May 29, 2016

Dangerous E. coli Superbug Now in the U.S.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced on Thursday, May 26, 2016 that E. coli resistant to the critical antibiotic colistin was found in a person in this country for the first time. In addition, colistin resistance was also found in a sample taken from a pig intestine that was analyzed by the USDA. The E. coli bacteria that was found in the pig was also resistant to ampicillin, streptomycin, sulfisoxazole, and tetracycline. This is the scenario that food safety experts and doctors have been dreading for some time. Colistin is a last-resort drug that is used to treat patients who have multi-drug resistant infections. The bacteria has also been found in Europe and Canada. The patient with the resistant E. coli bacteria was treated in an outpatient military … [Read more...]

September 2015 E. coli Outbreak at Holy Land Restaurant in Minneapolis

An E. coli outbreak sickened seven people who ate food prepared at the Holy Land Deli in Minneapolis in late September and early October of 2015, according to a report from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). During interviews with health officials, three people sickened by the same strain of E. coli O157:H7 said they had eaten Holy Land food before becoming ill. Symptoms of an E. coli infection include abdominal cramps and diarrhea that can be bloody. On October 12, 2015, MDH sanitarians went to the restaurant at 2513 Central Ave, NE in Minneapolis to "evaluate food preparation and handling procedures, check for additional complaints, interview food workers, collect credit card receipts from September 24, and collect catering invoices from September 24-29," according to the … [Read more...]

Weekly Food Recall Roundup: April 24, 2016

Listeria in frozen vegetables, E. coli in ground beef, glass fragments in jarred fruit and undeclared allergens in foods and supplements are among this week's food recalls.  Recalls of foods and supplements sold in the U.S. or in both the U.S. and Canada are listed first. Recalled foods and supplements sold only in Canada follow those listings. CRF Frozen Foods of Pasco, Washington has issued  a recall for frozen vegetables that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.The recalled items, sold under the brand names True Goodness By Meijer, Wellsley Farms Organic, Organic By Nature and Schwan’s, were sold in plastic bags in the freezer sections of stores between September 13, 2015 and March 16, 2016. Consumers who have purchased these products should not eat them as Listeria can … [Read more...]

Pizza Ranch is Latest E. coli Outbreak Linked to Dough

Beef is the most common source of E. coli outbreaks, but it's not the only one. E. coli outbreaks have been linked to vegetables, dairy, fruit, poultry, frozen foods and dough. The nine-state outbreak linked to Pizza Ranch restaurants is the latest example of an E. coli outbreak linked to dough. The E. coli O157:H7 outbreak sickened 13 people in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Carolina, New Jersey, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Minnesota between December 6, 2015 and January 16, 2016. Dough used to make desserts was the source of the outbreak. The company, which has discontinued using the dough, faces lawsuits stemming form the outbreak. Both of them on behalf of children who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a complication of  E. coli infections that most often … [Read more...]

New Food Poisoning Tests Fast But Lack Detail Needed to Track Outbreaks

New food poisoning tests give faster results than old ones but don't provide the level of detail necessary to track outbreaks, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The agency is advising health labs to  do the old tests whenever the a new one indicates a foodborne bacterial infection. Over the long-term,  the CDC is working with partners to develop better testing methods that can provide results that are fast and detailed. The new tests, called culture-independent diagnostic tests (CIDTs), can provide results in hours instead of the days needed for traditional culture tests which grow bacteria from stool samples to determine the cause of illness. The culture tests provide detailed information about the specific strain of bacteria. This … [Read more...]

E. coli Prompts Boil Water Advisory at Wellesley College

E. coli has prompted a boil water advisory at Wellesley College. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection issued the advisory for  four buildings on the campus: Weston Terrace, Fiske House, the Wellesley Community Children’s Center, and the Child Study Center. The advisory means that anyone using water in these four buildings should boil it before drinking it. The advisory was issued after a problem was discovered during routine testing of the water system. The system is being flushed and retested throughout the weekend. No illnesses had been reported at the time the advisory was issued. E. coli symptoms usually develop within two to five days of exposure but can appear within 24 hours or take as long as 10 days to develop.  They include stomach cramps and diarrhea, … [Read more...]

E. coli Causes Most of USDA-Regulated Food Outbreaks

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection service (FSIS) regulates meat, poultry, and egg products. That agency evaluated outbreaks associated with meat and poultry through fiscal years 2007 through 2012 to see how many were linked to FSIS-regulated products and which pathogens caused the most outbreaks. Differences in outbreaks from 2007 through 2009 and from 2010 through 2012 were assessed. Of the 163 reported outbreaks used in this analysis, 89, or 55%, were identified as possibly linked to FSIS-regulated products, and 74, or 45%, were definitely linked to FSIS-regulated products. These products were associated with 4,132 illnesses, 772 hospitalizations, and 19 deaths. Shiga toxin-producing E. coli bacteria was associated with 55% of these outbreaks, followed … [Read more...]

Minnesota E. coli Lawyers Speak out on Raw Sprouts Dangers

A team of E. coli food poisoning lawyers from PritzkerOlsen Attorneys met in Minneapolis today to urge all restaurants, food co-ops, grocery stores, deli operators, food trucks, lunch counters and other retailers to  place warning labels on any food item containing raw sprouts. The attorneys reissued their nationwide call for mandatory consumer warnings on raw sprouts in the wake of two multi-state outbreaks in the first two months of 2016. One of the sprout outbreaks involves toxic E. coli and the other involves Salmonella. “We are calling for a mandatory consumer warning any place where raw sprouts are sold,’’ said attorney Fred Pritzker, founder and president of PritzkerOlsen, one of the very few U.S. law firms practicing extensively in the area of foodborne illness … [Read more...]

National Zoo Under Quarantine for E. coli Discovery

The Smithsonian's National Zoo has temporarily closed the Kids' Farm exhibit, which is essentially a petting zoo, because E. coli bacteria were found in some of the animals. No staff have been sickened and no animals are showing any signs of disease, according to the press release, but animals generally do not get sick from this type of bacteria. Veterinarians found the E. coli stx 1 gene bacteria in goats through a routine fecal screening process on February 18, 2016. The goats were moved into the barn and kept away from other animals and from visitors. More cultures were performed on February 22, 2016. On February 26, 2016, results revealed that four goats and one cow were positive for the bacteria. The Kids' farm was immediately quarantined. All farm animals are being treated with … [Read more...]

15 E. coli Outbreaks of 2015

E. coli is a major source of food poisoning sickening thousands of Americans each year. Symptoms of an E.coli infection, which include abdominal cramping and bloody diarrhea, usually set in about three days after exposure and last about a week. Complications include hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) which can lead to kidney failure. Leafy greens, ground beef and petting zoos are common sources of E.coli outbreaks, but they're not the only ones, as a look back at the outbreaks in 2015 shows. Although most food poisoning outbreaks occur restaurants, the settings for these outbreaks varied. Of the 15 high-profile E. coli outbreaks of 2015, three were associated with restaurants: Chipotle, Twisted Fork and Worthy Burger. One, Los Chilangos, was associated with food from a food … [Read more...]

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