May 10, 2021

MMWR on Multistate Outbreak of E. coli O26 Infections Linked to Raw Flour

Most consumers do not recognize that raw, or uncooked, flour, is considered a health risk as this item is a raw agricultural product that has not undergone a kill step to eliminate pathogens. In the April 23, 2021 issue of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), a study is presented that looked at the 2019 multistate outbreak of E. coli O26 linked to raw flour. On February 20, 2019, PulseNet identified six Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O26:H11 infections with the same DNA fingerprint. This pattern matched infections from a July 2018 outbreak that was associated with ground beef. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched an investigation to identify the outbreak source. Investigators first thought the outbreak was linked to ground beef  because … [Read more...]

All Jule’s Foods Recalled For Salmonella Contamination and Outbreak

All Jule's Foods recalled for Salmonella contamination and an outbreak, according to an FDA recall notice. The notice states that the FDA and CDC are investigating this outbreak. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not yet released any information about this outbreak, but there is a new Salmonella Duisburg outbreak that was posted on the FDA's Core Investigation Table on April 22, 2021 with five people sick. We still don't know the patient age range, illness onset dates, or whether anyone has been hospitalized. The FDA has preliminary confirmation of Salmonella in Jule's Foods brie products that contain cashews. The company is working with the FDA to find the source of the pathogen in samples that were collected by the California Department of Public Health. Thus this … [Read more...]

Salmonella Hadar Turkey Outbreak Sickens 24 in 11 States

A Press Officer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Candice Burns Hoffman, told Food Poisoning Bulletin that as of March 22, 2021, there are 24 people in 11 states sickened in the Salmonella Hadar turkey outbreak listed on the USDA's outbreak investigation table. We don't know the states where the ill persons live, the patient age range, or illness onset date, or if anyone has been hospitalized. But we do now know that patients reported eating a variety of turkey products before they got sick. The outbreak table simply states that turkey is suspected in this outbreak, and that the outbreak investigation is active. A specific brand of type of turkey products has not yet been identified. The CDC is collecting more data to try to determine the source of these … [Read more...]

Another Mystery E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak Ends With 22 Sick

Another mystery E. coli O157:H7 outbreak has ended with no source, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)> The FDA and USDA collected different types of dates but were unable to identify a food source of this multistate outbreak. The outbreak is over as of March 11, 2021. Last summer and fall, the CDC announced two other mystery E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks that sickened a total of 44 people, hospitalizing 18. The pathogen in one of those outbreaks was linked to bacteria that sickened people in a 2019 romaine lettuce outbreak. A total of 22 people in 7 states were sickened in this latest outbreak.  The case count by state is: Arkansas (9), Maryland (1), New York (1), Oklahoma (6), Texas (1), Virginia (2), and Washington (2). Illness onset dates ranged … [Read more...]

If You Travel, the CDC Has Info About Food and Water Safety Abroad

If you travel, or if you are going to start traveling once the pandemic eases, the CDC has information about food and water safety abroad that is important. There are some countries where the food and water are infamous for causing illness, whether true or not. But no matter where you travel there are some things you should know to avoid food poisoning. Hot food is usually safe. The only thing that reliably destroys most bacteria and pathogens is heat. The exception is toxins produced by some bacteria as they grow, and spores of some bacteria, such as Clostridium botulinum. Just beware of foods that are sitting at warm or room temperature, such as at a buffet because it could be re-contaminated. Dry or packaged food is also usually safe. Most bacteria and other pathogens require … [Read more...]

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. The government 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 … [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...]

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