April 17, 2014

Kitchen Cutting Boards Harbor Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

Cutting Board

A new study published in the Journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology found that kitchen cutting boards can become contaminated with antibiotic-resistant bacteria from raw meat. Researchers at the University Hospital in Basel, Switzerland looked at 154 cutting boards before they were washed from the hospital and 44 from private homes after they were used to prepare pork, beef, veal, lamb, game, or fish. In addition, kitchen gloves worn during meat preparation were tested. The scientists discovered that 6.5% of the hospital cutting boards and 3.5% of the household cutting boards used to prepare poultry tested positive for "multidrug-resistant E. coli bacteria." None of the boards used for meat other than poultry dated positive. Fifty percent of the gloves were contaminated … [Read more...]

U.S. Army Developing Handheld Food Safety Tool

E.-coli-food-illness

The U.S. Army is developing a handheld inspection tool to increase food safety for soldiers. The Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center is making a small, sensitive, hand-held device that will "both capture and detect dangerous pathogens that can cause food-related illness." Scientists at the Natick Center are collaborating with the FDA, Winchester Engineering and Analytical Center, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology after receiving a 2013 FDA leveraging and collaboration award. The award is for "Designing Handheld Resistance Based Biosensors Utilizing Conducting Nonwoven Fibers for In-Field Microbial Pathogen Detection." Since food safety is critical to combat readiness, this tool will reduce the danger faced by troops. Andre Senecal, one of the … [Read more...]

Swiss Study Finds Raw Chicken in Hospitals has E. coli

Raw-Chicken-Breast

A study published in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, a publication of the Society for Healthcare epidemiology of America, found that more than 80% of raw chicken that enters the hospital food supply is contaminated with E. coli bacteria. The study tested raw chicken delivered to the central hospital kitchen at the University Hospital of Geneva in Switzerland. The bacteria is a new antibiotic resistant form called extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) that produces E. coli. Dr. Andrew Stewardson, the lead author of the study said in a statement, "while a high proportion of chicken contaminated by antibiotic resistant E. coli  is a significant concern, robust food safety measures taken by hospital kitchen staff are able to prevent the spread of these pathogens and minimize … [Read more...]

E. coli in Your Well? March is a Good Time For Annual Test

Water glasses

Residents of Marion Twp., Pa. are drinking water from a tank that has been trucked into  town after E.coli was discovered in a well earlier this week. Lab tests on the water, which came out of taps with a cloudy appearance, found E.coli and total coliform bacteria which are both signs of human or animal waste contamination, according to WFMZ-TV News. Officials have not determined the source of the contamination. Testing wells once a year is a good idea and one of the main goals of National Ground Water Awareness Week March 9-15, 2014. Thirty percent of all available freshwater comes from ground water, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Occasionally, it becomes contaminated from incorrect use of fertilizers and pesticides, poorly located, or damaged septic … [Read more...]

E. coli in Apple Cider Yields Lifelong Health Issues, Felony Conviction

apple-cider-E.-coli-lawsuit

A Michigan farmer who was repeatedly told to stop making apple cider because he was not meeting food safety standards is headed to jail after an E.coli outbreak linked to the cider hospitalized four people including two small children. Some of those sickened will likely have lifelong health problems stemming from their E.coli O157:H7 infections. James Ruster, the owner of Mitchell Hill Farm in Ellsworth, is the first person to be convicted of a felony under Michigan’s Food Law. Ruster pled guilty to willful misbranding and adulteration of food products and was sentenced on February 18, 2014 to 14 to 48 months in prison, plus fines and court costs. “It’s paramount that we maintain the safety of Michigan’s food and agriculture products. Mr. Ruster showed a blatant neglect for not only … [Read more...]

E. coli Outbreak at Scotland’s Hydro Sickens 21

E.-coli-HUS-hamburger

An E.coli outbreak linked to burgers served at the SSE Hydro center in Glasgow, Scotland has sickened 21 people. The Hydro is a 12,000-seat entertainment venue that opened last fall. Those who fell ill likely attended performances between January 17 and January 19, investigators say.  During that time, there were three shows at The Hydro: Top Gear, Del Amitri and Celtic Connections. Twenty of the case patients are from Scotland. One is from England. All have recovered or are recovering at home. The outbreak is not expected to grow because the incubation period has passed. Symptoms of an E.coli infection, which include stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea and fever, usually set in three to four days after exposure but can take as long as 10 days to appear. Sometimes the diarrhea is … [Read more...]

Raw Goat’s Milk Recalled for E. coli in WA

Goat

The Laughing Goat, a dairy in Roy, Washington state, is recalling its Grade A raw goat's milk because it may be contaminated with E. coli bacteria. No illnesses have been reported to date. The product was sold in pint, quart, and half-gallon plastic containers with green lids. The milk had best-by dates between February 11 and February 19, 2014. The products were sold at the retail level in Thurston, Pierce, Lewis, and King counties. Routine testing by the Washington State Department of Agriculture found the pathogenic bacteria. It is possible that since tracing an illness back to a specific food product takes time, illnesses may have occurred. If you purchased this milk, do not consume it. Return it to the place of purchase. It's legal to sell and buy raw milk in Washington … [Read more...]

Recalled E. coli Beef Products Sold at Kroger and Walmart

Steak

The USDA has released a retail distribution list for beef products produced by PFP Enterprises of Texas that were recalled for the Big Six Shiga toxin-producing E. coli bacteria (STEC). No illnesses have been reported to date in association with this recall. Use the pack dates and other identifying information to see if you bought any of the recalled products. This list, according to the USDA, "may not include all retail locations that have received the recalled product or may include retail locations that did not actually receive the recalled product." The stores include Brookshire Food Stores in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas; Kroger in Louisiana and Texas; and Walmart stores in Texas. The beef was sold at Super 1 Foods at 3916 NE Evangeline Thruway in Carencro, Louisiana. The … [Read more...]

E. coli and Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome Outbreak in Davidson County, NC: 2 Tyro Middle School Students Hospitalized

E coli HUS

The source of the E. coli O157 outbreak in Davidson County, North Carolina, is still unknown. Two children who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) have been hospitalized, both of them students at Tyro Middle School. HUS is a severe complication of an E. coli infection that causes kidney failure and a host of other serious medical problems, including stroke, heart failure, diabetes and pancreatitis. HUS can be fatal. "E. coli outbreaks are most often caused by food contaminated with E. coli bacteria. Even a small bite of food containing these deadly pathogens can cause serious illness or death," said attorney Fred Pritzker, a national E. coli lawyer who represents children with E. coli and HUS. "E. coli can also be caused by animal contact at a petting zoo or fair, and my … [Read more...]

Largest Multi-State Food Poisoning Outbreaks of 2013: #7

Farm-Rich-Mozzarella-Bites-

An E. coli outbreak linked to Farm Rich frozen products was the seventh-largest, multi-state food poisoning outbreak of 2013. The 19-state outbreak sickened 35 people from December 2012 through April 2013. Lab tests on Farm Rich products from patients’ homes established that Farm Rich brand frozen food products were the source of this outbreak. Farm Rich issued a recall for products with "best by" dates ranging from January 1, 2013 to September 29, 2014. The recalled products, which included Mozzarella Bites, Mini Pizza Slices, Mini Quesadillas and Philly Cheese Steaks, were distributed nationwide to retail and foodservice locations. Retailers that sold the product included: Alco, Food Lion, Food City, Price Chopper Ralph’s, Safeway, Schnuck’s, Supervalu, Target, and Winn Dixie. In … [Read more...]

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