November 19, 2020

Expired Fresh Express Caesar Salad Recalled For Possible E. coli O26

Expired Fresh Express Caesar Salad Kits are being recalled for possible E. coli O26 contamination. The recall is for product that is eight days past its use by date. Some of this product may still be in consumers' homes, although that is unlikely. This salad kit was sold mostly in western and southwestern U.S. states. The "possible distribution" includes these states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. This recall is not posted on the USDA or FDA web sites, but was released by the company. The recalled product is a "limited number" of cases of expired 10.5 ounce packages of Fresh Express Kit Caesar Supreme. The use by date printed on the package is November 8, 2020. The … [Read more...]

Applebee’s Hepatitis A Exposure in Mount Vernon, Illinois

An Applebee's Hepatitis A exposure at the restaurant in Mount Illinois may have exposed customers to the virus, according to a Facebook post by the Jefferson County Health Department. The employee worked while infectious from July 9 through July 19, 2020. Applebee's has cleaned and sanitized the restaurant and has been working with public health officials. There is something strange about this, though. On the Facebook page someone asks if the employee worked before July 9, 2020, since they ate there on July 6, 2020. The health department doesn't give a direct answer, but advises the person to discuss vaccination with their doctor. So we don't know if this Applebee's hepatitis A exposure window was longer than stated. If you ate at the Applebee's in Mount Vernon, Illinois during … [Read more...]

Minnesota E. coli Lawsuit Addresses 2014 Applebee’s Outbreak

The Minnesota Department of Health investigated an E. coli O111 outbreak in 2014 that led to a lawsuit against Apple Minnesota, LLC d/b/a Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar. State epidemiologists traced the mid-summer outbreak to food served at Applebee's restaurants, then narrowed their focus to whole head green cabbage, an ingredient in Oriental Chicken Salad. From there, the FDA took over the investigation but no results have been published by the agency as to the origin of the tainted cabbage or the source of contamination. The initial Minnesota Health press release on July 14 discussed 13 cases that were under review, but officials later upped the number of Minnesotans sickened in the outbreak to 15. The illnesses were confirmed between June 24 and July 10 and four of the … [Read more...]

Applebees E. coli Lawsuit Assigned to Judge Magnuson

The E. coli lawsuit filed against Apple Minnesota, LLC d/b/a Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar has been assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Paul A. Magnuson in the Twin Cities. The suit, filed on behalf of Applebee's patron Keith Comstock, was the first legal action taken by victims of this summer's outbreak of E. coli O111 traced to nine Applebee's restaurants in Minnesota. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, 15 people were infected with the highly toxic foodborne pathogen in late June and early July. Agency officials late last week identified green, whole head cabbage as the likely source. Mr. Comstock suffered food poisoning symptoms three days after eating Oriental Chicken Salad at the Applebee's in Woodbury, Minn., near his home. Under medical care, he tested … [Read more...]

Applebee’s E. coli Outbreak Source Was Likely Cabbage, Officials Say

Green, whole head cabbage was the likely source of an E. coli O111 outbreak that sickened at least 15 people who ate at the Yard House or one of several Applebee's restaurants in MN, the Minnesota Department of Health said today. Four people were hospitalized and  have recovered. Thirteen patients ate at Applebee's restaurants in Minnesota in June and July 2014.  Most of those sickened ate the Oriental Chicken Salad at the Applebee's restaurant.  Applebee's temporarily removed the item from the menu and changed the ingredients before making it available again. The outbreak strain of E. coli O111 has not been seen in the United States before this particular outbreak. Health officials say the cabbage was likely contaminated before it was delivered to restaurants. A common out-of-state … [Read more...]

Minnesota E. coli Investigators Solve Two Outbreaks In One Month

Minnesota epidemiologists have solved a pair of unrelated E. coli outbreaks in the span of a month, first linking Applebees restaurants in the state to infections of E. coli O111 and then proving that a traveling petting zoo put seven people in the hospital. The agency responsible for the disease sleuthing is the Minnesota Department of Health. "Without a doubt the Minnesota Department of Health stopped these outbreaks before other people could become infected,'' Minneapolis-based E. coli lawyer Fred Pritzker said. "They provide an invaluable public service.'' In the most recent outbreak, Zerebko Zoo Tran traveling petting zoo withheld its animals from the last two county fairs at which it was scheduled to exhibit in August, according to a health department news release. The … [Read more...]

Minnesota E. coli Investigators Busy on Two Fronts

The Minnesota Department of Health is investigating two unrelated toxic E. coli outbreaks at the same time -- one on the Fond du Lac Reservation involving type O157:H7 and the other involving E. coli O111 at Applebees restaurants. In both outbreaks, officials are trying to pinpoint the source of contamination even while victims in the Applebees outbreak have launched an Applebees E. coli lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis. The Applebees outbreak was announced July 14 in a press release that alerted customers of the chain who ate there since June 20 to report if they suffered bloody diarrhea or severe diarrhea within days of their meal. Fifteen people have been confirmed as case patients, including four who were hospitalized, but Health Department spokesman Doug Schultz has … [Read more...]

Minnesota Applebees E. coli Outbreak Fact Sheet

Ten days after the Minnesota Department of Health created a health bulletin about an E. coli O111 outbreak associated with Applebees, there have been no new public pronouncements about the precise cause of the food poisoning episode or whether it spread beyond the state's borders. To date, here is what Food Poisoning Bulletin has learned from various sources: 15 people -- two more than originally announced -- have been confirmed as case patients by the Health Department. 12 of the 15 people say they ate at an Applebees in Minnesota between June 23 and June 29. The nine Minnesota Applebees locations named by the Health Department as linked to this outbreak are in Woodbury, Willmar, Monticello, Bemidji, New Hope, Duluth, Roseville and two locations in Blaine. Anyone who ate at a … [Read more...]

E. coli O111: Harmful Bug in Spotlight at Minnesota Applebees

The Applebees E. coli outbreak in Minnesota has prompted a lawsuit and put a well-known but less prevalent type of pathogenic E. coli in the public spotlight this summer. E. coli O111 can be just as virulent as its better-known cousin, E. coli O157:H7, but it makes fewer appearances in outbreaks that are confirmed by public health officials. In fact, the pathogen doesn't show up in any multi-state E. coli outbreaks tracked by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over the past decade, according to CDC data reviewed by Food Poisoning Bulletin. U.S. health records show the last time that E. coli O111 made a major splash in this country was August 2008 when one person was killed and another 340 people  were sickened in a foodborne outbreak linked to Country Cottage restaurant in … [Read more...]

Now 15 Cases of E. coli O111 Confirmed in Applebee’s MN Outbreak

Two more cases of E. coli O111 have been confirmed in Minnesota by the Minnesota Health Department, bringing the total number of cases in that state to 15. The CDC has stated that two more cases in two other states may also be a part of this outbreak, but PFGE results determining the specific strain of bacteria have not been completed for those patients. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is also investigating this outbreak. The numbers of those sickened who said they ate at Applebee's restaurants in Minnesota has also changed. Previously, only 7 of the ill persons said they ate at Applebee's. Now 12 of the 15 people sickened in this outbreak say they ate at Applebee's restaurants between June 23 and June 29, 2014. That is an expansion of dates from the times officials thought … [Read more...]

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