July 23, 2017

Deadly E. coli Outbreak in Utah/Arizona Has Sickened 12 People

The E. coli outbreak in Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Arizona has now sickened 12 people, according to the Southwest Utah Public Health Department. David Heaton, Health Department spokesman, commented on the press release page, saying "Advisory is cautionary action as investigation includes focus on food contamination and animal exposure risk. Individual case information is not being released other than to confirm that most are children." The source of the outbreak has still not been identified. We do know that two children have died in this outbreak. News reports before this update say that four patients have developed HUS and that seven have been hospitalized, but the health department has not confirmed these numbers. HUS is a complication of an E. coli infection that destroys … [Read more...]

Illnesses at Chipotle Mexican Grill in Sterling, Virginia

An outbreak of illness has sickened about 60 people after they ate at the Chipotle Mexican Grill in Sterling, Virginia, according to the Loudoun County Health Department. Dr. David Goodfriend, director of the department, said, "one ill patron has tested positive for norovirus. This provides additional information but is not sufficient to determine the cause of the outbreak. The Health Department is awaiting further test results, which should be available early next week." On Monday, July 17, 2017, LCHD was notified by the Chipotle Mexican Grill at 21031 Tripleseven Road, Sterling, VA 20165, and by local medical providers of customers complaining of nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea over the previous two days. The restaurant closed voluntarily. Health Department officials investigated … [Read more...]

Papayas Recalled in Maryland Salmonella Case Investigation

Caribeña’s brand yellow Maradol papayas may be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria, according to the Maryland Department of Health. The yellow papaya have been distributed to retail stores throughout the state. Consumers are encouraged to check any papayas they have purchased to see if they match the brand and type recalled. Five yellow Maradol papayas sold at a Baltimore retail location were tested as part of an ongoing Salmonella case investigation. Three of the five papayas tested positive for the pathogenic bacteria. There is no information on how many people may have been sickened or any information about a timeline. And officials have not found the source of the contamination, but state that it could have occurred at any time or place in the supply chain. The … [Read more...]

Agencies Added to Deadly Utah-Arizona E. coli Outbreak

The investigation into the deadly E. coli outbreak at the border of Utah and Arizona has been joined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Utah Department of Health, the Arizona Department of Health Services, and the Utah Department of Health, according to the Southwest Utah Public Health Department. The confirmed case count stands at 11. Two children have died after being infected with E. coli bacteria. The source of the outbreak hasn't been identified, but warnings have been issued by various health departments against consuming raw milk and previously purchased ground beef. This most recent update also warned people that the illness can be spread person-to-person. The cities involved in this outbreak are Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Arizona. This is … [Read more...]

CDPH Releases Info about 2015 Raw Milk Campylobacter Outbreak

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has released an investigation about the 2015 Campylobacter outbreak associated with Claravale Farm brand raw milk. In March 2015, the CDPH Infectious Diseases Brand identified three patients who live in Santa Cruz County with Campylobacter infections. All three patients reported consuming Claravale brand raw milk before they got sick. Eventually, seven total case patients were identified. One lived in Marin County, one in Orange County, and five in Santa Cruz county. Two of those patients were hospitalized. Illness onset dates ranged from February 16 to March 25, 2017. Campylobacter isolates were collected from three of the patients and analyzed by pulsed field-gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Those isolates all had the same primary … [Read more...]

Another Food Poisoning Outbreak at Seattle Restaurant

Another food poisoning outbreak associated with the consumption of raw oysters has sickened people in Seattle, Washington. This time it's at the White Swan Public House at 1001 Fairview Avenue North.   Six people from two separate parties got sick after eating raw oysters at the restaurant on June 30 and July 3, 2017. No laboratory testing has been done, and symptoms suggest fibrosis, but public health officials cannot rule out norovirus. Officials learned about the outbreak on July 6, 2017. Environmental health inspectors were at the restaurant on the same day. The press release states that, "No factors were identified that contribute to the spread of Vibrio, such as insufficient refrigeration temperatures or evidence of cross-contamination." Just like the outbreak at the … [Read more...]

Vibrio Outbreak at Salted Sea Restaurant in Seattle, WA

A vibrio outbreak at Salted Sea, ate 4915 Rainier Avenue in Seattle Washington has sickened at least three people, according to King County Public Health. Patients got sick after consuming raw oysters at that location. Two people from one dinner party got sick on June 9, 2017. Another person from a separate party got sick after eating raw oysters at that facility on June 17, 2017. Public Health was informed about the outbreak on June 22, 2017. One person has a laboratory confirmed vibrio infection, and two others have the same symptoms. An on-site investigation was conducted at the restaurant by environmental health inspectors. No factors were identified that would have caused the outbreak. Cross-contamination and insufficient refrigerator temperatures could have contributed to … [Read more...]

Small Salmonella Outbreak in Marquette County, Michigan

The Marquette County Health Department has issued a press release about a "small Salmonella outbreak among residents." There is no information on the release about the number of people sickened, whether or not anyone has been hospitalized, or if a particular food or restaurant is to blame. In the past Salmonella outbreaks have bene linked to undercooked poultry, undercooked and raw eggs, contaminated greens and other produce, especially hot peppers and herbs. This year, Salmonella outbreaks have been linked to Cilantro Fresh Mexican Grill in New Haven, Connecticut, to backyard poultry flocks, to at least one restaurant in Boston, and to Duffy's Bar and Grill in Osseo, Minnesota. The symptoms of a Salmonella infection include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and a fever. … [Read more...]

Food & Watch Watch Wants USDA to Halt Chinese Chicken

In late June, the first shipment of processed chicken from China arrived in the U.S. Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch, issued a statement about this event. In 2014, China completed the paperwork to certify four of its poultry processing plants so they can export these items to the U.S. The raw poultry must come from "approved sources," but food safety advocates are not convinced. The USDA has not disclosed where the raw poultry comes from. And the chicken will not be labeled, so consumers won't know if they are buying products from China. Food safety problems in China have been rampant. A scandal where companies added melamine to milk to hide dilution sickened more than 300,000 babies. Jerky pet treats imported from China have sickened and killed … [Read more...]

The Smokehouse of NY Closed By Permanent Injunction

The Smokehouse of NY, LLC entered a consent decree of permanent injunction on June 29, 2017, after a federal judge ordered them to stop selling their products until it can comply with food safety regulations. According to the FDA, the facility was contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. Melinda K. Plaisier, FDA Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs said in a statement, "The Smokehouse of NY had several opportunities to come into compliance with the law. Through the use of modern technology, the FDA was able to establish that the company has resident strains of L. mono in its facility that it has consistently failed to eradicate. Conditions like these are unacceptable and the FDA took action to protect Americans." The complaint listed a long history of recurring … [Read more...]

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