December 15, 2017

Holiday Meals Bring the Risk of Clostridium Perfringens Infections

Many holiday meals, especially those served to large groups, can be risky because of a bacteria called Clostridium perfringens. This bacteria causes almost 1 million cases of food poisoning every year in the United States. And these illnesses are preventable. Foodsafety.gov has information on how to prevent these outbreaks. The problem occurs when large quantities of food are cooled and reheated, or held for long periods of time on warming trays or containers. Parts of these foods may drop into the danger zone of 40°F to 140°F for some period of time, and that's when pathogenic bacteria can grow. Clostridium perfringens bacteria are commonly found in meat and poultry. When big pots of stew or gravy are not kept properly hot or cold, the bacteria multiply. These types of … [Read more...]

Almost 160 are Sick with Salmonella and C. perfringens in Caldwell Parish, LA

The Salmonella and Clostridium perfringens food poisoning outbreak in Caldwell Parish, Louisiana, has sickened 158 people as of October 23, 2017. The fundraising event where the illnesses occurred was held on October 16, 2017. Forty people have been hospitalized in this outbreak, and almost all have been discharged. The age range of patients is from 10 years to 82, with the mean age of 37. One person's death may be associated with this outbreak. The Louisiana  Department of Health is investigating that death and officials are working with the pathologist responsible for the autopsy. They have also requested help from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  to see if post-mortem testing can be performed. Dr. Parham Jaberi, assistant state health officer, said that … [Read more...]

Caldwell Parish Outbreak Caused by Salmonella and Clostridium Perfringens

According to news reports, the food poisoning outbreak in Caldwell Parish, Louisiana has been caused by both Salmonella and Clostridium perfringens bacteria. At least 125 people are sick now, up from 50 yesterday. And thirty-seven people have been hospitalized because their symptoms are so severe. One man who attended the fundraiser and allegedly ate the jambalaya at the center of this outbreak has died. But officials do not know if his death is linked to this outbreak and have requested an autopsy. Clostridium perfringens bacteria grow and produce a toxin when the temperatures of food are in the danger zone of 40°F to 140°F. These outbreaks happen often when large amounts of food are prepared. The food may be held at the wrong temperature for a long period of time, or it may be … [Read more...]

Clostridium Perfringens Likely Cause of Ramsey County Jail Outbreak

The outbreak at the Ramsey County jail last month was likely caused by Clostridium perfringens bacteria, Doug Schultz of the Minnesota Department of Health told Food Poisoning Bulletin.  That outbreak, which occurred on September 9, 2017, sickened 137 inmates at the St. Paul jail. Nurses treated inmates at the jail. No one was hospitalized in this outbreak. Sample trays of food that were served for lunch and dinner on that day were tested for pathogenic bacteria. Clostridium perfringens was found in a sample of rice and in tamale pie. C. perfringens causes food poisoning when foods are not properly reheated or are held at a dangerous temperature for a long period of time. Outbreaks usually occur in restaurant and institutional settings, where large containers of food are … [Read more...]

Outbreak at Ramsey County, MN Jail

An outbreak at the Ramsey County jail last week sickened more than 100 inmates, according to Doug Schulz, Information Officer for the Minnesota Department of Health. There were probably no hospitalizations in this outbreak. According to Schulz, food testing is not complete, but he said that negative results won't be meaningful, since food testing is difficult. Food trays were tested after the outbreak was reported to public health officials. One stool sample was collected, but since it was collected long after recovery from the illness, the results will be limited. This sample is not being tested for the same pathogens the food trays were tested for. MDH is not able to interview inmates, and officials probably won't have any further details or answers than what is currently … [Read more...]

CDC Weighs In On C. Perfringens Outbreak in CT in 2016

The CDC's Weekly Morbidity and Mortality Report Note's From the Field this week focuses on a Clostridium perfringens outbreak at a catered lunch in Connecticut in 2016. Nineteen people out of the fifty who attended the lunch were sickened. This outbreak was not shared with the public. The Connecticut Department of Public health was notified about this outbreak in September 2016. They started gathering information, including asking those who attended the event fill out an online survey. Patients started experiencing abdominal pain and/or diarrhea about 24 hours or less after attending the lunch. Most of the patients reported diarrhea, abdominal pain, and headache. The median interval from lunch to illness onset was 5.3 hours. Analysis of the food exposures reported by 16 ill … [Read more...]

Outbreak at CO Rifle Rodeo was Clostridium Perfringens

Clostridium perfringens caused illnesses at the Rifle Rodeo in Garfield County Colorado in early June, according to a press release from the Garfield County Health Department.  That event was held on June 5, 2017 at the Garfield County Fairgrounds. About 80 people were sickened in that outbreak. An unlicensed vendor served food at the privately organized event. Samples were sent to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Interviews conducted by public health officials helped pinpoint the source of the food that caused the illnesses. Yvonne Long, Executive Director of Garfield County Public Health said in a statement, "The Rifle Rodeo is a privately-organized event. It should be noted that this particular food vendor has a primary location that has been … [Read more...]

Prevent Clostridium Perfringens Illnesses This Holiday Season

Clostridium perfringens food poisoning cases tend to spike around the holiday season. This bacteria causes almost 1,000,000 cases of food poisoning every year. The bacteria grows when large pots and containers of food are not kept from the danger zone of 40°F to 140°F. Restaurants, nursing homes, potlucks, and large parties are usually the sources of this type of outbreak. So FoodSafety.gov is offering tips to help stop this type of food poisoning. The bacteria is found on raw meat and poultry, in the environment, and in the intestines of people and animals. Some strains produce a toxin as the bacteria grows. This type of food poisoning has a sudden and fast onset, usually within a few hours of exposure to the pathogenic bacteria. Diarrhea is the main symptoms. This type of … [Read more...]

Outbreak at Antioch American Legion Thanksgiving: Clostridium perfringens

The deadly food poisoning outbreak at the Thanksgiving dinner served at the Antioch American Legion was caused by Clostridium perfringens, according to Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS). Lab tests came back from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, confirming the bacteria in the food. A community church served the food at that event. Some of the food was prepared in home kitchens. Clostridium perfringens bacteria is a common cause of foodborne illness outbreaks, especially when large amounts of food are served by inexperienced handlers. Dr. Louise McNitt, deputy health officer for Contra County Health Services said in a statement, "Clostridium perfringens is one of the most common foodborne illnesses in the U.S. It can be found in the human intestine without hurting … [Read more...]

Clostridium Perfringens was in Gravy at Golden Ponds NY Restaurant

According to the Democrat & Chronicle, Clostridium perfringens in gravy was the probable cause of the large food poisoning outbreak at Golden Ponds restaurant in Greece, New York on Thanksgiving 2016. Laboratory testing found the bacteria in gravy samples taken from the restaurant and in stool samples of patients who ate there. More than 260 people were sickened in that outbreak. And four of those patients were hospitalized because their illness was so severe. All have been released from the hospital, and everyone has recovered. The restaurant apparently made the gravy in a very large single container. It can be very difficult to keep food served and stored in large containers at a safe serving temperature. Clostridium perfringens bacteria are present in human intestines, in … [Read more...]

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