April 20, 2024

Who is Most Susceptible to Food Poisoning Complications?

Who is most susceptible to food poisoning complications? In many recall notices and all notice of outbreaks, we mention that people who belong to certain groups should be very careful about foods contaminated with pathogens. The FDA calls these groups "at risk." These groups are more susceptible for several reasons. In some, their immune systems may be compromised by age or disease. In others, an illness means their body is less able to fight infections. Of the estimated 48,000,000 food poisoning infections that occur every year in the United States, about 128,000 people are hospitalized and there are 3,000 deaths. People who are in these at risk groups are at greater risk for developing serious complications. Pregnant Women During pregnancy, the mother's immune system is … [Read more...]

What Happened to the Deadly Listeria Outbreak Linked to Delis?

What happened to the deadly Listeria outbreak linked to deli meats and cheeses? This outbreak investigation is not on the FDA CORE Outbreak Investigation Table or on the USDA's Outbreak Table, and it has not been updated since November 9, 2022, more than three months ago. In this outbreak, at least 16 people in six states have been sickened. Thirteen of those patients were hospitalized, and one person who lived in Maryland died. In addition, one person got sick during a pregnancy, resulting in a fetal loss. Illness onset dates range from April 17, 2021 to September 29, 2022. The states where ill persons live include California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York. Of 13 people who gave ethnicity information to public health officials, 11 are of Eastern … [Read more...]

Safer Food Choices For Those at Risk For Food Poisoning

Every month there is at least one food recall about a potentially dangerous food in the United States. These recalls are for foods that may be contaminated with E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, cyclospora, and Campylobacter. Unfortunately, some foods are inherently risky because of the way they are grown or prepared. While the general public certainly is at risk for illness from these foods, there are some people who can become seriously ill if they are infected. There are safer food choices for anyone who is at high risk for food poisoning complications. People at higher risk for serious complications from food poisoning include the very young, the elderly, pregnant women, people with chronic health problems such as diabetes, and anyone with a compromised immune system. … [Read more...]

What Are the Current Food Poisoning Outbreaks?

What are the current food poisoning outbreaks in the United States? At this time there are four active outbreaks that are being investigated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state health departments. In total, these outbreaks have sickened at least 93 people and have hospitalized 33. The newest outbreak is the sapovirus outbreak linked to oysters that were harvested from a section of Galveston Bay in Texas. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, dozens of people who live in Texas and Florida are sickened in this outbreak. The Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to Enoki mushrooms that were imported from Korea is ongoing. That outbreak has sickened two people from Nevada and Michigan; both were hospitalized. That … [Read more...]

Most Deli Meat and Cheese Listeria Cases Are in New York State

In the latest outbreak, most of the deli meat and cheese Listeria cases are in New York, according to the FDA and CDC. Seven of the 16 cases live in that state. In fact, among seven patients from New York who were interviewed, five said they bought sliced deli meat or cheese from at least one location of NetCost Market. In 2021, the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes was found in several environmental and food samples during inspections at NetCost Markets in Brooklyn and Staten Island. Then, in September 2022, the outbreak strain was found in the same Brooklyn NetCost Market. That store is not linked to the most recent illnesses, however. That suggests that this may be an ongoing issue, especially since illness onset dates extend back to April 2021. But investigators do … [Read more...]

Can You Tell if Deli Meats Are Contaminated With Listeria?

Can you tell if deli meats are contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes or other pathogens? Some recent news articles claiming that you may be able to determine if the meats are safe to eat from appearance and smell had us examining this issue. Given the deadly Listeria monocytogenes outbreak in 2020 that was linked to deli meats, and another in 2019, this information is important. A new study published in the International Journal of Food Microbiology, headed by Fernando Sampedro of the University of Minnesota found that deli meats are associated with 90% of listeriosis cases in the United Sates. Other potentially hazardous foods include soft and semi-soft cheeses, ready to eat seafood, and frozen vegetables. Listeria causes between 1,044 and 2,089 cases of illness in the United … [Read more...]

What Foods Are Commonly Associated with Listeria Outbreaks?

Given the two mystery Listeria monocytogenes outbreaks the government is currently investigating, it is a good idea to know what foods are commonly associated with Listeria monocytogenes outbreaks? This deadly infection has severe consequences; many people who contract it require hospitalization. If you are at higher risk for complications from this infection, you should think about avoiding these foods. Those who are at higher risk include the elderly, the very young, anyone with a chronic illness such as diabetes, anyone with a compromised immune system, and pregnant women. Most people who are sickened with this infection are older, have a chronic illness, or are pregnant; 90% of patients fall into those categories. Others who contract this infection rarely become seriously … [Read more...]

New Listeria Monocytogenes Outbreak Sickens 20; No Food Identified

A new Listeria monocytogenes outbreak has been identified on the FDA's Core Outbreak Investigation Table. No food has been named, no advisory has been issued, and there are no recalls. So far, traceback has been initiated, on-site inspections have begun, and sample collection and analysis are initiated. That may mean that the FDA has an idea what food has caused these illnesses. But we don't know where the sick people live, their illness onset dates, the age range, or if anyone has been hospitalized. Listeria monocytogenes outbreaks are usually fairly small. The people who get sickest from this infection are typically the elderly, people with chronic illnesses, and those with compromised immune systems, such as cancer patients undergoing treatment. Pregnant women are also quite … [Read more...]

List of Active Multistate Outbreaks Remaining in 2020 Include E. coli

As 2020 starts to wind down, it's important that consumers stay informed about the list of active multistate outbreaks that may still be sickening people. As of November 2, 2020, there are still four active multistate outbreaks in the United States: Two E. coli outbreaks, one Listeria monocytogenes outbreak, and a Salmonella outbreak. Just one of these outbreaks, the Salmonella outbreak linked to dried wood ear mushrooms, is associated with a recall. The Listeria monocytogenes outbreak is linked to as yet unidentified deli meats, and the foods that the two E. coli outbreaks were caused by have not yet been identified, although associations with a restaurant and romaine lettuce or leafy greens have been alleged. Salmonella Stanley Outbreak Linked to Wood Ear Mushrooms The … [Read more...]

Massachusetts Counties Hard Hit in Listeria Deli Meat Outbreak

The new multistate Listeria monocytogenes deli meat outbreak announced one week ago has sickened ten people in three states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but several Massachusetts counties have been hard hit. That state alone has seven of the ten cases in three counties. The Massachusetts counties hard hit include Essex County with four cases, Suffolk County with two cases, and one patient in Middlesex County, according to information from the Massachusetts Department of Health. The current outbreak cluster and the cluster of  listeriosis cases from last year's outbreak are not related. The patient age range in Massachusetts is from 60 to 89 years, and five out of the seven cases are female. There is one "common chain" among Massachusetts … [Read more...]

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