December 12, 2018

Possible Food Poisoning Outbreak at We Are Outdoors in Moline, Ohio

According to several news reports, a possible food poisoning outbreak is being investigated by the Wood County Health District in northwest Ohio. About twenty-four people have called the District since Tuesday, February 27, 2018, saying they are suffering from diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. All of the patients attended an event on Saturday, February 24, 2018 for a group called We Are Outdoors at the Glass City Boardwalk in Moline. Epidemiologist Connor Rittwage told The Blade, "At this point in the investigation, it’s too early to know what may have caused this outbreak. We’re doing everything we can to identify the cause. Possibilities include a food or beverage item or an ill food handler, organizer or guest." If you attended the event, please complete an online survey to help … [Read more...]

Possible Food Poisoning Outbreak at Los Angeles Chipotle

A possible foodborne illness outbreak at Chipotle Mexican Grill in California has been reported by the Los Angeles City Health Department. The city has activated its Acute Communicable Disease Control unit. The facility is located at 4550 West Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles. There are few details about the outbreak. It was first discovered when people started reporting they were feeling ill after eating there around the middle of December, 2017 on the website I Was Poisoned. Shares of Chipotle stock fell by more than 3% after the news came out. There is no word on how many people have been sickened, what their symptoms were, or if anyone has seen a doctor or been hospitalized. We don't know the possible pathogen; it could be anything. More information about this possible outbreak … [Read more...]

E. coli O157 Outbreak in Canada Linked to Romaine Lettuce Grows; One Person Has Died

The E. coli O157 outbreak in Canada that is linked to romaine lettuce has grown. Nine more people are sick, Ontario and Nova Scotia have been added to the case count, and one person has died. There are now 30 people sick in five provinces. There are no product recalls linked to these illness at this time. Romaine lettuce has been identified as the product that has caused this outbreak. The investigation is ongoing and Public Health Agency of Canada will update the outbreak on a regular basis. The case count by province is: Ontario, (6), Quebec (5), New Brunswick (5), Nova Scotia (1), and Newfoundland and Labrador (13). People got sick in November and December 2017. Twelve people have been hospitalized in this E. coli O157 outbreak. The patient age range is between 4 and 80 years … [Read more...]

Staphylococcus Outbreak Prompts Frozen Chicken Recall in Canada

An outbreak of Staphylococcus illnesses in Canada has prompted the recall of some frozen breaded chicken breast strips. There is no more information about the outbreak; it was just mentioned in the recall notice. We do not know how many people are sick, their ages, their status, if anyone has been hospitalized, or where they live. The recalled product is Maple Leaf Foods Maple Leaf brand Chicken Breast Strips in 840 gram packages. The best before date is 2018 SE 29, and the UPC number on the product is 0 63100 03089 6. The chicken may contain the toxin produced by Staphylococcus bacteria. This bacteria is found on the skin and in the nose of about 25% of healthy people and animals. The bacteria itself doesn't cause illness in healthy people, but the toxin can make you sick. Staph is … [Read more...]

Outbreak Investigated at North American Lighting Event in AL

A possible food poisoning outbreak at a catered event hosted by North American Lighting Co. in Muscle Shoals, Alabama is being investigated by the Colbert and Lauderdale County Health Departments, in conjunction with the Alabama Department of Health (ADH).   Thirty-six people have reported symptoms of gastrointestinal distress. The event was held on Sunday, October 15, 2017. Those sickened report vomiting and diarrhea lasting less than 24 hours. Officials are not saying what bacteria they suspect, but these symptoms, with such short duration and fast onset, are indicative of Clostridium perfringens food poisoning. These types of outbreaks typically occur at restaurants, institutions, and during catered events. Clostridium perfringens bacteria grow in food when the … [Read more...]

Food Poisoning Outbreak at VA Chincoteague Chili Cook-off

A possible food poisoning outbreak at the 18th Annual Chincoteague Chili Chowder Cook-off and Car Show is being investigated by the Virginia Department of Health. That event was held on September 30, 2017. Officials have issued a press release that states, "we are expanding our investigation and are reaching out to the Hampton Roads area as well." There is no information about the symptoms people are experiencing, foods they are concentrating on, or how many people may have been sickened or hospitalized. Anyone who attended that event, whether sick or well, is asked to complete a survey to help officials investigate and solve the outbreak. The survey takes about 5 to 10 minute to complete. Participation is voluntary and responses and any personal information will remain … [Read more...]

Clostridium Perfringens Likely Cause of Ramsey County Jail Outbreak

The outbreak at the Ramsey County jail last month was likely caused by Clostridium perfringens bacteria, Doug Schultz of the Minnesota Department of Health told Food Poisoning Bulletin.  That outbreak, which occurred on September 9, 2017, sickened 137 inmates at the St. Paul jail. Nurses treated inmates at the jail. No one was hospitalized in this outbreak. Sample trays of food that were served for lunch and dinner on that day were tested for pathogenic bacteria. Clostridium perfringens was found in a sample of rice and in tamale pie. C. perfringens causes food poisoning when foods are not properly reheated or are held at a dangerous temperature for a long period of time. Outbreaks usually occur in restaurant and institutional settings, where large containers of food are … [Read more...]

Outbreak at Ramsey County, MN Jail

An outbreak at the Ramsey County jail last week sickened more than 100 inmates, according to Doug Schulz, Information Officer for the Minnesota Department of Health. There were probably no hospitalizations in this outbreak. According to Schulz, food testing is not complete, but he said that negative results won't be meaningful, since food testing is difficult. Food trays were tested after the outbreak was reported to public health officials. One stool sample was collected, but since it was collected long after recovery from the illness, the results will be limited. This sample is not being tested for the same pathogens the food trays were tested for. MDH is not able to interview inmates, and officials probably won't have any further details or answers than what is currently … [Read more...]

Did You Know You Can Help Solve Food Poisoning Outbreaks?

It sounds like something Smoky the Bear said, "only you can prevent foodborne outbreaks!" But it's true. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that you can keep your family safe and help protect others from illness. Every year, 1 in 6 Americans contract a foodborne illness. Most of these cases occur individually, but some are part of outbreaks. If two or more people have the same illness caused by the same strain of bacteria, it's an outbreak. The CDC uses epidemiological, traceback, and food and environmental testing data to determine if an illness cluster is a foodborne outbreak. If you get sick and you think you have food poisoning, there are three ways you can help solve the outbreak. First, report your illness to your health department. If you go to a doctor and … [Read more...]

CDC Weighs In On C. Perfringens Outbreak in CT in 2016

The CDC's Weekly Morbidity and Mortality Report Note's From the Field this week focuses on a Clostridium perfringens outbreak at a catered lunch in Connecticut in 2016. Nineteen people out of the fifty who attended the lunch were sickened. This outbreak was not shared with the public. The Connecticut Department of Public health was notified about this outbreak in September 2016. They started gathering information, including asking those who attended the event fill out an online survey. Patients started experiencing abdominal pain and/or diarrhea about 24 hours or less after attending the lunch. Most of the patients reported diarrhea, abdominal pain, and headache. The median interval from lunch to illness onset was 5.3 hours. Analysis of the food exposures reported by 16 ill … [Read more...]

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