June 16, 2024

FDA Is Sampling Romaine To Test For Salmonella and STEC

The FDA is sampling romaine lettuce to test for pathogens. That agency has launched a small, focused assignment to collect samples of romaine lettuce to test for Salmonella and STEC (Shiga toxin-producing E. coli bacteria). These two pathogens have been "repeatedly linked to foodborne illness associated with romaine lettuce consumption," according to the notice. Two large E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks in 2018 were linked with the consumption of romaine lettuce. Both outbreaks prompted nationwide public health advisories. One of those outbreaks was deadly; five people died. Last month, the FDA released information about an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak associated with romaine lettuce that sickened 23 people in 12 states. That outbreak was not announced until it was long past over. Last … [Read more...]

Lawsuit Alleges Chipotle Tried To Cover Up Outbreak

A lawsuit against Chipotle this week alleges employees tried to cover up a Norovirus outbreak that occurred at a Simi Valley, California location in August. The suit was filed in the Central District of California Western Division, case number 2:16-cv-00399-PA. The suit stems from a norovirus outbreak that occurred at the location in August 2015, the same month a Minnesota Salmonella outbreak sickened 64 people who ate at 22 Chipotle locations. And one month after an E. coli outbreak, that was not disclosed at the time, sickened five people in the Seattle area. Norovirus, formerly called Norwalk virus, is highly contagious. It causes vomiting and diarrhea. Plaintiffs include seven minors and one adult who were all sick for two days with vomiting and diarrhea. One of them, who was … [Read more...]

Chipotle Confident E. coli Outbreak is Over, Food Safety Problems are History

Chipotle leadership is confident that the E. coli outbreak linked to food served at its restaurants in nine states is over and that its food safety problems are history. Chipotle CEO Steve Ells spoke at the ICR Investor Conference in Orlando, Fla. yesterday. "We are all very confident that this E. coli outbreak would not happen again," he said. The outbreak, which has sickened 53 people in nine states, has not yet been declared over by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which last issued an update on its investigation on December 21, 2015. But Ells thinks the agency will make and announcement soon and the company can move forward in the new year with a new food safety program that will ensure it never has another year like 2015. During 2015, the company was … [Read more...]

15 E. coli Outbreaks of 2015

E. coli is a major source of food poisoning sickening thousands of Americans each year. Symptoms of an E.coli infection, which include abdominal cramping and bloody diarrhea, usually set in about three days after exposure and last about a week. Complications include hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) which can lead to kidney failure. Leafy greens, ground beef and petting zoos are common sources of E.coli outbreaks, but they're not the only ones, as a look back at the outbreaks in 2015 shows. Although most food poisoning outbreaks occur restaurants, the settings for these outbreaks varied. Of the 15 high-profile E. coli outbreaks of 2015, three were associated with restaurants: Chipotle, Twisted Fork and Worthy Burger. One, Los Chilangos, was associated with food from a food … [Read more...]

Largest Multistate Food Poisoning Outbreaks 2015: #5 Chipotle E. coli

The fifth-largest multistate food poisoning outbreak of 2015 was the E. coli outbreak linked to food served at Chipotle restaurants in nine states. At least 52 people were sickened, 20 of them were hospitalized. The outbreak was one of several food poisoning outbreaks linked to Chipotle this year including a Salmonella outbreak that sickened more than 60 people in Minnesota. The Salmonella outbreak was linked to tomatoes grown in Florida. The food source of the E. coli outbreak has not been identified. Health officials initially thought the outbreak only involved Chipotle locations in Washington and Oregon. The company temporarily closed all locations in those states during the investigation. During a 10-day closure, Chipotle deep-cleaned, sanitized and supplied all the locations … [Read more...]

Will 2nd Chipotle E. coli Outbreak Help Identify Tainted Ingredient?

Five people in Kansas, Oklahoma and North Dakota developed E. coli infections after eating at Chipotle restaurants in November. Their illnesses were caused by a different strain of E. coli than the one responsible for the ongoing nine-state outbreak that has sickened 53 people, so health officials are not sure if the cases are part of the same outbreak. Although the new illnesses are terrible news for those sickened and for the company,  could they be the key to solving the outbreak? It's been two months since the first outbreak was announced but health investigators still have no idea what the contaminated food source might be. That's a bit of a head scratcher for armchair epidemiologists wondering how hard it can be to determine the commonly sourced ingredient in meals eaten by more … [Read more...]

Chipotle: New Food Safety Costs Won’t be Passed on to Consumers

Chipotle says the cost of its extensive new food safety measures will not be passed on to consumers in the form of price hikes on menu items. The new measures, which Chipotle hopes will make it an industry leader in food safety, were prompted by recent food poisoning outbreaks including a nine-state E. coli outbreak that has sickened 52 people and a Salmonella outbreak  that sickened 64 people in Minnesota. The Salmonella outbreak was linked to tomatoes grown in Florida. The food source of the E. coli outbreak has not been discovered. For one Washington woman, an ingredient in a burrito bowl was the source of illness, according to a lawsuit filed by the national food safety law firm Pritzker Hageman. She ordered the meal from a Vancouver location on October 21 and began experiencing … [Read more...]

BC Basketball Players Among 80 Sickened at Boston Area Chipotle

At least eight members of the Boston College men's basketball team are among 80 sickened after eating at a Boston Area Chipolte. Health officials have tested all 80 people for Norovirus and E. coli and will have results within 48 hours. Symptoms of those who became ill included vomiting and diarrhea. Several members of the Boston College basketball team were so sick they missed Sunday's game, and some of them may also miss tomorrow's game. The Boston outbreak is the latest blow to Chipotle's food safety record. Currently linked to a nine-state E. coli outbreak that has sickened 52 people, Chipotle was also linked to a September Salmonella outbreak in Minnesota and a September Norovirus outbreak in California. The E.coli outbreak includes cases in California (3), Illinois (1), … [Read more...]

Chipotle E. coli Outbreak Includes Akron Area Preschoolers

The Chipotle E. coli outbreak includes three people from the Akron area- siblings ages 2 and 3 and a 25-year-old man, according to WKRC. It is not known what the three of them ate before they became ill, but their answers to that question could help investigators solve the outbreak which has sickened 52 people in nine states. Six weeks in to the investigation, health investigators have not yet determined the food source. Hundreds of tests have been conducted but none has produced the result that could identify the source of contamination. The illnesses were reported from the following states:  California (3), Illinois (1), Maryland (1), Minnesota (2), New York (1), Ohio (3), Oregon (13), Pennsylvania (1), and Washington (27). During interviews with health officials, case patients, … [Read more...]

Chipotle E. coli Outbreak’s Food Source Eludes Detection

One and a half months after the Chipotle E. coli outbreak  began, the food source remains a mystery. Although this is the case for the majority of food poisoning outbreaks, it seems strange in this case for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that despite the company's extraordinary efforts to eliminate the problem, new cases - and cases in new states, were reported this week. The outbreak now includes  52 people in nine states. Since the last update, on November 20, the outbreak has expanded to include seven new illnesses and three additional states: Illinois, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Why is this strange? When the outbreak was first detected by Washington State health officials in late October, they believed it affected only Chipotle locations in Washington and … [Read more...]

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