October 18, 2021

Queso Fresco Listeria Outbreak Spotlights High Risk for Pregnant Women

The ongoing queso fresco Listeria outbreak is spotlighting the tremendous risk listeriosis poses to pregnant women, especially those who are Hispanic. Pregnant women are 10 times more likely than the general population to contract Listeria infections, 24 times more likely if they are Hispanic. And, among pregnant women, Listeria can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth and infection in newborns even if the expectant mother only experiences mild symptoms. In this outbreak, linked to cheeses produced by El Abuelito of Paterson, NJ, 11 people have been sickened and one person has died, according to the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Two of the 11 illnesses are pregnancy-associated and include a newborn and a pregnant woman who … [Read more...]

FDA Joins Investigation of New E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has joined the investigation into the new E. coli O157:H7 outbreak.  The agency is collaborating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).CDC, state partners and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foods Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS) in the quest to discover the food source of the outbreak which is causing severe infections. Of the 16 people sickened, nine have been hospitalized, three have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a form of kidney failure associated with E. coli infections, and one person has died. While health officials don't yet know the food source, they do know, thanks to whole genome sequencing (WGS), that the outbreak strain is the same one linked to the 2018 outbreak linked to romaine … [Read more...]

What Do E. coli O157:H7 Outbreaks 2006-2020 Tell Us About New One?

Three days ago, the CDC announced a new five-state E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that is associated with unusually severe infections. Nine of the 16 people sickened have been hospitalized, three of them with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) a form of kidney failure. One person has died. The food source of the outbreak has not been identified yet, but health officials do know that the outbreak strain is the same one linked to the 2018 outbreak linked to romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, AZ that killed five people, and a deadly 2020 E. coli outbreak where leafy greens were a suspected source. Both the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS), which regulates meat and poultry, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which regulates all other foods … [Read more...]

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...]

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