March 9, 2023

FDA Adds Salmonella Hartford Outbreak to CORE Investigation

The FDA has added a new Salmonella Hartford outbreak to its CORE Outbreak Investigation Table. It joins three other outbreak investigations that are still active as of March 8, 2023. The Salmonella Hartford outbreak has sickened at least 31 people so far. No food has been identified yet. There is no information about illness onset dates, if anyone has been hospitalized, or the patient age range. So far, traceback has been initiated in this outbreak investigation. The hepatitis A outbreak investigation has been updated. There are now just five illnesses in that outbreak. That number was reduced from nine cases, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) excluded some suspect cases from the overall count. Sample collection and analysis, along with traceback, has … [Read more...]

Norovirus on Cruise Ships Return After Pandemic

So far this year there has been one norovirus outbreak, and three other outbreaks with symptoms of norovirus on cruise ships, after the Covid-19 pandemic interrupted those vacations, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Norovirus outbreaks are common on these ships, partly because of the enclosed spaces and partly because the highly contagious virus spreads easily in crowded conditions. On the Arcadia, from P&O Cruises, 86 passengers and 20 crew members were sickened with norovirus out of 1,752 passengers and 815 crew members. In response to this outbreak, the crew increased cleaning and disinfection procedures, collected stool specimens from patients, and notified embarking guests about the situation. Brilliance of the Seas, a ship from Royal … [Read more...]

Sun Sprouts Alfalfa Sprouts Salmonella Outbreak Ends

The Sun Sprouts alfalfa sprouts Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak has ended, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with 63 sick in eight states. That is an increase of 48 more patients  and five more states since the last update on December 30, 2022. Ten people were hospitalized because they were so sick. The sprouts were recalled on December 29, 2022. The case count by state is: Arizona (1), Iowa (6), Kansas (6), Missouri (9), Nebraska (26), New Hampshire (1), Oklahoma (1), and South Dakota (13). New states added to this outbreak are Arizona, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and New Hampshire. The patient age range is from less than one to 83 years. Of 59 people who gave information about their health to government officials, 10 were hospitalized. The illness onset … [Read more...]

Persistent Strain of E. coli O157:H7 in United States, Says CDC

The CDC says that there is a persistent strain of E. coli O157:H7 in the United States that has caused illnesses and outbreaks. Illnesses caused by this strain, REPEXH01, occur year round but are less common in the winter. This strain has sickened people through contaminated food and contaminated recreational water. Persistent is a term used by the CDC to describe strains that have caused illnesses for years. Even though the number of illnesses may change over time, they continue to cause sickness. And these strains are sometimes linked to more than one course, making them more difficult to control. The strain is "relatively" diverse genetically, within 21 allele differences of one another. That is more diverse than pathogens that cause typical multistep foodborne illnesses … [Read more...]

MI Supreme Court: Protect Waterways From Factory Farms

Environmental groups are urging the Michigan Supreme Court to protect waterways from factory farms runoff, according to Food & Water Watch. A friend of the court briefing was filed last week, asking the Court to reverse a lower court ruling that locked in a Clean Water Act permit for concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). That agency says that this lets these huge animal operations pollute Michigan's waters. Food & Water Watch says that the case of Michigan Farm Bureau v. Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) ruling "wipes out" two landmark environmental laws that protect the state's natural resources. The dispute is about the Clean Water Act permit for CAFOs that confine thousands of animals in a small space. Food & Water Watch … [Read more...]

FDA CORE Table Updated; And What Happened to NetCost?

The FDA CORE Table has been updated with information about the new mystery Listeria monocytogenes outbreak. And what happened to the NetCost Market deli meat and cheese Listeria monocytogenes outbreak that has sickened at least 16 people? It hasn't been updated since November 9, 2022. There are currently five ongoing outbreaks listed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The three from the FDA Table, and the deadly NetCost outbreak, which does not appear on the USDA Outbreak Table, or the FDA Table, even though it contains meat that is regulated by the USDA and cheese that is regulated by the FDA. First, the mystery Listeria outbreak. At least 11 people are sick in that outbreak, with 10 hospitalized. There is no information about what food may be responsible … [Read more...]

New Listeria Monocytogenes Outbreak With Unknown Source

A new Listeria monocytogenes outbreak with an unknown source has been announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There are at least 11 people who live in 10 states who are ill. Ten of those patients have been hospitalized. A specific food item has not been identified in this outbreak, but the CDC is announcing it because they are concerned that several illnesses have been reported recently. The case count by state is: Arkansas (1), California (1), Colorado (1), Michigan (2), Missouri (1), New York (1), North Carolina (1), Pennsylvania (1), South Dakota (1), and Washington (1). This list is current as of February 14, 2023. The samples of ill persons, however, have been collected from July 3, 2018 to January 31, 2023, so this outbreak has probably been going … [Read more...]

FDA Adds New Listeria Outbreak to CORE Investigation Table

The FDA has added a new Listeria outbreak to its CORE Investigation Table. This outbreak, in a not yet identified product, has sickened at least 11 people in 10 states and has hospitalized ten of those patients. Overall, there are just three active outbreak investigations on the FDA table, which is the lowest number in quite some time. In addition to the new mystery Listeria monocytogenes outbreak, the other two are the Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak linked to alfalfa sprouts, and the Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to enoki mushrooms. The Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak that is linked to Sun Sprouts alfalfa sprouts has sickened at least 15 people in three states. Two people have been hospitalized. The patients live in Nebraska, Oklahoma, and South Dakota, and ate the … [Read more...]

FDA Warning Letter to Smuckers Over Jif Peanut Butter Outbreak

An FDA warning letter sent to the Smuckers corporation about the Jif peanut butter Salmonella Senftenberg outbreak details serious violations of the law, including Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food. Jif peanut butter was linked to an outbreak in the first part of 2022 that sickened at least 21 people in 17 states. Four  people were hospitalized. All peanut butter manufactured at the J.M. Smucker facility in Lexington, Kentucky from October 1, 2021 to May 20, 2022 was recalled after the outbreak was announced. The warning letter states, "the evidence establishes that you introduced adulterated peanut butter into interstate commerce as prohibited by section 301(a) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the … [Read more...]

Tamarind Tree Shigella Outbreak in Seattle, WA Sickens 17

A Tamarind Tree Shigella outbreak in Seattle, Washington has sickened at least 17 people, according to King County Public Health. This outbreak was first reported in late January, 2023, when the pathogen that caused the illnesses was unknown. The restaurant is located at 1036 South Jackson Street A in Seattle. The 17 patients were part of seven separate meal parties that ate at that restaurant on these dates: January 15, 16, and 17, 2023. No ill employees have been identified. Five of the 17 people who  are sick have tested positive for Shigella. Three of those five patients have had confirmatory testing indicating they are infected with Shigella sonnei, one strain of this pathogen. Symptoms among those who were not tested are suggestive of a Shigella infection. The patients are … [Read more...]

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