September 20, 2019

BBQ Shack E. coli and HUS Outbreak in Toccoa, GA, Lawsuits Inevitable

At least 11 people have contracted E. coli O157:H7 infections in an outbreak linked to the BBQ Shack, a restaurant in Toccoa, Georgia, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. Ten of the victims of the outbreak are Georgia residents, and one is a resident of South Carolina. Seven of the outbreak victims have been hospitalized, five with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), the leading cause of kidney failure in children in the United States. HUS-E. coli O157 can be fatal, giving rise to a wrongful death claim. It is still unknown what food item at the restaurant was tainted with E. coli, but according to national food safety lawyer Fred Pritzker, outbreak victims and their families will most likely still have claims against the restaurant. "Restaurant owners are liable for … [Read more...]

E. coli Lawsuit Claims Tainted Lettuce Caused Wrongful Death

The family of a woman who died from an E. coli O157:H7 infection filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Tanimura & Antle, a California company, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The suit alleges that the woman, a resident of Canada, died after eating tainted Romaine lettuce sold by the company. In August of 2012, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) warned the public not to consume the certain Tanimura & Antle brand Romaine Lettuce because of possible contamination with E. coli O157:H7 bacteria. The affected product, Tanimura & Antle brand Romaine Lettuce, produce of USA, was sold in a plastic package with the UPC 0 27918 20314 9. The affected product was sold at retail from August 8, 2012 through August 17, 2012 The lawsuit alleges … [Read more...]

Task Force Recommends No Petting Zoos at County Fair

According to WSOCTV.com, a task force in Cleveland County, North Carolina is recommending that petting zoos be banned from county fairs after an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak last year sickened 106 people in 2012. One child died in that outbreak, and dozens of children were hospitalized. Investigators determined that the petting zoo was the initial source of exposure to E. coli O157:H7. Weather may have played a role in the outbreak, as runoff may have contaminated the area where the petting zoo was stationed. There are supposed to be stringent protocols in place for these petting zoos and county fairs. But the wash station soap dispensers were empty on the day that the child who died visited the fair.  Two specific outbreak strains of E. coli were found in environmental samples taken from … [Read more...]

Canadian Cattlemen’s Association Reviving Beef Irradiation Request

The Canadian Cattlemen's Association (CCA) is planning to submit a plan to the Canadian government to irradiate beef in the wake of last year's huge XL Beef recall and E. coli O157:H7 outbreak. The group submitted the request back in 1998, but the plan was not completed. The CCA announced the news on Earth Day, April 22, 2013 after the Consumers Association of Canada stated that the benefits of irradiation are beginning to be accepted and recognized. Irradiation has been studied at the University of Minnesota Food Policy Research Center. The CDC and WHO recognize the potential of food irradiation to prevent infectious diseases that are transmitted by meat, poultry, and fresh product. The process has been approved by the FDA to kill harmful and spoilage bacteria and pests on fruits, … [Read more...]

Raw Milk May Have Sickened Three in Wisconsin with E. coli

Amy Wergin, the Public Health Nurse Manager of the Manitowoc County Health Department in Wisconsin confirmed to Food Poisoning Bulletin that three people are now ill in an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak. In mid-April, two cases were reported with the same DNA fingerprint. Raw milk is suspected as being the source of the pathogenic bacteria. The three patients live in Manitowoc County. Two of the patients are related: a child and mother. The illnesses occurred in March. Public health officials are testing milk from the dairy that is suspected. No more information will be released until a link is proven. E. coli O157:H7 is a Shiga toxin-producing bacteria that can cause hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) that can destroy the kidneys. Symptoms of an E. coli infection include severe stomach and … [Read more...]

E. Coli O157:H7 Outbreak in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin

Amy Wergin, public health nurse manager for the Manitowoc County Health Department in Wisconsin confirmed to Food Poisoning Bulletin that there are two cases of E. coli infections with the same DNA fingerprint in that county. Those are the only cases with the same PFGE pattern in the country at this time. She also said that the department will release more information about the outbreak when the investigation is finished. The bacteria causing the illness is E. coli O157:H7, the most common type of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli. It can cause severe illness and complications such as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which can lead to kidney failure and death. Most people contract the infection by consuming contaminated vegetables, raw or undercooked ground beef, and unpasteurized … [Read more...]

Hawaii Reports E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak

The Hawaii Department of Health has sent a letter to Oahu hospitals about an E. coli outbreak that has sickened at least six people since February. Six "molecularly matched" E. coli O157:H7 infections have been reported, with illness onset dates from February 19 to March 2, 2013. There is no mention of this outbreak in the Hawaii Department of Health news releases. The memo reads, "The Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) is investigating a cluster of six confirmed, molecularly matched E. coli O157:H7 infections. Five of the six cases are children, while the sixth is elderly; all are Oahu residents with no travel history. Three of the six cases have been hospitalized with two developing hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Five cases have recovered or are recovering; one remains hospitalized. … [Read more...]

Pritzker Lawyers Represent Cleveland Fair E. Coli Petting Zoo Patients

The firm of Pritzker Olsen is representing victims of the Cleveland Fair E. coli petting zoo outbreak that happened last summer.  Most outbreaks involving this organism are caused by adulterated food. However, petting zoo animals have also been a frequent source of E. coli O157 infections, usually resulting in the hospitalization (and, too often, the death) of many children. Many states, including North Carolina, have statutes and regulations intended to lessen the risk of such human-animal interactions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, and the American Veterinary Medical Association have also weighed in on the subject by publishing a “Compendium of Measures to Prevent Disease Associated with Animals in Public … [Read more...]

E. coli Health Risk in Blade Tenderized Prime Rib

Whenever you order a steak in a restaurant, you are asked how you would like it cooked. I always order mine medium. But first I ask the server if the steak has been mechanically or blade tenderized. A new study in the March 2013 issue of Journal of Food Protection confirms what we have been reporting for some time now: that blade tenderized or mechanically tenderized steak presents a public health risk unless they are cooked well-done, or at least 160 degrees F. The blades or needles used in this process easily transfer bacteria from the surface of the steak all the way through it. Then when the steak is cooked less than well-done, you are eating live bacteria. That's not appetizing. And it's not safe. According to the study, boneless beef ribeye was inoculated on the surface with a … [Read more...]

E. coli 0157:H7 Outbreak in Canada Grows to Eight Patients

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has announced that another person has been sickened in the E. coli 0157:H7 outbreak linked to recalled Gourmet Meat Shoppe frozen beef burgers. The case count is now as follows: Ontario (4), Alberta (2), Manitoba (1), Saskatchewan (1). All of the patients are recovering or have recovered. All of the recalled burgers have been removed from store shelves, but consumers most likely still have some in their home freezers. Public health officials are asking that you check your freezer to see if you have the recalled products. If you do, throw them out or return them to the store. Do not eat them.The symptoms of an E. coli 0157:H7 infection include severe stomach cramps, watery and/or bloody diarrhea, vomiting, and a mild fever. Up to ten percent of … [Read more...]

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