January 17, 2019

Judge Strikes Down Iowa Ag Gag Law

A federal judge struck down Iowa's ag gag law last week. Those laws make it illegal for animal rights advocates to go undercover to expose animal abuse at farms and puppy mills. The 2012 law was approved by Iowa lawmakers, and carried a fine of up to year in jail. ACLU legal director Rita Bettis Austen said the ruling was "an important victory for free speech." She also said that the law was an example of government using its power to protect those in power. She added, "Ag gag clearly is a violation of Iowans' First Amendment rights to free speech. It has effectively silenced advocates and ensured that animal cruelty, unsafe food safety practices, environmental hazards, and inhumane working conditions go unreported for years." The Animal Legal Defense Fund was one of the … [Read more...]

McDonald’s Cyclospora Outbreak Was Number One in 2018

The McDonald's cyclospora outbreak was the number one outbreak of 23018, with 511 people in 16 states sickened. Twenty four people were hospitalized because they were so sick. Epidemiologic and traceback evidence found that salads purchased from McDonald's were "one likely source of this outbreak." The FDA did not name other sources. On July 26, 2018, the FDA completed analysis of an unused package of romaine lettuce and carrot mix that was distributed to McDonald's by the Fresh Express processor in Streamwood, Illinois. They confirmed the presence of the cyclospora parasite in the sample. However, the FDA did not identify a single source of point of contamination for this outbreak. The patient case count by state was:  Connecticut (1), Florida (1), Iowa (99), Illinois (274), … [Read more...]

Fareway Chicken Salad Salmonella Outbreak: Number 3 of 2018

The Fareway Chicken Salad Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak was the number three outbreak for 2018, with 265 sick in 8 states. One person, who lived in Iowa, died. The patient case count by state was:  Illinois (1), Indiana (1), Iowa (240), Minnesota (4), Mississippi (1), Nebraska (5), South Dakota (3), and Wisconsin (1). Illness started on dates ranging from January 8, 2018, to March 20, 2018. The patient age range is from less than 1 year to 89 years. Ninety-four people were hospitalized because they were so sick. Epidemiologic, traceback, and laboratory evidence found that chicken salad that was produced by Triple T Specialty Meats, and sold at Fareway grocery stores in the midwest was the likely source of this outbreak. PulseNet was used to find more patients who were sickened … [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...]

Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Hy Vee Spring Pasta Salads Ends; Lawsuits Filed

The Salmonella outbreak linked to Hy Vee Spring Pasta Salad has ended, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, after sickening 101 people in 10 states. Twenty-five people were hospitalized because they were so sick. That's an increase of 22 more patients since the last update on August 1, 2018. The salad was recalled on July 17, 2018. The bacteria that caused these illnesses were Salmonella Sandiego and Salmonella enterica subspecies IIIb.  The patient case count by state is: Illinois (2), Iowa (37), Kansas (3), Minnesota (23), Missouri (3), Nebraska (11), North Dakota (1), Oregon (1), South Dakota (19), and Tennessee (1).  The patient age range was from 1 year to 89. Illnesses in this outbreak started on dates ranging from June 21, 2018 to August 7, 2018. … [Read more...]

Consumer Advisory for Ozark County Sorghum; Illnesses Reported Lawsuits Possible

A consumer advisory for Ozark County Sorghum has been issued by the Iowa Department of Public Health, the Johnson County Public Health Department, and the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA). Lab tests conducted on the sorghum have revealed that the product has extremely high nitrate levels. The product was made by Ozark Country Sorghum in Dunnegan, Missouri. Sorghum is a sweetener that is made from the sorghum plant. It is similar to molasses and is made from crushed stalks of the plant. Sorghum is thinner than molasses and has a more sour taste. Sorghum is often used to prepare infant formulas and toddler foods. DIA Food and Consumer Safety Bureau Chief said in a statement that high nitrate levels "can be hazardous especially if consumed by infants and children." Two … [Read more...]

McDonald’s Fresh Express Salad Mix Cyclospora Outbreak Grows Again; Lawsuits Are Filed

The McDonald's Fresh Express Salad cyclospora outbreak has grown again, according to the FDA. As of August 23, 2018, 507 laboratory-confirmed cases of cyclosporiasis were reported in people who ate salads served at McDonald's restaurants. Those sickened live in 15 states and New York City. The case count by state is: Connecticut (1), Florida (1), Iowa (99), Illinois (273), Indiana (9), Kentucky (8), Michigan (2), Minnesota (11), Missouri (52), Nebraska (5), New York City (1), Ohio (15), South Dakota (18), Tennessee (1), Virginia (1), and Wisconsin (1). The patients in Connecticut, New York City, Tennessee, Virginia, and Florida purchased McDonald's salads in other states. Twenty-four people have been hospitalized because they are so sick. FDA is reviewing distribution and … [Read more...]

McDonald’s Fresh Express Cyclospora Outbreak Sickens 476; Lawsuits Are Filed

The McDonald's Fresh Express cyclospora outbreak linked to their salads has now sickened 476 people, according to the FDA. These ill persons live in 15 states. Twenty-one people have been hospitalized. The case count by state is: Connecticut (1), Florida (1), Iowa (98), Illinois (246), Indiana (8), Kentucky (8), Michigan (2), Minnesota (1), Missouri (52), Nebraska (5), Ohio (15), South Dakota (18), Tennessee (1), Virginia (1), and Wisconsin (10). The patients in Connecticut, Tennessee, Virginia, and Florida purchased McDonald's salads while traveling in another state. In the investigation, FDA officials analyzed an unused package of romaine lettuce and carrot mix produced by Fresh Express in Streamwood, Illinois. They found cyclospora in the product. Fresh Express told the FDA … [Read more...]

At Least 395 Are Sick In the McDonald’s Cyclospora Outbreak; Lawsuits Filed

At least 395 people are now sick in the McDonald's cyclospora outbreak that is linked to that company's salads produced by Fresh Express. Those sickened live in 15 states. Sixteen people have been hospitalized because they are so ill. The case count by state is: Connecticut (1), Florida (1), Iowa (87), Illinois (202), Indiana (1), Kentucky (6), Michigan (2), Minnesota (8), Missouri (47), Nebraska (5), Ohio (13), South Dakota (11), Tennessee (1), Virginia (1), and Wisconsin (8). The patients in Connecticut, Tennessee, and Virginia bought the salads while they are traveling in Illinois. The patient living in Florida purchased a McDonald's salad in Kentucky. On July 26, 2018, the FDA completed an analysis of an unused package of romaine lettuce and carrot mix that was distorted to … [Read more...]

Hy Vee Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Spring Pasta Salad Grows to 79 Sick; Lawsuits Possible

The multistate Hy Vee Salmonella outbreak linked to Hy-Vee Spring Pasta Salads has grown to include 79 people in 9 states, according to the CDC. The salad was recalled on July 17, 2018. The salad contains shell pasta, carrots, celery, cucumbers, green pepper, onion, and mayonnaise. Officials have not yet determined which component of the salad is contaminated with the pathogenic bacteria in this Hy Vee Salmonella outbreak. Fifty-eight more ill persons have been added to this outbreak count since the last update on July 18, 2018. Four more states reported ill people: Illinois, Kansas, North Dakota, and Tennessee. The main outbreak strain of bacteria in this outbreak is Salmonella Sandiego. Salmonella enteric subspecies IIIb has been added to this investigation because two people … [Read more...]

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