September 19, 2017

Listeria Outbreak in Rhode Island Prompts Warning of Raw Cheese

A Listeria monocytogenes outbreak has sickened two people in Rhode Island, according to the Rhode Island Department of Health. This outbreak has prompted officials to issue a health warning about unpasteurized queso fresco (Mexican cheese). Queso fresco is a type of soft Mexican cheese. All cheeses, including Queso fresco, queso blanco, panela, and asadero-style cheeses are only considered safe when they are marked with a professional label stating that they are "pasteurized" or "made from pasteurized milk." Homemade queso fresco is sometimes made with raw milk. Raw milk can be contaminated with pathogens that can cause serious illness. The pasteurization process kills pathogenic bacteria. The warning especially applies to pregnant women, who can suffer serious complications … [Read more...]

California Hard Hit in Deadly Salmonella Papaya Outbreak

California has been hard hit in the fourth deadly Salmonella papaya outbreak.  There are four outbreaks connected to Maradol papayas that were imported from Mexico. This outbreak was announced by the CDC this week. No one living in California has been sickened in the other three outbreaks. This outbreak was caused by Salmonella Anatum. Fourteen people were sickened, including 12 in California. One person in California has died. Five people have been hospitalized in this outbreak, for a 42% hospitalization rate. That is much higher than the typical 22% hospitalization rate in most Salmonella outbreaks. This could be because the bacteria is resistant to antibiotics, the fruit may have been contaminated with a lot of bacteria, or the bacteria was unusually virulent. This outbreak … [Read more...]

The FDA Weighs In on The Deadly Papaya Salmonella Outbreak

The FDA has updated its information on the deadly Salmonella outbreak linked to imported Maradol papayas. Increased testing by the FDA has found papayas from two farms positive for Salmonella strains that matched illnesses not related to the initial outbreak. So the FDA is telling consumers not to eat Maradol papayas from these farms in Mexico: Carica de Campeche in Tenabo, Campeche, Mexico; Caraveo Produce in Tecomán, Colima, Mexico; and El Zapotanito in La Huerta, Jalisco, Mexico. No papayas are currently on the market from these farms because their shelf life has passed, but the agency is continuing traceback and trace forward activities. Other importers may have sourced papayas from those farms. Three brand of Maradol papayas have been recalled:  Caribeña brand, distributed … [Read more...]

Salmonella Papaya Outbreak Case Count Increases to 210

The multistate Salmonella outbreak linked to imported Maradol papayas has now sickened at least 201 people in 23 states. One person in New York City has died. Since the last update on August 18, 2017, 28 more people have been sickened and two more states have reported ill persons: Florida and South Carolina. And the CDC says there are two more Salmonella outbreaks linked to papayas that were imported from two other farms in Mexico. A total of nine people are sickened in those two outbreaks, for a total of 210. The case count by state in the main outbreak is: Connecticut (7), Delaware (4), Florida (1), Iowa (2), Illinois (5), Kentucky (4), Louisiana (1), Maryland (9), Massachusetts (8), Michigan (1), Minnesota (4), Missouri (1), North Carolina (6), New Jersey (39), New York (61), … [Read more...]

Campylobacter Outbreak Associated with Cafe Juanita in Washington State

A Campylobacter outbreak that has sickened two people is associated with Cafe Juanita in Kirkland, Washington state. A single meal was consumed by a party there on June 24, 2017. On July 24, Public Health King County learned about two ill persons during an interview with one of them who had been diagnosed with this type of food poisoning. King County did not confirm the second illness until August 16, 2017. No other ill persons have been identified. The patients shared many food items, including foie gras. This food has been linked to other Campylobacter outbreaks in the past, especially when it is eaten raw or undercooked. Public Health's Environmental Health Inspectors visited the restaurant on August 17, 2017. During the field inspection, officials saw the cooking process … [Read more...]

Salmonella Outbreak Associated with AR Chuck Wagon Restaurant

A Salmonella outbreak that may have sickened 30 people is associated with the Chuck Wagon Restaurant in Stuttgart, Arkansas, according to the Arkansas Department of Health. There are four confirmed cases of Salmonella in this outbreak so far. The press releases states that "Epidemiological information suggests that the Chuck Wagon Restaurant in Stuttgart, AR is the likely site of the outbreak." Public health officials are investigating, collecting biological specimens from ill persons, information about where they have eaten, and any other possible common exposures, including animal or worksite exposure. The site has been inspected. Officials have identified a common food source "and identified risks were removed." A follow-up inspection will be conducted at the … [Read more...]

FDA Describes Papayas to Avoid in Deadly Salmonella Outbreak

The FDA has updated their investigation into the deadly multistate Salmonella outbreak that is linked to imported Maradol papayas from the Carica de Campeche farm located in Campeche, Mexico. Officials are telling consumers to avoid Caribeña, Cavi and Valery brands of Maradol papayas from that farm. The Cavi brand papayas have been distributed by Agroson's, the Caribeña brand distributed by Grande Produce, and Valery brand papayas have been distributed by Freshtex Produce LLC. Carica de Campeche farm has been added to the agency's Import Alerts after testing found multiple strains of Salmonella on the fruit. There are at least 173 people sickened in this outbreak, 58 hospitalizations, and one death in 21 states. And there are four strains of Salmonella found in isolates taken … [Read more...]

Deadly Salmonella Papaya Outbreak Has Sickened 173 in 21 States

The deadly Salmonella outbreak linked to imported Maradol papayas has  sickened 173 people in 21 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Two more states have reported patients: Missouri and Tennessee. There are now four different types of Salmonella: KIambu, Thompson, Agona, and Gaminara.  The same strain of these types were found in samples collected from ill persons and from papayas. The case count by state is: Connecticut (6), Delaware (4), Iowa (2), Illinois (3), Kentucky (4), Louisiana (1), Maryland (8), Massachusetts (8), Michigan (1), Minnesota (4), Missouri (1), North Carolina (5), New Jersey (36), New York (50), Ohio (1), Oklahoma (4), Pennsylvania (8), Tennessee (1), Texas (9), Virginia (16), Wisconsin (1). Fifty-eight patients have been … [Read more...]

Texas Cyclospora Outbreak Sickens 230

The cyclospora outbreak in Texas has now sickened at least 230 people as of August 15, 2017. The outbreak began mid June 2017. People are sick in 45 counties in that state, and seven are ill in "county pending or unknown." The counties with the most cyclosporiasis cases include Bexar (30), Dallas (12), Fort Bend (10), Harris (59), and Travis (20). Public health officials have not yet identified a common source in this outbreak. Past cyclospora food poisoning outbreaks have been linked to imported fresh produce, such as cilantro, mesclun, raspberries, basil, and snow peas. Officials are interviewing patients and asking them about the foods they ate the weeks before they got sick. Cyclospora oocytes sicken people after they have been shed in feces. The illness is not spread … [Read more...]

Brucella Outbreak in Texas From Raw Milk

A Texas resident has been diagnosed with brucellosis and has been hospitalized after consuming raw milk from K-Bar Dairy in Paradise, Texas in Wise County.  An investigation by Texas Department of State Health Services has determined that milk from that facility is "the most probable source of the infection." K-Bar Dairy is a licensed raw milk dairy. Officials are investigating additional illnesses that may be connected to this product. That milk and other dairy products sold by that facility are being recalled. Anyone who has consumed milk or other products from that dairy since June 1 is at high risk of a Brucella infection. The press release states that, "People who consumed milk from this dairy but have no symptoms should discuss the issue with their provider and monitor … [Read more...]

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