September 20, 2020

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...]

Prepared Popcorn Brands Recalled in Canada For Pieces of Glass

Two prepared popcorn brands recalled in Canada may have foreign material contamination, more specifically, pieces of glass, which can injure teeth or the mouth and may pose a choking hazard. Both products were distributed in British Columbia at the retail level. This is a Class 3 level recall. The first recall is for Preferred Popcorn Organic Popcorn in two varieties, distributed by Ingredients Plus Distribution.  The first is Organic Butterfly Popcorn, packaged in 22.68 kg packages. The UPC number on that product is 7 64256 30002 3, and the codes printed on the label are PN122-9367A PKD: 07/27/2020 and EXP 07/27/2021. The second recalled product from that distributor is Medium Organic Yellow Popcorn packaged in 11.34 kg sizes, with no UPC number. The codes on that product are … [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...]

Willow Tree Farm Classic Chicken Salad Recalled For Walnuts

Willow Tree Poultry Farm, Inc. of Attleboro, Massachusetts is recalling about 6,800 ponds of ready to eat Willow Tree Farm classic chicken salad because it contains walnuts, or tree nuts, that isn't declared on the label. Anyone who is allergic to walnuts could have as serious reaction if they eat this product. There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions associated with the consumption of this product to date. The recalled product is labeled as "Classic Chicken Salad," but it may actually contain "White Meat Cranberry Walnut Chicken Salad." The salad was produced on September 2, 2020. The recaleld product is 15 ounce clear plastic containers of Willow Tree Farm Classic Chicken Salad that is labeled as "Willow Tree Premium White Meat Chicken Salad Classic," with a sell by … [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...]

What You Need to Know About Chicken and Food Safety

Most people know that raw poultry, as well as raw meat and eggs, are potentially hazardous foods. These foods are often contaminated with pathogens that can make you very sick. If not handled and cooked properly, the risk of foodborne illness with these foods is quite high. This is what you need to know about chicken and food safety. Americans eat more chicken than any other meat. Outbreaks linked to chicken are common every year. The bird is often contaminated with Campylobacter and Salmonella bacteria, which is why about 1,000,000 people in the U.S. get sick from contaminated poultry every year. First, when shopping, buy chicken last. Double bag it at the store, then go home right away and refrigerate or freeze any chicken product. Don't make other stops or delay going … [Read more...]

Climate Change Increases Foodborne Illness Outbreak Risk

The effects of climate change are stark and worrying. Most people have heard about rising sea water levels, more wildfires, and more extreme weather events. But did you know that climate change increases foodborne illness outbreak risks? A study published in Scientific Reports by Kuhn et al looks at the relationship between Campylobacter outbreaks and climate in Northern Europe. The researchers used national surveillance data of campylobacteriosis infections in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. They found that temperature, rainfall, and snowfall have a predictable effect on infection rates. Higher temperatures and heavier rainfall led to more infections, while shorter heatwaves and winter rain and snowfall reduced the number. Global climate change will change temperatures and … [Read more...]

FDA Issues the First Injunction Under the Produce Safety Rule

The FDA has issued its first injunction under the Produce Safety Rule against a company that makes sprouts and soy products. That Rule, which was part of the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011 and was finalized on January 26, 2016, gives the FDA power to issue consent decrees of permanent injunction against corporations for violating safety standards. The Produce Safety Rules mandates that sprout operations take measures "to prevent the introduction of dangerous microbes into seeds or beans used for sprouting; test spent sprout irrigation water (or, in some cases, in-process sprouts) for the presence of certain pathogens; test the growing, harvesting, packing and holding environment for the presence of the Listeria species or Listeria monocytogenes; and take corrective actions … [Read more...]

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