Santa Martha Cheese Listeria Recall

Oasis Brands of Miami, Florida is recalling some lots of Lacteos Santa Martha cheese products because they may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. FDA is investigating illnesses associated with the consumption of this product. There is no word on how many people may be sick. The recall is the result of sampling by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and subsequent FDA environmental samples that revealed the presence of the bacteria. The company stopped production and distribution of the product. You can see the long list of recalled cheeses at the FDA web site along with the associated UPC numbers. They include Queso Fresco, Quesito Casero, Crema Guatemalteca, Mantequilla Hondurena, and Crema Cuzcitian, among others. You can also see pictures of the product … [Read more...]

Raw Milk Campylobacter Outbreak in Utah This Summer


According to the Salt Lake Tribune, there was a Campylobacter outbreak in Utah this summer linked to raw milk that sickened at least 80 people. Ropelato Dairy was the source of the contaminated milk. One man with a compromised immune system died after drinking the unpasteurized milk. State epidemiologist Cindy Burnett told members of the Legislature that of the 80 people sickened, 20% were hospitalized. Raw milk products sold in Utah must carry a warning label stating that anyone in a high risk group should avoid raw or unpasteurized dairy products. Ropelato Dairy did not put that warning on their products. In August 2014, the Utah Department of health said they were investigating a cluster of illnesses linked to the consumption of raw milk or cream purchased at Ropelato Dairy. The … [Read more...]

Source of Most Cyclospora Cases in Current Outbreak Unknown

Cyclospora Parasites

A cyclopora outbreak that sickened 304 people in 19 states this summer has gone largely unsolved. Cilantro from Mexico was identified as the source of the 133 cases in Texas, but the source of the 171 cases in the remaining 18 states has not been identified. Similarly, in a 2013 outbreak, a food source for of most of the 643 cases of cyclospora reported in 25 states was never identified. In both outbreaks, cilantro imported from Puebla Mexico was identified as the food source for cases in Texas. This year, 133 people in Texas contracted infections from eating food contaminated with the parasite, last year, 270 Texans got cyclosporiasis from contaminated cilantro. Cyclospora is a parasite normally found in tropical or sub-tropical regions. If ingested in its mature state, the parasite … [Read more...]

Goat Droppings May be Suspect in Oregon E. coli Outbreak

MN Petting Zoo E. coli

Oregon Live reports that public health officials think an E. coli outbreak that killed a girl and sickened another child in September may have come from goat droppings. Lincoln County officials have completed their investigation, but are not providing any details. Serena Faith Profitt was sickened with E. coli O157:H7 in early September and died September 9, 2014 at Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland, Oregon. Her friend who was also sickened is out of the hospital, and is slowly recovering. Public health officials went over the family's home and collected environmental samples. They also tested restaurants where the children ate. Lab tests did find E. coli O157:H7 in the goat's droppings, but a link to the bacteria that made the children sick has not been confirmed. Both … [Read more...]

Did Salmonella Sicken 50 People in Gastonia, North Carolina?

Salmonella Gastonia

About 50 people who attended a gathering at the Living Word Tabernacle in Gastonia, NC last week got food poisoning, one of them has a confirmed case of Salmonella poisoning, according to the Gaston County Health Department. County health authorities are collaborating with the state health department, working late into the evening on their investigation of the outbreak which may involve residents from other states. They are gathering samples and information from those sickened and expect to release a summary of what they have learned tomorrow. At this point, a food source for the outbreak has not been identified. Food served at the event may have been supplied by more than one vender. Symptoms of a Salmonella infection include diarrhea, fever, vomiting, abdominal cramping, … [Read more...]

Ebola Outbreak Started Through Contact with Fruit Bats


The current Ebola outbreak crisis that has many people so worried started in eastern Guinea, through a "chance contact" by a toddler with an infected fruit bat. Fruit bats are natural reservoirs for the virus, according to the World Health Organization. The bats migrate over long distances. Fruit bats are regularly eaten in rural West Africa. Direct transmission to people is very rare. Many people in very poor countries hunt the bats for food, and also hunt bushmeat, with people eating dead infected animals. There has also been huge death rates in chimpanzee and gorillas in African countries. Those animals eat fruit dropped to the ground by infected bats. People forage in the forests where these sick and dying animals live, and come into direct contact with "blood, secretions, organs, … [Read more...]

After Salmonella Outbreaks, Foster Farms CEO To Step Down

Foster Farms Salmonella

After 11 years that included two Salmonella outbreaks that sickened at least 768 people, Foster Farms CEO Ron Foster has announced plans to step down.  Foster, 56, will continue to be an owner and board member of the Livingston, Calif.-based company his grandparents founded 75 years ago. Foster will stay on as CEO until the company finds a successor. In a letter to employees, Foster said that during his tenure the company had experienced some of the most challenging and rewarding times and that he was confident Foster Farms was well-positioned for the future. The company has characterized the 17-month Salmonella outbreak, which ended in July 2014,  as transformational. The outbreak, which sickened 634 people in 29 states and Puerto Rico, spurred Foster Farms to adopt reforms that … [Read more...]

Norovirus Outbreak at Elementary School in Indiana


A norovirus outbreak at an elementary school in Indiana has sickened at least 129 students, which is about 25% of the student body. At first officials thought contaminated food was the source of the illness, but Huffington Post reported that 39% of the students who were sickened did not eat or drink anything provided by the school the day before. The incubation period for norovirus is usually 12 to 24 hours, up to 48 hours. Norovirus is a very contagious virus that spreads through food, drink, contaminated objects, and person to person contact. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, fever, abdominal and stomach cramps, and headaches. The school was deep cleaned according to instructions from the Indiana Department of Health. Anyone can contract the virus, but most people recover within … [Read more...]

Ground Round Restaurants in MN Closed for Norovirus Outbreak

Restaurant Food Poisoning

A Ground Round restaurant in Winona County, Minnesota has closed after a "community norovirus outbreak" has sickened at least 30 people. The Minnesota Health Department said that they learned of the outbreak on September 30, 2014, but the illnesses may have started before that date. The outbreak was apparently confined to those people who ate at the Ground Round restaurant in Winona. But the outbreak is not officially linked to a single source, location, or event and will likely increase. The restaurant voluntarily closed so they could deep clean. There is no word on whether any employees were ill or if others in the community are sick. Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that spreads easily during the cold months, as more people spend time together indoors. Norovirus symptoms … [Read more...]

Jinga Pan-Fried Anchovies Recalled for Listeria

Jinga Pan Fried Anchovies Listeria Recall

Jinga “Pan Fried Anchovies” are being recalled for potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. There has been one illness reported in association with this recall. The recalled product was made by HAR Maspeth Corp. of Maspeth, NY and sold in 2 ounce and 4 ounce clear plastic packages marked with an expiration date of “9/28/2014” stamped on the top and distributed nationwide through mail orders and retail sales. Consumers who have purchased his product should not use it as Listeria can cause serious, sometimes life-threatening illness. At special risk are pregnant women, young children, frail or elderly people and others with weakened immune systems. Symptoms of an infection can take up to two months to develop and include high fever, severe headache, stiff neck, … [Read more...]

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