March 21, 2019

Risks of Food Poisoning in Packaged and Prepared Foods

There have been quite a few food poisoning outbreaks in 2018 that were linked to packaged and prepared foods, that is, foods that have been prepared in a factory or plant. The Fareway/Triple T chicken salad Salmonella outbreak is one example, as is the Salmonella Mbandaka outbreak that was linked to Kellogg's Honey Smacks cereal and the Salmonella outbreak linked to Hy Vee Spring Pasta Salad. Both of these items were "ready-to-eat," which means that the consumer doesn't heat them before eating. That makes them risky, according to an article by Consumer Reports. There is zero tolerance for Listeria monocytogenes bacteria in ready-to-eat products in this country, but no such restrictions apply to Salmonella bacteria. Packaged and prepared foods may seem safe, but they can cause … [Read more...]

Top 10 Multistate Food Poisoning Outbreaks of 2018

There were many food poisoning outbreaks in 2018. Thousands of people were sickened, many were hospitalized, and some died. This is a summary of the top 10 multistate food poisoning outbreaks of the year. Many lawsuits were filed in response to these outbreaks. McDonald's Cyclospora Outbreak. This outbreak sickened at least 511 people in 16 states, mostly concentrated in the Midwest. FDA investigators found the cyclospora oocyst in a sample of Fresh Express romaine and carrot mix that was used to make the salads. JBS Tolleson Ground Beef Salmonella Outbreak. This outbreak, which has not been declared over, has sickened at least 333 people in 28 states. The company has recalled more than 12,000,000 pounds of ground beef products that were sold in Kroger stores and elsewhere around … [Read more...]

Possible Food Poisoning Outbreak at Barbarie’s Black Angus Grill in Danbury, CT

Officials are investigating a possible food poisoning outbreak at Barbarie's Black Angus Grill at 5 Eagle Road in Danbury, Connecticut, according to news report. People started getting sick after they allegedly ate at that facility last weekend. The City of Danbury Health Department worked with staff at the restaurant this week to see if they could find the source of the illnesses, but they aren't sure that the illnesses can be linked to the restaurant. According to the New Haven Register, Lisa Morrissey, Danbury Health and Human Services Director said "Investigators have not determined that Black Angus was the source of any of the complainants' food poisoning." She continued, "Black Angus has been very compliant and I know they did their own deep clean of the restaurant and are … [Read more...]

IFSAC Estimates of Foodborne Illness Sources For 2016

The Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration (IFSAC), a tri-agency group that was created by the FDA, CDC, and USDA, has released an executive summary of the pathogens that cause foodborne illness and the foods they are linked to. Researchers looked at Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and Campylobacter outbreaks and illnesses for 2016. These pathogens were chosen because they cause 1.9 million illnesses each year combined, and cause severe illness. The IFSAC data was derived from 1255 foodborne illness outbreaks that occurred from 1998 to 2016 that were linked to a single food category. These estimates will help these agencies to intervene and to create policies for reducing outbreaks. Overall, E. coli O157 illnesses were most often linked to leafy greens and … [Read more...]

FDA Report Released on Restaurant Foodborne Illness Factors

The FDA has released findings from the first phase of a 10 year study that is looking at restaurant foodborne illness factors  in fast food restaurants and full service restaurants. The report looked at risk factors from 2013 to 2014. The first 10-year study was conducted between 1998 and 2008. In the 2008 study, the FDA found that the restaurant foodborne illness factors that needed the most improvement were poor personal hygiene, improper food holding/time and temperature, and contaminated equipment and protection from contamination. More than half of all food poisoning outbreaks in the U.S. every year are associated with restaurant food. In 2014, when looking at outbreaks linked to a single location, restaurants accounted for 485 outbreaks, or 65% of the total, and 4780 … [Read more...]

IFSAC Releases Foodborne Illness Source Attribution Estimates for 2013 for Salmonella, E. coli O157, Listeria, and Campylobacter

The Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration (IFSAC) has released foodborne illness source attribution estimates for 2013 for four bacteria: Salmonella, Escherichia coli O157, Listeria monocytogenes, and Campylobacter. This agency is a collaboration between the CDC, the FDA, and the USDA-FSIS. The agency identifies foods that are important causes of human illness. It focuses its efforts on those four bacteria, which are responsible for most food poisoning illnesses in the United States. The CDC estimates that these four pathogens cause 1.9 million foodborne illness cases every year. They base that estimate by calculating the most common food sources that are linked to illnesses. Overall, about 9,000,000 Americans are sickened with food poisoning. More than 56,000 are … [Read more...]

Why Doesn’t Everyone Who Drinks Raw Milk Get Sick?

Over the years, Food Poisoning Bulletin has received many, many messages from people defending raw milk consumption. Every one of these messages has used the claim, "I have drunk raw milk for years and I have never gotten sick." There are several problems with that statement: one is the logical fallacy of a small sample size. But first, some history. There is a Salmonella outbreak that was just discovered in Washington state. Raw milk from Pride & Joy Dairy has teated positive for a rare strain of Salmonella Dublin that sickened and hospitalized two people in that state in January 2017. The dairy's license to sell raw milk was pulled by the Washington State Department of Health. Raw milk has been consumed by people for many years. And many people have been sickened and … [Read more...]

Top 10 Food Poisoning Stories of 2016

These are the top 10 food stories of 2016. We chose them based on the impact they had on the food world and on the people who were sickened in outbreaks, and on how they changed how we look at our food supply. Many of these outbreaks were uncovered by the PulseNet system, a national database of food poisoning illnesses. All of these outbreaks serve as a reminder that everyone needs to be careful about the foods they eat, about where they eat foods, and the importance of thorough handwashing. And this list is a reminder that food companies need to be held accountable when the foods they produce make people sick. 10. Petting Zoo Outbreaks Petting zoo outbreaks became common a few years ago, when a huge outbreak sickened more than 100 people at the Cleveland County Fair in North … [Read more...]

CDC Develops FoodNet Fast For Consumers to Track Outbreaks

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed an interactive online program so consumers can track foodborne illness outbreaks over a 20 year period. The tool is called FoodNet Fast. The database includes confirmed cases of infection reported to FoodNet, which is the CDC's Foodborne Disease Active Surveillance Network. It includes outbreaks from 1996 through 2015. People can search by year, pathogen, age group, sex, and race. To develop the database, officials used surveillance from FoodNet in 10 sites for infections of nine pathogens that are commonly transmitted through food, and also for hemolytic uremic syndrome, a complication of E. coli infections that can cause kidney failure. The database also tracks how the rates of illness for Campylobacter, … [Read more...]

Iowa Launches Food Poisoning Hotline and Response Initiative

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced a new joint initiative this week with the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA) to help reduce the effect of foodborne illness outbreaks in that state. A hotline called IowaSic is now available for residents of that state to call if they think they have been sickened with food poisoning. That hotline number is 1-844-469-2742 (844-IowaSic) and will be answered by trained specialists. Those specialists will start an investigation into the cause and source of the illness. IDPH Medical Director, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk said in a statement, "these departments have joined forces to establish a statewide one-call system Iowans can use to report illnesses associated with food poisoning." Most food poisoning outbreaks are … [Read more...]

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