December 8, 2016

For Dole in Springfield, Listeria Not a New Problem, a Timeline

Last week, Food Poisoning Bulletin reported that in the last four years Dole salads have been recalled for Listeria four times and recalled for Salmonella once. That was incorrect. Since 2012, there have been 10 recalls in the U.S. and Canada for possible Listeria or Salmonella contamination of salads produced by Dole, most of them for Listeria and most of them stemming from Dole’s plant in Springfield, Ohio. In late January, the company opted to close the Springfield plant temporarily after salads produced there were linked to Listeria outbreaks in the U.S. and Canada. Four of the 26 people sickened have died, although Canadian health officials have not determined if the Listeria infections contributed to the cause of death in the three fatalities reported there. The current recalls … [Read more...]

Six Dead from Salmonella in Cucumbers Recalled and Banned Months Ago, How?

A Salmonella outbreak linked to cucumbers continues to sicken people despite recalls issued months ago and an import ban on cucumbers from the implicated Mexican farm. How is this possible? Food Poisoning Bulletin asked this question months ago when the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued previous updates. Recalls for implicated cucumbers, which have a shelf a life of about two weeks, were issued in September. And symptoms of a Salmonella infection usually appear within six to 72 hours of exposure. Yet, people sickened by the three outbreak strains of Salmonella Poona have reported onset of illness as recently as this month. Although illnesses have been reported since July 2015, this outbreak was announced by the CDC on September … [Read more...]

Chipotle E. coli Outbreak Expands to 9 States, 52 Sick, 20 Hospitalized

The Chipotle E. coli  outbreak has sickened 52 people in nine states, 20 of them have been hospitalized, according to the latest update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A food source has still not been determined. Since the last update, on November 20, the outbreak has expanded to include three more states: Illinois, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. And seven new illnesses from six states have been reported. Two of them started in October, five began in November. The most recent illnesses were reported from the following states:  California (1), Illinois (1), Maryland (1), Ohio (2), Pennsylvania (1), and Washington (1). That brings the total  reported from each state to: California (3), Illinois (1), Maryland (1), Minnesota (2), New York (1), Ohio (3), Oregon … [Read more...]

Two Months After Recall, Salmonella Cucumber Outbreak Continues to Grow

Federal health officials have a bit of a mystery on their hands. A Salmonella outbreak linked to imported cucumbers is continuing to grow even though the products identified as the source of the outbreak were recalled from the market more than two months ago. Cucumbers have a shelf a life of about two weeks and symptoms of a Salmonella infection usually appear within six to 72 hours of exposure. So, health officials aren't sure why new illnesses continue to develop. Two recalls have been issued for cucumbers linked to this outbreak. The first, on September 4, 2015, by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce for cucumbers sold under the “Limited Edition” brand label during the period from August 1, 2015 through September 3, 2015. The second on September 11, 2015 by Custom Produce Sales … [Read more...]

CDC: Chipotle STEC E. Coli O26 Outbreak Sickens 41, Hospitalizes 14

The source of the Chipotle outbreak that has sickened 39 people in Washington and Oregon is shiga toxin-producing E. coli, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed in its initial report on the outbreak. Fourteen people have been hospitalized. Shiga toxins cause serious illness by damaging red blood cells and can trigger complications such as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) which leads to kidney failure. HUS can also cause seizure, stroke, coma and death. Lab tests to determine the genetic fingerprint of the E. coli for all case patients are ongoing. Isolates from five people- two in Washington and three in Oregon had the same DNA fingerprint of shiga toxin-producing E. coli. At this time, the CDC does not believe Chipotle locations in other states are … [Read more...]

Chipotle E. coli O26 Outbreak Investigated by FDA, CDC

The FDA and the CDC have joined the investigation into the Chipotle E. coli outbreak that has sickened at least 22 people who ate at locations in Washington and Oregon. The illnesses have been associated with meals served between October 14 and October 23 at restaurants in four Washington counties and two Oregon counties. Eight people have been hospitalized. Chipotle has has temporarily closed all 43 locations in Oregon and Washington while federal, state and local health authorities search for the source. Health officials say produce items are among the suspects. That would include lettuce, onions, avocados, cilantro, onions, peppers and other ingredients in salsa. Produce is a common source of E. coli outbreaks. Contamination can happen in the growing fields or during … [Read more...]

Salmonella Cucumber Outbreak Spreads to 31 States, 418 Sick

The cucumber Salmonella outbreak has grown to include 418 illnesses in 31 states.  At least 91 people have been hospitalized and two have died, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The contaminated cucumbers have been recalled from retail locations. But before  September 3, these dark green cucumbers, called “slicer” or “American” cucumbers, which are  about 7 to 10 inches long, and about 1.75 to 2.5 inches in diameter, were sold in grocery stores in bulk bins with no individual packaging, labeling, or wrapping. Restaurants also served them. Health officials used epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback investigations to identify cucumbers from Baja Mexico, distributed by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce of San Diego as the likely source of this … [Read more...]

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