November 25, 2020

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...]

Canada E. coli Romaine Lettuce Update – Import Restrictions are Working

Every year since 2017, there has been at least one E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to romaine lettuce or leafy greens in the United States and in Canada. While no such outbreak has been officially announced in the United States yet in 2020, there have been three "mystery" E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks announced by the CDC and FDA this fall that may be associated with romaine. No such outbreaks have occurred in Canada this year. Why? It may be because last month the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) imposed import restrictions on romaine lettuce grown in the United States. The romaine that allegedly caused illnesses in Canada mostly came from the Salinas growing region in California. So romaine importers either had to prove to the Canadian government that the lettuce did not … [Read more...]

Pats Pizza Food Worker Diagnosed With Hepatitis A in Maine

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention says that a Pats Pizza food worker in Dover-Foxcroft has been diagnosed with hepatitis A and worked while infectious. That worker was at that facility on November 11, 2020. Epidemiological assessment of the employee's illness has found that the restaurant's patrons may be at risk for a hepatitis A infection. The Maine CDC is recommending that anyone who may have eaten food prepared at or who worked at Pats Pizza in Dover-Foxcroft on November 11, 2020 receive a hepatitis A vaccine by November 25, 2020. This recommendation includes anyone who may have had dine-in, take-out, delivery, or curbside pickup of food from this restaurant on that day. The virus is extremely contagious and can be passed through contaminated food and drink, … [Read more...]

Salmonella Paratyphi Outbreak Has Sickened 18 According to FDA

According to information published in the FDA's new Outbreak Investigation Table, the Salmonella Paratyphi outbreak that has some cases associated with Nekter Juice Bar in Woodbury, Minnesota has now sickened at least 18 people. Ten illnesses are confirmed in Minnesota according to the Minnesota Department of Health, and the eight other illnesses are in three other states, according to the FDA. On November 19, 2020 the Minnesota Department of Health told Food Poisoning Bulletin that they are only aware of 10 people sickened in Minnesota. Food Poisoning Bulletin believes that because the FDA is reporting a higher number, the outbreak could be wider than just Minnesota and possibly linked to an as yet unidentified product. The FDA responded this evening and said that there are … [Read more...]

FDA Launches Outbreak Investigation Table Triggering Questions

The FDA has just released a new outbreak investigation table to honor its promise for transparency to keep the public informed about food poisoning outbreaks. But the table is raising some questions. The table lists the pathogen responsible for each outbreak, total case count, investigation status, outbreak status, and whether a recall was initiated. If the outbreak doesn't result in "specific, actionable steps for consumers" the government may not identify a source or reveal contributing factors. And that is confusing. These outbreak investigations are managed by FDA's CORE Response Teams. The FDA will still issue public health advisories for investigations that have resulted in actionable steps. The table lists the three mystery E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks identified this … [Read more...]

Canadian Bagged Salad Cyclospora Outbreak Ends With 370 Sick

The Canadian bagged salad cyclospora outbreak has ended, according to Public Health Canada, with at least 370 sick in six provinces, as of November 4, 2020. Exposure to some Fresh Express brand salad products were identified as a "likely source" for some of the illnesses in this outbreak. The notice states that "the outbreak appears to be over and the investigation is winding down." There was a similar cyclospora outbreak in the United States this summer. That outbreak, which sickened at least 701 people, was also associated with Fresh Express salad products that were made with iceberg lettuce, red cabbage, and carrots. Some of the recalled brand names in the United States included ALDI, Giant Eagle, Hy-Vee, Jewel-Osco, ShopRite, and Walmart. In Canada, the patient case count by … [Read more...]

Potential Hepatitis A Exposure at Trading Post in Yates County, NY

A potential Hepatitis A exposure at the Trading Post Restaurant in Yates County, New York may have exposed patrons to the virus, according to the Yates County Health Department. The notice did not definitively state what the risk was, although it's usually an employee who worked while infectious. The dates that posed a risk for hepatitis A exposure are October 18, 20, 23, 25, and 28, 2020. Most people do not get sick when a food worker has hepatitis A, but there is still a risk, according to the notice. Unfortunately, those dates are all outside the two week window when a hepatitis A vaccine is effective. Anyone who visited that restaurant during those dates should monitor themselves for the symptoms of hepatitis A, and see their doctor if any do appear. If you ate at that … [Read more...]

Barakat Restaurant Salmonella Outbreak in Canada Ends With Dozens Sick

A Barakat Restaurant Salmonella outbreak in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada has ended after sickening dozens of people, according to Lambton Public Health. people were sickened after eating at that restaurant and at the Barakat food truck in Corunna, Ontario, between October 19 and October 29, 2020. The restaurant and food truck have been voluntarily closed since October 30, 2020 while public health officials conducted an investigation. A re-inspection will be conducted when the facilities are ready to re-open. The owners have been cooperating with Lambton Public Health. There are currently 45 laboratory-confirmed Salmonella cases associated with this outbreak. And about 185 other people have reported illness with symptoms that are compatible with salmonellosis after eating at these … [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...]

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