March 21, 2019

New Dates For Implementing Agricultural Water Produce Safety

FDA's Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb and Deputy Commissioner Frank Yiannas have addressed advancing new tools and science for produce safety via agricultural water, and have set new dates for implementation. The two E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks that were linked to romaine lettuce in 2018 were allegedly caused by contaminated agricultural water. In early 2018, 210 people were sickened in an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to romaine lettuce grown in the Yuma, Arizona region of the country. Ninety-six people were hospitalized, and 27 developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which can cause kidney failure. Five people died. This outbreak was the largest of its kind since 2006. The outbreak strain was found in canal water in the area. And in late 2018, romaine lettuce grown in … [Read more...]

How Is HUS Diagnosed After an E. coli Infection?

Hemolytic uremic syndrome, or HUS, is one of the most serious complications of any foodborne illness infection. It is caused by misshapen red blood cells that are created when Shiga toxins produced by E. coli bacteria travel through the bloodstream to the kidneys. The destroyed blood cells clog the glomeruli, which are tiny tubes in the kidneys. The kidneys can shut down, and some patients experience kidney failure. One of the worst things about this complication is that most patients are children under the age of 5, who have no choice in what they are given to eat or drink. Symptoms of HUS include little to no urine output (oligoanuria), lethargy, pale skin, a skin rash, and bleeding from the nose or mouth. If someone is experiencing these symptoms, it's critical that they … [Read more...]

How Do You Know If You Have an E. coli Infection?

If you contract an E. coli infection, the symptoms are unmistakeable. Because of the toxins the pathogen produces, and how it attacks the body, patients know they are really ill. All pathogens are assigned a "multiplier" by public health officials. The number is chosen based on how many people actually go to a doctor when they contract food poisoning. The multiplier for Salmonella infections is 38, because not many people need to see a physician when they are ill. The multiplier for E. coli infections is 2. That means that half of all E. coli infections are reported to public health officials. The main symptoms of E. coli infections are: Very severe and painful abdominal cramps Bloody and watery diarrhea Mild fever Those symptoms usually begin three to … [Read more...]

E. coli O157:H7 Romaine Lettuce Outbreak Ends With 62 Sick

The latest E. coli O157:H7 romaine lettuce outbreak has ended with 62 sick, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those people live in 16 states and the District of Columbia. The case count by state is: California (12), Connecticut (1), Washington DC (1), Florida (1), Georgia (1), Illinois (2), Louisiana (1), Massachusetts (1), Maryland (1), Michigan (7), New Hampshire (6), New Jersey (13), New York (7), Ohio (1), Pennsylvania (5), Rhode Island (1), and Wisconsin (1). Illness onset dates ranged from October 7, 2018 to December 4, 2018. Twenty-five people were hospitalized because they were so sick. Two people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure. The FDA, CDC, and state partners investigated farms and cooling facilities in … [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...]

FDA Narrows Scope of E. coli Romaine Lettuce Outbreak

The FDA has narrowed the scope of the E. coli O157:H7 romaine lettuce outbreak investigation. The outbreak has grown from the latest update in November 2018, with 52 people now sick. The FDA states in their latest romaine lettuce outbreak update that "Traceback information from four restaurants in three different states so far has implicated 10 different distributors, 12 different growers, and 11 different farms as potential sources of the contaminated lettuce. The information indicates that the outbreak cannot be explained by a single farm, grower, harvester, or distributor." However, they have not named those distributors, growers, or farms. The FDA's Produce Safety Network is assisting with the investigation. This network includes personnel from the FDA's Center for Food … [Read more...]

E. coli O157:H7 Romaine Outbreak Increases With 52 Sick and 19 Hospitalized

The E. coli O157:H7 romaine outbreak has grown, according to an update posted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Since the last update posted in November 26, 2018, an additional nine patients have been added to the total for 52 sick. Those patients live in 15 states. Nineteen people have been hospitalized. The patient case count by state in this E. coli O157:H7 romaine outbreak is: California (11), Connecticut (1), Florida (1), Illinois (2), Louisiana (1), Massachusetts (1), Maryland (1), Michigan (7), New Hampshire (6), New Jersey (11), New York (6), Ohio (1), Pennsylvania (1), Rhode Island (1), and Wisconsin (1).  Illness onset dates range from October 5, 2018 to November 18, 2018. Nineteen people have been hospitalized; two have developed hemolytic uremic … [Read more...]

FDA Names California Counties Where Contaminated Romaine Was Grown

The FDA has updated its investigation into the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to romaine lettuce grown in the Central Coast growing regions of northern and central California. They have now named the California counties where they believe the lettuce was grown. Remember, most of the patients in this outbreak live in California. The specific California counties include Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, and Ventura. More counties may be added to this list as the FDA traceback develops. Romaine lettuce that was harvested from locations outside of the specific California regions identified, along with lettuce that is grown hydroponically and in greenhouses. The FDA lifted its recommendation the consumers avoid all romaine lettuce. Romaine lettuce … [Read more...]

Another Romaine Lettuce E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak Announced; Some May Sue

Another romaine lettuce E. coli O157:H7 outbreak has been announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The language from the government is very strong: "CDC is advising that U.S. consumers not eat any romaine lettuce, and retailers and restaurants not serve or sell any, until we learn more about the outbreak." Thirty-two people in 11 states are sick in this outbreak. Thirteen people have been hospitalized. The case count by state is: California (10), Connecticut (1), Illinois (2), Massachusetts (2), Maryland (1), Michigan (7), New Hampshire (2), New Jersey (3), New York (2), Ohio (1), and Wisconsin (1). Illness onset dates range from October 8 to October 31, 2018. One person has developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure. It's very … [Read more...]

USDA Releases Distribution List in Cargill E. coli O26 Ground Beef Outbreak

The USDA has released the distribution list of where the ground beef in the deadly Cargill E. coli O26 outbreak was sold. That Cargill E. coli outbreak sickened 18 people in four states and killed one person in Florida. Six people were hospitalized, and one person developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure. UPDATED 8/27/18: The grocery stores and chain stores that probably sold the ground beef nationwide include Aldi stores in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin; FoodMaxx in California, Pak N Save in California, Meijer nationwide; Safeway/Albertson's in California, Colorado, and Hawaii; Sam's Club in North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia; Target stores nationwide; and Vons in California.  In addition, in California, … [Read more...]

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