January 28, 2020

Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak Ends With 10 Sick

The Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp E. coli O157:H7 outbreak is over, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), after sickening 10 people in 5 states and hospitalizing 4. One patient developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). That is an increase of two more patients in two more states from the latest outbreak update that was released on December 9, 2019. The two new patients live in Georgia and Illinois. The case count by state is: Georgia (1), Illinois (1), Minnesotas (4), North Dakota (1), and Wisconsin (3). Illness onset dates ranged from November 5, 2019 to November 16, 2019. The patient age range is from 21 to 92. Four of 10 patients were hospitalized, and one person developed HUS. No deaths were reported. The contaminated Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp … [Read more...]

Timeline of Three Romaine E. coli O157:H7 Outbreaks

This timeline of three romaine E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks is intended to reduce confusion about the illnesses and the products and restaurants they are linked to or potentially linked to. The three outbreaks are a large multistate outbreak linked to romaine lettuce grown in Salinas, California; an outbreak linked to Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp Chopped Salad Kit that has sickened people in the upper Midwest; and an E. coli outbreak associated with seven Evergreen restaurants in the Seattle, Washington area. Only the outbreak associated with Evergreen restaurants has been declared over. All three of these outbreaks have been named by the FDA as having a common grower, even though the strains of E. coli are different. The FDA notice states, "Currently, the tracebacks on all three … [Read more...]

Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp Salad E. coli Outbreak in Canada Updated

The Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp salad E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in Canada has been updated by Public Health Canada. Now, 24 people are sick with E. coli infections in six provinces. An E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in the U.S., which has sickened 9 people in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota is linked to the same product. This outbreak appears to be ongoing. The Fresh Express product has been recalled in Canada, but not in the United States. The genetic fingerprint of the pathogen that is making people sick is similar in both countries, indicating a common source of infection. Based on the investigation to date, exposure to Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp Chopped Salad kits has been identified as a likely source of this outbreak. Many of those sickened told investigators they ate … [Read more...]

FDA Has Identified a Common Grower in Three Ongoing E. coli Outbreaks

The FDA has identified a common grower in the three ongoing E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks that are linked to or associated with romaine lettuce. A statement from FDA commissioner Frank Yiannas issued last night updated the public on the investigation into these outbreaks. While a common grower, not named at this time, has been identified, the outbreaks are "currently being considered as three separate outbreaks caused by three different strains of E. coli O157:H7," according to the statement. These outbreaks were all identified at different times in November 2019 and early December 2019. While the FDA has identified a common grower in these outbreaks, Yiannas states "Because of the expansive nature of these outbreaks, our investigation remains a complicated work in progress, and it is … [Read more...]

Wisconsin Officials Found E. coli in Fresh Express Chopped Romaine

Wisconsin officials found E. coli in Fresh Express romaine salad from Salinas, California, according to the Wisconsin Department of Heath Services. This outbreak is the large one that is linked to romaine harvested in Salinas, California, with at least 102 people sick and 58 hospitalized. More laboratory testing is pending to see if the bacteria found in the romaine matches the strain that has caused the illnesses in the outbreak. Another Fresh Express product, Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp Salad Kit, is linked to second E. coli outbreak that has sickened nine people in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota. According to the CDC, whole genome sequencing conducted on isolates from people in that outbreak does not match the isolates taken from patients in the larger outbreak. And … [Read more...]

Fresh Express Sickens Five Minnesotans with E. coli O157:H7 Infections

Fresh Express sickens five Minnesotans with E. coli O157:H7 infections, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. (MDH). Yesterday, the FDA's press release stated that there were four people sick in that state. Doug Schultz, Information Officer for MDH told Food Poisoning Bulletin that there are no hemolytic uremic syndrome cases in the state, but that two of the five patients have been hospitalized. One patient has been released from the hospital. The illness onset dates for these patients range from November 8 to November 16, 2018. The patient age range is from 21 to 91. Four of the patients live in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, and one lives in Greater Minnesota. Three people are sick in Wisconsin, and one person living in North Dakota is ill. The product linked … [Read more...]

Fresh Express Sunflower Salad Kit Linked to a New E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak

A new E. coli outbreak that has sickened people in the U.S. and Canada was just announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Unlike the multistate E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to romaine lettuce that has sickened at least 102 people, in this outbreak we have a brand name. Epidemiologic information indicates that Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp Chopped Salad Kits are a likely source of this outbreak. Eight people in three states are sick as of December 9, 2019. The case count by state is: Minnesota (4), North Dakota (1), and Wisconsin (3). Three people have been hospitalized because they are so ill. The illness onset dates range from November 5, 2019 to November 15, 2019. The patient age range is from 21 to 91. One person has developed hemolytic uremic syndrome … [Read more...]

Fresh Express Salad Kit Linked to New E. coli Outbreak in Canada

A Fresh Express salad kit is linked to a new E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in Canada. Public Health Canada announced the outbreak this morning. The specific product is Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp Chopped Salad Kit, which has been recalled. We don't know if this outbreak is linked to the multistate E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in the United States that is associated with romaine lettuce from the Salinas, California growing region. There is another E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in Canada that has sickened two people and is probably linked to the U.S. outbreak. There are 16 confirmed cases of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses in this outbreak in five provinces. The patient case count is: Ontario (10), Quebec (1), New Brunswick (3), Nova Scotia (1), and Newfoundland and Labrador (1). Illness onset dates … [Read more...]

FDA Weighs In On Fresh Express McDonald’s Cyclospora Outbreak

The FDA has weighed in on the Fresh Express McDonald's cyclospora outbreak. This outbreak appears to be over as of September 11, 2018. A total  of 511 lab-confirmed cases of cyclosporiasis were reported in people who ate salads ordered from the fast food chain. While the FDA did find that a sample of the Fresh Express romaine and carrot mix distributed to McDonald's restaurants was contaminated with the cyclospora parasite, they did not identify a single source of point of contamination in this outbreak. The case count by state is: Connecticut (1), Florida (1), Iowa (99), Illinois (274), Indiana (10), Kentucky (9), Michigan (2), Minnesota (11), Missouri (52), Nebraska (5), New York City (1), Ohio (16), South Dakota (18), Tennessee (1), Virginia (1), and Wisconsin (10). The … [Read more...]

McDonald’s Fresh Express Salad Cyclospora Outbreak Ends; Lawsuits Filed

The McDonald's Fresh Express salad cyclospora outbreak appears to be over, according to the CDC. As of September 11, 2018, 551 people are sick in 15 states and New York City. They consumed "a variety of salads" from McDonald's restaurants in the Midwest. Twenty-four people were hospitalized because they were so sick. Epidemiologic and traceback evidence showed that salads purchased from McDonald's restaurants were the likely source of this outbreak. The salad supplier, Fresh Express, provided an unused package of romaine lettuce and carrot mix that was distributed to McDonald's; FDA analysis confirmed the presence of the cyclospora parasite in that sample. No single source or point of contamination for this outbreak was found. The FDA investigated distribution and supplier … [Read more...]

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