November 30, 2021

Senator Jon Tester Introduces Bill to Suspend Beef Imports From Brazil

United States Senator Jon Tester (D-Montana) has introduced a bill to suspend beef imports from Brazil after there have been repeated issues with delayed reporting of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), or Mad Cow Disease, in beef products. The legislation would force a systemic review of the beef's safety before imports could resume. Tester said in a statement, "Montanans demand the highest level of safety and certainty in their beef, and Brazilian imports aren’t making the cut. Folks expect their beef to have been rigorously tested against the strictest of standards, and concerns about Brazilian imports not only jeopardize consumer trust, but present a serious risk to Montana producers. We owe it to our domestic producers and consumers to halt Brazilian imports until we can … [Read more...]

Blackstone Labs Conspired to Sell Unlawful Dietary Supplements

Blackstone Labs and two of its executives pleaded guilty to conspiring to sell illegal anabolic steroid and unlawful dietary supplements, according to the U.S. Justice Department. According to court documents, on November 17, 2021, the executives, Phillip Braun and Aaron Singerman, pleaded guilty to distributing controlled substances and to selling unapproved new violation of FDA statutes through their company, which was located in Boca Raton, Florida. The defendants admitted that, from 2012 through 2017, they conspired to sell products that were unapproved new drugs and/or illegal controlled substances, while they falsely characterized their products as safe and legal dietary supplements under the Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act. The products were also falsely … [Read more...]

Some Birds Eye Broccoli Tots Recalled For Foreign Material Contamination

Some Birds Eye Broccoli Tots are being recalled for possible foreign material contamination in the form of small rocks and metal fragments. That poses a mouth injury and choking hazard. Calls from consumers alerted the company to this problem. There have been two reports to date of dental damage that have occurred in association with the consumption of this recalled product. The recalling firm is Conagra Brands.   The recalled products are all Birds Eye Broccoli Tots that are packaged in 12 ounce bags. The recalled tots have four specific batch/lot codes. The product has the same item UPC number 00-0-14500-00125-2 printed on the bag and the same case UPC number of 20-0-14500-00125-6, but the batch or lot code and best by dates are different. The broccoli tots with batch … [Read more...]

E. coli Illnesses Are Increasing in Wyoming, According to Health Department

E. coli illnesses are increasing in Wyoming, according to that state's health department, along with cases of norovirus. This information, in a press release from the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH), offered no specifics as to patient ages, hospitalizations, or any hints about possible sources. Norovirus is likely among the increase in gastrointestinal illnesses, but Matt Peterson, WDH surveillance epidemiologist, said in a statement, "We are specifically seeing increased reports of E. coli across the state recently compared to previous years, which can be particularly concerning in children under 5." The symptoms of norovirus and E. coli are similar up to a point, but norovirus is usually a self-limiting illness, and people who contract this infection usually do not seek … [Read more...]

Starbucks Hepatitis A Positive Worker in Camden County, NJ

A Starbucks hepatitis A positive worker in Camden County, New Jersey worked while infectious, according to the Camden County Health Department. A health care provider notified the county about this situation. That Starbucks location is at 1490 Blackwood Clementon Road in Gloucester Township. The employee worked there on November 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, and 13, 2021. Public health officials were notified on November 17, 2021 that a patient had tested positive for hepatitis A. Members of the Food Surveillance Unit visited the store on that day and conducted an inspection, which showed no evidence of food safety violations. The store was closed, based on the investigation, and was not allowed to open until all of the employees were vaccinated against the virus. Camden County Health Officer … [Read more...]

Now 892 Sick in the Salmonella Onion Outbreak; 183 Hospitalized

There are now 892 sick in Salmonella onion outbreak that is linked to red, white, and yellow onions imported from Mexico as of November 12, 2021. One hundred eighty three people have been hospitalized. That is an increase of 84 new cases, one new state (Hawaii), and 26 new hospitalizations since the last update on October 29, 2021. The patient case count by state is: Alabama (5), Arkansas (17), California (14), Colorado (3), Connecticut (5), Florida (43), Georgia (2), Hawaii (1), Illinois (48), Indiana (1), Iowa (4), Kansas (17), Kentucky (9), Louisiana (8), Maryland (63), Massachusetts (13), Michigan (10), Minnesota (25), Mississippi (3), Missouri (51), Nebraska (9), New Jersey (5), New Mexico (11), New York (20), North Carolina (23), North Dakota (4), Ohio (8), Oklahoma (114), … [Read more...]

Alsum Farms Onions Are Recalled For Possible Salmonella Contamination

Alsum Farms onions are recalled for possible Salmonella contamination, according to an FDA notice. The fresh yellow, white, and red onions were delivered to retailers in Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, and Pennsylvania between July 13, 2021 and August 18, 2021. The onions were imported from Chihuahua, Mexico by Keeler Family Farms. No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with onions marketed through Keeler Family Farms. Alsum Farms & Produce is located in Friesland, Wisconsin. You can see all of the secondary onion recalls in association with a multistate Salmonella outbreak here. The recalled Alsum Farms onions are packaged in several different ways. The fresh whole yellow onions are packaged in 3 pound bags with lot codes 049008, 099008, 109008, 119008, … [Read more...]

Two Minnesotans Sick with E. coli After Eating Organic Baby Spinach

Two Minnesotans sick with E. coli O157 infections after eating organic baby spinach are part of a larger multistate outbreak, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. That agency is working on this investigation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the FDA, along with public health agencies in other states. The CDC says this is an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak, but the state has not yet named the serotype. The two Minnesota patients got sick from October 17 to October 23, 2021. Neither patient was hospitalized. The patients are in their mid-20s. One person lives in the metro area, and the other is from outstate Minnesota. One patient ate Josie's Organics organic baby spinach that was purchased from HyVee, and the other case ate Fresh Thyme organic baby … [Read more...]

Josie’s Organics Baby Spinach E. coli Outbreak Sickens 10 in 7 States

A Josie's Organics baby spinach E. coli O157:H7 outbreak has sickened at least 10 people in seven states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Of eight people who gave information to public health officials, two have been hospitalized, for a hospitalization rate of 25%. The patient case count by state is: Indiana (3), Iowa (1), Michigan (1), Minnesota (2), Missouri (1), Ohio (1), and South Dakota (1). Illness onset dates range from October 15, 2021 to October 27, 2021. The patient age range is from 2 to 71 years. Whole genome sequencing showed that bacteria from patient isolates are closely related, suggesting that people in this outbreak got sick from eating the same food. State and local public health officials interviewed people about the foods … [Read more...]

Swan Bros Raw Milk Recalled in OK For Possible Listeria Monocytogenes

Swan Bros raw milk is being recalled in Oklahoma for possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination, according to news reports.  The dairy is located in Claremore, Oklahoma. The detection of that pathogen is confirmed. The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry allegedly found the bacteria in a routine sample collected from the dairy. Consumers should not drink these products, or use them in cooking. The raw milk was sold in plastic half-gallons, gallons, and pints directly from the dairy. The recalled sprouts include whole milk, 2% milk, skim milk, and raw heavy cream that is sold in pints. If you purchased any of these Swan Bros raw milk products, throw them away in a sealed or double bagged package inside a secure trash can with a tight fitting lid. You can also … [Read more...]

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