February 21, 2019

Working Cow Homemade Ice Cream Listeria Outbreak: FDA Lifts Suspension

The FDA has lifted the suspension of Working Cow Homemade, reinstating their facility registration. In October 2018, the FDA suspended the company's registration, so the firm was forced to stop operating. During the months that followed, Working Cow Homemade submitted a proposed shift in business to become a warehouse distributor of ice cream products instead of a manufacturer. The company will not resume manufacturing operations. In October 2018, that company recalled two varieties of their ice cream after one person in Florida was allegedly sickened. The FDA found a strain of Listeria monocytogenes during environmental sampling of the facility n 2017. The government did not release any more information about the ill person. The FDA used their authority granted by the 2011 … [Read more...]

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro Criticizes FDA Delay of Produce Safety Rule

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), has released a statement criticizing the FDA on the delay of some parts of the Produce Safety Rule  following the deadly romaine lettuce E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that occurred late last year. The FDA released the findings of its investigation last week. And that was not the only E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to romaine lettuce last year. Another was announced in summer 2018. Together, those outbreaks caused 272 illnesses, 121 hospitalizations, and five deaths. Her statement reads, "For all the Agency’s bluster on improving traceability, the FDA has done little to advance real actions that would prevent food outbreaks in the first place. The FDA’s investigations into last year’s romaine lettuce recalls have confirmed what we already knew to be … [Read more...]

Raw Turkey Salmonella Reading Outbreak Grows to 279 Sick

The raw turkey Salmonella Reading outbreak has grown to include 279 sick people, according to an update by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Of those patients, 107 people have been hospitalized, and one person who lived in California has died. That's an addition of 63 more people from 24 states and the District of Columbia. Illness onset dates range form November 20, 2017 to January 29, 2019. The patient age range is from less than 1 year to 101. Forty-eight percent of patients have been hospitalized. The case count by state is: Alabama (4), Alaska (2), Arizona (4), Arkansas (1), California (26), Colorado (6), Connecticut (4), Delaware (1), District of Columbia (4), Florida (12), Georgia (2), Hawaii (2), Idaho (4), Iowa (4), Illinois (23), Indiana (7), Kansas … [Read more...]

Final Investigation of Romaine E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak: Questions Remain

The FDA has released a report on its investigation into the romaine E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that occurred during the fall and early winter of 2018. At least 62 people in 16 states were sickened in this outbreak. Twenty-five people were hospitalized, and two developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure. In November 2018, the FDA took the extraordinary step of telling consumers to avoid all romaine lettuce from all sources until they had more information on the outbreak. Officials eventually found contamination at one particular farm in California, but couldn't explain the entire outbreak. Adam Bros. Farming That farm, Adams Bros. Farming, was located in Santa Anna County in California. Officials found the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 in sediment … [Read more...]

Previously Unreported Listeria Outbreak Associated with Caramel Apples

In the CDC's Weekly Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report for January 25, 2019, a previously unreported Listeria monocytogenes outbreak associated with prepackaged caramel apples was announced.  In late 2014 and early 2015, a large and deadly outbreak of listeriosis linked to prepackaged caramel apples sickened ate least 35 people. Thirty four patients were hospitalized. And listeriosis contributed to at least three of the seven deaths reported. Eleven of those cases were associated with pregnancy, causing three premature births and one fetal loss. In the 2017 outbreak, PulseNet found a cluster of three Listeria monocytogenes clinical isolates with indistinguishable pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) pattern combinations. That means that those three people were likely sickened … [Read more...]

What is Listeria Poisoning?

Listeria poisoning is an infection of the body with Listeria bacteria, more specifically Listeria monocytogenes (or L. mono, for short). This kind of infection is called listeriosis. The first signs of infection might include: Diarrhea Nausea Muscle aches Fever The incubation period—the time between consumption of the contaminated food and first signs of illness—varies depending on the type of Listeria infection. Listeria illnesses can range from mild to “invasive.” For otherwise healthy people, Listeria usually presents as a “stomach bug.” Mild infections are rarely diagnosed, because people may not even require medical care. In these circumstances, the incubation period is shorter: 24 hours, on average. However, in people that are young, elderly, pregnant, … [Read more...]

Possible Hepatitis A Exposure at City Billiards in Aiken, SC

An employee at City Billiards in Aiken, South Carolina has tested positive for the hepatitis A virus, according to a news release by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). Anyone who ate there from January 22, 2019 to February 5, 2019 may have been exposed to the pathogen. The Health Department is working with that facility to investigate exposures and have arranged vaccinations for anyone who may have been affected. The DHEC is declaring a hepatitis outbreak in Aiken County. Last week, there was another employee who tested positive at the Aiken Brewing Company on Laurens Street in downtown Aiken. There have been 10 hepatitis A cases diagnosed in that county since December 1, 2018. The people who are sick in Aiken County did not get sick by … [Read more...]

More Achdut Tahini Products Recalled in Salmonella Concord Outbreak

The FDA is warning consumers to avoid eating several types of tahini in association with a Salmonella Concord outbreak. The recalled products are imported from an Israeli manufacturer, Achdut Ltd.Five people, who live in Hawaii, Michigan, and New York, are sick with the outbreak strain. The brands that company makes include Achva, Achdut, Soom, S&F, and Pepperwood brand tahini, and Soom brand Chocolate Sweet Tahini Halva Spread. The last product is sold in 12 ounce packages, has lot code 071318CH, with expiration dates ranging from April 7, 2020 to May 21, 2020. In addition, 40 pound Organic Tahini, 40 pound Premium Tahini, 16 ounce Premium Tahini, 16 ounce Organic Thin, and 11 ounce Premium Tahini from Soom foods is recalled. Also recalled is Baron's brand tahini with … [Read more...]

CDC Again Warns Consumers About Brucellosis in Raw Milk

The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is again warning the public in 19 states about the potential exposure to Brucella RB51 in 19 states, connected to consuming raw milk from Miller's Biodiversity Farm in Quarryville, Pennsylvania.  One case of brucellosis was confirmed in New York in November 2018. Three people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with brucellosis after drinking raw milk since 2017. An unknown number of people, estimated to be in the hundreds, may have been exposed to the bacteria from drinking unpasteurized milk from this farm, a farm in Texas, and an online retailer. A cow that tested positive for the pathogen has been removed from the Miller's Biodiversity Farm milking herd. In late December 2018, raw milk and raw milk products from Miller's … [Read more...]

Hepatitis A Exposure at Subway in Trumann, Arkansas

An employee at the Subway restaurant at 121 Highway 463 North in Trumann, Arkansas, has been diagnosed with hepatitis A according to the Arkansas Health Department. Anyone who ate there between January 23, 2019 and February 6, 2019 should get a vaccination as soon as possible if they have never had this illness or have not been vaccinated. Unfortunately, those vaccines, which include the hepatitis A and immune globulin vaccinations, are only effective if given within two weeks of exposure. That means that anyone who ate at that facility January 23 to January 25, 2019 is out of that time period. All those people can do is monitor their health for symptoms of this viral illness. Those symptoms include dark urine, lethargy and fatigue, weight loss, abdominal pain, clay-colored bowel … [Read more...]

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