October 9, 2015

Salmonella Outbreak at Fig & Olive Restaurants Remains a Mystery

Fancy Restaurant

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...]

San Quentin Legionnaires’ Outbreak Traced to Cooling Towers

Legionnaires Bacteria

A Legionnaires' Disease outbreak at the San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, California was caused by contaminated cooling towers. The report was filed by J. Clark Kelso, the federally appointed receiver who is responsible for the California prison's medical system. Thirteen inmates were diagnosed with Legionnaires' Disease, and more than 80 others were diagnosed with pneumonia. Some of the staff were also sickened, and there are twelve cases of staff members' illness that are currently being investigated. The report states that "Later water tests of environmental samples revealed that the water in two of the cooling towers at the top of the Central Health Services Building had high concentrations of Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1, which is the most common cause of … [Read more...]

Deadly Salmonella Cucumber Outbreak Grows to 671 Sick

Salmonella Poona Cucumber Outbreak 92915

The Salmonella Poona outbreak linked to cucumbers imported by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce has grown to include 671 people sick in 34 states. Three people have died from their infections, and 131 people have been hospitalized. Alabama was added to the list of states with ill persons. This is an increase of 113 cases since the last update on September 22, 2015. Now, 51% of ill persons are children younger than the age of 18. The case count by state is: Alabama (1), Alaska (13), Arizona (112), Arkansas (9), California (164), Colorado (17), Hawaii (1), Idaho (22), Illinois (8), Indiana (2), Iowa (5), Kansas (2), Kentucky (1), Louisiana (5), Minnesota (34), Missouri (10), Montana (14), Nebraska (5), Nevada (13), New Mexico (30), New York (5), North Dakota (3), Ohio (2), … [Read more...]

Fig & Olive: Salmonella Outbreaks on Opposite Coasts

Restaurant photo

The restaurant chain Fig & Olive has been linked to two Salmonella outbreaks on opposite coasts of the country. One of the restaurants is located in Washington D.C.'s City Center, and the other is on Melrose Place in West Hollywood, California. Restaurants are the most common setting for foodborne illness outbreaks, and restaurant chains are often involved. The Washington D.C. outbreak may have sickened 160 people in 5 states. The outbreak in West Hollywood has sickened at least 12 people, with nine confirmed cases. Some of the patients in the California outbreak are employees. The restaurants are part of a New York-based chain. The D.C. Fig & Olive was closed for six days while an investigation was conducted by health inspectors.  The restaurant reopened when management … [Read more...]

Cucumber Salmonella Outbreak Sickens 558

Salmonella Poona Cucumber Outbreak 9.22.15

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated their investigation into the Salmonella Poona outbreak linked to imported cucumbers. Since the last update on September 15, 2015, 140 new illnesses have been reported. Now at least 558 people in 33 states have been sickened in this outbreak. One hundred twelve people have been hospitalized as a result of their infections, and three people have died. Those who died lived in Arizona, California, and Texas. Fifty-two percent of ill people are children under the age of 18. The new states involved in this outbreak are Iowa and South Dakota. A recall by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce, which imported the cucumbers, has been issued. The FDA has discovered that the cucumbers were produced at Rancho Don Juanito de R.L. de … [Read more...]

International Recalls of Listeria Contaminated Cheese

Yanni Feta Listeria Recalled Cheese

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Tree of Life Canada are recalling Yanni and Gopi brand cheese products for possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. There have been no illnesses reported in Canada associated with the consumption of these cheeses, but there is an outbreak in the United States linked to recalled Karoun Dairies products. In fact, in the United States, the Listeria outbreak linked to these cheeses has sickened 24 people in nine states. Twenty-one people, including five pregnant women, have been hospitalized because of their illness. One person in Ohio has died and one woman suffered a miscarriage, according to the CDC. The case patient count is: California (14), Colorado (1), Illinois (1), Massachusetts (2), Michigan (1), New York (2), Ohio (1), … [Read more...]

Cucumber Salmonella Outbreak Numbers Grow to 341 Sick, 2 Dead

Salmonella Poona Cucumber Outbreak 9915

The multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Poona linked to imported cucumbers has grown. Now at least 341 people in 30 states are sick. this is an increase of 56 cases in the last 5 days. Two people have, sadly, died of their illnesses; one in Texas and one in California. And 70 people have been hospitalized. Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback investigations have identified imported cucumbers from Mexico, distributed by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce as the likely source of this outbreak. Ninety-one percent of the 134 people interviewed so far reported eating cucumbers the week before they got sick. So far, Arizona, California, Montana, and Nevada isolated Salmonella from samples of cucumbers collected from locations that were distributed by Andrew & Williamson Fresh … [Read more...]

Legionnaires’ Outbreak at San Quentin State Prison


A Legionnaires' Disease outbreak at the San Quentin State Prison has forced that facility to shut off the water. There are six confirmed cases, and at least 51 other possible cases. Those prisoners who have been diagnosed with the illness have been transferred to hospitals for treatment. The possible cases are under observation at the prison's medical unit. Portable toilets are being brought in for the prisoners' use. The kitchen has stopped producing meals; inmates are eating boxed meals. The prisoners who may be sick live in all areas of the prison. The Marin County Health Department is investigating the outbreak. No visitors have been allowed in the facility since the outbreak began. No prisoners can be transferred in or out of the facility as well. Inmates are being told they … [Read more...]

Consumers Warned to Not Eat Seafood From California Counties

The California Department of Public Health is warning consumers to not eat certain types of seafood caught in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties. Recreationally harvested mussels and clams, commercially or recreationally caught anchovies and sardines, and the internal organs of recreationally caught crab contain dangerous levels of domoic acid. Dominic acid is a poison that can affect people. The symptoms usually appear within 30 minutes to 4 hours after eating toxic seafood. In mild cases, symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache, and dizziness. But in severe cases, victims may have trouble breathing and suffer confusion, disorientation, cardiovascular instability, seizures, permanent loss of short-term memory, coma, or death. Cooking the shellfish will not remove … [Read more...]

Breakers Hotel, CA Restaurant Shut Down for Norovirus


The Sky Room at the Long Beach Breakers Hotel closed down for four days in May after a norovirus outbreak, according to the LA Times. The restaurant closed on May 22 through the 25th for cleaning. About 21 people were sickened in an outbreak that occurred between May 1 and May 9, 2015. Symptoms included nausea, watery diarrhea, headache, weakness, chills, abdominal pain, and a low fever. Three of the patients had lab-confirmed norovirus illnesses. The rest are considered "probable" cases. The restaurant followed CDC guidelines to clean, including steam cleaning furniture, the elevator, fabrics, and equipment. The sanitation process was repeated several times. No illnesses have been reported since May 9. Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that is spread through person to person … [Read more...]

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