April 18, 2019

FDA Warns Homeopathic Drug Producers For Violations of CGMP

The FDA has sent warning letters to four homeopathic drug producers for "significant violations of current food manufacturing practice (CGMP) regulations." These products are labeled as homeopathic and marketed without FDA approval. The homeopathic industry has grown tremendously in the past several years. The government acknowledges the need to address situations where these products are marketed for serious diseases and the product has not been shown to offer clinical benefits. Products labeled as homeopathic have not been approved by the FDA for any use and may even not meet standards for quality and safety, according to the FDA. These products may be made from plants, healthy or diseased animal or human sources, minerals, and chemicals. They are marketed as natural, safe, and … [Read more...]

Is Ground Beef the Kentucky E. coli O103 Outbreak Culprit?

The E. coli O103 outbreak in Kentucky is rare because this pathogen doesn't cause many illnesses in the United States. But at least 46 people in Kentucky and more in four other states are sick; and officials don't know what caused this outbreak. They may have narrowed down the possibilities. Is ground beef the Kentucky E. coli O103 outbreak culprit? News outlets have stated that officials are looking at ground beef, as well as chicken and American cheese; however, no officials have confirmed this information. Testing is ongoing, and may take a few days or a few weeks to complete. Contaminated ground beef has been the cause for E. coli outbreaks for many years, including the outbreak last year that was linked to Adams Farm Slaughterhouse, and ground beef produced by PT Farm in New … [Read more...]

Kentucky E. coli O103 Outbreak Rises to 44 Sick, TN, OH, GA Included

The Kentucky E. coli O103 outbreak has now risen to 44 sick, as of April 3, 2019, according to news reports. Six people have been hospitalized in this outbreak, but there is no mention if any have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure that can cause strokes. And there are 20 pending cases that are not yet lab-confirmed. The only official report to date from Kentucky Department of Health lists the outbreak total as 20, but that was posted on Friday, March 29, 2019. This is the largest E. coli outbreak in Kentucky since 2000. Dr. Mel Bennett, who heads Kentucky's infectious disease efforts, told WEKU that the outbreak has spread to Tennessee, Ohio, and Georgia. We do not know how many people are sickened in each of those states. Officials still think … [Read more...]

History of Fast Food E. coli Outbreaks

Food poisoning outbreaks that are linked to fast food have occurred in the past. Most of these outbreaks have been linked to raw vegetables, primarily raw sprouts, although the very first serious E. coli O157:H7 outbreak caused by a fast food product was the Jack in the Box outbreak of 1992 through 1993. The history of fast food E. coli outbreaks is long. The type of E. coli bacteria that causes serious human illness, known as Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, is found in the intestines of ruminant animals. There are many strains of E. coli, but only some cause human illness. The most common E. coli serotype that causes outbreaks is E. coli O157:H7. There are other serotypes, but they are much more rare. Those pathogens, sometimes called the "Big Six" STEC, included O1o3, O26, … [Read more...]

E. coli O103 Outbreak in Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, and Indiana

The E. coli O103 outbreak originally announced in Kentucky yesterday  apparently also has sickened people living in Tennessee, Ohio, and Indiana, according to news reports. Twenty confirmed cases are in Kentucky, and one each in the other states for a total of 23 ill. Most of the illnesses occurred between March 5 and 25, 2019. The cases in Kentucky are spread among several counties throughout the state. Fayette county, in the northeastern part of the state, has the most cases with five. But officials say there isn't enough commonality between those five cases to establish a source of the pathogen. No source, whether food or venue, has been named in this outbreak, but officials in Kentucky have stated that "extensive exposure to fast food" may be linked to these illnesses. Fast … [Read more...]

Twenty Sick with E. coli O103 in Kentucky

The Kentucky Department of Public Health told the press on Friday, March 29, 2019, that twenty people in that state have tested positive for E. coli O103. This relatively rare strain of E. coli bacteria causes serious symptoms, just like the more common E. coli O157:H7 pathogen. The source of the outbreak hasn't been identified, but yesterday officials said that the patients had "extensive fast food exposure." That could mean that any chain restaurant could be involved in this outbreak. Six people have been hospitalized because their illness is so critical. No official has said that anyone has developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a serious complication of a Shiga toxin-producing E. coli infection (STEC). Since many of those sickened are children, according to yesterday's … [Read more...]

Kentucky E. coli O103 Outbreak: History of Fast Food Outbreaks

The Kentucky E. coli O103 outbreak that is linked to fast food and has sickened about 25 people is unusual in that that specific strain of E. coli bacteria doesn't usually cause outbreaks in the U.S. And doctors typically do not test for this pathogen because it is rare. But fast food places are no stranger to outbreaks. Here's a brief history of these events. In 2012, a Salmonella Stanley outbreak that awaits associated with a McDonald's restaurant on South Main Street in Bloomington, Illinois sickened 12 people. In that outbreak officials suspected that an ill restaurant employee may have transmitted the pathogen to customers. In 2015, the fifth-largest multistate food poisoning outbreak of the year was an E. coli outbreak linked to Chipotle restaurants. At least 52 people … [Read more...]

Kentucky E. coli O103 Outbreak Linked to Fast Food Consumption

An E. coli O103 outbreak in Kentucky has been linked to fast food consumption, according to a release from the Kentucky Department for Public Health. The Kentucky E. coli outbreak has sickened at least 19 people. Those illnesses have been confirmed by the Kentucky Department of Public Health. The release is intended for doctors and lab providers, so they are alert to patients who present with acute diarrheal illness. Some news reports state that less than 25 cases have been reported. Those sickened are mostly children and teenagers, but some adults are also part of the outbreak. The cases were reported March 5 though March 25, 2018 and had "extensive exposure to fast food." Most of those sickened live in central Kentucky, especially Fayette County. The Mercer County Health … [Read more...]

Shigella Outbreak in Yamhill County, OR at a Wedding

Oregon Health Authority has released information about a Shigella outbreak that happened in August 2018 at a wedding in Yamhill County. One hundred seven people were allegedly sickened; 23 of those people had laboratory confirmed cases of shigellosis. The wedding and reception took place on August 11, 2018. Over the next two days, wedding guests started reporting they were sick with vomiting and/or diarrhea fatigue, abdominal cramps, shaking chills, nausea, muscle aches, and bloody stools. Both Oregon Health Authority and Yamhill County Health and Human Services received reports of illness. The Multnomah County Health Department and the Oregon Department of Agriculture were informed about this outbreak. Fecal samples from patients were cultured. On August 20, 2018, Shigella … [Read more...]

North Country Smokehouse Kielbasa Sausage Recalled For Possible Foreign Matter Contamination

North County Smokehouse of Claremont, NH recalls ready-to-eat kielbasa sausage products due to possible contamination with metal. This can pose a choking hazard, and could hurt someone's mouth. Produced between February 7-8, 2019, the products bear the establishment number "EST. 5390A" inside the USDA mark of inspection. Retailers nationwide received shipments of following recalled North Country Smokehouse sausage products. The USDA FSIS discovered the problem during a routine review of establishment consumer complaint records. No confirmed reports of adverse reactions have been reported. Anyone concerned about an illness should contact their healthcare provider. If you purchased any of these products, you should discard or return them. … [Read more...]

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