February 26, 2015

Preventing E. coli Outbreaks One Goal of NYC Restaurant Inspections


Can restaurant grading systems like the one in New York keep people out of the hospital? Reducing food poisoning from E. coli, other bacteria and unsanitary conditions is one of the goals of the these systems. With letter grading systems, restaurants have more of an incentive to use good food safety measures. New York's program requires restaurants to post the letter grade of their health inspection in their front window. The city began using the letter grading system in July 2010. Poor hygiene, improper food handling and storage and temperature abuse are the most common causes of bacterial and viral foodborne illnesses. Outbreaks are often linked to cross-contamination in kitchens, sick employees, employees who don't wash hands before touching food, pest infestations, unsanitary … [Read more...]

Washington Beef Recalls Trim for E. coli


Washington Beef of Toppenish, Wash. is recalling 1,620 pounds of boneless  beef trim product that may be contaminated with  E. coli O157:H7. Companies that have received this product should not use it as it could cause serious illness. The recalled boneless beef product, produced on Nov. 28, 2012, was packaged in 60 lb. bulk packs marled “TRIM 65/35 (FZN)”  with the establishment number “EST. 235” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The recalled product was shipped for further processing to a single grinding facility, then distributed to hotels, restaurants and institutional kitchens in Oregon and Washington. The company discovered the problem during an internal records audit and had not received reports of illness at the time of the recall. However, E. coli O157:H7 can cause … [Read more...]

Largest Multistate Food Poisoning Outbreak of 2014: #7

Retial stores that sold ground beef linked to an E.coli Outbreak in MI, OH, MA and MO.

A four-state E. coli outbreak linked to ground beef produced by Wolverine Packing Co. of Detroit was the seventh-largest multistate food poisoning outbreak of 2014. Twelve people were sickened 12 people and six were hospitalized but none developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), the life-threatening complication of E. coli infections that causes kidney failure. The outbreak sickened five people in Michigan, four in Ohio, 1 in Missouri and 1 in Massachusetts. All of the illnesses were linked to restaurant meals. Wolverine recalled almost 2 million pounds of ground beef products. The 97-page list of ground beef products recalled, did not include restaurant names. The case patients in this outbreak first became symptomatic between April 22, 2014 to May 2, 2014. They range in age … [Read more...]

Study: E. coli From Cattle Feedlots Can Blow Onto Neighboring Produce Fields


E. coli from cattle feed lots can blow into neighboring fields and contaminate produce, according to a new study. The finding raises the question if setback distance between cattle feedlots and produce fields should be adjusted to improve food safety. The two -year study was conducted by researchers from the U. S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, Clay Center, Nebraska;  the Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis, California; and the U. S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Beltsville, Maryland. It appears in the  December issue of Applied and Environmental Microbiology In both years,  leafy greens were planted to nine plots located 60, 120, … [Read more...]

USDA: Avoid E. coli by Leaving Raw Beef of the Holiday Menu

Ground Beef

Eating raw meat can cause E. coli infections and other illnesses, so leave raw beef dishes off the menu this holiday season, the U.S. Department of Agriculture advises. Some families consider raw meat dishes, such as tartare, kibbeh and "Tiger Meat" a holiday traditions, but they pose serious health risks. In December 2012, 17 people in Wisconsin got E.coli poisoning from eating a raw beef and onion mixture sometimes called "Tiger Meat."  In 1994,  a raw beef outbreak sickened more than 100 people in Wisconsin. E.coli causes severe stomach cramps and diarrhea that can be bloody. In a some cases a complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) can develop. HUS which most often strikes young children with E. coli infections causes kidney failure, stroke, seizure, coma and … [Read more...]

E. coli In Yuba City Elementary School Well Does Not Cancel Classes

E. coli Bacteria

School administrators at Barry Elementary School in Yuba City, California notified parents that E.coli had been detected in the school's well but that classes would continue. The well has been shut off,  portable hand washing stations and bottled water have been brought into the school, and all meals are being prepared offsite. But the toilets will still be used. Under the circumstances, not all parents were comfortable with the idea of sending their kids to school. Kari Bush told CBS13 that, knowing the risk that E.coli poses for small children, she was uncomfortable with the idea of sending her three kids to school. E.coli can cause serious sometimes fatal illness. Young children are at elevated risk for E. coli poisoning and the serious complications that it can trigger such as … [Read more...]

In Canada, Your Fresh Market Brand Ground Beef Recalled for E.coli

Ground Beef

Your Fresh Market brand ground beef is being recalled in Canada for E. coli.  Consumers who have purchased this product should not eat it. At the time of the recall, no illnesses had been reported, but E.coli poisoning can cause serious or life-threatening illness. The recalled meat was produced by Cargill Meat Solutions (Est. 700) and sold at Walmart and other stores in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan. The recalled products are all Your Fresh Market with the  "best before" date 2014.NO.28. They are as follows: Extra Lean Ground Beef Sirloin in 475 g packages, with UPC 6 05388 18363 7;  Extra Lean Ground Beef in 475 g packages with UPC 6 05388 18369 9; Medium Ground Beef in 475 g packages with UPC 6 05388 18365 1; Lean Ground Beef in 475 g packages with Best Before … [Read more...]

USDA FSIS Releases Cost Estimate for Big Six E. coli Tests


The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA- FSIS) has released the cost analysis for testing six additional Shiga toxin-producing E.coli (STEC) strains. The analysis was posted in a November 19 notice  in the Federal Register. Some strains of E.coli, such as E.coli O157:H7, produce toxins called Shiga toxins. Infections from STEC cause hemorrhagic colitis, which causes the bloody diarrhea associated with E. coli O157:H7 infections. If the toxins, leave the digestive tract and travel to the bloodstream, it can cause hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and/or thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP). HUS and TTP cause serious, life-threatening injury such as kidney failure, seizure, stroke and coma. Before 2011, E. coli O157:H7 was the only strain of … [Read more...]

E. coli in Ranchers Legacy Ground Beef Prompts Recall


E. coli in Ranchers Legacy Meat has prompted a 1,200-pound recall. All products produced by the Vadnais Heights, Minn. company on Nov. 19, 2014 are subject to recall. The recalled products were packaged in plastic cryovac sealed packets in various weights and distributed nationwide. The recalled products have a Package Code or Use By date of 12/10/2014 and bear the establishment number “Est. 40264” inside the USDA mark of inspection. A list of stores that received the product is not yet available. The recalled prodIndividual products include: Ranchers Legacy Ground Beef Patties 77/23, Ranchers Legacy Ground Chuck Patties 80/20, Ranchers Legacy USDA Choice Ground Beef 80/20, Ranchers Legacy USDA Choice WD Beef Patties 80/20, Ranchers Legacy RD Beef Patties 80/20,OTG Manufacturing … [Read more...]

E. coli in Clackamas County OR Sickens 3 at Montessori School

E. coli Bacteria

An E. coli outbreak has sickened three children at a West Linn Montessori school in Clackamas County, OR, according to the Oregonian. Two of the children have been diagnosed with E. coli O157:H7 infections. Health officials have recommended that students and employees of Heart Centered Montessori be tested for E. coli and not return to school, swim or participated in group activities until they receive clear test results. The school is for young children with classes for infants, toddlers, pre-schoolers and 6 year olds. E. coli is transmitted through contaminated food and water or through contact with  animals. Symptoms  of an E. coli infection include diarrhea that can be bloody diarrhea and abdominal pain. Children with these symptoms should see a doctor and mention possible … [Read more...]

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