October 17, 2017

Archives for December 2013

The Largest Multi-State Food Poisoning Outbreaks of 2013

The 11 largest multi-state food poisoning outbreaks of 2013 sickened 1,642 people in 48 states and Puerto Rico. Nine of the outbreaks were caused by food contaminated with bacteria: five from Salmonella, two from E.coli , and one each from Listeria and Vibrio. The other two outbreaks were caused by a virus, hepatitis A and a parasite, Cyclospora. The food sources of these outbreaks included ground beef, frozen berries, salad mix served at restaurants, chicken, cilantro, cucumbers, tahini paste, cheese, raw shellfish, frozen snack foods and prepared salads. Four of the outbreaks were caused by imported foods: Cyclospora from salad greens and cilantro imported from Mexico; Hepatitis A from a frozen berry mix containing contaminated pomegranate seeds imported from Turkey; a Salmonella … [Read more...]

Food Safety Tips for Buffets

Many people are hosting buffet parties and open houses in the next two days. FightBac.org is offering a flier to help you keep that food safe. Make sure you follow the basic food safety rules of cook, clean, separate, and chill at all times. Wash hands and surfaces often, don't cross contaminate, cook foods to proper final temperatures, and chill perishable foods promptly. Refrigerate meat, eggs, poultry, and other perishable items as soon as you get home from the store. Keep cold foods cold by placing food dishes in larger bowls of ice. Arrange food on several small platters. This keeps food fresher and you'll waste less food when you remove it after two hours and set out fresh. Always follow the two hour rule. Keep hot foods hot by using warming trays, sterno cans, chafing dishes, … [Read more...]

Largest Multi-State Food Poisoning Outbreaks of 2013: #1

A Cyclospora outbreak that began in June and sickened 631 people in 25 states before ending in late September was the largest multi-state food poisoning outbreak of 2013. Health investigators determined that the outbreak had multiple food sources and that most illnesses were linked to tainted produce imported from Mexico. Almost 80 percent of the cases were from three states: Iowa, Nebraska and Texas.  Public  health investigators in Iowa, which had 140 cases, and Nebraska, which had 87, determined that the source of illness in those states was commercial bagged salad mix produced by Taylor Farms of Mexico and served at Olive Graden and Red Lobster restaurants. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration FDA concluded that many of the 270 cases of … [Read more...]

Three Children with E. coli O157 Infections in NC

The Davidson County Health Department in North Carolina is now investigating three cases of E. coli O157 infections in children who live in that area. They say that two Tyro Middle School students have been hospitalized with severe, bloody diarrhea, a symptom of hemolytic uremic syndrome, a complication of an E. coli infection. Another child has been identified with E. coli, but that child has not been hospitalized and attends a different school. Monecia Thomas, Davidson County Health Department Health Director said in a statement, "we are asking anyone in the community who has been sick during the month of December with severe or bloody diarrhea to please call the Davidson County Health Department at 336-242-2300. If you are still sick, please seek medical care." Transmission of E. … [Read more...]

FDA Extending Comment Period on Trans Fat Reduction

The FDA is officially extending the comment period on FDA's preliminary notice that partially hydrogenated oils, otherwise known as trans fats, will be removed from the "generally regarded as safe" (GRAS) list. FDA published this notice on December 17, 2013. The comment period is being extended by 60 days, to March 8, 2014. Many people had requested additional time to provide more comments. You can submit comments electronically to the FDA docket. Use docket number FDA-2013-N-1317. The FDA is stating that "based on new scientific evidence and findings of expert scientific panels, the FDA has tentatively determined that partially hydrogenated oils, which are the primary dietary source of industrially produced trans fatty acids, or trans fat, are not generally recognizes as safe for … [Read more...]

Largest Multi-State Food Poisoning Outbreaks of 2013: #2

An ongoing Salmonella outbreak linked to Foster Farms chicken is the second-largest multi-state food poisoning outbreak of 2013. The 23-state outbreak linked to seven drug-resistant strains of Salmonella has sickened 416 people,  40 percent of whom required hospitalization, about twice the average hospitalization rate. This is the second Salmonella outbreak linked to Foster Farms chicken this year. The first outbreak sickened 134 people in 13 states. Foster Farms did not issue a recall during either outbreak. But some retailers removed the chicken from store shelves following an October 7 health alert about the chicken issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS). The alert informed consumers that Salmonella infections were associated … [Read more...]

Giant Eagle Recalls Chocolate Santas for Undeclared Peanuts

Giant Eagle stores are recalling Candy Place Chocolate Santas because of undeclared peanuts. While the individual peanut butter filled candies reference "peanut butter", peanuts are not listed on the label as required by law. Anyone with an allergy to peanuts could have a serious or life-threatening reaction if they eat this product. The product is safe to eat if you are not allergic to peanuts. The product was sold in 11-ounce packages with UPC number 3003407341. The recalled varieties include chocolate, caramel, and peanut butter. The candies were purchased by about 1,100 customers in Giant Eagle supermarkets in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Maryland since October 1, 2013. No illnesses have been reported to date. If you purchased this product and are allergic to peanuts, return it to the … [Read more...]

ZIP International Recalls Herring for Listeria. Again.

For the eighth time in the last 21 months, ZIP International is recalling Herring Fillet in Oil because it may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with the consumption of this product. The herring is a product of Russia. The recalled products is FOSFOREL Herring Fillet in Oil, sold in 200 gram packages. The packaging is plastic and the best by date of 18/01/2014 (01/18/2014) is located on the round side of the packaging. The UPC number is 4607106577526. The product was sold to retail grocery stores in New York starting on 11/07/2013 and ending on 12/12/2013. The recall was initiated after routine sampling by the New York State Department of Agriculture found the bacteria. If you purchased this item, do not eat it. If you … [Read more...]

Largest Multi-State Food Poisoning Outbreaks of 2013: #3

A hepatitis A outbreak linked  to frozen mixed berries made by Townsend Farms and sold at Costco stores was the third-largest multi-state food poisoning outbreak of 2013.  Between May and September, 162 people in 10 states were sickened by the berries. Contaminated pomegranate seeds in the berry mix were identified as the source of  illness. Although the product was also sold at Harris Teeter stores, no one who became ill bought the product at Harris Teeter. Townsend Farms issued a recall for the Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend berries on June 4.  On July 15, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) put  Goknur Foodstuffs Import Export Trading of Turkey, the source of the tainted pomegranate seeds, on import alert, meaning that its shipments cannot be imported without  proof … [Read more...]

E. coli O157 Isolated from Bison

An article in BMC Veterinary Research states that E. coli O157 has been found in bison retail meat and has been isolated from feces at slaughter houses on on bison farms. This is distressing, since cattle are already well documented E. coli O157 reservoirs, and bison is considered an alternative to beef. Bison and cattle have common ancestors and lineage. The scientists found that the epithelial cell markers in the GI tract of bison and cattle were similar. E. coli O157 adheres to RAJ squamous epithelial cells (RSE) in both animals. The authors conclude that bison are "likely 'wildlife' reservoirs for E. coli O157, harboring these bacteria in their gastrointestinal tract." That means that bison can serve as reservoirs for E. coli O157 in the wild. Bison meat was implicated in a … [Read more...]

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