November 30, 2021

Senator Jon Tester Introduces Bill to Suspend Beef Imports From Brazil

United States Senator Jon Tester (D-Montana) has introduced a bill to suspend beef imports from Brazil after there have been repeated issues with delayed reporting of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), or Mad Cow Disease, in beef products. The legislation would force a systemic review of the beef's safety before imports could resume. Tester said in a statement, "Montanans demand the highest level of safety and certainty in their beef, and Brazilian imports aren’t making the cut. Folks expect their beef to have been rigorously tested against the strictest of standards, and concerns about Brazilian imports not only jeopardize consumer trust, but present a serious risk to Montana producers. We owe it to our domestic producers and consumers to halt Brazilian imports until we can … [Read more...]

Keep Thanksgiving Leftovers Safe With Tips From the USDA

It's Thanksgiving. One of the best parts of this holiday is leftovers. So you should know how to keep Thanksgiving leftovers safe with these tips from the USDA. When you take foods out of the oven or refrigerator, set a timer and follow the two hour rule. That means that all perishable items such as the turkey, stuffing, side dishes, and desserts should be refrigerated within two hours after coming out of those appliances. After two hours, these foods enter the "danger zone" between 40°F and 140°F, where bacteria can double every 20 minutes. Then, even if you thoroughly reheat those foods, the bacteria could have produced toxins that are not destroyed by heat and can still make you sick. When you break down the foods from the meal, put them into shallow containers so they cool … [Read more...]

E. coli Illnesses Are Increasing in Wyoming, According to Health Department

E. coli illnesses are increasing in Wyoming, according to that state's health department, along with cases of norovirus. This information, in a press release from the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH), offered no specifics as to patient ages, hospitalizations, or any hints about possible sources. Norovirus is likely among the increase in gastrointestinal illnesses, but Matt Peterson, WDH surveillance epidemiologist, said in a statement, "We are specifically seeing increased reports of E. coli across the state recently compared to previous years, which can be particularly concerning in children under 5." The symptoms of norovirus and E. coli are similar up to a point, but norovirus is usually a self-limiting illness, and people who contract this infection usually do not seek … [Read more...]

Now 892 Sick in the Salmonella Onion Outbreak; 183 Hospitalized

There are now 892 sick in Salmonella onion outbreak that is linked to red, white, and yellow onions imported from Mexico as of November 12, 2021. One hundred eighty three people have been hospitalized. That is an increase of 84 new cases, one new state (Hawaii), and 26 new hospitalizations since the last update on October 29, 2021. The patient case count by state is: Alabama (5), Arkansas (17), California (14), Colorado (3), Connecticut (5), Florida (43), Georgia (2), Hawaii (1), Illinois (48), Indiana (1), Iowa (4), Kansas (17), Kentucky (9), Louisiana (8), Maryland (63), Massachusetts (13), Michigan (10), Minnesota (25), Mississippi (3), Missouri (51), Nebraska (9), New Jersey (5), New Mexico (11), New York (20), North Carolina (23), North Dakota (4), Ohio (8), Oklahoma (114), … [Read more...]

Josie’s Organics Baby Spinach E. coli Outbreak Sickens 10 in 7 States

A Josie's Organics baby spinach E. coli O157:H7 outbreak has sickened at least 10 people in seven states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Of eight people who gave information to public health officials, two have been hospitalized, for a hospitalization rate of 25%. The patient case count by state is: Indiana (3), Iowa (1), Michigan (1), Minnesota (2), Missouri (1), Ohio (1), and South Dakota (1). Illness onset dates range from October 15, 2021 to October 27, 2021. The patient age range is from 2 to 71 years. Whole genome sequencing showed that bacteria from patient isolates are closely related, suggesting that people in this outbreak got sick from eating the same food. State and local public health officials interviewed people about the foods … [Read more...]

Salmonella Citterio Salame Sticks Outbreak Grows to 30

The Salmonella Citterio Salame Sticks outbreak has grown to include 30 patients in 10 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is an increase of 10 patients since the last update on October 28, 2021. Six people are hospitalized because they are so ill. That is an increase of two more states in the case count. A recall was issued after the government discovered that the product was still being sold at one retail location, which was not named. The case count by state is: California (12), Illinois (4), Kansas (2), Maryland (1), Michigan (3), Minnesota (3), New Jersey (2), New Y0rk (1), Pennsylvania (1), and Virginia (2). The new states are Maryland and Pennsylvania. The pathogen that has caused these illnesses is Salmonella I … [Read more...]

Citterio Salame Stick Products Recalled For Possible Salmonella

Citterio Salame Stick products are being recalled for possible Salmonella contamination, according to the USDA. Euro Foods, of Freeland, Pennsylvania, doing business as Citterio USA Corp, is recalling about 119,091 pounds of salame stick products. A public health alert about these products was issued on October 29, 2021 instead of a recall because the government believed that the product was no longer in commerce. But, after the alert was issued, FSIS found product at one retail location, and two unopened, intact Citterio salame stick products collected by the California Department of Public Health tested positive for Salmonella. The Italian-style salame stick items were produced before October 25, 2021. They are 2 ounce packages containing "Citterio Premium Italian-Style Salame … [Read more...]

Can USDA Solve Chicken’s Salmonella Problem?

For the last 25 years, the USDA has been trying to reduce Salmonella illnesses by testing for the presence of the bacteria on poultry at processing plants. On the face of it, this seems like a solid plan. According to the CDC, Salmonella causes more foodborne illness than any other bacteria, about 1.35 million cases each year, and contaminated poultry accounts for about 23 percent of those illnesses. But something strange happened. Two decades of test results showed an overall reduction in the occurrence of Salmonella on poultry products, but the percentage of Salmonella illnesses linked to poultry didn’t decrease. In fact, it went up. And while the number of Salmonella illnesses linked to poultry increased, so did the severity thanks to the growing prevalence of dangerous, … [Read more...]

Three Hepatitis A Deaths Linked to Famous Anthony’s Outbreak

Three hepatitis A deaths are linked to the Famous Anthony's outbreak in Roanoke, Virginia, with at least 49 illnesses and 31 hospitalizations, according to news reports. Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts officials did not release any more information about these patients. The hepatitis A outbreak began in September 2021 after an infectious employee worked at these Famous Anthony's restaurant locations in Roanoke: 4913 Grandin Road, 6499 Williamson Road, and 2221 Crystal Spring Avenue. Case counts mounted quickly in the weeks following the outbreak announcement. Since it has been more than two weeks since the last date when anyone infected in late August would likely begin to experience symptoms, this outbreak should stop growing. The last date the employees worked was … [Read more...]

Keeler Family Farms Salmonella Onions Retail List Released

The FDA has published the Keeler Family Farms Salmonella onions retail distribution list, associated with the huge multistate Salmonella Oranienburg outbreak that has sickened at least 808 people in 37 states. The list is very short, as opposed to the retail distribution list for ProSource Produce onions, which was released a few days ago. The retail distribution list for Keeler Family Farm Salmonella onions is for HelloFresh meal delivery services, and Gordon Food Service stores, located in several towns in Ohio and Pennsylvania. The recall notice states that the onions from Keeler Family Farms were distributed to wholesales, retail stores, and restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The onions were imported into the United States from Chihuahua, Mexico this … [Read more...]

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