October 28, 2020

Gastrointestinal Outbreak at Saigon Vietnam Deli in Seattle

King County Health Department is investigating a gastrointestinal outbreak at Saigon Vietnam Deli, which is located at 1200 South Jackson Street in Seattle, Washington. Eight people are sick with symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, body aches, headaches, and fevers. The illnesses are associated with a takeout meal from Saigon Vietnam Deli that was eaten on July 25, 2020. Officials have not identified a specific food or drink item that may have caused these illnesses. No specific pathogen has been identified. There are no lab results for people who got sick. Symptoms suggest a bacterial illness. The eight patients ate takeout food together from Saigon Vietnam Deli. Other food was also ordered for takeout from another food establishment, but since only half of the ill people ate the … [Read more...]

Beginning Cooks: Learn About Potentially Hazardous Foods

As the coronavirus pandemic has closed many restaurants and is forcing more people to cook at home, we are starting a new series helping beginning cooks learn about potentially hazardous foods. It is unfortunately true that many foods are inherently risky for foodborne illness. If you know how to handle and cook these foods you can help keep your family safe and reduce the risk of a doctor's visit or hospitalization during the pandemic. And there are general food safety tips and cooking tips that are important during this time. Learn about safe minimum temperatures, who is at risk for food poisoning complications, and learn the common symptoms of food poisoning. This list will be expanded over the next days and weeks. If you have a question about avoiding food poisoning, handling … [Read more...]

Consumer Reports on How To Clean Reusable Bags To Avoid Illness

Reusable bags are getting more popular as many cities and state are restricting single use plastic and paper bags. There is no doubt that these bags are better for the environment. But they can pose another hazard: food poisoning. So Consumer Reports is publishing information on how to clean reusable bags to protect yourself against foodborne illness and coronavirus. Consumer Reports has offered information on how to shop for food and receive delivered food safety. But they have not addressed reusable bags until now. These bags can get pretty dirty, especially if they are used to transport raw meats, poultry, shellfish, and eggs.  And most people don't even think about the possibility of getting sick from a bag. This is a classic case of cross-contamination potential. Your … [Read more...]

Common Symptoms of All of the Food Poisoning Pathogens

Food poisoning outbreaks occur every year in the United States. These outbreaks can be caused by bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria Monocytogenes, Clostridium botulinum, Campylobacter, Shigella, Staphylococcus aureus, Brucella, Vibrio, and Bacillus cereus; and viruses such as norovirus and hepatitis A. At least 48,000,000 Americans are sickened with food poisoning every year. Do you know the common symptoms of all of the food poisoning pathogens? We've collected articles about all of these symptoms, which includes the foods most likely to be contaminated, in one place for easy reference. If someone in your family is sick with these symptoms, you'll be able to get help more quickly if you understand the pathogens. It's worth noting that it's wise for all consumers to … [Read more...]

Wash Your Hands to Prevent Food Poisoning and Coronavirus

Coronavirus is the big news these days: the virus is circling the globe, infecting thousands of people and may expand to pandemic proportions. Experts are giving great advice on how to avoid the virus. So what does that have to do with a site that focuses on food poisoning? There is one thing that prevention of coronavirus and food poisoning have in common: Wash your hands! There is no vaccine to prevent a COVID-19 infection. And there are no vaccines to prevent infection from Salmonella, Campylobacter, E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and Staphylococcus aureus. The best advice from experts is to wash your hands thoroughly and frequently to prevent transfer of viruses and bacteria to others. So do you know how to wash your hands properly? Here's the gist: Wet your hands under … [Read more...]

Who Is Most at Risk For Complications from Food Poisoning?

With all of the recalls, warnings, studies, and outbreak notices we publish, we hope that people who are in populations most at risk for food poisoning and their families are paying attention. But who is most at risk for complications from food poisoning? There are certain populations who have more of a chance of becoming seriously ill if they contract food poisoning infections. Those people, and their families, need to be extra careful to make sure the food they eat is safe and free from contamination. They include the elderly (over age 65), the very young (under the age of 5), pregnant women, people with chronic health problems such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, and those with chronic suppressed immune systems. Families of these groups need to be especially careful to … [Read more...]

How to Report a Problem With Food to the FDA and USDA

Most Americans have had food poisoning at one time or another, giving that 48,000,000 Americans contract this form of illness every year. Most people think they have the "stomach flu" or a "24 hour bug" when they actually have food poisoning. How do you report a problem with food? What do you do if you think you have food poisoning? First, know the symptoms of food poisoning for various pathogens: E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and Salmonella. You can report your illness to the government if you think that a problem with food (such as the Northfork Bison E. coli outbreak) purchased from a store is the problem. First, call your doctor to get necessary treatment. Many foodborne illnesses can have long term health complications and this should be noted on your medical … [Read more...]

What Are the Common Symptoms of Food Poisoning?

Given that 48,000,000 Americans are sickened with food poisoning every year in this country, every American has most likely had food poisoning. But many people confuse the symptoms of these illnesses with the "24 hour flu" or "stomach flu." As a result, some patients could be undiagnosed and untreated, and develop the long term consequences of these illnesses without even knowing they had been sickened by these pathogens. What are the symptoms of food poisoning? At this time, there are five ongoing multistate food poisoning outbreaks in the U.S. An E. coli O103 outbreak is linked to ground beef, a Salmonella Carrau outbreak is linked to precut melons, a deadly Listeria monocytogenes outbreak is linked to deli meats and cheeses, and a Salmonella Newport outbreak is linked to raw … [Read more...]

Did the Last Thing You Ate Give You Food Poisoning?

Whenever anyone gets sick with a foodborne illness, the main question is what food made them sick. Did the last thing you ate give you food poisoning? The answer, surprisingly, is probably not. Bacteria and parasites that cause food poisoning have incubation periods. During that time, the bacteria grows and some produce toxins and your immune system starts to respond. The response is what causes the symptoms. It can take some time for the symptoms of food poisoning to develop, depending on the pathogen. These incubation times are one reason why tracking the source of a food poisoning outbreak can be so difficult. First, investigators must interview patients and ask them what they ate in the past week. And second, it's difficult for patients to remember what they ate in the past … [Read more...]

What Are the Long Term Consequences of Food Poisoning?

Since 48,000,000 Americans are sickened with food poisoning every year, it's a safe bet to say that every American has had food poisoning at least once during their life. We are all aware of the symptoms of these illnesses, from E. coli O157:H7 to Salmonella to Listeria monocytogenes. But when you recover, should you still be concerned? Yes. All of these illnesses can lead to long term consequences. And each pathogen has its own set of health issues that can arise weeks, months, or years after recovery. That's why it's a good idea to have these illnesses recorded on your medical chart. E. coli O157:H7 This pathogen can cause the most serious illness. If a person contracts this infection, they may develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a type of kidney failure. Shiga … [Read more...]

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