September 25, 2016

Black Forest Brand Ham with Natural Juices Recalled

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has announced that 502 Boundary Blvd. Inc., headquartered in Algona, Washington, has issued a recall of 8,694 pounds of ham products because they may be contaminated with rubber. Produced and packed by Sofina Foods in London, Ontario on July 18, 2016, the affected products were exported to the United States – the only country where they were distributed – on July 21, 2016. They were then shipped to Costco and Sam’s Club distribution centers and stores in Washington, Utah, and Alaska. The boneless, ready-to-eat hams were packed in 6.02-lb. vacuum-sealed packages labelled as “Fletcher’s Fine Foods CLASSICS Black Forest Brand Ham with Natural Juices.” This label also contains the phrases “Product of Canada” and … [Read more...]

Cryptosporidium Outbreak in NM Associated with Raw Milk

The New Mexico Department of Health says that they are investigating six cases of cryptosporidiosis associated with raw milk products. That illness is caused by the Cryptosporidium parasite. Also investigating the outbreak are the New Mexico Department of Agriculture and the New Mexico Environment Department. Those cases have been reported to the government since August 31, 2016. Each person sickened said they consumed raw milk products before getting sick. All of those sickened live in Bernalillo County. There is no word on any potential recall, or if any of the patients have been hospitalized, their ages, or conditions. Secretary of Health Designate Lynn Gallagher said in a statement, "raw milk products may be contaminated with a variety of infectious pathogens. We are … [Read more...]

Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak Kills 1, Sickens 17 in Hopkins, MN

The Minnesota Department of Health is scrambling to pinpoint the source of a serious outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease that has sickened 17 people who had been living, visiting, or working in Hopkins, Minnesota since August 4th. One of these victims has now died. The person who died was elderly and was one of the previously confirmed patients. Doug Schultz of the Minnesota Department of Health confirmed those numbers. All of the cases were exposed before or during the first full week of September 2016, before the outbreak was identified. The victims, all exposed to the potentially fatal Legionella pneumonia bacteria in the Hopkins vicinity, range in age from their 20s to their 90s; most are elderly or have chronic health conditions. Legionella bacteria are commonly found in the … [Read more...]

Censea Frozen Shrimp Recalled for Possible Salmonella

Censea Inc. is recalling its Shell On Black Tiger Frozen Shrimp imported from Vietnam because it may be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria. No illnesses have been reported in connection with the consumption of this product. Testing by the Arizona Department of Health Services indicated the presence of Salmonella bacteria. The shrimp are sold raw and must be cooked before eating. The recalled product is 8/12 Headless Shell On Black Tiger Frozen Shrimp. The brand is A-PAC and the case pack is 6 x 4 block frozen (24 pound Master Carton), not labeled for retail sale. The date code is 36009V. The product was distributed to wholesale, retail, and restaurant locations in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois, and Texas. If you … [Read more...]

Food Worker at Benjamin Parker School in Kaneohe, HI Diagnosed with Hepatitis A

The principal of Benjamin Parker Elementary School in Kaneohe, Hawaii has sent a letter to parents telling them that a cafeteria kitchen worker has been diagnosed with hepatitis A. That person worked in the kitchen from August 28 to 30, 2016. All meals will be prepared offsite until further notice. All children should have been vaccinated against hepatitis A as part of routine childhood vaccinations. Any child who is vaccinated is immune to the illness caused by this virus. But any children who have not previously been vaccinated should be seen by their pediatrician for a discussion about a vaccination. The letter was sent out too late to warn parents and get their children vaccinated if they were not, since the shots are only effective if given within 14 days of exposure to the … [Read more...]

Blue Bell Ice Cream Recalled for Listeria

Blue Bell Ice Cream is voluntarily recalling some products made in its Sylacauga, Alabama plant because they were made with a chocolate chip cookie dough ingredient supplied by Aspen Hills that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. Blue Bell ice cream was the center of the 10th largest foodborne illness outbreak of 2015. Ten people were sickened with listeriosis after eating Blue Bell products; three of them died. You can see pictures of the recalled products at the FDA web site.   Aspen Hills sent a recall notice to Blue Bell about its No Egg Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough after testing at the Blue Bell facility "identified a potential problem," according to the recall notice. No reports of illness have been received to date, but listeriosis, the illness … [Read more...]

SM Fish Closed by FDA; Illnesses Linked to Facility

The FDA has suspended the food facility registration of SM Fish Corporation of Far Rockaway, New York after finding Listeria monocytogenes at that location during three different inspections. In addition, whole genome sequencing (WGS) matched one of the strains found at SM Fish to isolates from four people sickened with listeriosis. Anyone with un-expired ready to eat food manufactured by SM Fish should not eat those products. This is an expansion of the July 29, 2016 recall of Ossie's Herring Salads to include all RTE foods from that facility. Ossie's ready to eat seafood salads were also recalled on September for possible Listeria contamination. Listeria was first fond in the facility in 2015 and found Listeria bacteria in 15 of 105 locations swabbed throughout the building. An … [Read more...]

Hawaii Scallop Hepatitis A Outbreak Grows to 276 Sick

The hepatitis A outbreak in Hawaii that is linked to raw scallops imported from the Philippines served at Genki Sushi restaurants has grown by five more this week. That brings the total sickened to 276. All of the cases are in adults. Sixty-eight people have been hospitalized in this outbreak, about 24.6%. On August 15, 2016, public health officials discovered the hepatitis A virus in Sea Port Bay Scallops (Wild Harvest, Raw Frozen) from the Philippines that were distributed by Koha Oriental Foods and sold at Genki Sushi restaurants on Oahu and Kauai. Food workers at six restaurants and two flight attendants for Hawaiian Airlines have also been diagnosed with this illness. The restaurants and the airline are not the source of this outbreak, and no illnesses have been linked to … [Read more...]

The FDA Offers Tips on Tailgating Food Safety

Fall is football season, and that means a lot of eating. Tailgating is part of that sport; people set up grills and picnic tables in the parking lots of stadiums and chow down. The FDA is offering tips to make your tailgating event a food safety success. Plan ahead for food safety. Make sure you have these items on hand to keep the food you serve safe: paper towels, moist towelettes or hand sanitizer, two coolers (one for food and one for beverages), ice, frozen gel packs, two sets of cooking utensils (one for raw foods and one to take cooked food off the grill), paper plates, disposable silverware, a food thermometer to check the temperature of burgers and chicken, and clean containers to hold leftovers. Always wash your hands well with warm water and soap for at least 2o … [Read more...]

Texas Brucellosis Outbreak Linked to Raw Cheese from Mexico

A brucellosis outbreak in Texas has been linked to unpasteurized cheese from Mexico, according to a health advisory issued by the Dallas County Department of Health and Human Services. A record number of 13 people have been diagnosed in 2016 so far. Dallas usually has only 2 to 6 cases of brucellosis every year. There were 11 Brucella infections total in 2014. The cheeses were brought into the U.S. from Mexico by friends or relatives, consumed while traveling in Mexico, or bought from local street vendors. The patient age range is from 6 to 80 years. Most required hospitalization to start treatment. And two incidents of "high-risk occupational exposures of hospital laboratory personnel have occurred during handling of these clinical Brucella isolates." Brucella bacteria typically … [Read more...]

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