April 6, 2020

FDA Addresses Issue of China Coronavirus and Imported Products

On our Facebook page recently, one person asked if anyone should be concerned about the safety of products arriving from China as the coronavirus outbreak continues. The virus has been named COVID-19, as it is a virus causing coronavirus disease that was first identified in 2019. Is there a danger regarding coronavirus and imported products? The FDA is working to surveil the medical product supply chain and is using enforcement tools to oversee the safety and quality of FDA-regulated products. The FDA isn't able to conduct inspections in China now, as the U.S. State Department's Travel Advisory is not to travel to China because of the outbreak. Here's the takeaway line: "Fortunately, currently, we are not seeing the impacts of this outbreak resulting in an increased public health … [Read more...]

Study Looks at Hepatitis E Contamination in Pigs

A new study published in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Emerging Infectious Diseases looks at the prevalence of hepatitis E contamination in pigs used for food in the United States. The hepatitis E virus RNA was found in 6.3% of serum samples from market-weight pigs at 25 slaughterhouses in 10 states. The blood of these pigs may contaminate the pork supply chains in this country, according to the study. Hepatitis E does not get a lot of attention in the U.S., certainly not in comparison to hepatitis A. It is a self-limiting disease that doesn't cause chronic infection. It is usually associated with contaminated water supply in countries that have poor sanitation practices. There is no vaccine against this virus. Symptoms of hepatitis E are similar to hepatitis A … [Read more...]

Check Out These Game Day Food Safety Tips From the CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is offering game day food safety tips to keep your football watching and Super Bowl parties safe for family and friends. If you are offering a buffet of foods to guests, these rules are even more important. First, always wash your hands before preparing food. In addition, wash cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and countertops. Clean fruits and vegetables under running water before cutting into them so bacteria on the peel doesn't get onto the flesh. Make sure that all meats, poultry, and egg dishes are cooked to safe final internal temperatures. All chicken products should be cooked to 165°F. Egg dishes and ground meats (except for ground chicken and turkey, which should be cooked to 165°F) should reach 160°F. And always use a … [Read more...]

Mystery Deadly Listeria Monocytogenes Outbreak Ends With 24 Sick

The mystery deadly Listeria monocytogenes outbreak that sickened 24 people in 13 states and caused two deaths has been declared over by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with no resolution. The outbreak notice states, "A specific food item, grocery store, food processor, or restaurant chain was not identified as the source of infections in the United States." People who were sickened in this outbreak were sickened by a strain of Listeria bacteria that was closely related genetically to Listeria that made people sick in a Canadian outbreak. That Canadian outbreak was linked to recalled Rosemount frozen cooked chicken. The Listeria outbreak in Canada was deemed over on November 6, 2019. The case count by state is: California (4), Florida (1), Iowa (1), Illinois (4), … [Read more...]

Pig Ear Dog Treats Salmonella Outbreak Ends With 154 Sick

The pig ear dog treats Salmonella outbreak has ended with 154 sick in 34 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Both the CDC and FDA have dropped their warning for consumers to avoid buying or feeding any pig ear pet treats, except for those that are already recalled. The case count by state is: Alabama (1), Arizona (1), California (2), Colorado (3), Connecticut (1), Florida (3), Georgia (3), Hawaii (1), Illinois (10), Indiana (5), Iowa (24), Kansas (3), Kentucky (8), Louisiana (1), Maine (1), Maryland (1), Massachusetts (4), Michigan (17), Minnesota (1), Missouri (7), New Hampshire (1), New Jersey (3), New York (16), North Carolina (2), North Dakota (1), Ohio (12), Oregon (3), Pennsylvania (8), South Carolina (2), Texas (2), Utah (1), Virginia … [Read more...]

Whole Genome Sequencing Solves Cake Mix Salmonella Outbreak

For the first time, whole genome sequencing solved a Salmonella outbreak associated with cake mix, according to a study published in the Center For Disease Control and Prevention's Weekly Morbidity and Mortality Report. This cake mix Salmonella outbreak was associated with Duncan Hines products. This outbreak was unusual because the Centers for Disease Control stated, "There was not enough epidemiologic and traceback information available to determine if ill people in this outbreak were linked to contaminated cake mix produced by Duncan Hines," even though a Salmonella Agbeni isolate was found in an unopened box of Duncan Hines white cake mix. The outbreak was first identified when two patients living in Oregon were diagnosed with Salmonella infections in August 2018. Both … [Read more...]

Cyclospora Has Sickened 1696 People As Of August 28, 2019 in the U.S.

Domestically acquired cases of cyclospora have sickened 1,696 people in 33 states, the District of Columbia, and New York City as of August 28, 2019, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Some of these illnesses are linked to fresh imported basil and some restaurants and events throughout the country. But many of the individual cases could not be linked to a specific outbreak, in part because of the lack of validated molecular typing tools for the Cyclospora parasite. Identified cyclosporiasis outbreaks in the summer of 2019 include: An outbreak linked to fresh basil imported by Siga Logistics from Mexico, which has sickened at least 205 people in 11 states. That outbreak was last updated on August 15, 2019. An outbreak associated with three … [Read more...]

Why Are Listeria Illness Onset Dates Spread Out Over Years?

The current Listeria monocytogenes outbreak identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that has no identified source has been going on since 2017. Looking back through our archives, we have found that this is not an isolated incident. Why are Listeria illness onset dates spread out over years? Listeria monocytogenes is a dangerous pathogen. When people in certain categories, including people with compromised immune systems, chronic illnesses, the elderly, and pregnant women, contract this infection, many people get seriously ill. Most, if not all, of those sickened with listeriosis end up in the hospital. And the mortality rate for patients in these groups can be as high as 20-30%. In the Listeria outback linked to unnamed deli meats and cheeses, which has … [Read more...]

Are the Canadian and American Listeria Outbreaks One and the Same?

There are currently two Listeria monocytogenes outbreaks in the U.S. and Canada that were announced last week by the respective governments of those countries. There are a lot of similarities between the two outbreaks. So the question is: are the Canadian and American Listeria outbreaks the same? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced the U.S. outbreak last Friday. As of August 23, 2019, 24 people are sick with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes. Illness onset dates are from July 20, 2017 to August 1, 2019. And as of August 23, 2019, there are seven cases of listeriosis in Canada. The illness onset dates for that country are between November 2017 and June 2019. Here's the crucial statement. The CDC says, "Whole genome sequencing showed that the … [Read more...]

Listeria Monocytogenes Outbreak Announced; No Food Identified

A Listeria monocytogenes outbreak has been announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Twenty-four people in 13 states are sick. Twenty-two people have been hospitalized, and two people have died. The patient case count by state is: California (4), Florida (1), Iowa (1), Illinois (4), Indiana (1), Kansas (1), Kentucky (1), Michigan (1), Missouri (3), New York (2), Ohio (2), Oregon (2), and Texas (1). Listeria specimens were collected from patients from July 20, 2017 to August 1, 2019. The patient age range is from 35 to 92 years. This is a strange outbreak announcement, because the notice states that "A specific food item, grocery store, or restaurant chain has not been identified as the source of infections in the United States." This is very unusual. In … [Read more...]

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