April 21, 2019

Dungeness Valley Creamery Raw Milk Recalled For Possible E. coli

Dungeness Valley Creamery of Sequim, Washington, is recalling their raw, unpasteurized whole milk, skim milk, and cream because it may be contaminated with E. coli bacteria that can cause illness. Routine sampling by the Washington State Department of Agriculture found the pathogen in retail raw whole milk that was dated 4/6. Dungeness Valley Creamery retail raw whole milk, skim milk, and cream with the best by dates of 4/6 through 4/20 has been recalled. These products were bottled in gallon, half-gallon, quart, and pint containers. They were sold to customers, including retail stores, in western Washington state. Dairy products may be contaminated because ruminant animals such as cows and goats can carry E. coli bacteria in their intestines. The bacteria is excreted in feces, … [Read more...]

History of E. coli Outbreaks Linked to Ground Beef

E. coli outbreaks have a long history in the United States. This pathogen is typically associated with beef; in fact, a 2015 study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the USDA found that beef is the source of most E. coli outbreaks. Of the 952 outbreaks during the 14 year period that was studied, 170 were caused by E. coli; of those, 97 were caused by beef. Most of these outbreaks have been caused by E. coli O157:H7. But others have been linked to O26 or O103. Sometimes, the specific serotype is not named by public health officials. The history of E. coli outbreaks linked to ground beef and ground beef products in the United States include: E. coli O26 outbreak linked to Cargill Meat Solutions ground beef in 2018 sickened at least 18 people in 4 … [Read more...]

Did the Last Thing You Ate Give You Food Poisoning?

Whenever anyone gets sick with a foodborne illness, the question is what food made them sick. Did the last thing you ate give you food poisoning? The answer, surprisingly, is probably not. Bacteria that cause food poisoning have incubation periods. During that time, the bacteria grows and some produce toxins and your immune system starts to respond. The response is what causes the symptoms. It can take some time for the symptoms of food poisoning to develop, depending on the pathogen. These incubation times are one reason why tracking the source of a food poisoning outbreak can be so difficult. First, investigators must interview patients and ask them what they ate in the past week. And second, it's difficult for patients to remember what they ate in the past week. These are … [Read more...]

What Are the Long Term Consequences of Food Poisoning?

Since 48,000,000 Americans are sickened with food poisoning every year, it's a safe bet to say that every American has had food poisoning at least once during their life. We are all aware of the symptoms of these illnesses, from E. coli O157:H7 to Salmonella to Listeria monocytogenes. But when you recover, should you still be concerned? Yes. All of these illnesses can lead to long term consequences. And each pathogen has its own set of health issues that can arise weeks, months, or years after recovery. That's why it's a good idea to have these illnesses recorded on your medical chart. E. coli O157:H7 This pathogen can cause the most serious illness. If a person contracts this infection, they may develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a type of kidney failure. Shiga … [Read more...]

New Study Shows Neighborhood Antibiotic Use Increases Resistance

A new study, published in Israel and published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, found that increased use of antibiotics in certain neighborhoods is associated with an increased risk of acquiring an antibiotic-resistant infection. The scientists looked at fluoroquinolone-resistant E. coli bacteria found in urine cultures of Israelis in more than 1700 neighborhoods. The authors say that this may mean that individual personal consumption of antibiotics isn't the only way that antibiotic resistance is being spread. There may be a selective mechanism for resistance at the community level too. The researchers collected medical records and demographic date on 2.4 million patients, and analyzed almost 5 million urine-culture specimens sent to Clalit Health Services from 2010 … [Read more...]

Research Shows Possible Link Between E. coli and Cancer

A new study from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and Masonic Cancer Center, published in the journal Science, finds a possible association between E. coli and cancer. The scientists have determined how toxins produced by the pathogen interact with and damage DNA on the molecular level. Applications from this study may help doctors understand how toxins affect DNA, and may help them to develop tools to improve chemotherapy treatments. The main researchers are Silvia Balbo, School of Public Health assistant professor, and Peter Villalta, mass spectrometry services coordinator at Masonic Cancer Center. Support was provided by the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute. The method uses mass spectrometry to study how toxins interact with … [Read more...]

How Is HUS Diagnosed After an E. coli Infection?

Hemolytic uremic syndrome, or HUS, is one of the most serious complications of any foodborne illness infection. It is caused by misshapen red blood cells that are created when Shiga toxins produced by E. coli bacteria travel through the bloodstream to the kidneys. The destroyed blood cells clog the glomeruli, which are tiny tubes in the kidneys. The kidneys can shut down, and some patients experience kidney failure. One of the worst things about this complication is that most patients are children under the age of 5, who have no choice in what they are given to eat or drink. Symptoms of HUS include little to no urine output (oligoanuria), lethargy, pale skin, a skin rash, and bleeding from the nose or mouth. If someone is experiencing these symptoms, it's critical that they … [Read more...]

Mountain Man Apple Cider Recalled for Possible E. coli Contamination

Mountain Man Market of Cana, Virginia is recalling 1/2 gallon containers of Mountain Man Apple Cider because it may be contaminated with E. coli bacteria, according to news reports. The bacteria is identified as Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), which can cause serious illness and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a kind of kidney failure. This recall is not listed on the FDA site. The recalled Mountain Man Apple Cider was distributed locally in Canada, Virginia at the Mountain Man Market on and before November 10, 2018. The product is packaged in a clear 1/2 gallon container. This cider has not been pasteurized, a process that destroys pathogenic bacteria. If you bought this product, do not drink it and do not use it to cook or bake. Discard it or return it to the store where you … [Read more...]

IFSAC Estimates of Foodborne Illness Sources For 2016

The Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration (IFSAC), a tri-agency group that was created by the FDA, CDC, and USDA, has released an executive summary of the pathogens that cause foodborne illness and the foods they are linked to. Researchers looked at Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and Campylobacter outbreaks and illnesses for 2016. These pathogens were chosen because they cause 1.9 million illnesses each year combined, and cause severe illness. The IFSAC data was derived from 1255 foodborne illness outbreaks that occurred from 1998 to 2016 that were linked to a single food category. These estimates will help these agencies to intervene and to create policies for reducing outbreaks. Overall, E. coli O157 illnesses were most often linked to leafy greens and … [Read more...]

Fall Food Safety Tips From Public Health Officials

Fall is here, but even though the temperatures are cooler, food safety is still an issue. If you are participating in specific fall activities, follow the government's fall food safety tips to keep your family safe. People like to go apple picking, tailgate at football games, and go hiking and camping in the fall. The first step in preparing foods for these activities and in general is to make sure your hands are clean. Poor hand hygiene can cross-contaminate surfaces in your kitchen, such as refrigerator handles and countertops, with pathogenic bacteria. Wash your hands for 20 seconds using soap and water and dry with a clean towel. Raw meat and poultry are the most problematic foods. Make sure to use separate plates, utensils, and cutting boards when you work with these foods. … [Read more...]

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