February 20, 2018

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...]

IFSAC Releases Foodborne Illness Source Attribution Estimates for 2013 for Salmonella, E. coli O157, Listeria, and Campylobacter

The Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration (IFSAC) has released foodborne illness source attribution estimates for 2013 for four bacteria: Salmonella, Escherichia coli O157, Listeria monocytogenes, and Campylobacter. This agency is a collaboration between the CDC, the FDA, and the USDA-FSIS. The agency identifies foods that are important causes of human illness. It focuses its efforts on those four bacteria, which are responsible for most food poisoning illnesses in the United States. The CDC estimates that these four pathogens cause 1.9 million foodborne illness cases every year. They base that estimate by calculating the most common food sources that are linked to illnesses. Overall, about 9,000,000 Americans are sickened with food poisoning. More than 56,000 are … [Read more...]

CDC and FDA Investigating E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak; May Be Linked to Canada Romaine Outbreak

The CDC, the FDA, and officials in several states are investigating an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that has sickened at least 17 people in 13 states. The CDC notice states that the Public Health Agency of Canada is investigating a similar outbreak, which Food Poisoning Bulletin has been reporting on. In Canada, 41 people are sick and one person died. CDC is performing whole genome sequencing on samples from patients in the United States to see whether these illnesses are related to illness in Canada. Preliminary results show that the bacteria making people sick is "closely related genetically," meaning that these patients likely share a common source of infection. In Canada, the outbreak has been linked to romaine lettuce. In the United States, patients are being interviewed to see … [Read more...]

CDC Offers Food Safety Tips for the Holidays

The holidays are upon us. Many people are cooking more at home, and with that in mind, the CDC is offering food safety tips for the holidays to make sure you don't end up in the emergency room with food poisoning. First, wash your hands before you prepare food and after you touch raw meat, raw eggs, or unwashed vegetables. That last one is new - but good to know, since raw vegetables have been linked to many foodborne illness outbreaks over the years. Follow good food safety practices and cook food thoroughly. Always use a food thermometer to check the final internal temperature of meats, poultry, egg dishes, and seafood. And remember that roasts, chops, steaks, and fresh ham should stand for 3 minutes after they are removed from the oven or grill. The "danger zone" is … [Read more...]

CDC Says People in Four States May be Drinking Milk Contaminated with Brucella RB51

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is warning raw milk consumers in four states that they may be drinking products contaminated with Brucella RB51 bacteria. Officials are telling these people to visit their doctor and ask for antibiotics to prevent illness. Several other states have issued this same warning in the past few weeks. The statement reads, "People who bought and drank raw milk from a company called Udder Milk may have been infected with a rare but potentially serious germ called Brucella abortus RB51. While Brucella can cause anyone to become sick, women may suffer miscarriage and other pregnancy complications making it critical for pregnant women who may have consumed the raw milk from Udder Milk to seek medical care immediately." The CDC has known … [Read more...]

CDC Investing Millions in Enhanced Antibiotic Resistance Testing

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investing $77 million in efforts to track and fight antibiotic resistance. The money is going to public health departments in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. The hope is that officials will develop new ways to combat antibiotic resistant bacteria in food, healthcare facilities, and communities. The funding will open a new surveillance center for TB. And the overall focus is on enhancing testing capabilities in the agency's regional antibiotic resistance labs. Seven regional labs that are part of the CDC's Antibiotic Resistance Lab Network will be able to expand antibiotic susceptibility testing for Candida auras. This bacteria has shown resistance to all three classes of drugs that are usually used to fight these infections. … [Read more...]

Oysters and Vibriosis

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is issuing information about the risk of contracting a Vibrio infection when consuming raw oysters. Summer is prime oyster season. And it's the time of year when most illnesses from raw oysters occur. In fact, a man in Washington state recently contracted a Vibrio infection when he purchased a live fish from a fish tank. One of the most common illnesses linked to raw oysters is vibriosis. This infection is caused by the Vibrio vulnificus or the Vibrio parahaemolyticus bacteria that occur naturally in seawater. Oysters are filter eaters, which means they draw in seawater and filter out the food and bacteria. The bacteria then become concentrated in the oysters flesh. Most Vibrio infections are caused by Vibrio parahaemolyticus. … [Read more...]

Deadly Multistate Salmonella Kiambu Outbreak Linked to Papayas

A multistate outbreak of Salmonella Kiambu infections linked to yellow Maradol papayas has sickened 47 people in 12 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Maryland officials warned consumers about this potential outbreak with a recall of Caribeña’s brand yellow Maradol papayas this week. The CDC's announcement did not mention any brand of papaya in particular, but did state that "Salmonella Kiambu infections are linked to yellow Maradol Papayas en Español." The case count by state is: Iowa (1), Kentucky (1), Louisiana (1), Maryland (5), Massachusetts (1), Minnesota (1), New Jersey (12), New York (13), Pennsylvania (4), Texas (1), Utah (1), and Virginia (6). Twelve ill persons have been hospitalized, and one death has been reported in New York … [Read more...]

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