December 1, 2015

Costco E. coli O157:H7 Chicken Salad Outbreak: It’s the Veggies

The FDA has announced that it appears onions and celery in Costco chicken salad may be the source of E. coli O157:H7 bacteria that has sickened at least 19 people in 7 states. Those people live in California (1), Colorado (4), Missouri (1), Montana (6), Utah (5), Virginia (1), and Washington state (1). According to news outlets, Taylor Farms in Salinas, California is the supplier of the vegetables for Costco Wholesale. The vegetables from that supplier are used in the chicken salads sold in all of the company's U.S. stores. Of those 19 ill persons, 16 have been interviewed. Fourteen of those people purchased or ate rotisserie chicken salad from Costco stores the week before they got sick. Five of the patients have been hospitalized, and two are suffering from hemolytic uremic syndrome … [Read more...]

Here’s What to Do if You Purchased Costco Chicken Salad Linked to an E. coli Outbreak

Chicken salad made and sold at Costco Wholesale stores in seven states has sickened at least 19 people with E. coli O157:H7 infections. Those sickened live in Washington state, Montana, California, Utah, Colorado, Missouri, and Virginia. The CDC, FDA, and USDA are investigating this outbreak, along with public health officials in the affected states. Five of the 19 patients have been hospitalized, and two have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Fourteen of sixteen people interviewed purchased or ate rotisserie chicken salad from Costco the week before they got sick. With such a wide distribution of case patients, it's probable that an ingredient used to make that salad in the stores and purchased in bulk by Costco is the source of the pathogenic bacteria. It is not probable … [Read more...]

Warning About Seafood in California Updated by CDPH

The California Department of Public Health is updating its warning to consumers about some seafood caught along the coast. Dungeness and Rock crabs, along with mussels and clams in some counties should not be eaten because they may contain high levels of domoic acid, a toxin. No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with the consumption of these fish. Consumers should not eat recreationally and commercially caught Dungeness and Rock crabs caught in the waters between the Oregon border and the southern Santa Barbara County line. The advisory has been extended to recreationally harvested bivalve shellfish (mussels and clams) from Humboldt and Del Norte counties. The white meat (adductor muscle) of scallops caught in those areas can be eaten, but the viscera should be … [Read more...]

Warning Against Eating Crabs in Central and Northern California

The California Department of Public health advised consumers not to eat Dungeness and Rock crabs caught in waters between the Oregon border and the southern Santa Barbara county line because of dangerous levels of domoic acid. This naturally occurring toxin can cause food poisoning. Test results have shown "persistently high levels" of domoic acid in these shellfish. The levels are over the state's action level for the crab's body meat as well as the viscera, which is also known as crab butter. These crabs pose a "significant risk to the public" if they are eaten. Domoic acid is related to a bloom of a single-celled plant called Pseudo-nitzschia. Conditions that support the growth of this plant are not possible to predict, so food safety experts rely on continuous testing to check if … [Read more...]

Shigella Outbreak Linked to Mariscos San Juan in CA Grows Again

The shigella outbreak linked to the Mariscos San Juan No. 3 restaurant at 205 North 4th Street in San Jose, California has grown again. As of October 27, 2015, there are 190 people sick. Ninety-two patients have been lab confirmed. So far, people living in Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda, Santa Cruz, Main, and Mercid counties are sick. Almost all of those sickened ate at the restaurant on Friday, October 16 or Saturday October 17, 2015. People contract a shigella infection by coming into contact with an infected person, by touching a surface contaminated with feces containing the bacteria, or by consuming food or beverages contaminated with infected feces. Shigella bacteria are very contagious, so secondary infections are almost certain to occur. Shigella bacteria cause an illness … [Read more...]

What Caused E. coli Contamination in High Hill Ranch Apple Juice?

Unpasteurized apple juice sold at High Hill Ranch in Camino, California has sickened at least seven people with E. coli infections, according to the El Dorado County Environmental Management and Public Health division. All of the patients live in Sacramento County and all consumed the product from the ranch in mid October this year. One person has been hospitalized and is expected to recover. The juice was consumed at home or at High Hill Ranch. Officials are warning consumers to not drink any unpasteurized apple juice purchased from the ranch on or after October 6, 2015. Unpasteurized apple juice, just like unpasteurized milk, has caused E. coli outbreaks in the past. An outbreak in Michigan in 2012 linked to unpasteurized juice sickened people. And an outbreak in Canada last year … [Read more...]

Shigella Outbreak at CA Mariscos San Juan Restaurant Grows to 182 Sick

As of 5:00 pm October 23, 2015, the number of outbreak-associated cases of Shigella food poisoning reported to the Santa Clara County Public health Department is 182. Of these cases, 144 people live in Santa Clara County. Thirty-eight reported cases live in other counties. Of the 182 total cases, 72 are lab confirmed. Other counties affected in this outbreak include Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Marin, and Merced. Almost all of the cases reported that they ate at Mariscos San Juan No. 3 restaurant on Friday, October 16 or Saturday, October 17, 2015. This outbreak has been growing steadily since it was first reported on October 20, 2105. Many of the patients in this outbreak have been hospitalized, and some have had to be admitted to intensive care. The Mariscos San Juan No. 3 … [Read more...]

What Caused the Shigella Outbreak at Mariscos San Juan Restaurant in California?

A Shigella outbreak at the Mariscos San Juan No. 3 restaurant in San Jose, California has sickened at least 98 people, according to the Santa Clara County Public Health Department. Twenty-four people have been diagnosed with shigellosis, the illness caused by this bacteria. And 12 people are in intensive care units at hospitals as a result of their illness. The numbers were updated October 21, 2015 by the Health Department. Public health officials are interviewing and testing all food handlers at the restaurant. The owner and employees of the restaurant are cooperating with the investigation. Health officials in Santa Cruz county are currently investigating five more "suspect cases" that may be linked to the restaurant. What caused this outbreak, and why are people so sick? First, … [Read more...]

Shigella Outbreak at Mariscos San Juan in San Jose Sickens 80

A Shigella outbreak at the Mariscos San Juan restaurant in California has sickened at least 80 people. Dozens have been hospitalized. The Santa Clara County Public Health Department has received reports of illness since associated with food served at the San Jose restaurant located at 205 N. 4th Street since Saturday October 17th. Customers who ate at the restaurant became ill with fever, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Many of them have been hospitalized; 12 were admitted to intensive care. So far, health officials have confirmed 15 cases of shigellosis, the infection that results from eating food contaminated with Shigella bacteria. Because the investigation is ongoing, lab results from additional cases are expected to arrive daily. Health officials closed the restaurant on … [Read more...]

Salmonella Outbreak at Fig & Olive Restaurants Remains a Mystery

The Salmonella Enteritidis outbreaks at Fig & Olive restaurants in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles, California remain a mystery. At least 174 people have been sickened after eating at those restaurants, and more cases are being investigated. We don't know what caused the outbreak, if the outbreaks at both restaurants are caused by the same serotype or genetic strain of Salmonella, or if other restaurants that are part of the Fig & Olive chain are involved. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has taken over the investigation, even though they have not released a report on the outbreak. The Washington D.C. Department of Health has taken environmental and food samples from the Fig & Olive restaurant in that city, and the Los Angeles County Department of Public … [Read more...]

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