September 22, 2020

Status of Peach and Onion Salmonella Outbreaks in United States?

You may have forgotten about this by now, but what is the status of the peach and onion Salmonella outbreaks in the United States? Both of those items; Wawona peaches and Thomson International red onions, are linked to multistate outbreaks, and neither investigation has been updated by the CDC or FDA in weeks. The Salmonella Newport outbreak that is linked to red onions produced by Thomson International has sickened at least 1,012 people in 47 states. One hundred thirty six people have been hospitalized because they are so sick. That outbreak investigation has not been updated since August 18, 2020. Another outbreak that is linked to the U.S. outbreak, also connected to Thomson International red onions, has sickened at least 506 people in seven provinces in Canada. Public Health … [Read more...]

Sprouts Alive Micro Greens Associated with Canadian Salmonella Outbreak

Sprouts Alive Micro Greens and Sunsprout Micro Greens are associated with a Salmonella outbreak in Canada, according to a recall notice posted by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The distribution of the raw micro greens and the outbreak seems to be limited to Ontario. There is no information about this outbreak at the Public Health Ontario web site, even though the recall notice states, "Public Health Ontario is investigating an outbreak of human illness associated with consumption of these products." We do not know how many people are sick, their age range, date of illness onset, or if anyone has been hospitalized. The recall notice states, "This recall was triggered by findings by the CFIA during its investigation into a foodborne illness outbreak." The recalled products … [Read more...]

Logan County Salmonella Outbreak in Colorado Sickens 17

A Logan County Salmonella outbreak in Colorado has sickened at least 17 people, according to a news report in the Sterling Journal-advocate. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment states that the cluster of Salmonella infections is in northeastern counties in the state. The outbreak is being investigated along with the Northeast Colorado Health Department. The illness onset dates range from August 1, 2020 and September 17, 2020. Eleven of those seventeen cases are in Logan County. The typical number of Salmonella illnesses in those six counties is less than 12 in August and September. Public health officials have not determined a single common exposure for all of the cases. The investigation is ongoing. Salmonella is a reportable illness, so doctors will report … [Read more...]

Indiana Salmonella Outbreak at La Aldea Grocery Store in West Lafayette

A Salmonella outbreak at La Aldea Grocery store, located at 2801 Klondike Road #D in West Lafayette, Indiana has sickened an undetermined number of people, according to a press release from the Tippecanoe County Health Department. Officials are telling anyone who ate or drank anything from that store from September 7, 2020 to September 17, 2020 to monitor their health for the signs of a Salmonella infection. The press release did not specify how many people were sick, if anyone has been hospitalized, or what if any foods may be implicated in this outbreak. Since Salmonella can spread through contaminated food and drink as well as through person-to-person contact, we don't know if the outbreak is linked to a food or beverage or an ill employee. If you ate foods or drank beverages … [Read more...]

Forty Leafy Greens STEC Outbreaks Occurring During 2009 to 2018

The October 2020 issue of the CDC's Emerging Infectious Diseases has a study about E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks from 2009 to 2018 and found that there were forty leafy greens STEC outbreaks during that time frame. STEC is Shiga toxin-producing E. coli bacteria, most often E. coli O157:H7. Those outbreaks caused 1,212 illnesses, 77 cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), and eight deaths. More of those outbreaks were linked to romaine lettuce than any other type of leafy green. Forty-five percent of those outbreaks occurred in the fall, and 28% occurred in the spring. Leafy greens are the second most common source of foodborne STEC outbreaks, after ground beef. The connection between those two products is that cattle are considered the major reservoir for the pathogen, and STEC … [Read more...]

Texas Court Sentenced Blue Bell Creameries; Will Pay $17.25 Million in 2015 Listeria Outbreak

A federal court in Texas has sentenced Blue Bell Creameries   to pay $17.5 million in criminal penalties in association with the deadly 2015 Listeria monocytogenes outbreak that killed three people who lived in Kansas. The company allegedly shipped contaminated product to hospitals where patients who were already susceptible to infection ate the ice cream in milkshakes and ice cream cups. In May 2020, Blue Bell pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of distributing adulterated ice cream products. The $17.25 million fine and forfeiture is the largest ever criminal penalty in a food safety case. Judy McMeekin, Pharm.D., Associated Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs in the FDA, said in a statement, "The health of American consumers and the safety of our food are too important to … [Read more...]

CDC Says There Is a Coronavirus Risk in Eating Out in Restaurants

According to the Centers for Disease Control and PRevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) for the week of September 11, 2020, there is a coronavirus risk in eating out in restaurants. These are the findings from a case-control investigation of symptomatic outpatients from 11 health care facilities. The researchers found that close contact with people who are infected with the virus or going to locations that offer on-site eating and drinking options were both associated with a COVID-19 positive test. Adults with positive SARS-CoV-2 test results "were approximately twice as likely to have reported dining at a restaurant than were those with negative SARS-CoV-2 test results." The problem is that mask use and social distancing are difficult to maintain when eating … [Read more...]

Canadian Red Onion Salmonella Outbreak Grows Again: No Change in U.S.

The Canadian red onion Salmonella outbreak has grown again, but there is no change in U.S. numbers. The United States outbreak has not been updated by the CDC or FDA since September 1, 2020, when that agency reported at least 1,021 sick in 47 states. Illnesses in both countries have a similar genetic fingerprint, which means they likely share a common source of infection. Both outbreaks have been linked to onions grown and exported by Thomson International of Bakersfield, California. Red, yellow, white, and sweet yellow onions have been recalled in the U.S. and Canada because of the way onions are grown and processed. Secondary recalls have also been issued for products made with those onions. Onions grown in Canada are not suspected in this outbreak. In Canada, at least 506 … [Read more...]

Bath NY Dunkin Donuts Employee Tested Positive For Hepatitis A

The Steuben County Public Health Department has confirmed a case of hepatitis A in a Bath NY Dunkin Donuts employee who worked while contagious. That restaurant is located at 350 West Morris Street in Bath, New York. Anyone who ate food or consumed drink from that establishment from August 17 through August 22, 2020 may have been exposed to the virus. While there is a low risk of contracting the virus, anyone who hasn't been vaccinated or who has not had the illness should monitor their health for symptoms of the virus. The virus is spread through the fecal-oral route, by ingesting small, undetected amounts of stool from and infected person. This can happen through sharing food or drink, eating at a restaurant where and infected person works, or by touching contaminated … [Read more...]

What Happened to the Fresh Express Bagged Salad Cyclospora Outbreak?

It has been almost a month since the FDA or CDC has updated the Fresh Express bagged salad cyclospora outbreak. The last update in the U.S., published on August 14, 2020, listed 690 people sick in 13 states, with Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois hardest hit. Thirty-seven people have been hospitalized. In Canada, where the last update was posted on July 8, 2020, 37 people in three provinces were sick. Fresh Express recalled products containing iceberg lettuce, red cabbage, or carrots with the product code Z178 or lower in June 2020, with more updates issued later. The salads were sold under several brand names, including ALDI, Hy Vee, Jewel Osco, Walmart, Giant Eagle, and ShopRite. The best by dates on the recalled products ran through July 14, 2020. Based on traceback, the carrots are … [Read more...]

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