December 5, 2022

FDA Adds Salmonella Outbreak; USDA Adds E. coli Outbreak

FDA adds Salmonella outbreak to its CORE Outbreak Investigation Table, while the USDA adds an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak to theirs, which may be associated with beef. Very little information has been provided for these new outbreaks. For the new outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium on the FDA site, the food has not yet been identified. There are currently 264 cases, which is a very high case count for an unidentified outbreak. The FDA is working with partners to investigate "multiple food items of interest" to try to determine the cause of this outbreak. Traceback has been initiated. The new E. coli O157:H7 outbreak on the USDA table is suspected to be linked to beef. There is no information about patient case counts, patient ages, states where ill persons live, or what type of beef … [Read more...]

New Listeria Monocytogenes Outbreak Added to FDA CORE Table

A new Listeria monocytogenes outbreak has been added to the FDA's CORE Outbreak Investigation Table. This investigation joins four other active outbreak investigations on that Table. In the new outbreak, which is not the same as the new Listeria outbreak linked to deli meats and cheeses in the upper northeastern part of the United Sates, at least two people are sick. A possible source of the pathogen has not been identified. Traceback has been initiated, but no recall has been issued, there has been no on-site inspection, and no sample collection or analysis. We do not know the patient age range, illness onset dates, or whether or not anyone has been hospitalized. There is one other mystery outbreak on the Table: an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in a not yet identified food that has … [Read more...]

Three Sick in E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak in King County, Washington

Three people are sick in an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in King County, Washington, according to information from the King County Health Department. No one has been hospitalized and no deaths have been reported. And no source for the pathogen has been identified. Three people from three separate households have been sickened with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli bacteria (STEC). The illness onset dates range from October 4 through October 16, 2022. The patient age range is from 18 to 36 years. Confirmed cases are linked through whole genome sequencing, which means they likely have a common source of infection. Two out of those three patients reported eating dishes that were prepared with raw or undercooked beef before they got sick. But officials cannot rule out other possible sources … [Read more...]

Will There Be More Romaine Lettuce E. coli Outbreaks This Year?

This is the time of year that we typically start seeing E. coli outbreaks linked to romaine lettuce, as the harvest patters shift. Will there be more romaine lettuce E. coli outbreaks this year? Studies have shown that fall harvested romaine is more likely to case E. coli outbreaks.  The problem may be that the pathogen survives better on cold stored packaged romaine lettuce. In November, harvest shifts to the Yuma, Arizona region and the area of California near the Imperial Valley. And the issue with this type of lettuce is its shape and the way it's grown. The lettuce is grown very close to the ground. And the cup shape holds water, which lets any pathogens in that water have easy access to the leaves. The bacteria can get inside the leaves, and it can also burrow into the … [Read more...]

Ground Beef HelloFresh E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak Ends; 7 Sick

The ground beef HelloFresh E. coli O157:H7 outbreak has ended, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with seven people sick and six hospitalized. The last update for this outbreak was September 14, 2022. The ground beef was packed into some HelloFresh meal kits that were shipped from July 2 to July 21, 2022. The ground beef was in 10 ounce plastic vacuum-packed packages, and was labeled "Ground Beef 85% lean/15% fat." The establishment number inside the USDA mark of inspection was EST. 46841. The patient case count by state is: Maryland (1), New Jersey (2), New York (1), Pennsylvania (1), Virginia (1), and Washington state (1). Illness onset dates did not change, and range is from June 8, 2022 to August 17, 2022. HelloFresh meals can be frozen for one … [Read more...]

Lucky Ladd Farms Goats E. coli Outbreak Sickens 14 in Tennessee

A deadly E. coli O157:H7 outbreak associated with Lucky Ladd Farms goats in June and July of 2022 allegedly sickened 12 summer camp participants; two patients were secondary cases, according to the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH). One child sadly died. A report on the outbreak was issued today. The pathogen that caused the illnesses was Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7 (STEC). On June 22, 2022, the Tennessee Department of Health was told of a child who was hospitalized in Florida with an E. coli O157:H7 infection after attending a goat husbandry summer camp at that farm in Rutherford County, Tennessee. Three days later, TDH got a call from the same mother saying she knew of a 2-year-old patient hospitalized at Vanderbilt in Nashville with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). … [Read more...]

ALDI Falafel Outbreak Investigation Added to FDA CORE Table

The new ALDI falafel outbreak investigation has been added to the FDA CORE Outbreak Investigation Table with at least 20 people sick with E. coli O121:H19 infections in six states, and five hospitalized. The case count by state is: Florida (2), Iowa (1), Kansas (1), Michigan (11), Ohio (1), and Wisconsin (4). The falafel was sold at ALDI stores in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut,  Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. The … [Read more...]

FDA Says Salmonella Typhimurium Outbreak Was Cantaloupe

The FDA says that the previously unidentified Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak was cantaloupe in an update to that agency's CORE Outbreak Investigation Table. At least 87 people were sickened in that outbreak, which has ended. The investigation was closed recently, as it was still active in the last update issued on September 28, 2022. The FDA says that "more information will be forthcoming." We don't know the patient age range, illness onset date, or if anyone has been hospitalized. The outbreak case count has increased by one more patient since the last update. There is no ongoing risk to the public, according to the FDA, since these products are no longer available on the market. Still, learn how to protect yourself when preparing produce. There are still nine active outbreak … [Read more...]

More Illnesses on FDA CORE Outbreak Investigation Table

There are more illnesses on FDA CORE Outbreak Investigation Table as of September 21, 2022. There are currently nine active investigations, as well as the Abbott Nutrition infant formula cronobacter investigation, which has been transferred to IMG for further action. Three Salmonella outbreak case counts have increased, and one of the cyclospora outbreaks has had the case count increased. For the Salmonella Mississippi outbreak (ref# 1097) in a not yet identified product, the case count changed from 102 to 103. Traceback has been initiated, but there is no recall or onsite inspection and no samples have been collected. For the unsolved Salmonella Senftenberg outbreak (ref# 1087), the case count increased from 27 to 30. Only traceback has been started in that outbreak as … [Read more...]

What is the History of Ground Beef E. coli Outbreaks?

With the HelloFresh ground beef E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in the news, what is the history of ground beef E. coli outbreaks? There have been many in the past, including O157 and non-O157 strains. While E. coli O157:H7 is the most well known strain of this pathogen, the "Big Six" non-O157 strains are also a common cause of human illness. They include O103, O26, O45, O111, O121, and O145. All of these strains produce Shiga toxins, which cause serious illness, so they are called Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC). In 2012 the USDA began classifying these serotypes as adulterants. Shiga toxins cause ulcers in the colon, which causes the characteristic bloody diarrhea that happens with this infection. If Shiga toxins get into the bloodstream, they destroy red blood cells, which move … [Read more...]

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