May 29, 2024

One Death Associated With Peanuts in Stew Leonard’s Florentine Cookies

One death associated with peanuts that were not declared in Stew Leonard's Florentine Cookies has been reported in Connecticut, according to the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection Food, Standards, and Produce Safety Division (DCP) and the Connecticut Department of Public Health. A recall has been issued for the cookies. The cookies were only sold at Stew Leonard's grocery stores in the cities of Danbury and Newington, Connecticut. The cookies were produced by a wholesaler, Cookies United, located in Islip, New York, and were labeled with the Stew Leonard's brand name. A press release issued by Cookies United on January 23rd states that, "Stew Leonard’s was notified by Cookies United in July of 2023 that this product now contains peanuts and all products shipped to them have … [Read more...]

Number 5 Outbreak of 2023: ShopRite Ground Beef Salmonella

The number five outbreak of 2023 is the ShopRite ground beef Salmonella outbreak that sickened at least 18 people in four states. While traceback didn't identify a common source for the ground beef, most people bought the meat at ShopRite stores in the northeastern United States. The case count by state is: Connecticut (1), Massachusetts (1), New Jersey (11), and New York (5). The patient age range is from 0 to 97 years. Illness onset dates ranged from April 27, 2023 through July 6, 2023. Seven people were hospitalized because they were so sick. Patient isolates were tested with whole genome sequencing were found to be closely related genetically, which means the people likely got sick from eating the same food. Investigators found the outbreak strain of Salmonella in a routine … [Read more...]

Potential Outbreak at Central Connecticut State University

A potential outbreak at Central Connecticut State University Hilltop Cafe has sickened an unknown number of students, according to news reports. The Hilltop Cafe is closed while the outbreak is being investigated by public health officials. The university's Environmental Health & Safety Department is working with the City of New Britain Department of Public Health and the establishment that provides the food to that venue, Sodexo, to try to solve this outbreak. Hilltop Cafe is the venue that is open the most hours on campus, but all three dining facilities are owned by Sodexo. There is no information about this outbreak on the City of New Britain Department of Public Health web site. Officials do not know what pathogen is causing these illnesses, and if a food or ill employee … [Read more...]

ShopRite Ground Beef Salmonella Outbreak Sickens 18 in 4 States

The ShopRite ground beef Salmonella outbreak is over after sickening at least 18 people in four states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That is an increase of two more patients since the last update on July 26, 2023. The report states that most of the patients reported eating 80% lean ground beef before they got sick. Traceback did not identify a common source for the meat, although most people bought the ground beef at ShopRite stores in the northeastern United States. The case count by state is: Connecticut (1), Massachusetts (1), New Jersey (11), and New York (5). The patient age range is from 0 to 97 years. Illness onset dates ranged from April 27, 2023 through July 6, 2023. Seven people were hospitalized because they were so ill. Ground … [Read more...]

Raw Shellfish Linked to Severe Vibrio Outbreak in Connecticut

Raw shellfish is linked to a severe Vibrio outbreak in Connecticut, according to the Connecticut State Department of Public Health. Since July 1, 2023, three cases of Vibrio vulnificus have been reported. Those patients consumed raw shellfish or were exposed to salt or brackish water along Long Island Sound. The patient age range is from 60 to 80 years of age. All three patients were hospitalized, and one died. One patient reported eating raw oysters from an out-of-state establishment that was not named in the press release. Two of the patients reported exposure to the water in Long Island Sound. Both of those patients had pre-existing open cuts or wounds or sustained wounds during these activities. DPH Commissioner Manisha Juthani, MD, said in a statement, "The identification of … [Read more...]

Ground Beef Salmonella Outbreak Sickens 16 in Four States

A ground beef Salmonella outbreak has sickened at least 16 people in four states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Many of those sickened bought the ground beef from ShopRite stores in the northeastern United States. Six people have been hospitalized because they are so ill. The case count by state is: Connecticut (1), Massachusetts (1), New Jersey (9), and New York (5). Illness onset dates range from April 27, 2023 through June 16, 2023. The patient age range is from 0 to 97 years. Nineteen percent of the patients are under the age of five. Public health officials are interviewing people about what they ate before they got sick. Of the 14 people interviewed, nine, or 64%, said they ate ground beef. All nine purchased the ground beef from … [Read more...]

Norovirus Outbreak at Gerry’s Donuts in Ellington, Connecticut

A norovirus outbreak at Gerry's Donuts in Ellington, Connecticut has sickened an undetermined number of people, according to a press release issued by the Connecticut Department of Public Health. That agency is collaborating with the North Central District Health Department and the State Laboratory to investigate this outbreak. This is the second norovirus outbreak reported to the health department so far in 2021. The illnesses have been confirmed through lab tests to be caused by norovirus, a very contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea. On May 14, 2021, the North Central District Health Department issued a warning to consumers, telling them to not eat products from that restaurant. That press release stated that they have had "several reports" of gastrointestinal … [Read more...]

FDA Warns Against All El Abuelito Cheese In Listeria Outbreak Investigation

The FDA warns against all El Abuelito cheese in the most current Listeria monocytogenes outbreak investigation notice that was posted today. The notice states, "Out of an abundance of caution, and due to the severity of Listeria infection, the FDA is expanding its warning to include all El Abuelito brand cheeses until more information is known. According to the firm’s website, this includes queso fresco, Oaxaca cheese, cotija cheese, and crema." Whole genome sequencing has linked El Abuelito queso fresco cheese to the outbreak. On February 19, 2021, tests conducted by the Connecticut State Laboratory determined that the Listeria monocytogenes found in a sample of the cheese purchased at a grocery store in that state is a match to the outbreak strain. El Abuelito Cheese recalled … [Read more...]

El Abuelito Cheese Listeria Sample Matches Outbreak Strain

The El Abuelito cheese Listeria monocytogenes sample matches the outbreak strain, according to a notice from the FDA. The Connecticut Department of Public Health collected product samples of that cheese where a sick person who lives in that state bought cheeses. Sample analysis found the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in samples of El Abuelito Queso Fresco cheese that was sold in 10 ounce packages, marked as Lot A027 with an expiration date of 02/26/2021. On February 19, 2021, whole genome sequencing (WGS) analysis that was conducted by the Connecticut State Laboratory found that the Listeria monocytogenes found in the samples is a match to the outbreak strain. On February 19, 2021, El Abuelito Cheese of Paterson, New Jersey recalled all Queso Fresco products with "sell by" … [Read more...]

Connecticut Warns of Listeria in El Abuelito Queso Fresco Cheese; One Ill

The Connecticut Department of Public Health is warning consumers that there is Listeria in El Abuelito Queso Fresco cheese. Laboratory testing found the pathogen in one lot of that cheese that was collected from a Connecticut retail food store last week. One Connecticut resident is sick after allegedly eating that brand. There is a multistate Listeria monocytogenes outbreak that is linked to Hispanic-style soft and fresh cheeses that the FDA and CDC announced late last week. Seven people in four states are sick in that outbreak; one of the patients lives in Connecticut. The others live in Maryland (4), New York (1), and Virginia (1). Connecticut Department of Health officials are advising consumers not to eat any El Abuelito Queso Fresco cheese until further notice. And also … [Read more...]

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