May 25, 2015

CDC: 71 Food Poisoning Deaths in 2014


Food poisoning killed 71 Americans last year and sent 4,445 to the hospital, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The news about trends in illnesses associated with various pathogens such as E.coli, Listeria, Salmonella and Campylobacter was a mixed bag. Compared with 2006–2008, the 2014 incidence was: 32 percent lower for Shiga toxin–producing E. coli (STEC) O157; 22 percent lower for Yersinia;  52 percent higher for Vibrio, 13 percent higher for Campylobcater and about the same for other pathogens. While there were fewer illness from Shiga toxin–producing E. coli (STEC) O157 and Salmonella Typhimurium in 2014 than there were in the 2006–2008 and the 2011-2013 reporting periods,  the incidence of non-O157 STEC and Salmonella Infantis … [Read more...]

Milk Makers Fest E. coli outbreak Sickens 32

Whatcom County E. coli lawsuit

The Milk Makers Fest E. coli outbreak in Lynden, Washington, is growing in size as state and county health officials confirm more illnesses among more than 1,300 children who attended the educational event hosted recently by the Whatcom County Dairy Women. The investiation so far by the Whatcom County Health Department (WCHD) has confirmed 17 cases, including four individuals who have been hospitalized, the agency said in a news release. In addition, on Thursday there were 15 probable cases in people who had clinical symptoms and exposure to the event or people who attended it. Those cases are being confirmed through laboratory analysis. Dr. Greg Stern, Whatcom County’s health officer, has been identified as the principal contact in the investigation. He is urging those who attended the … [Read more...]

E. coli Outbreak at Milk Makers Fest Attended by Over 1,000 Children

E. coli Outbreak

An E. coli outbreak at an event attended by 1,000 grade school children has sickened at least six people. The outbreak is associated with the Milk Makers Fest at the Northwest Fairgrounds in Whatcom County, Washington. Two of them have been hospitalized. The festival in Lynden from April 21-23  was attended by school children from all of the school districts in Whatcom County attended the event including: Ferndale,  Bellingham, Lynden,  Blaine and Nooksack. Officials from the Whatcom County Health Department are interviewing ill students and their parents to determine if there was a common food or water source.  Or, if there was a common activity, such as petting zoo, among those sickened. Petting zoos are a common source of food poisoning. Symptoms of an E. coli infection include … [Read more...]

Leafy Greens Cause Multistate E. coli Outbreaks About Once a Year

Leafy greens cause E.coli outbreaks about once a year according to information compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Leafy greens are suspect in a current  E.coli outbreak in Canada that has sickened at least 12 people since mid-March. Canadian health officials say leafy greens such as lettuces, kale, spinach, arugula, or chard are a common exposure for those who became ill. In the U.S., there have been at least 15 multistate outbreaks attributed to leafy greens such as romaine or iceberg lettuce, spinach and bagged salad mixes since 1998. E. coli O157:H7 was the source of most of the outbreaks, but E.coli O145 was also a source. Some recent multistate E. coli outbreaks attributed to leafy greens include a 2013 outbreak linked to ready-to-eat  salads sold … [Read more...]

Death of Girl, 4, Spurs Mandatory E.coli Tetsing Bill in Orgeon


Serena Profitt, age 4, died last summer of E. coli poisoning. A bill introduced in the Oregon House, HB 3540, hopes to prevent similar tragedies. Health authorities believe Serena and her friend, Brad Sutton, 5, both contracted E.coli infections from the same source, but they never identified it. Bradley was hospitalized and survived, but help for Serena came too late. The children both became ill over Labor Day weekend last year experiencing bloody diarrhea. Serena’s family brought her to the hospital twice but she was sent home each time without being tested for E. coli. Serena's symptoms persisted, so the Profitts brought her to a different hospital where she was admitted going into shock and kidney failure. She died two days later after suffering a stroke and a massive … [Read more...]

