August 7, 2020

Unidentified Salmonella Newport Outbreak Sickens 125 in 15 States

An unidentified Salmonella Newport outbreak has sickened at least 125 people in 15 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Twenty-four people have been hospitalized because they are so sick. This is the way foodborne illness outbreaks sometimes start; the government publicizes it, and more people come forward who may have information that helps solve it. The case count by state is: California (3) Illinois (1), Iowa (3), Michigan (12), Minnesota (3), Missouri (2), Montana (11), North Carolina (3), Ohio (5), Oregon (42), Tennessee (1), Utah (28), Washington (1), Wisconsin (1), and Wyoming (9). Illness onset dates range from June 19, 2020 to July 7, 2020. The patient age range is from 2 to 92 years. Of 72 ill persons who have provided information to … [Read more...]

Salmonella Uses Lettuce As a Host to Evade Cleaning

A study published in Frontiers in Microbiology has found that Salmonella uses lettuce as a host to evade cleaning. The pathogen can get into tiny pores in the lettuce, meaning that it can't be washed off the leaves. This strategy also protects them agains the plant's immune system. Lettuce leaves have tiny pores called stomates that let the plants cool off. The type of Salmonella that sickens people can get into the plants through the stomates  just like fungi and plant bacteria can. This jumping between different kingdoms concerns scientists. The research team, based at the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, the Delaware Biotechnology Institute, and the Department of Animal and Food Sciences at the University of Delaware, wanted to determine if Salmonella Typhimurium applied … [Read more...]

Si Casa Flores Salmonella Outbreak in Oregon Hospitalizes Two

A Si Casa Flores Salmonella outbreak in Grants Pass, Oregon has sickened several people and hospitalized two, according to the Facebook page of the Josephine County Public Health Department. The health department did not specifically say how many people may have been sickened. That restaurant is located at 202 North East Beacon Drive in Grants Pass. The health department and Oregon Health Authority are looking for more people who may have been exposed. They are asking anyone who ate at three restaurants that share ingredients from June 25, 2020 to July 7, 2020 to fill out a public health survey. If you ate at one of those venues on those dates, please fill out the survey even if you didn't get sick. Public health officials will use this information to try to narrow down the list of … [Read more...]

Bird Droppings Carry Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria, Cause Food Poisoning

Whenever there is a food poisoning outbreak linked to produce, we have told you that one source of the pathogen may be bird droppings. A new study conducted at Rice University and published in Elsevier journal Environmental Pollution states that bird droppings carry antibiotic resistant bacteria and may "harbor abundant" numbers of the pathogen along with resistance genes. The study was conducted by environmental engineers and led by postdoctoral research associate Pingfeng Yu of Rice's Brown School of Engineering and co-author Pedro Alvarez. Earlier studies showed that bird-borne antibiotic resistant genes (ARGs) and bacteria can be transferred to humans through these vectors: swimming, contact with bird feces or contaminated soil, and inhaling aerosolized fecal … [Read more...]

Foodborne Pathogen Growth May Be Linked to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

According to a new study published in PLoS Pathogens this month, foodborne pathogen growth in the gut may be linked to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease development. In the guts of mice, Salmonella Typhimurium produces curli amyloids in the cecum and colon of mice. This increases joint inflammation and cross-seeding interactions between bacterial amyloids and human amyloids that could trigger similar autoimmune reactions such as Alzheimer's disease. About 5% of patients who contract salmonellosis develop an autoimmune condition called relative arthritis. Some patients remain symptomatic for 5 years or even longer. Salmonella Typhimurium forms biofilms composed of curli, cellulose, BapA, and extracellular DNA that protects the pathogen from environmental stressors. Curli are … [Read more...]

FDA Sees Sharp Increase in Hand Sanitizers With Methanol

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, hand sanitizers have been in high demand and short supply. Many manufacturers have been scrambling to increase their stock, and the products fly off the shelves. But the FDA has noticed a serious problem with some of these products. They have seen a sharp increase in hand sanitizers with methanol. Methanol, or wood alcohol, is life-threatening when ingested and can be toxic when absorbed through the skin. It should never be included in any formula for hand sanitizer. The FDA statement said, "The agency is aware of adults and children ingesting hand sanitizer products contaminated with methanol that has led to recent adverse events including blindness, hospitalizations and death." Methanol is  not an acceptable active ingredient for hand … [Read more...]

Fresh Express Cyclospora Outbreak Sickens 509 in 8 states 33 Hospitalized

The Fresh Express cyclospora outbreak that is linked to bagged salad mix containing iceberg lettuce, carrots, and red cabbage produced by Fresh Express has now sickened at least 509 people in 8 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That is an increase of 303 cases since the last update that was issued on June 29, 2020. The epi curve, shown above, graphs the illness onset dates in this outbreak. The curve is going down, which is good news. The lag between illness onset date and the date the government is informed about the illness is due to the time the patient gets sick, sees a doctor, is tested, and gets the test results. This takes an average of four to six weeks. The case count by state is: Iowa (160), Illinois (151), Kansas (5), Minnesota … [Read more...]

Fresh Express Salad Cyclospora Outbreak Has Sickened 509 in 8 States

According to the FDA, the Fresh Express salad cyclospora outbreak has  sickened at least 509 people in 8 states as of July 8, 2020. That's an increase of more than 300 new cases since the last update on June 29, 2020. Thirty-three people are hospitalized because they are so ill. There is also a cyclospora outbreak in Canada, with exposure to certain Fresh Express salad products as a likely source of these infections. The case count by state is: Iowa (160), Illinois (151), Kansas (5), Minnesota (63), Missouri (46), Nebraska (48), North Dakota (6), and Wisconsin (30). The illness onset dates rate from 5/11/2020 to 7/1/2020. The investigation includes Fresh Express salads containing iceberg lettuce, red cabbage, and carrots that were sold in several regions of the United States. The … [Read more...]

Think You Have Cyclospora? Here’s What to Ask Your Doctor About Testing

A multistate cyclospora outbreak has sickened at least 206 people across the Midwest. The outbreak is potentially linked to bagged salads containing iceberg lettuce, red cabbage, and carrots that was produced by Fresh Express and allegedly sold at Hy Vee, Giant Eagle, ShopRite, ALDI, Walmart, and Jewel Osco stores in many states. So do you think you have cyclospora? Here's what to ask your doctor about testing. First, the stool test for cyclospora has to be specially requested. It's not a common test that is routinely conducted. Anecdotal evidence we have heard is that many people are told by their doctors that their is no need for a test, or that there is no test for this parasite. Both of these statements are false. For the best outcome, a test definitively finding cyclospora … [Read more...]

Taco Bell Hepatitis A Exposure On Erie Blvd. in Rome, New York

There has been a Taco Bell hepatitis A exposure at the restaurant on Erie Boulevard in Rome, New York. That employee worked while infectious, according to a press release by the Oneida County Health Department. The employee worked from June 11, 2020 to June 22, 2020, and from June 24, 25, 29, July 2, and July 3, 2020 at different times, mostly 6:00 pm to 2:00 am. That means that anyone who ate there on June 24, 2020 needs to be vaccinated by today, July 8, 2020. The hepatitis A and immune globulin vaccinations are  only effective if given within two weeks of exposure. This Taco Bell hepatitis A exposure may have exposed many people to the virus. Anyone who has been vaccinated or who has had the disease is presumably immune and doesn't need another shot. Contact your healthcare … [Read more...]

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