November 18, 2019

Wisconsin E. coli O157 HUS Outbreak Identified

An E. coli O157 outbreak has been identified in Wisconsin. The press release states, "Between November 13 and November 15, 2019, the Wisconsin Division of Public Health (DPH) Communicable Diseases Epidemiology Section has observed a significant increase in the number of reported cases of Escherichia coli (E. coli) O157 infection. We are treating this as an outbreak. Cases have been reported from numerous jurisdictions within Wisconsin, and have not been isolated to a single region. One associated case of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) has also been reported." Officials do not yet know what food may be the source of the pathogen, but we do know that three women from northwest Wisconsin were diagnosed with what appears to be an E. coli O157 infection; they ate "lots of salads" before … [Read more...]

Stater Bros. Ground Beef Linked to Salmonella Dublin Outbreak

The USDA has posted a recall notice for Central Valley Meat Co.'s Stater Bros. ground beef that links that product to a deadly Salmonella Dublin outbreak that has sickened at least 10 people in 6 states. The notice states, "Working in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health partners, FSIS determined that there is a link between ground beef products from Central Valley Meat Co., Inc., and this illness cluster." The company is recalling about 34,222 ponds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with Salmonella Dublin. These ground beef items were produced on July 13, 2019. They include: 1 pound chub packages of “STATER BROS. 100% PURE GROUND BEEF 96% LEAN 4% FAT” with lot 2049 on the retail label, lot 19204 … [Read more...]

Why Are There So Many Outbreaks Linked to Romaine Lettuce?

In the past few years, there have been quite a few food poisoning outbreaks linked to romaine lettuce. Why is this product the source for hundreds of serious illnesses? And why are there so many E. coli outbreaks linked to romaine? The answer lies in three facts: It's very difficult to clean a product that is so delicate and has so many crenelations and areas for bacteria to hide. Second, produce is a raw product and is often eaten without a kill step to destroy pathogens. And third, because leafy greens including romaine grow on the ground and are subject to contamination through irrigation water and animals, and are handled so often between farm to fork, there are many opportunities for contamination. Romaine is difficult to clean Romaine lettuce, along with other leafy … [Read more...]

Possible Wisconsin E. coli O157 Outbreak Associated With Salads

UPDATE: There may be as many as 9 people sickened in this possible outbreak, according to some reports. We'll keep you updated. According to a notice posted on ProMED-mail on November 14, 2019, a possible Wisconsin E. coli O157 outbreak may be associated with salads. ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseases and tracks illnesses and possible disease outbreaks around the world. Launched in 1994, it is considered an early warning system for healthcare workers. The notice states, "Over the past 5 days, our health care facility in northwest Wisconsin, USA, has seen 3 women hospitalized with _E coli_ O157 infection. All presented with significant abdominal pain without fever and watery diarrhea which in 2 progressed to bloody diarrhea. None of the 3 … [Read more...]

New Seasons Ground Beef E. coli O157 Recall Expands: One More Case

New Seasons Market has expanded its recall of fresh ground beef sold at its Portland, Oregon stores for possible E. coli O157:H7 contamination after new tests show that some of the potentially contaminated meat was available for sale as recently as November 8, 2019. In addition, one more illness case that is closely associated with one of the three confirmed cases has been identified. The first recall notice and notice of the outbreak was posted on November 10, 2019 and stated that the ground beef in question was sold from October 13 to October 23, 2019. At that time, three patients had been identified and their illnesses had been confirmed via lab tests. There is no word about any hospitalizations or hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) development. That means that four people may … [Read more...]

Scombroid Poisoning Associated with All Water Seafood in Seattle, WA

An outbreak of scombroid poisoning is associated with All Water Seafood & Oyster Bar, located in the Loews Hotel 1000, at 1001 1st Avenue in Seattle, Washington. Three people are sick in this outbreak. They ate tuna at that restaurant on November 4, 2019; all patients are from one party. No one has been hospitalized. Symptoms of this illness include nausea, diarrhea, and flushed face. Other symptoms typical of this illness include tingling or burning sensations in the mouth, facial swelling, rash, itchy skin and hives, abdominal cramps, low blood pressure, blurred vision, dizziness, and vomiting. The symptoms typically begin a few minute to a few hours after ingesting food, usually seafood, the has elevated levels of histamine. This is essentially an allergic reaction. People … [Read more...]

Gainesville Salmonella Outbreak Sickens 47 People in Florida

A Gainesville, Salmonella outbreak has sickened at least 47 people in Florida, according to news reports. The Department of Health in Alachua County first became aware of this outbreak on November 4, 2019. The source of the illnesses seems to be box lunches that were prepared by a local religious or cultural community. A specific food has not yet been linked to the illnesses. The food was apparently prepared at a woman's house to be delivered to other members of the Vietnamese community over the weekend, according to the Gainesville Sun. One volunteer and member of the Tu Vien A Nan Buddist Temple volunteered this information. Symptoms of a Salmonella infection include a fever, nausea, stomach and abdominal cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea that may be bloody. If anyone ate box … [Read more...]

E. coli Outbreak Associated With New Seasons Market Ground Beef in Portland, OR

An E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in Portland, Oregon is associated with ground beef sold at meat counters in three New Seasons Market stores. Three people in the metro area are sick after eating New Seasons Market ground beef purchased at those outlets. All are recovering from their illness, according to a press release by the Oregon Health Authority. The company is also issuing a recall. The recalled fresh ground beef was sold at the company's North Lombard, North Interstate, and Cedar Hills store locations. The product comes in 5%, 10%, and 20% fat content varieties. The beef is ground at the stores before sale. The ground beef was purchased between October 19, 2019 and October 23, 2019. If you purchased these products, throw them away in a sealed container, even if you planned to cook … [Read more...]

Wild Ginger Restaurant Campylobacter Outbreak in Cortland, NY

The Cortland County Health Department has announced a Wild Ginger restaurant Campylobacter outbreak that has sickened seven people (it may be eight), according to news reports. Those sickened ate at that restaurant between October 18 and October 31, 2019. The Asian Fusion restaurant is located at 47 Main Street in Cortland, New York. All seven patients have lab confirmed infections. The testing is continuing, so there may be more illnesses announced. The Health Department has alerted health care providers in the area to be on the lookout for patients presenting with the symptoms of campylobacteriosis. Those symptoms include fever, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea that may be bloody. Most people recover on their own after this infection, but some, especially people … [Read more...]

Mystery Deadly Listeria Monocytogenes Outbreak Ends With 24 Sick

The mystery deadly Listeria monocytogenes outbreak that sickened 24 people in 13 states and caused two deaths has been declared over by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with no resolution. The outbreak notice states, "A specific food item, grocery store, food processor, or restaurant chain was not identified as the source of infections in the United States." People who were sickened in this outbreak were sickened by a strain of Listeria bacteria that was closely related genetically to Listeria that made people sick in a Canadian outbreak. That Canadian outbreak was linked to recalled Rosemount frozen cooked chicken. The Listeria outbreak in Canada was deemed over on November 6, 2019. The case count by state is: California (4), Florida (1), Iowa (1), Illinois (4), … [Read more...]

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