July 15, 2020

Food Allergens Can Become Airborne: How to Handle the Risk

Food Poisoning Bulletin constantly reports on food recalls for the eight major food allergens: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, fin fish, shellfish, wheat, eggs, and soy. Those eight allergens together cause at least 30,000 emergency room visits, 2000 hospitalizations, and 150 deaths in the U.S. every year. Recently we became aware that some foodborne allergens can become airborne. Some of the allergens are more of a risk than others. For instance, peanut allergens usually do not become airborne, and allergic reactions are not triggered from peanut butter vapors, according to a study published in the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. Since peanuts allergies are typically more severe and more likely to trigger anaphylactic shock, this is a relief. Some other food … [Read more...]

Tips For Handling Flour Safely to Avoid Food Poisoning

When an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in 2009 was linked to the flour used in prepackaged cookie dough, many people were shocked. How could flour, which seems so innocuous, actually be contaminated with such a serious pathogen? Flour is dry. It seems inert and safe. But flour is a raw agricultural product, and can be contaminated with pathogens just like romaine lettuce. Learn some tips for handling flour safely to avoid food poisoning. Flour is so ubiquitous in the kitchen that many people don't give it a second thought. But an E. coli O26 outbreak last year linked to Aldi's Baker's Corner, Pillsbury bread, and King Arthur Flour sickened 21 people in 6 states. And in 2016, an E. coli O121 and O26 outbreak linked to recalled General Mills flour sickened 63 people in 24 states. Not … [Read more...]

It’s National Pizza Week: Are Pizzas Linked to Outbreaks?

It's National Pizza Week! Have pizzas been linked to any food poisoning outbreaks in the U.S.? The answer is yes. The ingredients in pizza that could be problematic include flour in the dough, cheeses, produce such as leafy greens, and any type of meat toppings. But since pizzas are usually cooked so thoroughly, how can people get sick? There are three answers to that question: handling the pizzas before they are cooked, cross-contamination, and microwave cooking. Raw dough is considered a risky food, since flour used to make it has long been associated with E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks, from the Nestle raw cookie dough outbreak in 2009, to the General Mills flour E. coli outbreak in 2016 that sickened 63, to the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to ADM Milling flour last year that … [Read more...]

Learn How to Handle Flour Safely in Holiday Baking to Avoid Illness

It's time to make Christmas and Hanukah desserts, including cookies, cakes, and pies. Everyone should learn how to handle flour safely during the holiday baking time with tips from the FDA. Flour is a raw food. Most people don't realize that because it is processed, but it's a raw agricultural product. Wheat is grown outdoors, and can be exposed to many different types of pathogens, including E. coli and Salmonella. Unfortunately, processing raw grains into flour doesn't kill these pathogens. Eggs, too, are another health risk. Raw eggs can be contaminated with Salmonella; in fact, there have been quite a few food poisoning outbreaks over the years linked to eating raw or undercooked eggs. As with flour, cooking to a safe final temperature is the only way to destroy pathogens on … [Read more...]

Wild Harvest Organic Flour Recalled For Possible E. coli

UNFI is recalling five pound bags of its Wild Harvest Organic Flour for possible E. coli contamination. The pathogen was fond during routine sampling of this product. There have not been any direct consumer reports of confirmed illnesses related to this product. The recall is for Wild Harvest Organic All-Purpose Flour, Unbleached. the package UPC number is 711535509158 and the best if used by date is AA BEST IF USED BY 010820 CC 15:58. These numbers can be found on top of the product label. This recall only affects this one code date of the flour currently in stores or in consumers' pantries. Check your pantry to see if you have purchased this flour. If you have, or if you have decanted the flour into another container and no longer have the label, discard it. Throw it away after … [Read more...]

Hodgson Mill Flour Recalled For Possible E. coli Contamination

Hodgson Mill flour recalled for possible E. coli contamination. Hodgson Mill of Effingham, Illinois is voluntarily recalling specific lots of its Unbleached All Purpose White Wheat Flour sold in 5 pound bags. The potential presence of pathogenic E. coli was found when sampling raw uncooked flour. No reports of illness associated with the consumption of this product have been received to date. The recalled product is Hodgson Mill Unbleached All Purpose White Wheat Flour sold in 5 pound bags. The UPC number on the product is 0-71518-05009-2. The best by dates printed on the packages are 10-01-2020 and 10-02-2020, and the lot codes are 001042 and 005517. The use by and lot code information are on the bottom back panel of the bag. This recall is, again, a good reminder not to eat … [Read more...]

King Arthur Expands Recall of Unbleached Flour For E. coli O26

King Arthur Flour. is expanding its June 13, 2019 recall of its Unbleached All Purpose Flour in 5 pound and 25 pound packages for possible E. coli O26 contamination. No confirmed illnesses have been reported to the company to date in connection with this recall. The flour was milled at an ADM Milling facility in Buffalo, New York. It The recalled product is Unbleached All-Purpose Flour packaged in 5 pound and 25 pound packages with specific best used by dates and lot codes. The 5 pound packages were sold was sold by King Arthur Flour through retailers nationwide and also through the company's website, catalogue, and store in Norwich, Vermont. You can see the long list of dates and codes of the recalled products at the FDA web site. The 5 pound packages have the UPC number … [Read more...]

ADM Milling E. coli O26 Flour Outbreak Ends With 21 Sick

The E. coli O26 flour outbreak that was linked to recalled Aldi Baker's Corner, Pillsbury bread, and King Arthur flour has ended with 21 people in 9 states sick, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Three people were hospitalized. There were no deaths. The case count by state is: California (1), Connecticut (1), Massachusetts (2), Missouri (1), New Jersey (1), New York (7), Ohio (5), Pennsylvania (2), and Rhode Island (1). Illness onset dates ranged from 7 to 86 years. Of 20 people who provided information to investigators, 3 were hospitalized. There were four recalls issued in relation to this outbreak, although no illnesses were linked to some of the products. They were recalled because they were made of the same lot of wheat used at ADM Milling to … [Read more...]

Two Good Reasons to Avoid Raw Cookie Dough: Salmonella and E. coli

Most everyone, by now, knows that food safety experts say you should avoid raw cookie dough or cake batter, because of the possibility of food poisoning. The two culprits in those foods are raw flour and raw eggs. Studies have shown that both of those ingredients can and have been contaminated with pathogens. Flour can be contaminated with E. coli and Salmonella bacteria  (an E. coli outbreak that is happening right now is linked to flour) and raw eggs can be contaminated with Salmonella. But are these foods contaminated often enough to be a problem? The answer is yes, even though only a small percentage of raw flour and raw eggs may be contaminated. These pathogens have what scientists call "low infective doses," which means that just a few bacteria can make you very sick. … [Read more...]

Food Poisoning Outbreaks Linked to Flour: Study Shows Raw Wheat Can Be Contaminated

In the wake of the latest E. coli outbreak linked to raw flour, a study published in the Journal of Food Protection has found that a small percentage of raw wheat can be contaminated with Salmonella, EHEC (Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli), and Listeria bacteria. The scientists conducted a baseline study from 2012 to 2014 to determine the prevalence and levels of pathogens in wheat samples taken before milling. The study authors took 5,176 samples and tested for those pathogens. Isolates were fingerprinted using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). They found Salmonella in 1.23% of samples, EHECs in 0.44% of samples, and Listeria species in 0.08% of samples. There was a high diversity for all organisms, which indicates a diverse background of naturally occurring organisms is … [Read more...]

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