June 13, 2021

FDA Releases Info about 2020 Wawona Peach Salmonella Outbreak

The FDA has released information about its investigation into the 2020 Wawona peach Salmonella outbreak. Again, it seems that adjacent land use for animals, just like the conclusion about the deadly E. coli romaine outbreaks of 2018, may have been a contributing factor. That outbreak sickened at least 101 people in 17 states, and 28 people were hospitalized because they were so sick. This was the first time a Salmonella outbreak was linked to fresh peaches in this country. Epidemiological and traceback investigation determined that peaches packed by or supplied by a large grower/producer, Wawona, were the likely source of this outbreak. As a result of traceback, the FDA investigated peach packing/holding operations and peach orchards in Cutler, Kerman, and Sanger, California. … [Read more...]

Supplement Company Owner Pleads Guilty to Selling Steroid-Like Drugs

A New Jersey supplement company owner pleads guilty to introducing an unapproved new drug into interstate commerce "with the intent to defraud and mislead the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and consumers," according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice.  The owner is Nicholas Andrew Puccio. The government alleges that from 2016 to 2020, Puccio marketed drugs as dietary supplements to the bodybuilding and fitness community. The supplements allegedly included a product labeled as containing ostarine, a type of synthetic steroid known as a Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator (SARM). Dietary supplements cannot contain unapproved drugs or they are considered unapproved new drugs by the FDA. The FDA has long warned against the use of SARMs, stating that they … [Read more...]

FDA Releases Results of Romaine Lettuce Sampling Assignment

The FDA has released results of their romaine lettuce sampling assignment, which was instituted after years of Shiga toxin-producing E coli (STEC) outbreaks linked to that product. The FDA did not detect any pathogens during the assignment. Unfortunately, this is not unusual and doesn't mean that there will not be any more outbreaks linked to romaine or leafy greens. Contamination can be spotty and can vary with weather conditions and the presence of animals in the field. Furthermore, it's impossible to sample every leaf of romaine lettuce. E. coli bacteria tend to clump in small amounts and can be difficult to detect. It only takes 10 of these bacteria to make someone sick. And one head of contaminated lettuce can contaminate many bags of prepared lettuce. In fact, the study … [Read more...]

Why Were Red Onions Contaminated with Salmonella? FDA May Know

In the 2020 Salmonella Newport outbreak linked to red onions, more than 1600 people were sickened in the U.S. and Canada, with 1,127 sickened in the United States alone. Red onions from Thomson International were the likely source of this outbreak, although the government could not identify a conclusive root source of the contamination. Why were red onions contaminated with Salmonella? This was the largest Salmonella outbreak in over a decade in the United States. The FDA has released a report which may supply some answers about why this outbreak happened So why were red onions contaminated with Salmonella bacteria? There were several potential contributing factors that may have caused the contamination. They include potentially contaminated source of irrigation water; sheep … [Read more...]

FDA Starts Sampling Salinas Valley Lettuce For E. coli Contamination

The FDA has started sampling Salinas Valley lettuce for Shiga toxin-producing E. coli and Salmonella species as part of online surveillance efforts following recurrent outbreaks linked to the products grown in this region. E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks linked to these products, more specifically romaine lettuce, have occurred in 2020, 2019, and 2018. Romaine lettuce is uniquely susceptible to contamination because of the way it grows. The lettuce grows in a cup shape very close to the ground. That shape can collect and hold irrigation water, which can be contaminated with pathogens, especially if the farm field is located near factory cattle farms. There is a recurring strain of E. coli O157:H7 in the region that has been identified in leafy greens year after year. In this new … [Read more...]

FDA Releases Report on Deli Food Poisoning Risk Factors

The FDA has released a new report on deli food poisoning risk factors. This study is part of a 10-year initiative that looks at risk factors in retail settings, which include employee practices, personal hygiene, and food safety practices such as improper handwashing. Some deli foods, such as soft cheeses and sliced meats,  are considered high risk for possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination, due to the difficulty of cleaning some equipment and the intrinsic makeup of these foods. The study highlights the importance of having a well-developed Food Safety Management Systems (FSMS) and employing Certified Food Protection Managers, since delis with these procedures and employees are more likely to properly control foodborne illness risk factors. A well-developed FSMS was the … [Read more...]

New E. coli O145:H28 Outbreak Sickens 15; Little Information Provided

A new E. coli O145:H28 outbreak has been posted on the FDA's CORE Investigation outbreak table. This new outbreak has sickened at least 15 people. There is no more information provided, which is typical for a posting on that table. The FDA only gives out more information about these outbreaks when they believe there are actionable steps that consumers can take to protect themselves, such as a recall. E. coli O145 is a serotype of E. coli that is part of the Big Six STEC (Shiga toxin-producing E. coli) bacteria group that the government started screening for in 2012. This pathogen produces Shiga toxins, which attack red blood cells that die and travel to the kidneys, where they clog small tubes in that organ and can cause hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a type of kidney … [Read more...]

Real Water Hepatitis Outbreak Increases to 11 Sick and 1 Probable Case

The Real Water hepatitis outbreak has increased to 11 people sick and 1 probable case, according to an update from the FDA. This is a non-viral hepatitis outbreak, which means that particular brand of alkalized water may have caused liver inflammation. This outbreak is not caused by the contagious hepatitis virus. The one probable case meets the case definition but has not been tested for viral hepatitis to rule that out. There are three kinds of non-viral hepatitis. The first is caused by consuming too much alcohol; the second is an auto-immune disease where the immune system attacks the liver; and the third is caused by chemicals, prescription and non-prescription medications, and nutritional supplements. This is an increase of six new cases since the last update was released … [Read more...]

All Jule’s Foods Recalled For Salmonella Contamination and Outbreak

All Jule's Foods recalled for Salmonella contamination and an outbreak, according to an FDA recall notice. The notice states that the FDA and CDC are investigating this outbreak. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not yet released any information about this outbreak, but there is a new Salmonella Duisburg outbreak that was posted on the FDA's Core Investigation Table on April 22, 2021 with five people sick. We still don't know the patient age range, illness onset dates, or whether anyone has been hospitalized. The FDA has preliminary confirmation of Salmonella in Jule's Foods brie products that contain cashews. The company is working with the FDA to find the source of the pathogen in samples that were collected by the California Department of Public Health. Thus this … [Read more...]

New Salmonella Duisburg Outbreak; Salmonella Miami Outbreak Closed

On the FDA CORE Investigation table, a new Salmonella Duisburg outbreak has been identified, while the unsolved Salmonella Miami outbreak has been closed. Five people are sick in the new Salmonella Duisburg outbreak. Products and/or facilities linked to this new outbreak have not been identified. We do not know the patient age range, illness onset dates, or possible hospitalizations of the patients, nor do we have any clues to what the FDA may be investigating. No recall has been initiated, no traceback has been started, no on-site inspections have been initiated, and the government has not started sample collection and analysis. The FDA does not release any of this information unless they know of actions that consumers can take to protect themselves. So people have to follow the … [Read more...]

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