November 30, 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...]

Costco Chicken Salad in CO, WA, UT, MT Linked to E. coli Outbreak

The Colorado Department of Public Health andEnvironment (CDPHE) is investigating an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to chicken salad purchased at Costco stores in that state in late October. At least four people have been sickened with E. coli O157:H7 infections in Colorado. Other states with confirmed E. coli cases linked to Costco chicken salad are Utah, Montana, and Washington. The case count by county is: Arapahoe (1), Jefferson County (2), and Routt (1). One person has been hospitalized, and all persons In Colorado have recovered. People purchased the salad from Costco stores on October 25 and 26, 2015, and became ill between October 28 and November 3, 2015. The FDA, USDA-FSIS, and CDC are working with Costco to determine the source of contamination. The product is also being … [Read more...]

Typhoid Outbreak at Qdoba Restaurant in Firestone, CO

A typhoid fever outbreak has been announced in Weld County, Colorado. Three people were sickened after eating at a franchised Qdoba Mexican restaurant in Firestone, Colorado. Two people were hospitalized as a result of their illness. Public health officials believe the cause was an infected food handler at the restaurant. That person is no longer working at the restaurant, is not showing signs of the illness, and is receiving medical treatment. Current and former employers are being tested to make sure that no one else is sick. Typhoid fever is caused by Salmonella typhi bacteria. Dr. Mark E. Wallace, Executive Director of the Weld County Health Department said in a statement, "Typhoid fever is very rare. The good news is the illness is treatable with antibiotics. Simply having eaten … [Read more...]

Utah, Colorado, Montana Hit by Cucumber Salmonella Outbreak

People living in Utah, Colorado, and Montana have been hit by the Salmonella outbreak linked to Andrew & Williamson imported cucumbers. At least 30 people in Utah have been sickened by Salmonella Poona bacteria; 14 are sick in Colorado, and 11 in Montana. The cucumbers, which were imported from Baja, Mexico, were grown and packed by Rancho Don Juanito and distributed by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce in California. The cucumbers that were distributed from August 1, 2015 through September 3, 2015 have been recalled by the company. It's important to note, however, that illnesses in this outbreak began on July 3, 2015, meaning that cucumbers sold before August 1, 2015 were also likely contaminated with the pathogenic bacteria. But the shelf life of cucumbers is about one … [Read more...]

Norovirus Outbreak at Subway in Buena Vista, Colorado

According to the Mountain Mail, a norovirus outbreak at a Subway sandwich shop in Buena Vista, Colorado has sickened at least 20 people. The illnesses occurred in mid-November 2014. Chaffee County Public Health was contacted by five people claiming illness after eating at the restaurant. Samples from five patients tested positive for norovirus. Most of the patients were students at Buena Vista High School. One employee from the restaurant reported being ill. That employee most likely caused the contamination, according to Victor Crocco, Chaffee County Environmental Health Manager. No more cases have been reported since November 20, 2014. The restaurant was not closed after the outbreak, but was cited for three "noncritical" violations. Workers at the restaurant cleaned all surfaces … [Read more...]

Outbreak at 9Health Fair in Colorado

The Rio Grande County Public Health Department says a food poisoning outbreak has occurred among attendees at the 9Health Fair in Monte Visto, Colorado, on April 5, 2014. The food was supplied by the Kiwanis Club, according to 9News. Public health officials are investigating the outbreak to try to determine the cause. Samples have been taken and were sent to the state laboratory. Results are expected early next week. About 30 people have been sickened in the outbreak, including participants and volunteers at the event. The illnesses appear to be contained to people who attended the health fair. There is no word on the symptoms people are experiencing. When the results come back, the public will be informed. The people who were in charge of the fair will be given information about … [Read more...]

Denver Jimmy Johns E. coli Outbreak Under FDA Microscope

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is at the center of a government investigation of an outbreak of E. coli infections in the Denver area associated with sandwich food from Jimmy John's restaurants. The FDA's involvement in tracing the origins of the outbreak has to do with the agency's food safety mandate over fresh produce. Alicia Cronquist, an epidemiologist for the Colorado Department of Health and Environment, has said the leading hypothesis over what made people sick revolves around a batch of contaminated fresh produce of some kind. Dave Steigman, an FDA spokesman, told The Packer, a respected industry trade publication, that field investigators hope to know more about the source by the end of this week. The probe has centered on three Jimmy John's sandwich locations in … [Read more...]

Anthrax Suspected In Death Of 50 Cattle in Colorado

Anthrax has killed one cow and is suspected to have killed 50 others on a Logan County ranch in Colorado, according to the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA). The ranch has been quarantined. None of the cattle left the location prior to quarantine or entered the food chain. CDA and public health officials are conducting an ongoing investigation, monitoring the people, cattle, and equipment that may have come into contact with anthrax. "Our focus is on the potential for human exposure," Dr. Tony Cappello, district public health administrator for the Northeast Colorado Health Department, said in a statement.  "We are currently conducting our own public health investigation and contacting individuals that have been involved with the livestock.  Anthrax is not spread from person to … [Read more...]

After Deadly Listeria Outbreak, Jensen Farms Files Bankruptcy

Jensen Farms, the source of the 2011 cantaloupe Listeria outbreak that killed 35 people and sickened a total of 146 people in 38 states, has filed for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the U.S. bankruptcy code. Documents filed with U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Denver on May 25, show that the farm, based Holly, Colorado, which earned about $5 million a year in 2009, 2010 and 2011, has between 50 and 99 creditors and faces seven personal injury lawsuits and 12 wrongful death suits. The farm’s total assets are estimated to be between $1 million and $10 million while its total liabilities are estimated to be between $10 million and $50 million. Eric S. Jensen is listed as president of ESJ Inc., and general partner. The cantaloupe Listeria outbreak linked to the farm was one of … [Read more...]

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