August 16, 2018

CDC Surveillance Report Reveals Outbreak Numbers, But Not Consequences of Foodborne Illness

The CDC Surveillance Report for Foodborne Disease Outbreaks from 2009 - 2005 was released in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report today. The numbers show that food poisoning outbreaks remain a serious health problem in this country, causing millions of illnesses every year. But what the raw numbers don't reveal is how these largely preventable illnesses wreak havoc on individual lives and families. During the time frame of the report, the CDC's Foodborne Disease Outbreak Surveillance System received reports of 5,760 outbreaks that caused more than 100,000 illnesses, more than 5500 hospitalizations, and 145 deaths. These outbreak illnesses are a small fraction of the actual number of food poisoning cases that occur every year. The government estimates that 48,000,000 … [Read more...]

DC Offers Tips on Fruit and Vegetable Safety Amid Cyclospora and Salmonella Outbreaks

There are two outbreaks right now in the U.S. that are linked to fresh produce. A cyclospora outbreak linked to Del Monte Vegetable Trays has sickened 212 people in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Michigan. And a Salmonella Adelaide outbreak linked to recalled fresh precut melons has sickened. So the CDC is offering advice on fruit and vegetable safety. Fruits and vegetables are important to a good diet. They help protect y0u from illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, and some cancers. But these types of foods are more likely than others to be contaminated with pathogenic bacteria. And many of these products are not heated before they are consumed, which means any contaminated food will make someone sick. For fruit and vegetable safety, the safest produce has been cooked to a … [Read more...]

Romaine Lettuce E. coli O157 Outbreak Ends in Canada Too With No Answers

The romaine lettuce E. coli O157 outbreak that has sickened 197 people in the U.S. and killed 5 has been declared over in Canada by the Public Health Agency of Canada. The CDC and FDA in the United States have not declared an end to this outbreak, but do say that "product is no longer being harvested or distributed from this area and is no longer available in stores or restaurants, due to its 21-day shelf life." In Canada, eight people were sickened with E. coli O157 infections with a similar genetic fingerprint to people sickened in the U.S. there have not been any new illnesses reported to public health officials since late April 2018, so the outbreak notice states, "the Canadian outbreak appears to be over and the outbreak investigation has been closed." In the Canadian … [Read more...]

Kellogg Salmonella Lawsuit Filed After Honey Smacks Cereal Linked to Outbreak

Kellogg Salmonella lawsuit has been filed after Honey Smacks cereal is linked to an outbreak. A Salmonella Mbandaka outbreak that has sickened at least 73 people in 31 states has been announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Attorney Fred Pritzker, who has represented many clients sickened with Salmonella infections in the past few years, said, "The hospitalization rate in this outbreak is about 44%, which is double the typical hospitalization rate for Salmonella outbreaks. "We don't know why people have been so sick in this particular outbreak. It could be because the strain of Salmonella that has contaminated this cereal is very virulent. Or the product could be contaminated with lots of bacteria," Fred added. The median age among patients is 58, … [Read more...]

CDC Weighs In on Salmonella Adelaide Outbreak Linked to Pre-Cut Melon; Lawyer Gives Advice

The CDC is weighing in on the Salmonella Adelaide outbreak linked to precut melon sold at Walmart, Kroger, Jay C, and Payless stores in the Midwest. There are 60 people sick in this outbreak. Thirty-one people have been hospitalized, which is a very high percentage.   On June 8, 2018, Caito Foods recalled fresh cut watermelon, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, and fresh cut fruit medley products that were produced at the Caito Foods facility in Indianapolis, Indiana. These products were distributed to Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, and Ohio.  You can see the brand names, stores where the products were sold, package sizes, UPC numbers, and best by dates at the FDA site. The recalled fruit was sold in clear, plastic clamshell containers … [Read more...]

CDC Tracks Cryptosporidium and Legionnaires Disease Outbreaks Traced to Treated Recreational Water

Cryptosporidium and Legionnaires' Disease outbreaks associated with treated creational water during 2000 to 2014 are traced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in their weekly Morbidity and Mortality Report for the week of May 18, 2018. During that time frame, 493 outbreaks caused at least 27,219 illnesses and eight deaths. Public health officials, owners of these parks, bathers, and parents of young children can help minimize the risk for these outbreaks. Cryptosporidium outbreaks increased 25% by year during the 2000 - 2006 seasons, but no significant trend occurred after 2007. These outbreaks are caused by both pathogens and chemicals in venues such as pools, hot tubs and spas, and interactive water play features. Among the 363 outbreaks with a confirmed … [Read more...]

MMWR Examines Trends of Foodborne Illness Outbreaks From 2006 to 2017

The CDC is examining trends of foodborne illness outbreaks for 2017 and describes changes in incidence since 2006 in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) for March 23, 2018. Foodborne illness is a substantial health burden in the Untied States. In 2017, there were 24,484 infections, 5,677 hospitalizations, and 122 deaths attributed to food borne illness. Commander with the time period of 2014 to 2016, FoodNet, the Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network, showed that there was increase of infections with Campylobacter, Listeria, non-0157 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), Yersinia, Vibrio, and Cyclospora. This increased incidence may have resulted form the increased used and sensitivity of culture-independent diagnostic tests. At the same time, the … [Read more...]

CDC Offers Tips to Prevent the Spread of Norovirus

During the winter months when more people are indoors and in close quarters, norovirus cases, a type of food poisoning, increase; more than 80% of norovirus outbreaks occur from November to April. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is offering tips to help you protect yourself and others against this virus. Norovirus is the name for a group of viruses that cause inflammation of the stomach and intestines, which is also known as gastroenteritis. Symptoms of this illness are abdominal and stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Officials think that this pathogenic virus causes about 20 million illnesses in the United States every year, 56,000 to 71,000 hospitalizations, and about 700 deaths. Many people call this illness the "stomach flu." But it is not … [Read more...]

Deadly E. coli O157:H7 HUS Outbreak Linked to Leafy Greens Over, Says CDC

The deadly E. coli O157:H7 HUS outbreak in many states that is linked to leafy green is over, according to the CDC. In all, 25 people in 15 state were sickened with the outbreak strain of deadly bacteria.   The most recent illness started on December 12, 2017. Illnesses started on dates ranging from November 5, 2017 to December 12, 2017. Nine people were hospitalized, including two who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure. One person in California died. This outbreak investigation began in Canada, when people sickened with the same strain of E. coli bacteria were reported in several provinces. In that country, this outbreak was linked to romaine lettuce. The U.S. government failed to identify a specific product linked to this outbreak, but … [Read more...]

What Happens to the FDA, CDC, and USDA During the Government Shutdown?

The United States government is under a shutdown as of January 20, 2018. What does that mean to the work done by the FDA and USDA to help keep our food supply safe? The FDA has posted a statement saying that "only some of our work is permitted to continue during a lapse in funding." Agency operations will continue in areas that address "imminent threats to the safety of human life and activities funded by carryover user fee funds." The FDFA will still monitor for and respond to food poisoning outbreaks; will support high-risk food and medical product recalls when those products endanger consumers; pursue criminal and some civil investigations when they believe the public health is at risk; screening food and medical products imported to the U.S.; and address "other critical pubic … [Read more...]

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