April 24, 2018

GAO Says USDA Should Cut More Pathogens in Meat and Poultry

On April 18, 2018, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said that the USDA should take more action to cut pathogens in meat and poultry products it regulates. That agency develops standards to limit the amount of pathogens in products it regulates. But, no standards have been set for products such as pork chops, ground pork, and turkey breasts. And the report states that the agency's process for deciding which products should have new standards for pathogens is not clear. In addition, the pathogen standards for ground beef, beef carcasses, and pork carcasses have not been updated since 1996. At that time, the standards were set at industry-wide prevalence levels, not at levels that may protect human health. Standards for other products are outdated, according to the report, … [Read more...]

How Many Are Actually Sick in E. coli O157:H7 HUS Outbreak Linked to Romaine Lettuce?

As of April 20, 2018, there are officially 53 people sick in the E. coli O157:H7 HUS outbreak that is linked to romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region, according to the CDC. But how many people are really sick in this multistate outbreak? According to news reports and state health departments, the outbreak total could be 66. On Friday, April 20, 2018, the Alaska Department of Health & Social Services issued a press release stating that eight confirmed cases of E. coli O157:H7 infections have been identified at the Anvil Mountain Correctional Center. Those patients are not included in the CDC count. The CDC case count for Alaska is one person ill, although the latest notice states that the seven patients will be added to the next update case count. The CDC count … [Read more...]

CDC Now Tells Consumers to Avoid ALL Types of Romaine Lettuce Because of E. coli O157:H7 HUS Outbreak

Consumers should now avoid all types of romaine lettuce, the CDC informed us, based on "new information" in the E. coli O157:H7 HUS outbreak that has sickened dozens in 16 states. That information came from Alaska, where an E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak at the Anvil Mountain  Correctional Center, which sickened 8 people, was linked to whole romaine lettuce heads. Consumers should not buy or eat romaine lettuce, either at a grocery store, deli, or restaurant, unless you can confirm it is not from Yuma, Arizona. That can be a difficult and perhaps impossible task. Product labels often don't identify growing regions. If you have any store-bought romaine lettuce in your home, do not eat it. Throw it away, even if someone has eaten part of it and not gotten sick. It only takes 10 E. coli … [Read more...]

FDA Finds Rodent Infestation at Rose Acre Farms, Where Eggs Caused Salmonella Braenderup Outbreak

The FDA has released a report about inspections at Rose Acre Farms - Hyde County Egg, the facility that has had to recall more than 200 million eggs after a Salmonella Braenderup outbreak sickened 23 people in 8 states. The facility was inspected several ties from March 26 to April 11, 2018. The report said that the "corrective actions taken by your firm have not been effective at reducing the rodent levels within y9our poultry houses to an acceptable level." The threshold for "acceptable rodent activity" is established in the company's Salmonella prevention plan. Inspectors observed many live rodents: in the inspection on March 26, 2018, they were seen in the manure pit, running across the upper level floor, multiple live rodents running around the staging area in the pit, and … [Read more...]

Law Firm Investigates 53 Illnesses, 31 Hospitalizations in E. coli O157:H7 HUS Outbreak Linked to Chopped Romaine

The E. coli O157:H7 HUS outbreak that is linked to chopped romaine lettuce has now sickened 53 people in 16 states. Thirty-one people have been hospitalized because they have been so sick, and five people have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a serious complication of this infection that can cause kidney failure. That is an addition of 18 people to the outbreak total in just five days. Five more states have been added to the list. Nine more hospitalizations have now been included in the total, and two more patients have developed HUS. The case count by state is: Alaska (2), Arizona (3), California (1, Connecticut (2), Idaho (10), Illinois (1), Louisiana (1), Michigan (2), Missouri (1), Montana (6), New Jersey (7), New York (2), Ohio (2), Pennsylvania (12), Virginia (1), … [Read more...]

CDC Issues Report on Salmonella Braenderup Infections Linked to Rose Acre Farms Eggs

At least twenty-three people are sick in the Salmonella Braenderup outbreak that is linked to eggs produced by Rose Acre Farms, according to the CDC. Rose Acre Farms voluntarily recalled 206,749,248 eggs on April 13, 2018. The outbreak was originally announced in an FDA recall notice. These eggs were sold in grocery stores and to restaurants in these states: Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. The eggs were sold under these brand names: Coburn Farms, Country Daybreak, Crystal Farms, Food Lion, Glenview, Great Value, Nelms, and Sunshine Farms. You can identify the eggs by looking for the plant number P-1065 and the Julian date range of 011 through 102 printed on the carton. The case count by state is: … [Read more...]

FDA Adds Its Voice to Multistate E. coli O157:H7 HUS Outbreak Linked to Chopped Romaine Lettuce

The FDA is adding its voice to the multistate E. coli O157:H7 HUS outbreak that is linked to chopped romaine from the Yuma growing region in Arizona. Last week, Food Poisoning Bulletin told you that government officials did not have a specific food in mind. On Friday, the CDC announced that the chopped greens were the likely source. Thirty-five people in 11 states are sick in this E. coli O157:H7 HUS outbreak. Ninety-three percent of the patients interviewed said they ate romaine lettuce the week before they got sick. Most of those people ate salad at a restaurant; romaine lettuce was the common ingredient. The restaurants said they used bagged, chopped romaine lettuce to make the salads. The FDA, in conjunction with federal, state, and local partners, found that the chopped … [Read more...]

Idaho Hard Hit in E. coli O157:H7 HUS Outbreak Linked to Chopped Romaine Lettuce

Idaho has been hard hit in the multistate E. coli O157:H7 HUS outbreak that the CDC has linked to chopped romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona area. Eight people in that state are ill with this serious infection. Three of those patients have been hospitalized; two have developed a type of kidney failure that sometimes occurs with this infection called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). All of the patients told investigators that they ate romaine lettuce in the 10 days before they got sick. All of the patients are adults between the ages of 20 and 55. No deaths have been reported in this outbreak. While government officials believe that the lettuce came from the Yuma, Arizona growing region, no specific grower, supplier, distributor, or brand has been identified. And no … [Read more...]

Lawyers Investigating Multistate E. coli O157:H7 Infections Linked to Chopped Romaine

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just announced that the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak they have been investigating is now linked to chopped romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona region. As of April 12, 2018, 35 people in 11 states are sick with the outbreak strain. Twenty-two of those patients have been hospitalized; three patients have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure. No common growers, supplier, distributor, or brand has been identified so far, but government officials recommended that anyone, anywhere in the country, who has purchased chopped romaine lettuce, including salads and salad mixes containing that green, should throw it away. If you aren't sure where the lettuce came from, get rid of it. Discard it even if some of it has … [Read more...]

McDonald’s Worker in Berea, Kentucky Diagnosed with Hepatitis A

The Madison County Health Department in Kentucky is investigating a single case of hepatitis A in a food worker who worked while infectious at the McDonald's restaurant on Glades Road in Berea, Kentucky. Anyone who ate there on March 23, 2018 should contact their doctor about this issue. Unfortunately, it's too late for anyone to get a hepatitis A or immune globulin vaccination, since they are only effective if given within two weeks of exposure. It's been three weeks, or 21 days, since the possible exposure. People may already be sick, and could still get sick for the next month, since the illness manifests two weeks to 50 days after exposure to the virus. McDonald's is cooperating with state and local health officials. The risk to patrons is low, but this virus is extremely … [Read more...]

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