May 24, 2019

Final Update on Raw Turkey Salmonella Reading Outbreak

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued the final update of the raw turkey Salmonella Reading outbreak. At least 358 people in 42 states have been sickened. More than 130 people were hospitalized in this outbreak, and one death was reported. The government says that the outbreak strain of Salmonella Reading is present in live turkeys and in many types of raw turkey products. The number of reported new illnesses is decreasing, but people could continue to get sick. The last reported illness was on March 31, 2019. The case count by state is: Alabama (4), Alaska (2), Arizona (5), Arkansas (2), California (30), Colorado (7), Connecticut (5), Delaware (1), District of Columbia (5), Florida (13), Georgia (2), Hawaii (4), Idaho (4), Iowa (50), Illinois (25), … [Read more...]

Precut Melon Salmonella Carrau Outbreak Sickens 117 in 10 States

The Caito Foods precut melon Salmonella Carrau outbreak has now sickened at least 117 people in 10 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Thirty-two people, or 36%,  have been hospitalized, which is a high percentage for a Salmonella outbreak. That's an increase of 24 patients in 11 days.  Iowa has been added to the list of states affected by this outbreak. The case count by state is: Alabama (1), Iowa (1), Illinois (7), Indiana (23), Kentucky (21), Michigan (22), Minnesota (3), Missouri (7), Ohio (31), and Wisconsin (1).  Illness onset dates range from March 4 to April 8, 2019. The patient age range is from less than one to 98 years. More than 70% of patients who have been interviewed said they ate pre-cut melon the week before they got … [Read more...]

FDA Weighs In On Frozen Raw Ground Tuna Salmonella Outbreak

The FDA has released information about the frozen raw ground tuna Salmonella Newport outbreak that has sickened at least 13 people in 7 states. The tuna was sourced from Jensen Tuna, and imported from JK Fish of Vietnam. Jensen Tuna voluntarily recalled this tuna on April 15, 2019. The FDA statement says that it's unlikely the ground tuna was sold directly to consumers in grocery stores. They think that it was used to make food dishes, such as sushi and spicy tuna, by restaurants and retailers. The tuna was sold in Connecticut, Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, New York, and Washington state. The patients in this outbreak live in Connecticut, Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, New York, and Washington state. The tuna could have been distributed to other … [Read more...]

Previously Unreported Listeria Outbreak Associated with Caramel Apples

In the CDC's Weekly Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report for January 25, 2019, a previously unreported Listeria monocytogenes outbreak associated with prepackaged caramel apples was announced.  In late 2014 and early 2015, a large and deadly outbreak of listeriosis linked to prepackaged caramel apples sickened ate least 35 people. Thirty four patients were hospitalized. And listeriosis contributed to at least three of the seven deaths reported. Eleven of those cases were associated with pregnancy, causing three premature births and one fetal loss. In the 2017 outbreak, PulseNet found a cluster of three Listeria monocytogenes clinical isolates with indistinguishable pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) pattern combinations. That means that those three people were likely sickened … [Read more...]

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 2018, 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...]

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