July 30, 2021

Three New Outbreaks on FDA Table: Cyclospora, E. coli, and Salmonella

Three new outbreaks were announced on the FDA Table of Outbreak Investigations: One was caused by Cyclospora, the second by E. coli O121, and the third by Salmonella Typhimurium. UPDATE: One of these outbreaks, the Salmonella outbreak, has a suspect food attached to it. In the cyclospora outbreak, at least 32 people are sick. The notice states that this number represents a subset of the total number of domestically-acquired cases of cyclosporiasis illnesses in the U.S. Traceback has been initiated, and sample analysis and testing has taken place. This is encouraging, because the FDA may know what has caused this outbreak. Stay tuned, since a recall or outbreak investigation notice may be issued soon. In the E. coli O121 outbreak, at least 15 ill persons have been identified. No … [Read more...]

Artificial Sweeteners May Increase Pathogen Damage in the Gut

A study published in the International Journal of Molecular Science looked at the effect of artificial sweeteners on gut bacterial pathogenicity. They found that artificial sweeteners may increase damage in the gut, by increasing the ability of bacteria to form a biofilm and the ability of the bacteria to adhere to, invade, and kill the host epithelium, which is the lining of the gut. Researchers demonstrated that saccharin, sucralose, and aspartame all promote pathogenic changes in two model gut bacteria, E. coli and E. faecalis, which could "worsen the effect of consuming artificial sweetener in the diet on gut health." This is important because bacteria growing in biofilms are less sensitive to antimicrobial resistance treatment and are more likely to express virulence factors … [Read more...]

Long Term Effects of Food Poisoning Illnesses Can Be Significant

Food Poisoning Bulletin reports about food poisoning outbreaks all the time. We do warn that many pathogens can not only make you sick in the short term, but can cause significant problems for months or years to come. The long term effects of food poisoning illnesses can be significant. While any bout of food poisoning can be uncomfortable and distressing, most people recover from these infections without medical attention. But for some pathogens, and for some people, permeant disability and chronic disease can be the end result, even after what seems like full recovery. One of the conditions that can be caused by Salmonella or Campylobacter infections is reactive arthritis. This is a type of joint inflammation that develops within a few weeks of recovery. This condition, which … [Read more...]

Who Are High Risk Populations in Food Poisoning Outbreaks?

When Food Poisoning Bulletin writes about outbreaks, we always mention how some groups are more likely to suffer serious illness and complications if they get sick. Who are high risk populations? And why are they high risk in the first place? The main groups that are at higher risk for problems if they contract a food poisoning infection include: The elderly Pregnant women Very young children Anyone with a chronic illness Anyone who has a compromised immune system These groups are more susceptible to hospitalization for different reasons. Anyone who has a family member in one of these groups should take extra care in cooking food safely and should keep up with food recalls and outbreak notices. Elderly people are more susceptible to serious problems from food … [Read more...]

Do You Know If You Are Grilling Mechanically Tenderized Beef?

With grilling season upon us and the Fourth of July holiday next week, most Americans are taking to their outdoor grills. We grill everything from chicken wings to veggies to burgers to steaks. But do you know if you are grilling mechanically tenderized beef? There are several ways of tenderizing meat: marinating, the way you cut it after it's cooked, and mechanical tenderizing. Knowing if the meat you are grilling is mechanically tenderized can make the difference between enjoying a nice meal and getting sick. And there's a lot of mechanically tenderized beef out there: 6.2 billion servings of mechanically tenderized beef are served every year on American tables. The USDA is offering tips on how to protect yourself and your family while grilling. One section of that piece … [Read more...]

Merkley & Sons Ground Beef Recalled in Indiana For Possible E. coli

Merkley & Sons ground beef is being recalled in Indiana for possible E. coli contamination. The 80% lean beef is sold in 1 pound and 5 pound packages. No illnesses have been report to the company to date in connection with this recall. No other Merkley & Sons products are affected by this recall. The recalled products all have a "Merkley & Sons" label. This recall is limited to 80% lean 1 pound and 5 pound ground beef products that were sold at these specific retail locations only in the state of Indiana between the dates of June 7 and June 24, 2021: Big Peach Produce Stand in Bruceville Birdseye Conservation Club in Birdseye Buck’s Produce in Marengo Discount Grocery in Loogootee Dutch Pantry in Vincennes Fast Eddies in French Lick IGA in … [Read more...]

Adult STEC HUS Disease More Serious and Fatal Than in Children

A new study published in Emerging Infectious Diseases has found that adult STEC HUS disease is more serious and fatal than the same disease in children, even though children are far more likely to develop this complication after an E. coli infection. The retrospective study looked at Shiga toxin-associated hemolytic uremic syndrome in 96 adults who lived in France from 2009 to 2017. The researchers found that 20% of adults in France who had STEC HUS disease died during hospitalization, while less than one percent of children who had STEC-associated HUS died  during the same years. The deaths were concentrated in the age group of 60+ years. Furthermore, adults had cerebral involvement three times more often than children. More than 52% of adult patients had severe neurologic … [Read more...]

Maine CDC Warns of Possible E. coli Exposure at Morse’s Sauerkraut

Various news outlets are reporting that the Maine CDC says that there is a possible E. coli exposure at Morse's Sauerkraut located in Waldoboro, Maine. A food handler allegedly worked while infected with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) from April 1, 2021 through May 13, 2021. The government has determined that patrons of that facility may be at risk for a STEC infection. Anyone who bought deli items from Morse's Sauerkraut between April 1, 2021 and May 13, 2021 should watch for symptoms of this infection. Symptoms usually develop a few days after exposure, but can show up as late as 10 days later. People usually experience a mild fever, nausea and vomiting, severe and painful abdominal and stomach cramps, and diarrhea that is bloody or watery. The Maine CDC recommends that … [Read more...]

Maryland Warns Consumers About La Cieba, Other Latino Cheeses

The Maryland Department of Health is warning consumers not to eat some types 0f La Cieba, La Colonia, and Selectos Latinos brand names cheeses until further notice, since they may be contaminated with two types of bacteria: Staphylococcus aureus and E. coli.   The La Cieba, La Colonia, and Selectos Latinos cheeses that fall under this warning include: Cuajada el Terron Queso Morolique con Chile Queso Con Loroco Queso Con Chile Queso Frijolero Queso Duro Blando Salvadoreno Queso Salvadoreno Queso Seco Salvadoreno There is no information about package sizes, the store where these products may have been sold in Maryland, or if any illnesses have been reported in connection with the consumption of these cheeses. The notice also did not state which … [Read more...]

After Severe Weather, What Does a Boil Water Notice Mean?

Many people in different parts of the country have been, and will be, under a "boil water" notice after severe weather strikes. So what does a boil water notice mean? These advisories are often issued after a flood or when there is an issue with local water services, such as broken water mains or a sewage spill. Everyone should pay attention to these advisories and notices and follow them rigorously to protect health. Boil water notices are issued to protect the public from waterborne infectious agents that can range from parasites to E. coli and other pathogens to viruses. When a notice is issued, everyone should stop using water from the tap until a government agency says that the water is again safe to drink and use in cooking and cleaning. Heat treatments and filtration can … [Read more...]

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