February 18, 2021

CDC Updates Hispanic Style Cheese Listeria Outbreak Investigation

The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated their Hispanic style cheese Listeria outbreak investigation with new information from the Connecticut Department of Health. On February 16, 2021, Connecticut officials found Listeria in samples of El Albuelito queso fresco cheese that was collected from a store where a patient diagnosed with listeriosis shopped. Investigators are working to confirmed that the Listeria bacteria found in this queso fresco cheese is the same pathogen that is making people sick. They are using  whole genome sequencing (WGS) that maps the DNA of the bacteria. The results should be known soon. The case count still stands at seven sick. Those people live in Maryland (4), Connecticut (1), New York (1), and Virginia (1). All seven patients … [Read more...]

El Abuelito Cheese Listeria Warning Letter Sent by FDA in June 2020

An El Abuelito Cheese Listeria warning letter was sent to the company by the FDA in June, 2020. This is the brand that may be associated with the current Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to Hispanic-style soft and fresh cheeses that has sickened seven people in four states, according to testing conducted by the Connecticut Department of Health. The letter states that after an FDA inspection, a Form FDA-483 was issued that found the facility was not in compliance with the Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food regulation (CGMP & PC). Government officials found "serious violations" of the CGMP & PC rule, according to the El Abuelito Cheese Listeria warning letter, because the owner, operator, or agent in … [Read more...]

Unsanitary Conditions of Soft Cheese Making Linked to Listeria Outbreaks

In the wake of the deadly Listeria monocytogenes outbreak that is linked to Hispanic-style fresh and soft cheeses, it's worth looking at a 2018 study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that examined listeriosis outbreaks associated with soft cheeses from 1998 to 2014. The study, published in Emerging Infectious Diseases, showed that unsanitary conditions of soft cheese making was linked to listeriosis outbreaks. The number of listeriosis outbreaks associated with cheese produced under unsanitary conditions has increased since 2006. Moreover, two-thirds of those outbreaks were linked to "Latin-style soft cheese," accounting for 98, or 54%, of the cases of listeriosis during that time frame. FDA inspections of cheese-making facilities associated with outbreaks … [Read more...]

E. coli O157:H7 Leafy Greens Outbreak Unknown Source 2 Investigation Complete

The E. coli O157:H7 leafy greens outbreak Unknown Source 2 investigation is complete, according to an update posted by the FDA. The outbreak was declared over on December 22, 2020, after sickening at least 40 people in 19 states. Twenty people were hospitalized, and four developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure. After the investigation, no recommendation was made to consumers, retailers, or suppliers. Epidemiologic and traceback investigations indicated that leafy greens were linked to this E. coli O157:H7 outbreak. This outbreak was caused by a strain of E. coli that is genetically related to a strain linked to the fall 2019 E. coli O157:H7 romaine outbreak that sickened at least 167 people in 27 states. The patient case count by state is: Arizona (2), … [Read more...]

Second Mystery E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak Over After Sickening 40

The second mystery E. coli O157:H7 outbreak, also known as Unknown Source 2, which has been linked to leafy greens, is now over, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This is the number six multistate outbreak of 2020, with 40 people sick in 19 states. Unfortunately, a specific type or brand of leafy greens was not identified as the source of this outbreak. This outbreak is different from the other two mystery E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks that occurred at the same time: Unknown Source 1 which was the number 8 outbreak of 2020, and Unknown Source 3 which was the number 9 outbreak of 2020. The patient case count by state is: Arizona (2), California (6), Illinois (2), Indiana (1), Kansas (4), Michigan (3), Minnesota (2), Missouri (3), North Dakota (4), Ohio … [Read more...]

Number Nine Outbreak of 2020: Unknown E. coli Outbreak 3

The number nine outbreak of 2020 is the Unknown E. coli Outbreak 3, which is not linked to any food source or facility. Eighteen people in nine states are sick in this Unknown E. coli outbreak 3, which ended December 18, 2020. Six people were hospitalized because they are so sick. The patient case count by state is: California (3), Colorado (2), Illinois (4), Michigan (3), New York (1), Ohio (1), Pennsylvania (2), Virginia (1), and Washington (1). Illness onset dates ranged from September 2, 2020 to November 6, 2020. The patient age range was from 8 to 71 years. Laboratory testing found the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 in a sample of Tanimura & Antle romaine lettuce in a single head package, but investigators were not able to determine if people got sick from eating … [Read more...]

Third E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak May Be Linked to Romaine

At the end of October the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the FDA announced two distinct E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks that were not linked to any one food or facility. One may have been associated with romaine lettuce, and the other may have been associated with a restaurant. Today the FDA announced a third E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that has sickened at least twelve people in five states that may be associated with recalled romaine lettuce. The patient case count by state is: California (2), Illinois (4), Michigan (2), Ohio (1), Pennsylvania (2), and Virginia (1). Five people have been hospitalized. The last illness onset date was October 14, 2020. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development found E. coli O157:H7 bacteria on a sample of Tanimura … [Read more...]

Wood Ear Mushroom Salmonella Outbreak Ends With 55 Sick

The wood ear mushroom Salmonella outbreak has ended with 55 sick in 12 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Six people were hospitalized because they were so sick. The mushrooms, imported by Wismettac Asian Foods, were recalled in October 2020. The patient case count has increased by 12 since the last outbreak update almost a month ago. And two states, Oregon and Washington, were added to the outbreak state count. The patient case count by state is: Arizona (1), California (33), Connecticut (1), Georgia (1), Illinois (5), Louisiana (1), New Jersey (2), New York (1), Oregon (1), Pennsylvania (2), Washington (5) and Wisconsin (2). The patient age range is from 2 to 74 years. Illness onset dates range from January 21, 2020 to September 19, 2020. … [Read more...]

Second Secret E. coli Outbreak Sickens 23 in 12 States, Hospitalizes 10

A second secret E. coli outbreak has sickened 23 people and hospitalized 10, according to information released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) late last night. The first outbreak, which was caused by a different strain of E. coli O157:H7, was also announced last night. This outbreak is caused by the same strain of bacteria that contaminated romaine lettuce and sickened 167 people in 27 states in 2019. While this information is significant, it doesn't mean that this outbreak was caused by leafy greens. A specific food has not been identified yet, and the government is not making any recommendations for consumers to avoid any particular food. But in another twist, the outbreak investigation statement says, "State and local public health officials are … [Read more...]

CDC Announces Two Mystery E. coli Outbreaks; Leafy Greens?

Tonight the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced two mystery E. coli outbreaks that may be linked to leafy greens that have sickened 44 people and hospitalized 18; three have developed HUS and one person has died. In the first outbreak, 21 people in 8 states are ill. Eight people have been hospitalized, and one person who lived in Michigan has died. Illness onset dates range from June 6, 2020 to October 5, 2020. The patient age range is from 2 to 75 years. Of 16 people who gave information to investigators, eight were hospitalized. One person developed HUS. The patient case count by state is: California (7), Florida (1), Illinois (1), Michigan (2), New Jersey (1), Ohio (7), Utah (1), and Wisconsin (1). The strain of E. coli O157:H7 causing illness in … [Read more...]

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