September 28, 2016

Minnesota E. coli Investigators Busy on Two Fronts

The Minnesota Department of Health is investigating two unrelated toxic E. coli outbreaks at the same time -- one on the Fond du Lac Reservation involving type O157:H7 and the other involving E. coli O111 at Applebees restaurants. In both outbreaks, officials are trying to pinpoint the source of contamination even while victims in the Applebees outbreak have launched an Applebees E. coli lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis. The Applebees outbreak was announced July 14 in a press release that alerted customers of the chain who ate there since June 20 to report if they suffered bloody diarrhea or severe diarrhea within days of their meal. Fifteen people have been confirmed as case patients, including four who were hospitalized, but Health Department spokesman Doug Schultz has … [Read more...]

Fast-Growing Glass Onion Catering Under Scrutiny for E. coli

The California company at the center of a multi-state outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 associated with gourmet style, grab-and-go salads and wraps sold at Trader Joe's and other large and moderately sized retail chains is a fast-growing firm that only recently undertook a large expansion to serve a growing market. Now the company, known as Glass Onion Catering and Gourmet Foods, is the focus of investigation by three federal agencies and several state health departments in connection with its recall this week of 181,620 pounds of ready-to-eat salads and sandwich wrap products with fully-cooked chicken and ham that the feds say may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. So far, government officials say there are 22 people in California who have been confirmed as being infected by the outbreak … [Read more...]

Raw Milk E. coli Outbreak Shows Importance of Pasteurization

E.coli from raw milk has sickened at least eight people, three of whom have lab-confirmed cases of E.coli O167:H7 infections, according to the Tennessee Department of Health. The outbreak underscores the importance of pasteurization, health officials say. “Some people who consume raw milk because they believe it is healthier than pasteurized milk are putting themselves and others they share it with at risk for a range of serious illnesses,” said TDH Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH, in a statement. “Raw milk is 150 times more likely to cause a foodborne illness than pasteurized milk and can be life-threatening to some, particularly the young. Those who consume raw milk are eroding years of progress in reducing dangerous, preventable illnesses.” E.coli and other harmful bacteria … [Read more...]

Federico’s E.coli Outbreak Preceded By Temp Control Problems

Prior to the E. coli outbreak associated with Federico's Mexican Food in Litchfield Park, AZ, the restaurant was cited repeatedly over the last three years for food storage temperature violations, Maricopa County records show.  An E.coli outbreak that includes between 15 and 21 people is being investigated by officials at the Maricopa County Departments of Public Health and Environmental Services and the Arizona Department of Health Services who urge anyone who has bloody diarrhea to contact them. Bloody diarrhea is a signature symptom of E.coli infections. Other symptoms, which usually appear between two and five days, include abdominal cramps and vomiting. It's important to note that E.coli infections can be made worse through treatment with antibiotics and over-the-counter … [Read more...]

E. coli Infections Made Worse By Antibiotics, Officials Caution

E. coli infections can cause severe illness that is characterized by abdominal cramping and diarrhea that is sometimes bloody. The symptoms can last for days and be accompanied by vomiting and, sometimes, a mild fever. The illness is and feels serious, but patients should use caution when seeking treatment because some medications including antibiotics and antidiarrheals can make it worse, according to public health officials. Specifically, treatment with antibiotics can lead to hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) which impairs kidney function and can lead to kidney failure, stroke, seizure and coma. Treatment for HUS requires hospitalization and includes, blood transfusions, plasma exchange and dialysis. All three patients in a current Wellesley, Mass. E. coli outbreak developed HUS. As … [Read more...]

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...]

World Health Day Reminder: Food Poisoning Causes Hypertension

Each year, World Health Day, which marks the creation of the World Health Organization (WHO), highlights a public health concern. This year, for WHO’s 65th anniversary, the theme is hypertension, a major cause of heart disease worldwide. Being overweight, inactive and having a poor diet that consists of too many foods that are highly processed, low in fiber and high in sodium are major risks for developing high blood pressure.  But another, lesser known cause is food poisoning. High blood pressure is one of several long-term health effects that can develop after a case of food poisoning. For example, between 7 to 12 percent of people who contract E.coli infections develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is a severe, sometimes life-threatening complication that can lead to kidney … [Read more...]

Farm Rich E. coli Outbreak Expands

Twenty seven people in 15 states have now been sickened by the E. coli O121 outbreak linked to Farm Rich frozen foods, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Eight people have been hospitalized, two of them with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a complication of some E.coli infections that can cause kidney failure. Health officials have now matched the rare outbreak strain of E. coli O121 to strains found in product from the homes of two case patients. Three new cases, one each in Michigan, Illinois and New York, have been added since the outbreak was announced last Friday. By state, the case counts are as follows:  Alabama (1), Arkansas (1), Illinois (2), Indiana (2), Michigan (3), Mississippi (1), New York (4), Ohio (3), Pennsylvania (1), South Dakota (1), … [Read more...]

Eating Raw Meat Causes WI Food Poisoning Outbreak, Again

A Wisconsin E. coli outbreak announced this week was linked to tainted ground beef that sickened three people who ate it raw. A raw meat outbreak? Yes. And it’s not the first time this has happened in Wisconsin. In parts of the Midwest, “Tiger Meat,” a raw ground beef dish similar to steak tartare is popular in some circles, especially those of German heritage. The three people who recently contracted E.coli infections ate Tiger Meat made with raw ground beef purchased from Glenn’s Market and Catering in Watertown, Wisconsin.  Glenn’s has recalled 2,532 pounds of raw, ground meat specifically fresh ground round, fresh ground chuck and fresh ground beef from the morning grind of December 22, 2012 – January 4, 2013. The recalled meat was sold only from the retail meat case. No other … [Read more...]

E. coli 0103 Appears In Northwest MO

In northwest Missouri, one person has a confirmed case of E.coli 0103 infection and two others have suspected cases, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. None of the case patients has been hospitalized and a source of the outbreak has yet to be determined. The investigation is ongoing. In its January 11 announcement of the outbreak, the health department said the illnesses might be related to the consumption of “locally-produced, raw (unpasteurized) dairy products.” But a definite food source has not been confirmed. E. coli O103 is similar to the more common strain E. coli O157:H7 in that it is a Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC). Up until last year,  non 0157:H7  STEC were not classified as adulterants in beef, meaning it was legal to sell beef … [Read more...]

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