July 23, 2017

Another Food Poisoning Outbreak at Seattle Restaurant

Another food poisoning outbreak associated with the consumption of raw oysters has sickened people in Seattle, Washington. This time it's at the White Swan Public House at 1001 Fairview Avenue North.   Six people from two separate parties got sick after eating raw oysters at the restaurant on June 30 and July 3, 2017. No laboratory testing has been done, and symptoms suggest fibrosis, but public health officials cannot rule out norovirus. Officials learned about the outbreak on July 6, 2017. Environmental health inspectors were at the restaurant on the same day. The press release states that, "No factors were identified that contribute to the spread of Vibrio, such as insufficient refrigeration temperatures or evidence of cross-contamination." Just like the outbreak at the … [Read more...]

MMWR Covers Canadian Flour E. coli O121 Outbreak

The CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) for the week of July 78, 2017 has a report about the outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O121 infections in Canada that were associated with flour. That outbreak sickened at least 30 people. Patients affected in this outbreak lived in three provinces when the illnesses were first discovered. PulseNet Canada identified a cluster of six E. coli non-O157 isolates with a matching PFGE pattern on December 29, 2016. An investigation was launched in January 2017. Patient illness onset dates ranged from November 2016 to April 2017. As of May 23, 2017, a total of 29 cases were identified in Alberta, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan. Eight patients were hospitalized, and one developed … [Read more...]

Outbreak at CO Rifle Rodeo was Clostridium Perfringens

Clostridium perfringens caused illnesses at the Rifle Rodeo in Garfield County Colorado in early June, according to a press release from the Garfield County Health Department.  That event was held on June 5, 2017 at the Garfield County Fairgrounds. About 80 people were sickened in that outbreak. An unlicensed vendor served food at the privately organized event. Samples were sent to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Interviews conducted by public health officials helped pinpoint the source of the food that caused the illnesses. Yvonne Long, Executive Director of Garfield County Public Health said in a statement, "The Rifle Rodeo is a privately-organized event. It should be noted that this particular food vendor has a primary location that has been … [Read more...]

Outbreak at Rifle Rodeo in Garfield County, Colorado

Garfield County Public Health is investigating a possible illness outbreak among attendees at the Rifle Rodeo in Colorado. The county's Public Health Agency is investigating gastrointestinal illnesses among "several dozen" people who got sick after going to that event. The department began receiving calls on June 6, 2017 from people who had been experiencing nausea, cramping, and diarrhea. The Rifle Rodeo was a private event held at the Garfield County Fairgrounds on June 5, 2017. About 200 people were at the rodeo. Billy Harkins, Environmental Health Specialist with the Garfield County Consumer Protection Program said, "It appears that people became ill approximately six hours following the end of the rodeo event Monday night. We are still investigating the cause of the … [Read more...]

Food Poisoning Outbreak Associated With Rancho Bravo Tacos in Seattle, WA

King County Public Heath is investigating an outbreak of gastroenteritis with abdominal cramps and diarrhea associated with Rancho Bravo Tacos at 1001 East Pine Street on Capitol Hill in Seattle, Washington. Four people from one party got sick soon after eating food at the restaurant on April 22, 2017. None of the patients was hospitalized.  The symptoms and timing of these illnesses suggest Bacillus cereus or Clostridium perfringens toxin. Those bacteria cause the symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, and illness onset is very quick, usually within thirty minutes to a few hours. No tests were conducted to confirm which pathogen caused the illness because these illnesses are short-lived and by the time a patient sees a doctor it is too far from exposure to test, according to … [Read more...]

E. coli O121 Outbreak in Canada Linked to Flour Grows to 28 Cases

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has updated their investigation into the E. coli O121 outbreak linked to flours and flour products. There are now 28 people sick in that outbreak. The case count by province is: British Columbia (12), Saskatchewan (4), Alberta (5), Ontario (1) and Newfoundland and Labrador (5). One of the 28 cases was a visitor to Canada. The illness onset dates range from November 2016 to March 2017. Seven individuals have been hospitalized. These patients have recovered or are recovering. No deaths have been reported. The average age of ill individuals is 24 years. There have been several recalls linked to this outbreak; all of the flours and flour products are produced by Ardent Mills. Brand names of the recalled products include Creative Baker, … [Read more...]

Robin Hood Flour Recalled in Canada for E. coli O121

Smucker Foods of Canada Corp. and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency are recalling Robin Hood brand all purpose flour in one size for possible E. coli O121 contamination. There is an outbreak linked to this product that has sickened at least 25 people in four provinces. The recalled product is Robin Hood All Purpose Flour, Original, in 10 kilogram bags. The lot codes are BB/MA 2018 AL 17 and 6 291 548, and the UPC number is 0 59000 01652 8. The CFIA is conducting a food safety investigation into this recall and the outbreak. More products may be recalled related to this investigation. If you purchased this product, do not use it or eat it, even if you plan to cook with it. Flour can be scattered around a kitchen as you work, and can easily contaminate other surfaces, utensils, … [Read more...]

Using Twitter Can Increase Food Poisoning Reporting

A study at Washington University in St. Louis has found that using Twitter could improve foodborne illness reporting and other public health issues, such as hospital quality and the spread of infections. The study was published in the February 3, 2017 issue of the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice. Dr. Jenine Harris, associate professor at the Brown School at the University said, "increasing trust and interaction between government and the public through social media are promising strategies for food safety." The study is titled "Using Twitter to Identify and Respond to Food Poisoning: The Food Safety STL Project." "The dashboard technology has potential for improving foodborne illness reporting and can be implemented in other areas to improve response to public … [Read more...]

Staphylococcus Aureus Sickened Students at Science Olympiad

The Florida Department of Health in Columbia County has issued a press release stating that the illnesses that took place at the Science Olympiad at Gateway College in Lake City on February 4, 2017 were caused by Staphylococcus aureus toxin. At least 30 people were taken by ambulance from that event to the hospital after suffering from vomiting. Samples were taken of the pulled pork, smoked chicken, macaroni salad, chicken sandwiches, and baked beans from the lunch that was served at the event. The samples were tested for Clostridium perfringens, Bacillus cereus, and Staphylococcus aureus, which all can cause food poisoning in a matter of minutes or hours. All of those pathogens can cause food poisoning symptoms relatively quickly. All cause nausea and vomiting, and some can also … [Read more...]

Outbreak at Science Olympiad at Florida Gateway College

At least 28 children and 2 adults were sickened after eating a catered lunch at the middle school Science Olympiad at Florida Gateway College in Lake City. The Columbia County Sheriff's Office had a notice posted on its Facebook page that those sickened were taken to hospitals for suspected food poisoning. The event was held on Saturday, February 4, 2017. Ambulances were called from several counties to help transfer patients to Lake City Medical Center and Shands Lake Shore. Health officials in Columbia county and from the Florida Department of Health are investigating the outbreak. All of the patients were treated and released by Saturday evening. A meal served at the event is being investigated as the potential source of the illnesses. Officials collected leftover food samples … [Read more...]

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