January 15, 2021

Director of FDA CORE on Romaine: “I like to call it poop in a cup”

After a lively presentation today, the FDA’s Coordinated Outbreak Response and Evaluation (CORE) Network Director Stic Harris, DVM, MPH took questions from the webinar audience. When asked if there was something about romaine lettuce that made it more susceptible to E. coli contamination than other leafy greens, Harris described the funnel-like shape of a head of romaine and said, "I like to call it poop in a cup." The question and answer session followed Harris's presentation called "FDA Grand Rounds: The CORE Network (or How I Learned to Love Lettuce…)" The goal of the webinar was to describe how the FDA works in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state agencies to identify outbreaks, stop them, analyze them, and, ideally, prevent from happening … [Read more...]

2020 Meat and Poultry Recalls Hit All-Time Low

In-Depth Analysis From Food Poisoning Bulletin Who’s Been Minding our Meat? When Food Poisoning Bulletin began a review of food recalls in 2020, we discovered there had been a dramatic decline in the number of recalls for meat and poultry but not for other food products. To find out why, we analyzed five years of recall data published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS), the federal agency that regulates meat, poultry, and egg products. Our research showed that meat and poultry recalls plummeted to an all-time low this year. Just 29 recalls were issued for meat and poultry in 2020 (through December 10) and only one of them was for bacterial contamination. Those numbers are a fraction of the annual averages since 2016 - 128  total … [Read more...]

How E. coli, Salmonella and Listeria Recalls Prevent Serious Illness

When Food Poisoning Bulletin began a review of food recalls in 2020, we discovered there had been a dramatic decline in the number of recalls for meat and poultry but not for other food products. To find out why, we looked at five years of recall data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS), the federal agency that regulates meat, poultry, and eggs. A decline in the number of recalls for bacterial contamination is concerning. To read our in-depth analysis, click here. Bacterial Contamination in Meat is Serious E. coli, Listeria and Salmonella are bacteria that cause typical food poisoning symptoms when they are ingested but each of them can also cause serious illness and death. That’s why companies that produce food are required to have … [Read more...]

Hiland Dairy Recalls Chocolate Whole Milk for Undeclared Egg

Hiland Dairy of Kansas City, MO has issued a recall for half-gallons of chocolate whole milk because they contain undeclared egg. People who with allergies or sensitivities to eggs should not drink this product as they risk a life-threatening allergic reaction if they do. At the time of the recall, no illnesses had been linked to the product. The recalled product, which may contain eggnog, was sold at grocery stores in Kansas City, Topeka, Kansas and St. Joseph, Missouri. It was sold in plastic half-gallon jugs with the UPC num er 0-7206000128-0, the "Sell by" date Dec 13, 2018, and the Plant Code: 29-162. Other Hiland Dairy products are not affected by this recall. The Dairy learned about a potential issue and then confirmed it after quality control testing. About 1,151 one half … [Read more...]

Chukar Cherries Expands Ultra Dark Chocolate Recall for Undeclared Milk

Chukar Cherries of Prosser, Washington is expanding its recall of Ultra Dark Chocolate products because they contain undeclared milk. People who have a milk allergy or severe sensitivity should not eat these products as they run the risk of a serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they do. People with lactose intolerance also could become ill if they eat this product. The recalled products include: Ultra Dark Chocolate Black Forest Cherries, UPC 0 11261 23907, best by date 8 11/2019 Ultra Dark Chocolate Cocoa Pecan, UPC s 0 11261 22507, best by date 1 10/2019 Organic Ultra Dark Vanilla Chocolate Rainier Cherries, UPC 0 11261 27207, best by date 5 10/2019 Organic Ultra Dark Orange Chocolate Tart Cherries, UPC 0 11261 27507, best by 6 10/2019 They were sold in … [Read more...]

