June 3, 2023

2021 Chipotle and Panera Romaine E. coli Outbreak

In 2021, health departments in Washington and Minnesota did something that doesn't happen very often. They solved an E. coli outbreak linked to leafy greens. "It is rare to be able to identify the outbreak vehicle for commercially distributed food like romaine lettuce (much less link back to a farm source) with only four laboratory-confirmed cases who consumed the romaine lettuce at four different restaurant locations in two states," Doug Schultz, an information officer at the Minnesota Department of Health told Food Poisoning Bulletin. The outbreak was never announced because, by the time investigators identified the specific grower, there was no ongoing risk to the public, he said. Stream of Unsolved Outbreaks Leafy greens recently overtook ground beef to become the leading … [Read more...]

Triple Wash Your Veggies, WVU Extension Advises

Triple wash your veggies, researchers at West Virginia University Extension advises consumers, to reduce bacterial counts and avoid food poisoning. Researcher Cangliang Shen, associate professor of human nutrition and foods at the university, has studied the microbial safety of farmers market produce, which revealed a risk for microbial contamination from pathogens such as E. coli, Salmonella, and Listeria monocytogenes. Outbreaks linked to fresh produce are very common; in fact, they are more common than people think. For instance, there were 40 outbreaks linked to leafy greens from 2009 to 2018. And last year a Salmonella outbreak linked to cantaloupe sickened at least 88 people in 12 states. A 2015 study conducted by Shen and graduate students KaWang Li and Wentao Jiang at the … [Read more...]

What Does the FDA Want You to Know About Food Recalls?

What does the FDA want you to know about food recalls? Many food recalls are issued every month, from the FDA and the USDA, depending on which foods they regulate. The FDA regulates all foods except meat, poultry, and processed egg products. Food recalls can be for undeclared allergens, for foreign material contamination, or for possible contamination with pathogens, which can include bacteria such as E. coli and Listeria monocytogenes, viruses such as norovirus or hepatitis A, or parasites such as cyclospora. All food that contains one of the nine major food allergens (sesame, milk, wheat, finfish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, soy, and eggs) must list that ingredient on the label, as well as an allergen statement warning consumers that the product contains that … [Read more...]

Mother Dairy Paneer Fresh Cheese Recalled For Generic E. coli

Mother Dairy Paneer Fresh Cheese is being recalled for generic E. coli contamination. This does not mean that pathogenic E. coli bacteria are in the product, but it is an indication of possible fecal contamination. No illnesses have been reported to the company to date in connection with the consumption of this cheese. The recalling firm is Mother Dairy. This cheese was sold to hotels, restaurant, institutions, and at the retail level in these provinces: British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec. The recalled products include Mother Dairy Paneer Fresh Cheese that is packaged in 340 gram containers. The UPC number that is printed on the label of this product is 6 98708 98763 3. All best before dates from March 9, 2023 up to and including May 1, 2023 (2023/03/09 and … [Read more...]

New Ozone Marinade Kills Pathogens on Meat and Surfaces

A new ozone marinade kills pathogens on meat and food contact surfaces, according to research from the ARS Meat Safety and Quality research Unit. Microbiologists Mick Bosilevac and Nor Kalchayanand, along with food technologist Tommy Wheeler, conducted the research about spraying beef and pork carcasses with an ozone solution. The "marinade" is applied at meat processing plants. Bosilevac said in a statement, "This project was part of a large farm-to-fork project that focused on cattle and swine, following them through harvest and concluding with finished beef and pork products ready for consumers. During harvest we improved on many processes to help reduce contamination." Beef and pork are often contaminated with pathogens that include E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and … [Read more...]

Mother Dairy Paneer Fresh Cheese Recalled For Generic E. coli

Mother Dairy Paneer Fresh Cheese is being recalled in Canada for generic E. coli contamination. Generic E. coli isn't a health risk, but it is an indication that fecal contamination has occurred. The recall notice did not state whether or not any illnesses have been reported to the company to date in connection with this problem. The recalling firm is 1228300 Alberta Ltd. (Mother Dairy). The cheese was sold in Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec to hotels, restaurants, and institutions and at the retail level. The recalled items are Mother Dairy Fresh Paneer Cheese that is sold in 1.9 kilogram packages. The UPC number that is printed on the label is 6 98708 98764 0 and the code for this product is 23MR08 (March 8, 2023). Also recalled is Mother Dairy Fresh Paneer Cheese that is packaged in … [Read more...]

Fullei Fresh Alfalfa Sprouts Recalled For Possible E. coli

Fullei Fresh alfalfa sprouts are being recalled for possible E. coli contamination in a corrected recall notice on the FDA's web site. The pathogen is Shiga toxin producing E. coli (STEC) that can cause serious illness in humans. No known illnesses have been reported to the company to date in connection with the consumption of these sprouts. The recalling firm is Fullei Fresh of Miami, Florida. The recall notice states that STEC is a bacterial strain that "is not part of our routine microbial testing conducted in compliance with the FDA's Produce Safety Rule Subpart M on every lot we produce. It was detected upon sampling of finished product by the FDA." The recalled product is Fullei Fresh alfalfa sprouts with the lot number 336. The lot numbers are printed on the 8 ounce retail … [Read more...]

The FDA’s “Best” Worst Warning Letters of 2022

When the FDA discovers that a company has significantly violated federal regulations, the agency issues a warning letter. These letters enumerate some of the key violations and instruct the offender to devise and execute a plan to correct them within a designated timeline. All of these letters deal with serious food safety violations - filth, pests, bacteria, but some really stand out. Here are some of the notable warning letters the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent in 2022. "A History of Infestation" Dollar Tree Inc. This letter, sent November 8, 2022, pertains to an FDA inspection that took place January 11 - February 11, 2022, at Family Dollar Distribution Inc., located at 1800 Family Dollar Parkway, West Memphis, AR. At that time, the facility stored and distributed … [Read more...]

Safer Food Choices For Those at Risk For Food Poisoning

Every month there is at least one food recall about a potentially dangerous food in the United States. These recalls are for foods that may be contaminated with E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, cyclospora, and Campylobacter. Unfortunately, some foods are inherently risky because of the way they are grown or prepared. While the general public certainly is at risk for illness from these foods, there are some people who can become seriously ill if they are infected. There are safer food choices for anyone who is at high risk for food poisoning complications. People at higher risk for serious complications from food poisoning include the very young, the elderly, pregnant women, people with chronic health problems such as diabetes, and anyone with a compromised immune system. … [Read more...]

Study Confirms that Raw Milk Is Linked to Foodborne Illness

A new study has confirmed that raw milk is linked to foodborne illness. During the time period of 2013 to 2018, 75 outbreaks that caused 675 illnesses were linked to unpasteurized milk. Of these illnesses, almost half were among children and teenagers aged o to 19 years. Given that the consumption of raw milk is low in this country, with only about 1 to 2% of the adult population buying it, these numbers are shocking. The study points out that almost 80% of those outbreaks occurred in states where the sale of raw milk is allowed. Raw milk and raw milk products are a public health challenge in the United States. And laws that encourage availability of unpasteurized milk are associated with more illnesses and outbreaks. Raw milk can be contaminated with many different pathogens, … [Read more...]

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