E. coli on Jimmy John’s Cucumbers Sickened 9 in 2013

Cucumbers imported from Mexico were the source of a 2013 E.coli outbreak that sickened nine Jimmy John’s customers in the Denver area in 2013. It was the first time  in the U.S. that an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak was linked to cucumbers. The nine people who were sickened reported eating sandwiches containing cucumbers at three Denver-area Jimmy John’s shops in early October 2013. Lab tests revealed they were all sickened by the same strain of E.coli. Health investigators say it's likely that the cucumbers became contaminated before they arrived at the sandwich shop locations. That could mean that the cucumbers were contaminated during growing, harvest, transport, or distribution. Salmonella is more often associated with cucumbers, such as the outbreak last year that sickened 275 … [Read more...]

In Chicago, El Cubano Recalls 170,000 LBS of Beef Cheeks for E. coli

E. coli Bacteria

El Cubano Wholesale Meats in is recalling 170,000 pounds of beef cheeks for E.coli, the Associated Press has reported. The recalled products are labeled"Iowa Best Beef" and "For Cooking Only" and have "EST. 4653a" inside the inspection mark. The meat, which was distributed to stores and restaurants, should not be eaten. Food contaminated with E. coli O157 may not look or smell spoiled. Symptoms of an E.coli infection include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and watery or bloody diarrhea. In severe cases of illness, complications can include seizure, stroke, coma, and  kidney failure.   … [Read more...]

Outbreaks Show Freezing Doesn’t Kill Listeria, E. coli

HUS Lawyer for Farm Rich Outbreak

The Blue Bell Listeria outbreak is another example of how dangerous bacteria  such as Listeria and E.coli can survive freezing temperatures. Rare strains of Listeria in Blue Bell ice cream served to patients at Via Christi hospital in Wichita gave five of them listeriosis. Three people died. The source of the outbreak was traced to a machine at the company's Brenham, Texas facility that produced single serving ice cream treats such as ice cream bars, sandwiches and individually packaged scoops of ice cream. Many of the potentially contaminated products were distributed for use in food service, which was also the case with another frozen food outbreak. in 2013. An E. coli outbreak linked to Farm Rich frozen products sickened 35 people in 19 states in 2013. Most of them were under … [Read more...]

National Kidney Month, Learn Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome Risks

Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS) is a life-threatening complication of E. coli infections that causes kidney failure, primarily in young children. Because March is Kidney Month, it's a good time to learn the risks and symptoms of HUS. In the United States, HUS from E. coli infections is the most common cause of serious kidney injury in children and the most common cause of E. coli deaths.  About 7, 500 cases are diagnosed each year. And most E. coli infections in children are caused by contaminated food or drinks. E. coli outbreaks have been linked to hamburger, mechanically tenderized steak, lettuce, spinach, sprouts, raw milk, raw cheese, unpasteurized apple cider, strawberries, hazelnuts, frozen pizza and other frozen food products and cookie dough. Symptoms of E.coli infection … [Read more...]

Rare Bug E. coli O121 Causes 2 Outbreaks in 2 Years

HUS Lawyer for Farm Rich Outbreak

An uncommon strain of E. coli, E. coli O121, was the source of two of four multistate E.coli outbreaks in the last two years. A 2013 outbreak was linked to Farm Rich frozen products, and a 2014 outbreak was linked to raw clover sprouts produced by Evergreen Fresh Sprouts of Idaho. The sproutbreak sickened 19 people in six states who ate the contaminated sprouts on sandwiches served at Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwich locations, the Pita Pit, and Daanen’s Deli. Illnesses were reported in California (1), Idaho (3), Michigan (1), Montana (2), Utah (1), and Washington (11). FDA investigators found unsanitray conditions at the Evergreen facility including: a water pipe used for misting that could not be flushed, mold growth and dripping condensate off another water pipe, condensate dripping … [Read more...]

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