October 16, 2019

University of Arizona Scientists Examine Yuma Romaine E. coli Outbreak

University of Arizona (UA) scientists are examining the Yuma romaine E. coli O157:H7 HUS outbreak linked to lettuce from that Arizona growing area to look at growing practices and the environment. That outbreak was the sixth largest of 2018. In all, 210 people in 36 states were sickened, 96 people were hospitalized, and five people, who lived in Arkansas, California, Minnesota, and New York, died. Twenty-seven of those patients developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure. This study is meant to provide recommendations to growers, packers, and distributors toward enhanced food safety. The FDA, the Arizona Department of Agriculture, and state partners conducted an environmental assessment in 2018 that narrowed the scope of the outbreak. The outbreak strain of … [Read more...]

Soy Nut Butter E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak Studied in Journal of Pediatrics

The Journal of Pediatrics has published a study on the 2017 soy nut butter E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that sickened 32 people, mostly children, in 12 states. That outbreak was linked to I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter, which is used as a substitute for peanut butter in many daycare settings and schools around the country. Twelve of the patients in this outbreak were hospitalized. Twenty-six of these illnesses occurred in children under the age of 18. Eight of these children developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure that is a complication of a Shiga toxin-producing E. coli infection. One adult also developed that complication. Twenty-five of the case patients ate the same brand of soy nut butter or attended schools or daycare centers that served the product. The … [Read more...]

No Answers To Deadly San Diego E. coli Outbreak at County Fair

The San Diego Health & Human Services Agency has released a report stating that they were not able to find answers to the deadly San Diego E. coli outbreak that sickened people who visited the county fair in June 2019. The outbreak was first reported on June 28, 2019, with four pediatric cases of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli infections. As of July 31, 2019, there are 11 confirmed cases and 2 probable cases in this outbreak. Three people were hospitalized because they were so sick, and one child has died. The outbreak was caused by a specific strain of E. coli O157:H7. After the outbreak, visits to the animal exhibits at the fair were restricted. The San Diego County Department of Environmental Health inspectors conducted investigations at the food booths that were visited by … [Read more...]

Three Sick With E. coli After Eating at Red Robin in Westminster, CO

Three people, including two children, are sick with E. coil O157:H7 infections after eating at the Red Robin restaurant at 799 West 146th Avenue in Westminster, Colorado, according to the Tri-County Health Department. Public health officials inspected the restaurant on July 9, 2019, after being informed about the outbreak by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Two of the three people infected were hospitalized because they were so ill. The inspection revealed several food safety violations. Red Robin voluntarily closed the restaurant on July 10, 2019 for cleaning and sanitizing. They also required food safety training for all employees, and they tested employees who handle food. Critical violations included improper employee hand washing, improper cleaning … [Read more...]

After Romaine E. coli Outbreak, LGMA Adopts New Food Safety Practices

After the two romaine E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks last year, that together sickened 272 people in the U.S., the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA) has been amended to include more food safety practices on farms. More than 120 people were hospitalized in those outbreaks, and five people died. Scott Horsfall, CEO of the LGMA, said in a statement, "The California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement Board of Directors have adopted additional requirements to reduce risk when it comes to water used in growing lettuce and leafy greens. This means that every box of leafy greens placed into commerce by a certified LGMA member will now be produced under new, more stringent requirements." In the two romaine E. coli O157:H67 outbreaks, the outbreak strains of the pathogen were … [Read more...]

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro Criticizes FDA Delay of Produce Safety Rule

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), has released a statement criticizing the FDA on the delay of some parts of the Produce Safety Rule  following the deadly romaine lettuce E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that occurred late last year. The FDA released the findings of its investigation last week. And that was not the only E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to romaine lettuce last year. Another was announced in summer 2018. Together, those outbreaks caused 272 illnesses, 121 hospitalizations, and five deaths. Her statement reads, "For all the Agency’s bluster on improving traceability, the FDA has done little to advance real actions that would prevent food outbreaks in the first place. The FDA’s investigations into last year’s romaine lettuce recalls have confirmed what we already knew to be … [Read more...]

Final Investigation of Romaine E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak: Questions Remain

The FDA has released a report on its investigation into the romaine E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that occurred during the fall and early winter of 2018. At least 62 people in 16 states were sickened in this outbreak. Twenty-five people were hospitalized, and two developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure. In November 2018, the FDA took the extraordinary step of telling consumers to avoid all romaine lettuce from all sources until they had more information on the outbreak. Officials eventually found contamination at one particular farm in California, but couldn't explain the entire outbreak. Adam Bros. Farming That farm, Adams Bros. Farming, was located in Santa Anna County in California. Officials found the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 in sediment … [Read more...]

E. coli O157:H7 Romaine Lettuce Outbreak Ends With 62 Sick

The latest E. coli O157:H7 romaine lettuce outbreak has ended with 62 sick, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those people live in 16 states and the District of Columbia. The case count by state is: California (12), Connecticut (1), Washington DC (1), Florida (1), Georgia (1), Illinois (2), Louisiana (1), Massachusetts (1), Maryland (1), Michigan (7), New Hampshire (6), New Jersey (13), New York (7), Ohio (1), Pennsylvania (5), Rhode Island (1), and Wisconsin (1). Illness onset dates ranged from October 7, 2018 to December 4, 2018. Twenty-five people were hospitalized because they were so sick. Two people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure. The FDA, CDC, and state partners investigated farms and cooling facilities in … [Read more...]

Romaine E. coli Outbreak Over in Canada; U.S. Outbreak Continues

The latest romaine lettuce E. coli O157:H7 outbreak has ended in Canada, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. The outbreak in the U.S. is still ongoing, with at least 59 people sick as of December 14, 2018. There have been no illnesses reported in Canada since mid-November, 2018. Officials are no longer advising residents in the provinces of Quebec, Ontario, and New Brunswick to avoid eating romaine lettuce and salad mixes that contain romaine. Traceback information indicates that the contaminated romaine lettuce was harvested in the Central Coast growing regions of northern and central California. Romaine lettuce grown in Canada, including that grown hydroponically and in greenhouses, is not associated with this outbreak. There were 29 confirmed cases of E. coli … [Read more...]

First Romaine E. coli O157:H7 HUS Outbreak: Number Six of 2018

The number six food poisoning outbreak of 2018 is the first romaine E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that ended in June. (Yes, there was a second that is ongoing, but that outbreak did not make the Top 10 List.) In that outbreak, 210 people in 36 states were sickened, 96 people were hospitalized, and five people, who lived in Arkansas, California, Minnesota, and New York, died. Twenty-seven patients developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure. This was the largest E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to leafy greens since 2006. The CDC found the outbreak strain in canal water samples taken from the Yuma, Arizona growing region. Government officials are investigating to see how the bacteria got into the water in the first place and how the water contaminated the … [Read more...]

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