August 9, 2022

FDA CORE Table Updates: More Cereal Illnesses, Listeria Cases Grow

The FDA CORE Outbreak Investigation Table has been updated again, with more cereal illnesses.  Two unidentified Listeria monocytogenes outbreaks have grown. The outbreak that does not have a pathogen identified, but may be associated with dry cereal, has now had 446 adverse event reports, up from 231 reports in the last update a week ago. This outbreak may be associated with Lucky Charms cereal. Reports on iwaspoisoned.com match up to the dates of this investigation. An on-site investigation has begun, as noted in the last update. The two unidentified Listeria monocytogenes outbreak case counts have increased. One has increased to 17 cases from 15, and the other increased from 17 to 19. In the latter outbreak, traceback has stared, onsite inspection has been initiated, and … [Read more...]

FDA Investigating 231 Dry Cereal Adverse Events: May Be Lucky Charms?

The FDA is investigating 231 dry cereal adverse event reports, according to their CORE Outbreak Investigation Table. This matches up with the reports of gastrointestinal illness claims from people who say they have eaten Lucky Charms cereal in the past few weeks, according to iwaspoisoned.com. In an email about the update, the FDA states: For adverse event report investigations, FDA will indicate a product category and not publicly name a specific product until there is sufficient evidence to implicate that product as a cause of illnesses or adverse events. For the new adverse events investigation (reference #1064), FDA is following up on a series of unconfirmed adverse event reports that may be associated with dry cereal. Although FDA has not determined that this cereal is … [Read more...]

New Listeria Monocytogenes Outbreak on FDA CORE Table

A new Listeria monocytogenes outbreak has been announced by the FDA on their CORE Outbreak Investigation Table, with at least 15 people sick. No recall has been initiated, no traceback has started, no on-site inspections are scheduled, and no sample collection or analysis has begun. The food responsible for this outbreak has not yet been identified. There are five other active investigations on the table. Three of those outbreaks have not had a food named that is associated with the illnesses. The Listeria monocytogenes outbreak first announced on February 9, 2022 is still unsolved. There are 17 people sick in that outbreak. Traceback has been initiated, on-site inspections have been conducted, and samples have been collected and analyzed. The investigation into Cronobacter … [Read more...]

Senator Murray Wants Answers on Alleged Food Safety Failures

Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) wants answers on alleged FDA food safety failures after a report in Politico listed problems with that agency. Senator Murray is Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. A letter was sent to FDA Commissioner Robert M Califf, asking for answers and immediate action. The Politico report was based on more than 50 interviews with experts and former officials and found that the FDA is more focused on regulating and overseeing drugs and other medical products than food. For instance, FDA commissioners rarely have experience with food issues, but are usually medical doctors. The report lists deadly food poisoning outbreaks and the recalls associated with the contaminated foods, starkly outlining how long it can take to issue a recall … [Read more...]

Five Active Outbreaks on FDA CORE Table; Three Not Identified

There are currently five active outbreaks on the FDA CORE Outbreak Investigation Table. Three of those outbreaks have not had a food identified, including an outbreak that doesn't have a pathogen attached to it, the Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak, and a Listeria monocytogenes outbreak. Those three outbreaks have sickened at least 1o8 people. The two identified outbreaks are the norovirus outbreak linked to raw oysters imported from British Columbia, Canada, which has sickened at least 91 people in 13 states. No recall has been issued, but restaurants and retailers have been told to not sell or serve oysters with specific landfile numbers from the Baynes Sound area in that province. The Cronobacter illnesses and the Similac investigation is also active. Four infants were sickened … [Read more...]

FDA Update on Similac Cronobacter Investigation Reveals No Match

The FDA has updated the Similac Cronobacter investigation  and reports that there is no match between the environmental samples of Cronobacter found at Abbott Nutrition's Sturgis, Michigan plant and the two patient samples the CDC received and tested. In all, four infants were sickened with Cronobacter infections after allegedly consuming powdered infant formula produced by Abbott Nutrition. Two infants who lived in Ohio died, although the FDA has not determined if Cronobacter had a role in those deaths. The FDA states, "Five environmental subsamples collected from the Sturgis, Michigan facility were positive for Cronobacter sakazakii; four were detected by the FDA and one was detected through firm-initiated testing. The positive Cronobacter sakazakii environmental samples at the … [Read more...]

CDC: Two Cronobacter Samples Not Closely Related to Swabs From Abbott

The CDC has found that two Cronobacter samples from infants are not closely related to environmental swabs that were taken by the FDA from the Abbott Nutrition facility in Michigan. Powdered infant formulas that have since been recalled were produced at that venue. This update, published on March 25, 2022, also found that bacteria from the two available samples are not closely related to each other. These conclusions come from whole genome sequencing conducted on the samples. FDA analysis is ongoing, and there is no word on whether or not samples from the other two patients have been analyzed with whole genome sequencing (WGS). The government is still recommending that parents not feed their infants recalled powdered formula made at that Michigan plant. The formula types that are … [Read more...]

Rep Krishnamoorthi Launches Inquiry Into FDA Similac Formula Response

Rep Krishnamoorthi launches inquiry into the FDA Similac powdered infant formula response after four infants were sickened and two died. Rep. Krishnamoorthi is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy in the U.S. House of Representatives. A letter was sent requesting information about the FDA's alleged "delayed response" in addressing contaminated infant formula. The Chairman wrote, "FDA is tasked with protecting all Americans from life-threatening foodborne illness outbreaks, but fell short in protecting vulnerable infants from contaminated formula. FDA must do more to ensure no lives are lost, or babies sickened, due to delayed inspections and late consumer warnings." The Minnesota Department of health alerted the FDA in September 2021 that an infant's … [Read more...]

Salmonella Saintpaul Outbreak Case Count Increases to 60

The Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak case count on the FDA's CORE Outbreak Table has increased to 60 sick, up from 59 sick  in the last update that was issued on March 16, 2022. No product has been identified yet in this outbreak. And while traceback has been initiated, no recall has begun, no on-site inspection has started, and there has been no sample collection or analysis. This lack of information is typical for this outbreak table. The FDA will not release more information about an outbreak unless there is some action that consumers can take to protect themselves. Three other outbreaks are still active. The investigation into the Cronobacter sakazakii illnesses linked to recalled Similac powdered infant formula is ongoing. Four infants were sickened after allegedly consuming … [Read more...]

FDA: Abbott Didn’t Test Similac Samples in Internal Probe of Infant Death

Analysis Contrary to its own operating procedures, Abbott Nutrition completed an internal probe of a fatal Cronobacter case without testing samples of the associated lot of Similac Pro Total Comfort, according to the FDA's 2022 inspection report of Abbott's facility in Sturgis, MI. Federal health officials have been investigating four Cronobacter illnesses, two of them fatal, reported between September 2021 and January 2022 among infants who consumed Similac products made at Abbott's Sturgis plant. Yesterday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released the reports from its three most recent inspections of the Sturgis facility. The reports show that Abbott failed to maintain sanitary conditions at the plant where it makes a variety of infant formulas including some for babies … [Read more...]

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