February 27, 2021

CDC Health Advisory For Extensively Drug-Resistant Salmonella Typhi

A CDC health advisory for extensively drug-resistant Salmonella Typhi infections has been issued by the Health Alert Network (HAN). These types of infections are usually associated with international travel, but as of January 14, 2021, the government has received 71 reports of these infections in the United States; not all had left the country before getting sick. While most of those patients had traveled, nine, or 13% of the total, had not traveled to any country before they got sick. Salmonella typhi is transmitted through contaminated food and water and through person to person contact. In 2016, a large outbreak of extensively drug-resistant Salmonella typhi infections started in the Sindh province, Pakistan. Typhi strains are resistant to antibiotics that are usually … [Read more...]

Four Sick in Maryland’s Soft Cheese Listeria Monocytogenes Outbreak

Four people are sick in Maryland's soft cheese Listeria monocytogenes outbreak announced late last week by the FDA and the CDC. That state has the most patients sickened in the current outbreak. The other states involved in this outbreak have one person sick in each.   The outbreak is potentially linked to Hispanic-style soft and fresh cheeses, according to information provided by the Centers for Disease Control. An investigation has been launched and officials are collecting samples of cheese from stores where ill persons shopped before they got sick. Of four people who have been interviewed, three said they ate at least one type of Hispanic-style fresh and soft cheese, and al three said they ate queso fresco. These types of cheeses have a history of being linked to … [Read more...]

History of E. coli O145 Outbreaks in the United States

There are three active multistate food poisoning outbreaks on the USDA outbreak table: One is for an outbreak caused by Listeria monocytogenes, one caused by Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7, and one caused by Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O145 bacteria. The last one may be linked to ground beef. Let's look at the history of E. coli O145 outbreaks. What is the history of E. coli O145 outbreaks in the United States? This pathogen is part of the Big Six STEC bacteria group that the USDA classified as adulterants back in 2011, and started testing for the bacteria as part of a zero tolerance policy in 2012, but it has not been linked to many outbreaks. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there was a multistate outbreak caused by E. coli O145 bacteria in … [Read more...]

Follow Thanksgiving Food Safety Steps from the CDC For a Safe Holiday

The CDC is offering Thanksgiving food safety steps for you to follow as you prepare this holiday dinner to stay safe. This Thanksgiving will be different, with fewer large gatherings and more people staying home to protect themselves against Covid-19. So avoid food poisoning, which is a major risk during the pandemic, with these tips. First, keep it clean. Always wash your hands with soap and water before you start to cook and eat. Make sure that food preparing surfaces and utensils are clean and sanitized before you start to cook. Think about sanitizing the sink and countertops before you bring out the food. You can use a commercial product or make your own by mixing 1 tablespoon liquid chlorine bleach with one gallon of warm water. For meal prep, make sure that you keep raw … [Read more...]

Unusual Holiday Cooking Tips During COVID-19 From the CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is offering some unusual holiday cooking tips during the COVID-19 pandemic. They state that, "Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that handling food or eating is associated with directly spreading COVID-19. It is possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object, including food, food packaging, or utensils that have the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. However, this is not thought to be the main way that the virus is spread." If you are hosting a small holiday gathering, think about these tips, and as always, follow basic food safety rules. You don't want to add food poisoning to the list of things we're already stressing over. First, encourage guests to … [Read more...]

Planning Holiday Gatherings During the Pandemic? The CDC Has Tips

If you are planning holiday gatherings during the pandemic, the CDC has some timely tips. Right now, the coronavirus is spreading uncontrolled through most of the United States. Scientists were afraid this would happen as people got tired of social distancing and started to spend more time indoors. First of all, celebrating virtually is the safest way to spend the holidays. Only socialize with people in your household - that is, anyone who currently lives and shares common spaces in your home. Anyone who doesn't currently live with ou, including college students who are coming home for the holidays, are considered from other households. Second, if you are having and in-person holiday event, there are some things to this about. If the community levels of COVID-19 in your location, … [Read more...]

How Common Are E. coli O157:H7 Leafy Greens Outbreaks?

There are currently two active E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks in the United States that were announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this month. Neither has had a specific food, brand, store, or restaurant associated with it, although the FDA has hinted that one may be linked to a restaurant and one may be linked to leafy greens. How common are foodborne E. coli O157:H7 leafy green outbreaks? The CDC has a fact sheet on leafy greens that will shed light on this question and also helps consumers protect themselves against foodborne illness linked to those products. From 2014 to 2018 there have been 51 foodborne illness outbreaks linked to leafy greens. Five of those outbreaks were publicized by the government. Two of those five outbreaks were inked to packaged … [Read more...]

Fun and Safe Halloween Activities During the Pandemic From the CDC

Halloween is this weekend. While the holiday is fun, there can be problems that we have written about in other years. This year, the CDC has some ideas on different types of fun and safe Halloween activities you may want to do with your family and friends, and ranks activities from lowest to highest risk. Unfortunately, many classic Halloween traditions and activities can be high risk for spreading viruses. If you have been exposed to the coronavirus or have been diagnosed with it, do not participate in any in-person activities or give can to trick-or-treaters. Lower risk activities: Instead, think about having a pumpkin carving contest with members of your household. You can have a pumpkin decorating activity outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends. Organize a … [Read more...]

Today Is Global Handwashing Day; Learn Tips From the CDC

Today is Global Handwashing Day. Did you know that washing your hands properly is one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of bacteria and viruses? Keeping your hands clean can prevent 30% of diarrheal illnesses and 20% of respiratory infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This day highlights the importance of using soap and water properly to clean your hands. It's especially important to teach young children and teenagers how to wash their hands thoroughly. These age groups often don't know how to complete this task. This year's theme is "Hand Hygiene For All," and seeks to make soap and water available globally, especially in public places such as schools and healthcare facilities. This action can not only help prevent foodborne … [Read more...]

Four Americans Are Dead After Ingesting Methanol Hand Sanitizers

According to the Centers for Disease Control and PRevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report for the week of August 5, 2020, four Americans are dead after ingesting methanol hand sanitizers. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers should only contain ethanol or isopropanol, but recently, some of them have been found to contain methanol. Methanol, or wood alcohol, is toxic when absorbed through the skin and can kill if ingested. Children can accidentally consume this product, and some adults use ethanol or isopropanol for substitutes for alcohol. Many recalls of these products have been issued in the past few months. Food Poisoning Bulletin has been reporting about this issue. From May 1 through June 30, 2020, 15 cases of methanol poisoning were reported in Arizona and New Mexico … [Read more...]

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