October 18, 2017

Archives for April 2015

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

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...]

CFA Analyzes USDA Meat and Poultry Inspection Program

The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) has released an in-depth analysis of the USDA's primary meat and poultry food safety regulation program. That program was implemented after the 1993 E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to undercooked burgers at Jack in the Box restaurants. The report, called "The Promise and Problems of HACCP: A Review of USDA's Approach to Meat and Poultry Safety" looks at the history of the program and identifies gaps. Two examples are: plants fail to develop effective food safety plans, and the USDA fails to identify problems with those plans; and plants are repeatedly cited for recurring violations with very little consequences. CFA is recommending that the government develop better approaches to reviewing food safety plans. Plants should be required to … [Read more...]

Officials Notified About Jeni’s Ice Cream Listeria Before Recall

According to ABC, federal health officials knew about the Listeria monocytogenes contamination in Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream a week before the recall was issued to the public. The FDA was notified on Aprl 15, 2015, but the recall was not issued until April 23, 2015. Ice cream and Listeria monocytogenes has been in the news ever since a deadly Listeria outbreak was linked to Blue Bell ice cream. Ten people have been sickened in that outbreak, and three people have died. Government officials have discovered that people were sickened by this ice cream as far back as 2010. Ice cream is not a food normally associated with food poisoning outbreaks, but all ready-to-eat foods that are not cooked by the customer (known as a "kill step") are vulnerable. Deli meats and cheeses, raw milk, and … [Read more...]

Apples Slices Sold at Starbucks, Subway in Canada Recalled for Listeria, Illness Reported

Sun Rich Fresh Foods Inc. is recalling apple slices for Listeria in Canada. One illness has been reported. The apple slices were sold at Starbucks, Subway and grocery stores. Consumers who have purchased this product should not eat it as Listeria can cause serious illness and death. Listeria poisoning causes vomiting, nausea, persistent fever, muscle aches, severe headache and neck stiffness. Pregnant women, seniors, people with compromised immune systems and young children are most at risk. Among pregnant women Listeria infections can cause miscarriage and stillbirth.   … [Read more...]

After Botulism Outbreaks, CDC Issues Home Canning Tips

After two botulism outbreaks were reported in one month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has compiled some tips on home canning, the most common source of foodborne botulism. In New Mexico, two people sickened with botulism were hospitalized in Texas. In Ohio, at least 21 people who ate at a church potluck were sickened and one of them died. Botulism is caused by a nerve toxin produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum which is found in soil and dust. Symptoms include: double vision, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, muscle weakness, descending paralysis, difficulty breathing and shortness of breath. Death occurs when the muscles that control breathing are paralyzed. Between 1996 to 2008, 116 foodborne … [Read more...]

More Details on Whatcom County, WA E. coli Outbreak

The Whatcom County Health Department is investigating a STEC (Shiga Toxin-producing E. coli) outbreak associated with the Milk Makers Fest at the Northwest Fairgrounds on April 21 through April 23, 2015. Six cases have been identified so far; five are of primary school children who attended the event. Public health officials are interviewing the children who attended the event and their parents to try to pinpoint the food, water source, or activity that caused the illnesses. The department is also monitoring to make sure the illness doesn't spread from person to person. If any person goes to a doctor with diarrhea, a stool culture will be taken. Any positive E. coli results will be reported to officials, since this is a reportable illness. Three of the five children had stool … [Read more...]

Hy-Vee Recalls Summer Fresh Pasta Salad for Listeria

Hy-Vee is recalling its brand name Summer Fresh Pastas Salad for possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. No illnesses have been reported to date, but the illness caused by this pathogenic bacteria can take up to 70 days to appear. The recalled product is Summer Fresh Pasta Salad sold in its stores' kitchen department cold cases and salad bars. The frozen vegetables used to make the salad were potentially contaminated with Listeria. It is packaged upon customer request from the kitchen col case and would have been in 16 ounce or 32 ounce clear plastic containers. A light tan scale-produced label with the product name, weight, and price would be on the container. The salad was sold in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota. If you purchased this product … [Read more...]

Jeni’s Up-Front About $2.5 Million Listeria Recall

Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream is keeping cutomers informed and employees partially compensated as it grapples with a $2.5 million Listeria recall. After Listeria was found in a pint of dark chocolate ice cream last week, The company's CEO John Lowe has been posting updates on the company's website. At the time of the recall, no illnesses had been reported in association with the products, but the recall comes at a time when ice cream made by another company, Blue Bell, has. In mid-March, After Listeria in its ice cream was linked to illnesses and deaths, Blue Bell recalled some of its ice cream and then expanded the recall, twice. Jeni's recalled all of its ice cream and stopped making more after one pint tested positive for Listeria. Lowe says no one should be eating any flavor of … [Read more...]

Six Kids in Lynden, Washington Sickened with E. coli

Six children in Lynden, Washington have been sickened with E. coli infections after attending a festival at the Northwest Fairgrounds on April 21 - 23, 2015, according to the Whatcom County Health Department. The Milk Makers Fest is held at the fairgrounds and is sponsored by the Whatcom County Dairy Women. Lab tests have confirmed three cases of E. coli poisoning. The Blaine School District has released a statement about a confirmed case of E. coli at their primary school. More than a thousand children from all school districts in the county were introduced to farming at the festival and could pet farm animals such as sheep, small horses, rabbits, chickens, and a calf. Hand sanitizers were provided at several locations during the event, but they are not a substitute for washing with … [Read more...]

Two Tuna Salmonella Outbreaks in 3 Years

For the second time in three years, a Salmonella outbreak has been linked to contaminated tuna and sushi. This month, a never-before-seen strain of Salmonella in raw tuna has sickened at least 25 people. Three years ago, a Salmonella outbreak linked to raw, scraped tuna sickened 425 people in 28 states and the District of Columbia. Symptoms of Salmonella poisoning include nausea, abdominal cramping and diarrhea that can be bloody. In the current outbreak, 18 of those sickened are from California. Health officials have not released the names of the states where the other seven people live, but they had traveled to California at the time of exposure. Five people have been hospitalized. Health officials urge anyone who develops symptoms of Salmonella poisoning after eating raw tuna or … [Read more...]

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