December 11, 2016

Food Poisoning Increases Risk of Crohn’s Disease

A new study conducted at McMaster University confirms that people who suffer from food poisoning by a particular bacteria may be at increased risk for developing Crohn's Disease, also known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). In every Salmonella outbreak over the past four years, Food Poisoning Bulletin has stated that one of the long term complications from one of these illnesses is IBD. Researchers found that infectious gastroenteritis (food poisoning) caused by a common food poisoning bacteria increases and accelerates the growth of adherent-invasive E. coli (AIEC). The scientists used a mouse model of Crohn's Disease. Even after the mouse had cleared the food poisoning bacteria from their bodies, researchers still found increased AIEC levels in the gut. In the study, the … [Read more...]

Mighty Taco Outbreak Numbers Increase to 158 Sick

The gastrointestinal illness outbreak associated with consuming food from Mighty Taco restaurants in Erie and Niagara counties in New York state has now sickened 158 people. There are 140 people sick in Erie county alone, according to Mary C. St. Mary of Erie County and a new press release from the Erie County Department of Health. Eighteen people are sick in Niagara County, according to that county's health department. The press release from Niagara County about this outbreak is from last week. Those numbers have not been updated since October 7, 2016. The case count has increased from 104 to 140 sickened in Erie County in the last week. Those sickened have experienced nausea and vomiting. The patients ate refried beans from a Mighty Taco location in Erie County between … [Read more...]

LA School District Issues Safety Alert About Wild Mushrooms

Some elementary school children at the Los Angeles Unified School District got sick after eating wild mushrooms that were growing in a community garden, according to several news reports. The district issued a safety alert press release stating "students and staff (and others) must not ingest wild mushrooms because many species are poisonous and proper identification is not easy." Penn State Food Safety has collected articles on this incident and states that seventeen children were sickened. They say "a volunteer thought the mushroom - later identified as green-spored parasol, a common poisonous wild mushroom - was an edible part of the garden." Green-spored Parasol is known as Chlorophyllum molybdites. It is the most commonly consumed poisonous mushroom in North America. This … [Read more...]

Oceana Finds Seafood Fraud Worldwide

Oceana has released a report about seafood fraud around the world. The report, called Deceptive Dishes: Seafood Swaps Found Worldwide, states that seafood fraud is a serious global problem that threatens consumer health. The review looked at data in 2014, and it shows some promising trends because of recent regulations in the European Union (EU) that are "increasing transparency and traceability as well as addressing illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing." The report states that if the United States adopts comprehensive, full-chain traceability, it will be more difficult for consumers to be misled. The report states that on average, one in five of more than 25,000 samples of seafood tested was mislabeled. Oceana reviewed more than 20 published studies from 55 … [Read more...]

Food Poisoning Cancels Trip for Benito High School Students

A food poisoning outbreak associated with allegedly contaminated tri-tip sandwiches served to San Benito High School seniors on Thursday, May 19, 2016 has forced the cancellation of their trip to Disneyland. At least 80 students from the California high school were sickened, and at least 12 students had to go to the hospital. The day after the seniors ate the sandwiches, on Friday May 20, 2016, other students ate the leftovers and also got sick. Health officials say that since no food is left for testing, they cannot tell what made the students sick. But they could certainly conduct stool sample testing on the ill students and run PFGE tests to identify the bacteria and to see if the same strain made all of the teenagers sick. The symptoms of this outbreak included stomach … [Read more...]

Produce is the Most Common Source of Food Poisoning Outbreaks, Says Study

Fresh produce such as celery, cilantro, cucumbers, leafy greens and tomatoes is the most common source of food poisoning outbreaks, according to a new report from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). The non profit food safety watchdog group looks at 10 years of outbreak data to compile the report title Outbreak Alert 2015. During that time period, fresh produce sickened almost 20,00o people and was the source of 629 outbreaks, according to the group. But that doesn't mean Americans should remove fresh produce from their diets, says David Plunkett, co-author of the report. “You are twice as likely to get sick from eating a serving of chicken as from eating a serving of vegetables,” said Plunkett.  “The data support improving the safety of our produce supply but don’t … [Read more...]

Do You Eat Fish? Learn About Ciguatera Food Poisoning

You don't often hear about ciguatera food poisoning, unless you are part of the fishing industry. This naturally occurring toxin found in fish can cause serious foodborne illness. Cooking does not deactivate the toxin, so even properly cooked seafood can make you sick. In the past few years, there have been several outbreaks and recalls related to this toxin. This type of food poisoning is responsible for the highest reported incidence of foodborne illness outbreaks linked to finfish around the world, according to a study published in Toxicon by Robert Dickey and Steven M. Plakaas. The algae that produces the toxin is usually located in the tropics, but these harmful algal blooms have been occurring in Texas, Florida, South Carolina, and Miami in recent years. As coral reefs deteriorate … [Read more...]

New Research Uses UVC Light on Fruits to Kill Pathogens

New research conducted at Washington State University has found that ultraviolet C (UVC) light can kill foodborne pathogens on the surface of some fruits. This technology may be a good alternative for organic fruit processors who don't want to use chemicals on their products and must comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) standards to help prevent outbreaks. The study was published in the International Journal of Food Microbiology. WSU food safety specialist Shyam Sablani and his colleagues decided to look at UVC light since it has a shorter wavelength than UVA or UVB light. Sablani said in a statement, "UVC radiation is present in sunlight; however, it is completely absorbed by the ozone layer and Earth's atmosphere. It has germicidal properties and can be effective … [Read more...]

Minnesotans Sue Barber Foods Over Chicken Salmonella

A Minnesota couple has filed the first Salmonella lawsuit against Barber Foods in the latest outbreak associated with Chicken Kiev and other boxed, frozen chicken entrees. The Minnesota Department of Health confirmed the connection between the man's salmonellosis and the strain of Salmonella apparent in the outbreak. The suit was filed on Thursday in U.S. District Court on the couple's behalf. “The manufacturers of Chicken Kiev and other similar frozen chicken products are in denial about how dangerous their products can be,” said attorney Ryan Osterholm. “This is not the first outbreak linked to these products and won’t be the last unless the industry makes real changes.” The case patient represented in the federal lawsuit got sick in early April, soon after consuming Chicken … [Read more...]

The Cost of Foodborne Illness Varies Dramatically by State

Foodborne illness costs Americans billions each year, but the cost varies dramatically by state, according to a new analysis by Robert Scharff an economist and scientist at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center at Ohio State University. Having previously published estimates of the national cost of foodborne illness, Scharff noticed the disparity and looked into further with this study. What he found could help state governments prioritize their resources. Scharff found that the average cost of a case of fooborne illness varies from state to state -$1,666  in Ohio compared with $2,443 in Maryland. But he also found that that the bacterial, viral and parasitic agents that make people sick vary by state, too. Vibrio is a bacteria frequently associated with raw seafood. … [Read more...]

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