March 28, 2020

FDA Updates Listeria Enoki Mushrooms Outbreak With Recall Information

The FDA has updated the Listeria Enoki Mushrooms outbreak that has sickened 36 people in 17 states with more recall information. The case counts remain the same:  Arizona (2), California (9), Florida (2), Hawaii (3), Indiana (1), Kentucky (1), Maryland (2), Massachusetts (2), Michigan (1), Missouri (1), Nevada (1), New Jersey (1),  New York (4), North Carolina (1), Rhode Island (1), Tennessee (1), and Virginia (3). Another product has been recalled since the last update on March 10, 2020. Guan's Mushrooms, sold in 200 gram packages with the UPC number 859267007013 were recalled on March 23, 2020. They were sold to distributors and wholesalers in California, New York, and Pennsylvania in white cardboard boxes with Guan’s logo in green color and code “#02473,” but could have been … [Read more...]

Environmental Working Group Dirty Dozen Produce Guide Published

Environmental Working Group (EWG) has published their 2020 guide to the Dirty Dozen, which is a list of fruits and vegetables that are likely to have the most pesticide residue. The biggest change is EWG comment on raisins, which were not on the list but were mentioned for the first time. Raisins were tested for the first time since 2007 even though it's not a fresh food. That food is the dirtiest produce commodity. Of the 670 samples of conventional raisins analyzed, 99% tested positive for at least two pesticides. On average, each sample was contaminated with more than 13 pesticides. One sample had 26 pesticides. Even some organic raisins were contaminated. The issue with this food is that children under the age of 15 eat 208,000,000 pounds of raisins every year, about half of the … [Read more...]

Clover Sprouts E. coli O103 Hits Utah Hard With Most Illnesses of Any State

The outbreak of clover sprouts E. coli O103 hits Utah hard with the most illnesses of any state. At least 39 people are sick in Utah as of March 19, 2020. Public health officials say that epidemiologic, traceback, and laboratory evidence has found that raw clover sprouts are the source of this outbreak. No official has offered an explanation of why the number of ill persons in Utah exploded from 3 to 27 in just a few weeks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that clover sprouts served at Jimmy John's restaurants in Utah, as well as other states, may have made people sick. In interviews, 58% of ill persons said that ate sprouts at a Jimmy John's restaurant the week before they got sick. A recall of Chicago Indoor Garden raw clover sprouts was issued on March … [Read more...]

FDA Weighs In On E. coli O103 Clover Sprouts Outbreak WIth 39 Sick

The FDA has weighed in on the E. coli O103 clover sprouts outbreak that has sickened 39 people in 6 states. Two possible sources of these raw sprouts have been identified: Jimmy John's restaurants and Chicago Indoor Garden. Chicago Indoor Garden recalled their products containing sprouts earlier this week after FDA analysis found the presence of the outbreak strain of E. coli O103 on the sprouts. The sample also matches the outbreak strain from the November through December 2019 E. coli O103 outbreak in Iowa. That outbreak was associated with sprouts from various Jimmy John's restaurants in the state. FDA traceback investigation found that a common seed lot was used to grow the recalled Chicago Indoor Garden clover sprouts, and also the sprouts served at some Jimmy John's … [Read more...]

Clover Sprouts E. coli O103 Outbreak Updated: 39 Sick, 2 Hospitalized

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated the clover sprouts E. coli O103 outbreak that is associated with Jimmy John's restaurants and Chicago Indoor Garden raw clover sprouts. Since the last update on February 26, 2020, 25 more patients who live in two states have been identified. Twenty-four of the new patients live in Utah, and Florida has been added to the state count. The patient case count by state is: Florida (1), Illinois (6), Iowa (3), Missouri (1), Texas (1), and Utah (27). Illness onset dates range from January 6, 2020 to March 2, 2020. Two people have been hospitalized because they are so ill. The patient age range is from 1 to 79 years. This outbreak may continue to grow, since it can take up to a month from when a person gets sick to when their … [Read more...]

China Buffet Listeria Monocytogenes Outbreak in Alexandria, Minnesota

A China Buffet Listeria monocytogenes outbreak in Alexandria, Minnesota was announced in a health advisory issued by the Minnesota Department of Health. Two cases of listeriosis have been identified among people who ate or may have eaten at that restaurant, which is located at 4721 Highway 29 South. The health advisory is skewed to healthcare providers. It was sent to local and tribal health departments, hospitals, and clinics. Listeriosis is a reportable illness, which means that any doctor who diagnoses a patient with this illness must report it to the health department. There are only about eight cases of listeriosis reported every year in Minnesota. The two patients in this outbreak have the same strain of Listeria monocytogenes, which indicates that they share the same … [Read more...]

Fecal-Oral Transmission of COVID-19 Is Possible, But Not Likely

A new study has found that fecal-oral transmission of COVID-19 is possible, but not likely. The research was conducted in China. It must be stressed: this type of transmission is theoretically possible, since viruses can enter the GI tract and survive in feces, but no cases of infection via this route have been identified. All cases diagnosed so far have been through inhaling droplets containing the virus. This is not a likely vehicle for transmission, but people should know about it. This new information is concerning because it brings food into the COVID-19 pandemic. The fecal-oral route of transmission means that when a person who is infected with a bacteria or virus goes to the bathroom, gets a tiny amount of feces on their fingers, and doesn't wash their hands, then touches … [Read more...]

FDA Updates E. coli O103 Clover Sprouts Outbreak With New Product Info

The FDA updated its investigation into the E. coli O103 clover sprouts outbreak that has sickened at least 14 people in five states. Yesterday, Chicago Indoor Garden recalled its products made with clover sprouts, since the FDA found the outbreak strain of E. coli O103 in a sample of the raw sprouts. The original outbreak notice linked this outbreak to clover sprouts served on Jimmy John's sandwiches, but there is no longer any mention of that restaurant in the outbreak notice. These illnesses are new and are not linked to the E. coli O103 outbreak in Iowa that the FDA referenced in warning letters that were sent to both Jimmy John's and another sprouts growing company in late February 2020. Jimmy John's is not mentioned anymore, either in the March 13, 2020 outbreak update or … [Read more...]

Gourmet Catering to Go Warning Letter Details Roaches, Rodents, and Mold

The FDA has sent the company Gourmet Catering to Go a warning letter detailing the violations of Good Manufacturing Practice after an inspection in September and October 2019. That facility is located at 801 Hanger Lane in Nashville, Tennessee. Inspectors found mold, rodent excreta pellets, and dead cockroaches at the facility. The company makes ready to eat meals and food for the airline industry. Based on the FDA's findings, the ready to eat products made in that facility are adulterated "because they were prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions whereby they may have become contaminated with filth or whereby they may have been rendered injurious to health." The FDA issued a Form-483 listing all of the deviations that were uncovered during the inspection. Gourmet … [Read more...]

FDA Warns Against Chicago Indoor Garden Sprouts in E. coli Update

The FDA has released an update on the E. coli O103 outbreak likely linked to clover sprouts, but this time is warning consumers not to eat Chicago Indoor Garden red clover sprouts and other products. FDA analysis found E. coli O103 in some of these products, which all contain sprouts. Whole genome sequencing tests found that the DNA in the bacteria on the sprouts matches the outbreak strain. The products are Chicago Indoor Garden red clover (with and without non-GMO labels), sprout salad, mixed greens, and spring salad with best by dates between December 1, 2019 and March 12, 2020. You can see more pictures of product photos at the FDA web site. The FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are investigating an outbreak of 14 illnesses caused by E. coli O103 in … [Read more...]

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