July 23, 2017

Deadly Multistate Salmonella Kiambu Outbreak Linked to Papayas

A multistate outbreak of Salmonella Kiambu infections linked to yellow Maradol papayas has sickened 47 people in 12 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Maryland officials warned consumers about this potential outbreak with a recall of Caribeña’s brand yellow Maradol papayas this week. The CDC's announcement did not mention any brand of papaya in particular, but did state that "Salmonella Kiambu infections are linked to yellow Maradol Papayas en Español." The case count by state is: Iowa (1), Kentucky (1), Louisiana (1), Maryland (5), Massachusetts (1), Minnesota (1), New Jersey (12), New York (13), Pennsylvania (4), Texas (1), Utah (1), and Virginia (6). Twelve ill persons have been hospitalized, and one death has been reported in New York … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

Update on Deadly E. coli Outbreak in Southwest Utah

An E. coli outbreak in Hildale, Utah that killed two children and originally sickened six has been updated by the Southwest Utah Public Health Department. Now eleven people have been sickened in this outbreak. On July 5, 2017, testing on the city water system was negative for the pathogenic bacteria. On July 7, 2017, the case number increased to nine. Officials were continuing to test the water. Also on July 7, 2017, the Health Department told residents of Hildale and surrounding areas to not consume any previously purchased ground beef until further notice. Ground beef has been linked to E. coli in the past, especially when the meat is not cooked to 160°F. Then on July 11, 2017, the Department announced that there were 11 confirmed cases of E. coli in this outbreak. Officials … [Read more...]

Salmonella Outbreak at Cilantro Fresh Mexican Grill in New Haven, CT

A Salmonella outbreak at Cilantro Fresh Mexican Grill at 1158 Whalley Avenue in New Haven, Connecticut is being investigated by the Connecticut Department of Public Health. The restaurant has voluntarily closed while public health officials are looking at the outbreak. The owner is cooperating with the investigation. Officials are asking that anyone who ate at that restaurant during the month of June, 2017, and has been ill with fever, nausea, diarrhea, and/or vomiting should see their doctors. If you are sick with those symptoms, do not prepare food or drinks for others. Wash your hands well with soap and water frequently to prevent spreading the illness. There is no word on how many people have been sickened, or if anyone has been hospitalized. There is also no word on if the … [Read more...]

Salmonella Outbreak in 2016 Linked to Hot Peppers

A multistate outbreak of Salmonella Anatum infections that were linked to imported hot peppers appears in the The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report for June 30, 2017. This is the first government report on this outbreak. Thirty two people in nine states were sickened in this outbreak that happened during the summer of 2016. The CDC and FDA did not publish anything about this outbreak at the time because government officials couldn't find a source for the outbreak, specifically a common source for the peppers, so consumers couldn't take steps to protect themselves. Epidemiologic, lab, and traceback evidence found that fresh hot peppers were the likely source, but "a single pepper type or source farm could not be identified." Fresh hot peppers and other produce have been the … [Read more...]

Shigella Outbreak Causes Voluntary Closure of Souplantation in Camarillo, CA

An increase in Shigella infections in Ventura County, California has led to the voluntary, temporary closure of the Souplantation restaurant in Camarillo. Officials were notified on Thursday, June 22, 2017 about an unusual number of cases in the county. Ventura County Public Health officials said that eight people have been diagnosed with the illness. Seven of those patients ate at the Souplantation restaurant before they got sick. The eighth patient was a "household contact" of one of the seven sickened. Shigella is a highly contagious bacteria that causes about half a million illnesses in the United States every year. Symptoms include diarrhea that can be bloody, fever, and abdominal pain and cramps. Most people recover without a doctor's care in about a week, but some do … [Read more...]

USDA Stops Imports of Brazilian Beef

The USDA is halting imports of Brazilian beef, according to a press release from that government agency. There are "recurring concerns about the safety of the products intended for the American market," according to the release. Brazil is one of the world's largest beef importers, and is the fifth largest beef supplier to the United States. USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) personnel have been inspecting all, or 100%, of meat products imported from Brazil into the United States since this spring. FSIS has refused about 11% of those imports; that number is much higher than the typical rejection rate of 1% of all food shipments from the rest of the world. FSIS has refused entry to 106 lots, about 1.9 million pounds, of Brazilian beef products for public health … [Read more...]

Outbreak at CO Rifle Rodeo was Clostridium Perfringens

Clostridium perfringens caused illnesses at the Rifle Rodeo in Garfield County Colorado in early June, according to a press release from the Garfield County Health Department.  That event was held on June 5, 2017 at the Garfield County Fairgrounds. About 80 people were sickened in that outbreak. An unlicensed vendor served food at the privately organized event. Samples were sent to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Interviews conducted by public health officials helped pinpoint the source of the food that caused the illnesses. Yvonne Long, Executive Director of Garfield County Public Health said in a statement, "The Rifle Rodeo is a privately-organized event. It should be noted that this particular food vendor has a primary location that has been … [Read more...]

Norovirus Outbreak at Special Kids Day in Wisconsin

A norovirus outbreak that sickened at least 60 people last month at the Special Kids Day event at the Northern Wisconsin State Fairgrounds has been linked to contaminated food served there. Jennifer Miller, spokeswoman for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services said, "all evidence in the investigation suggests that the primary mode of transmission of norovirus was through contaminated food. However, the source has not been determined and remains under investigation." Lab testing found a "commonality" in stool samples from ill persons that showed the outbreak was caused by food. Norovirus is spread through person-to-person contact, by touching contaminated surfaces, and by eating contaminated food and drink. About 738 disabled students from 26 school districts were at the … [Read more...]

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