December 21, 2014

Listeria in Caramel Apples Kills 5, Sickens Dozens in 10-State Outbreak

Listeria caramel apples kill 5 sicken dozens

Five people are dead and dozens more sick in a 10-state Listeria outbreak linked to caramel apples, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports. Consumers should not eat commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples, including those covered with nuts, sprinkles, chocolate, or other toppings, until more information is available. So far, 28 people have been sickened, 26 were hospitalized and five people have died. Pregnant women are at special risk for Listeria infections which can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery and infection in the newborn baby. Nine of the illnesses in this outbreak affected pregnant woman and newborn babies. Three cases of Listeria meningitis were among otherwise healthy children ages 5 to 15. Case counts by state are as … [Read more...]

Don’t Eat Prepackaged Caramel Apples, Health Officials Warn, After Listeria Kills 5


A deadly Listeria outbreak has prompted federal and state health officials to warn consumers not to eat any prepackaged, commercially produced caramel apples, until more information becomes available. Twenty eight people in 10 states have been sickened by the contaminated apples. Five people have died. In Minnesota, two people died and two others were hospitalized after eating caramel apples purchased from local grocery stores. The nine other states reporting illnesses include: Arizona (4), California (1), Missouri (5), New Mexico (5), North Carolina (1), Texas (4), Utah (1), Washington (1), and Wisconsin (2). Sold under the brand names Carnival and Kitchen Cravings, the contaminated apples were sold in Minnesota at Cub Foods, Kwik Trip, and Mike's Discount Foods. A store list for other … [Read more...]

Listeria in Caramel Apples Kills 2, Sickens 2 Others in Minnesota


Listeria in caramel apples has killed two people in Minnesota and sickened two others, according to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). The illnesses are part of a multi-state outbreak, the agency said. MDH is working with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture,  the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on an investigation into the outbreak. The four people in Minnesota, all adults ages 59 to 90 years,  became ill in late October and November. All of then were hospitalized. Two of them died. MDH is warning consumers not to eat any pre-packaged, commercially-produced caramel apples, including those with toppings such as nuts, chocolate, and sprinkles until more information becomes available. The case patients in … [Read more...]

Wisconsin Issues Final Report on Durand Raw Milk Campylobacter Outbreak

E.coli in raw milk sickened 12

A final report about the raw milk Campylobacter outbreak in Durand, Wisc. has been issued by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS). The 25-page report confirms that the September outbreak, which sickened 38 people and hospitalized 10 who attended a football team potluck dinner, was caused by contaminated raw milk. The report does not name the farm that provided the milk, referring to it throughout as Farm A, but the name of the farm was released by the state agriculture department in response to an open records request by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The owners of  the Arkansaw, Wisc. farm, Roland and Diana Reed, did not tell attendees at the football potluck that the milk they contributed was unpasteurized.  The Reeds sell their milk to a local cheese maker and are … [Read more...]

Ottogi Hash Curry Recalled in Canada for Undeclared Milk


The Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Seoul Trading Corporation are recalling Ottogi Hash Curry (Hice Curry) because it contains milk and mustard that are not declared on the label. Mustard is an allergen in Canada. Any0one with an allergy to either of these two ingredients could have a life-threatening reaction if they consume this product. There is no word on whether or not any reports of reactions have been received to date. The recalled product is Korean Characters Only Ottogi Hash Curry (Hice Curry) in 100 gram packages. All codes where milk and mustard are not declare8 801045 015101d on the label are recalled. The UPC number is 8 801045 015101. It was sold in Alberta, British Columbia, and Manitoba at the retail level. If you purchased this product and are allergic to mustard … [Read more...]

Senators Question Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Task Force


Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) have sent a letter to Secretaries Chuck Hagel, Tom Vilsack and Sylvia Burwell of the Interagency Task Force for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria to ask how gaps in the FDA's plan to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria will be addressed. President Obama issued an executive order on September 18, 2014 to set up that Task Force. The first guiding principle of the national strategy is that "misuse and over-use of antibiotics in health care and food production continue to hasten the development of bacterial drug resistance, leading to the loss of efficacy of existing antibiotics." But almost 75% of the antibiotics sold every year in this country are used in food animal production, in a way that … [Read more...]

Common Kitchen Food Safety Mistakes


Researchers at Institute of Food Technologies have released information on the five most common food safety mistakes consumers make in their kitchens. The team videotaped 120 consumers as they prepared a chicken and a salad at home. Most consumers felt they were handling and cooking the food correctly, but many made critical mistakes. The first was not washing hands before starting to prepare food. Hands should be washed with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before starting to cook, and dried with a paper towel, not a cloth towel that can become contaminated. The second mistake was washing chicken. When chicken is washed under running water, the bacteria aerosolizes and spreads up to 3 feet away. The bacteria then ends up in the sink and surrounding countertops, and some may … [Read more...]

Bleating Heart Cheese Recalled for Possible Listeria Monocytogenes

Bleating Heart Cheese Listeria Recall

Bleating Heart Cheese is voluntarily recalling some of its sheep's milk and cow's milk cheese because it may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. Sampling by the FDA found the pathogenic bacteria in at least one sample of the cheese. No illnesses have been reported, but it can take up to 70 days for listeriosis, the illness caused by Listeria bacteria, to appear. The recalled cheeses are Ewelicious Blue, natural rind, aged 2-3 months. Identifying code is 14-0618 on the bottom label. Fat Bottom Girl cheese is also recalled, with natural rind, aged 2-3 months, with identifying code 14-0702. Finallly, Goldette Tommette cheese, natural rind, aged 2-3 months is recalled. The identifying code on that product is 14-0527. The cheese was produced in late May, late June, and … [Read more...]

Avian Flu Discovered in Wild Birds in Washington State


The USDA released a press bulletin stating that highly pathogenic H5 avian influenza has been confirmed in wild birds in Washington state. The virus H5N2 has been found in Northern pintail ducks. This virus has decimated poultry farms in Canada and Asia. No bird flu virus has been found in commercial poultry in the U.S. and no human cases have been detected in the U.S., Canada, or internationally. The government stresses that the birds are safe to eat if they are "properly handled" and cooked to 165°F as verified with a meat thermometer. Therein lies the problem. The sick birds were in Whatcom County, Washington. Two strains were found: H5N2 in the ducks and HPAI H5N8 in captive Gyrfalcons that were fed wild birds killed by hunters. USDA is working with the U.S. Department of … [Read more...]

Bean Sprout Salmonella Outbreak Sickens 111 in 12 States

bean sprout Salmonella outbreak sickens 111

A bean sprout Salmonella outbreak has sickened 111 people in 12 states, according to the latest update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Twenty six percent of those who became ill after eating sprouts produced by Wonton Foods Inc. of Brooklyn required hospitalization. The sprouts were sold at stores and served at restaurants on the East Coast. Since the last update on December 4, an additional 24 illnesses have been reported and the outbreak has spread to another state, Maryland. When the outbreak was announced November 21, Wonton Foods agreed to destroy any bean sprouts remaining and close its manufacturing facility for cleaning. On November 24, the firm resumed production and began shipping sprouts again November 29. Salmonella poisoning causes symptoms … [Read more...]

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