California Hard Hit by JBS Tolleson Ground Beef Salmonella Outbreak

California has been hard hit by the ground beef Salmonella outbreak linked to a 12-million-pound recall. About one-quarter of all illnesses reported in this outbreak, 66 of the 246 total, have occurred in California. It's also the state with most grocery stores affected by the massive recall. The outbreak, which was announced on October 4, 2018, includes 246 people in 25 states, according to the latest update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Fifty-nine people got so sick they need to be hospitalized. Other states reporting illnesses linked to this outbreak are: Arizona (42), Colorado (50), Connecticut (1), Hawaii (4), Idaho (3), Iowa (1), Illinois (1), Indiana (1), Kansas (1), Kentucky (1), Massachusetts (1), Minnesota (2), Missouri (3), Montana (8), New Mexico … [Read more...]

Wegmans Recalls Ravioli for Plastic Pieces

Wegmans Food Markets Inc. is recalling one date code of Wegmans Italian Classics Striped Ricotta & Spinach Ravioli because it may contain plastic pieces. This poses a choking hazard. The recalled product was sold fromTuesday, Aug. 2 and Tuesday, Aug. 30, in 9 oz.  containers with the UPC # 0-77890-38934 and a "use or freeze by date" of Sept. 30, 2016. It was produced by O’ Sole Mio in Quebec, Canada, is packaged in a plastic tray, and sold in a refrigerated case in the dairy department. About 1,638 units of the recalled product were sold in 90 Wegmans stores located in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts. Wegmans reports that the recalled product  has been removed from all stores. If you purchased this product, do not eat it. Throw it away or … [Read more...]

Regalo Bakery Recalls Spanish Rolls and More for Undeclared Allergens

Regalo Bakery of Honolulu, Hawaii has issued a recall for several products that contain undeclared allergens and artificial food coloring. The recalled products with undeclared wheat, soy, milk, eggs and artificial food coloring include: Spanish Rolls, Manju Black beans (Hopia Monggo), Manju Onions (Hopia Baboy), Balintawak, and Taro Bread. Kababayan contains undeclared wheat, soy, and artificial food colorings. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to eggs, wheat, milk, soy and artificial food color (e.g. yellow #5, yellow #6, or red 40) run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products. For those who are susceptible to allergic reactions, allergens can cause hives, swelling, itchiness, cramps, difficulty swallowing, shortness of … [Read more...]

Tropical Smoothie Cafe Hepatitis A Hospitalization Rate Double the Average

The Hepatitis A strain linked to Tropical Smoothie Cafe outbreak is packing a wallop. Generally, about 20 percent of people with a Hepatitis A infection require hospitalization, but in this outbreak, the hospitalization rate is 46 percent. The outbreak has been linked to frozen strawberries imported from Egypt, which were removed from all store locations on August 9, according to the company. But because Hepatitis A has an incubation period that can take up to 50 days, new cases are still being reported. So far, 81 cases in seven states have been confirmed: Maryland (6), New York (1), North Carolina (1), Oregon (1), Virginia (66), West Virginia (5), and Wisconsin (1). Hepatitis A, a virus that affects the liver, isn't common in the U.S. Since the vaccine against this virus was … [Read more...]

Tropical Smoothie Cafe Hepatitis A Outbreak: 81 Illnesses in 7 States

The Tropical Smoothie Cafe Hepatitis A outbreak continues to expand and now includes at least 81 confirmed cases in seven states. The outbreak has been linked to frozen strawberries imported from Egypt which, the company says, were removed from all stores on August 9. Most of the illnesses are in Virginia where the case count increased from 55 yesterday to 66 today. Hepatitis A has can take as long as 50 days to incubate, so although these cases are newly confirmed, they stem from contaminated smoothies served at Tropical Smoothie Cafes before August 9. The 66 people sickened in Virginia range in age from 14 to 68 and reported onset of illnesses dates ranging from May to August. About 42 percent of them were so sick they required hospitalization. The case count by region of the … [Read more...]

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