June 17, 2024

2023 Meat and Poultry Recalls

In-depth analysis from Food Poisoning Bulletin Meat and poultry producers issued 65 recalls last year, up 20 from 2022, but still far below the pre-pandemic four-year average of 126, according to a Food Poisoning Bulletin review of meat and poultry recalls published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS). Twelve of the recalls were for products contaminated with pathogens, seven with Listeria, and five with E. coli. For the second straight year, there were no meat or poultry recalls for Salmonella, even though the only outbreaks caused by contaminated meat or poultry were two ground beef Salmonella outbreaks. Two Ground Beef Salmonella Outbreaks One Salmonella outbreak was linked to ground beef sold at ShopRite stores in four … [Read more...]

2021 Chipotle and Panera Romaine E. coli Outbreak

In 2021, health departments in Washington and Minnesota did something that doesn't happen very often. They solved an E. coli outbreak linked to leafy greens. "It is rare to be able to identify the outbreak vehicle for commercially distributed food like romaine lettuce (much less link back to a farm source) with only four laboratory-confirmed cases who consumed the romaine lettuce at four different restaurant locations in two states," Doug Schultz, an information officer at the Minnesota Department of Health told Food Poisoning Bulletin. The outbreak was never announced because, by the time investigators identified the specific grower, there was no ongoing risk to the public, he said. Stream of Unsolved Outbreaks Leafy greens recently overtook ground beef to become the leading … [Read more...]

Wendy’s E. coli Outbreak – 53 Sick in Michigan, 8 with HUS

A multistate E. coli outbreak tied to lettuce on Wendy's burgers and sandwiches includes 53 people in Michigan,  Chelsea Wuth, a health department spokeswoman told Food Poisoning Bulletin today. Thirty-one people have been hospitalized, eight of them with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a form of kidney failure that affects some E. coli patients. Six days ago, the Wendy's E. coli outbreak included 43 illnesses, 24 hospitalizations, and four HUS cases in Michigan, according to an outbreak update from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. And the numbers are expected to rise as results of whole genome sequencing tests from 62 other Michigan residents stricken with E. coli infections since the end of July become available.   "Two things that are really … [Read more...]

FDA Joins Investigation of New E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has joined the investigation into the new E. coli O157:H7 outbreak.  The agency is collaborating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).CDC, state partners and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foods Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS) in the quest to discover the food source of the outbreak which is causing severe infections. Of the 16 people sickened, nine have been hospitalized, three have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a form of kidney failure associated with E. coli infections, and one person has died. While health officials don't yet know the food source, they do know, thanks to whole genome sequencing (WGS), that the outbreak strain is the same one linked to the 2018 outbreak linked to romaine … [Read more...]

Oxford County Fair E. coli Outbreak: Hand Sanitizers Were Empty

The father of Colton Guay, the 20-month-old boy who died from an E. coli infection he contracted at the Oxford County Fair, told WMTW that hand sanitizer dispensers at the fair were empty. The family used their own hand sanitizers, "but look what happened," he told the station. Little Colton was one of two young boys who got E. coli infections after attending the fair. Both of them developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS),  a complication of E. coli infections that causes kidney failure, seizure, stroke, coma and death. Myles Herschaft, 17 months, remains hospitalized at the Maine Medical Center. State health officials said both boys were sickened by the same strain of E. coli O111 - meaning their infections came from the same source. It is not yet known if that source was the … [Read more...]

Can Parents Help Solve E. coli Outbreak at Milk Makers Fest?

Can parents of students who attended the Milk Makers Fest in Lynden, Washington help solve the E. coli outbreak that has sickened at least 22 people? Health officials think so, according to a report in The Northern Light. Health officials from the Whatcom County Health Department,  the Washington State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have been working together to discover the source of the E.coli outbreak associated with the festival that took place April 21- 23 at he Northwest Washington Fairgrounds. More than 1,300 primary school children from all of the school districts in Whatcom County attended the event including: Bellingham, Blaine, Ferndale,  Lynden, and Nooksack. Parents of those children have been sent surveys with a map of the … [Read more...]

Fond du Lac Reservation E. coli Outbreak Link to Catering

Fond du Lac Reservation tribal leaders began to investigate an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 during mid-summer 2014 with assistance from the Minnesota Department of Health. By August 22, the investigation found that 63 people had been infected by two closely knit molecular patterns of the pathogen, including nine people who were hospitalized and 21 who sought care at a clinic. Interviews of more than 130 attendees of an Elder Picnic pointed to potato salad as a significant exposure at the event and testing later confirmed the outbreak strain of E. coli in the potato salad. Jim-N-Jo's Northland Katering out of Cloquet, Minnesota, was identified as the food provider. The company also catered a wedding on the reservation where additional people were sickened by toxic E. coli. A report … [Read more...]

E. coli Outbreak at Olmsted, Polk and Rice County Fairs (And Many More)

An E. coli outbreak at the Rice County Fair has been linked to outbreaks at other county fairs and festivals during July including the Olmsted County Fair, the Polk County Fair and the Nashwauk 4th of July Festival. The source of the illnesses has been identified as the Zerebko Zoo Tran traveling petting zoo. Petting zoos and animal exhibits at fairs are common source of E.coli outbreaks. In 2012, an E.coli outbreak at the Cleveland County Fair in North Carolina that sickened 106 people. Sixty-four of them were children, one of whom died. In 2011, an E.coli outbreak at the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh sickened 25 people, four of whom developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) which can cause kidney failure, seizure, stroke and coma. In 2004, a petting zoo at the North Carolina … [Read more...]

E. coli in Rare Burger Hospitalizes MI Man For 10 Days

E. coli in a rare hamburger put a Michigan man in the hospital for 10 days. Kevin McDermed told WOOD-TV that he feels "lucky to be alive" after surviving the life-threatening infection that made him feel as though his insides were "full of battery acid." McDermed is one of five people who are part of an E.coli outbreak in Michigan where authorities say ground beef is suspected as the source. The Michigan residents are from five different counties: Ottawa and Kent in the western part of the state, and Livingston, Oakland, and Washtenaw in the southeast. All of them ate the contaminated beef at restaurants where it was served rare or undercooked. Symptoms of E.coli poisoning don't set in immediately after eating contaminated food.  It usually takes between three and seven days before … [Read more...]

E.coli Lawyer to Jimmy John’s: Disclose Info, Prevent More Illnesses

E. coli lawyer Fred Pritzker is calling on Jimmy John's to disclose information about the suppliers and the food involved in an E. coli outbreak associated with three Denver-area locations. At least eight people have been sickened in the outbreak, all of them ate one of the three stores before becoming ill. Health officials believe contaminated produce delivered to the stores and then served to customers at the three Jimmy John’s locations stores between October 7th and 15th may be the source of the outbreak. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is conducting a traceback investigation to determine the origin of the food item in question. The restaurants have remained open, as health officials believe the item in questions is no longer a problem at those stores. Last year, … [Read more...]

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