November 25, 2020

Follow Thanksgiving Food Safety Steps from the CDC For a Safe Holiday

The CDC is offering Thanksgiving food safety steps for you to follow as you prepare this holiday dinner to stay safe. This Thanksgiving will be different, with fewer large gatherings and more people staying home to protect themselves against Covid-19. So avoid food poisoning, which is a major risk during the pandemic, with these tips. First, keep it clean. Always wash your hands with soap and water before you start to cook and eat. Make sure that food preparing surfaces and utensils are clean and sanitized before you start to cook. Think about sanitizing the sink and countertops before you bring out the food. You can use a commercial product or make your own by mixing 1 tablespoon liquid chlorine bleach with one gallon of warm water. For meal prep, make sure that you keep raw … [Read more...]

NC Harris Teeter AFC Sushi Linked to Food Poisoning Outbreak in Concord

North Carolina Harris Teeter AFC sushi is linked to a food poisoning outbreak, according to a press release issued by the Cabarrus Health Alliance (CHA) in Concord, North Carolina. The Harris Teeter stores in question are located at 358 George W. Liles Parkway Northwest in Concord, and 1245 Concord Parkway North, also in Concord, North Carolina. When the press release was first issued four days ago, there were "more than 10 individuals" who were sick. But according to news reports, now as many as 128 people may be ill. Those 128 people belong to 85 households. Harris Teeter is using their loyalty card program to notify 429 households that they purchased that during during the timeframe in question. More than 100 transactions were made without a loyalty card, however. The sushi … [Read more...]

CDC Updates Second Mystery E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak; Romaine?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated the second mystery E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that may be associated with leafy greens or romaine lettuce. This outbreak has now sickened at least 39 people in 18 states. There are three unsolved multistate E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks ongoing at this time; all of the investigation notices mention leafy greens, and one mentions an unnamed restaurant. The outbreak investigation notice states that "This outbreak is different from the two other E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks CDC is currently investigating." This is the same strain of E. coli O157:H7 which caused a massive outbreak last year that was linked to romaine lettuce from the Salinas Valley growing region in California. At least 167 people were sickened in that outbreak … [Read more...]

Unusual Holiday Cooking Tips During COVID-19 From the CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is offering some unusual holiday cooking tips during the COVID-19 pandemic. They state that, "Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that handling food or eating is associated with directly spreading COVID-19. It is possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object, including food, food packaging, or utensils that have the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. However, this is not thought to be the main way that the virus is spread." If you are hosting a small holiday gathering, think about these tips, and as always, follow basic food safety rules. You don't want to add food poisoning to the list of things we're already stressing over. First, encourage guests to … [Read more...]

Planning Holiday Gatherings During the Pandemic? The CDC Has Tips

If you are planning holiday gatherings during the pandemic, the CDC has some timely tips. Right now, the coronavirus is spreading uncontrolled through most of the United States. Scientists were afraid this would happen as people got tired of social distancing and started to spend more time indoors. First of all, celebrating virtually is the safest way to spend the holidays. Only socialize with people in your household - that is, anyone who currently lives and shares common spaces in your home. Anyone who doesn't currently live with ou, including college students who are coming home for the holidays, are considered from other households. Second, if you are having and in-person holiday event, there are some things to this about. If the community levels of COVID-19 in your location, … [Read more...]

Are There Three Romaine E. coli O157:H7 Outbreaks?

Food safety experts are talking about three separate new E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks in the United States that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have not definitively linked to any food or facility. All may have a common thread, however. Are there three romaine E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks currently ongoing in this country? Maybe. The first two outbreaks were announced at the end of October 2020. The first E. coli O157:H7 outbreak, which sickened 21 people in 8 states and hospitalized 8, may be associated with a restaurant. The significant clue in this outbreak is that the outbreak strain is closely related to the E. coli O157:H7 bacteria that sickened 210 people in a deadly outbreak linked to romaine lettuce in 2018. The second outbreak, which has sickened at least … [Read more...]

Pritzker Hageman Files Second E. coli O157:H7 Lawsuit in Ohio

The law firm of Pritzker Hageman has filed a second E. coli O157:H7 lawsuit in the state of Ohio on behalf of a teenage girl who was sickened with a Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) infection after allegedly eating food purchased at the Chipotle at 1140 Polaris Parkway in Columbus, Ohio. The suit was filed on Friday, November 6, 2020. The first lawsuit, also against the same restaurant location, was filed on October 31, 2020. Their client allegedly ate a salad bowl or burrito bowl purchased from that restaurant on September 22, 2020, and another on September 24, 2020. The bowl contained romaine lettuce, tomato salsa, guacamole, and other items. Several days later the teenager got sick with bloody diarrhea, and sought medical treatment. A diagnosis of STEC infection was … [Read more...]

CDC Investigates Third Mystery E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak; May be Romaine

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investigating a third mystery E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that has sickened at least 12 people in 5 states. The other two outbreaks, which were announced earlier this month, have sickened a total of 44 people. And the outbreak notices seem to suggest that the illnesses may be associated with romaine lettuce and/or restaurants. In this new outbreak, the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 was found in a sample of recalled Tanimura & Antle single head romaine lettuce by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. But the government is insisting that isn't enough to link the romaine to the outbreak. They are still investigating to see if more products may be contaminated with the pathogen. Investigators are … [Read more...]

Third E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak May Be Linked to Romaine

At the end of October the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the FDA announced two distinct E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks that were not linked to any one food or facility. One may have been associated with romaine lettuce, and the other may have been associated with a restaurant. Today the FDA announced a third E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that has sickened at least twelve people in five states that may be associated with recalled romaine lettuce. The patient case count by state is: California (2), Illinois (4), Michigan (2), Ohio (1), Pennsylvania (2), and Virginia (1). Five people have been hospitalized. The last illness onset date was October 14, 2020. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development found E. coli O157:H7 bacteria on a sample of Tanimura … [Read more...]

Tanimura & Antle Romaine Lettuce Tests Positive for E. coli: Outbreaks?

Tanimura & Antle romaine lettuce has tested positive for E. coli O157:H7, according to a consumer advisory put out by the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD). That agency is warning consumers not to eat Tanimura & Antle romaine lettuce that is packed as single heads. A routine sample of the lettuce that was collected at a Walmart store in Comstock Park, Michigan, and tested by MDARD's Laboratory Division was confirmed positive for the pathogen. Analysis by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services found that the strain of E. coli recovered from that romaine is "highly related genetically" to the E. coli O157:H7 bacteria that has sickened two people in Michigan. The CDC stated last week that there are are two E. coli O157:H7 … [Read more...]

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