October 16, 2019

It’s State Fair Time! Watch Out for E. Coli …

It's state fair time! State fairs around the country are in full swing. Some have ended, and some have yet to begin. These gatherings are celebrations of the harvest and of the hard work of farmers. But in the past, these fairs and other late summer and early fall gatherings have been the source of dangerous E. coli outbreaks. This year, an E. coli O157 outbreak at the Minnesota State Fair has sickened 11 people, hospitalizing six. One person has developed HUS. Most of the patients visited the Miracle of Birth exhibit, and had contact with ruminant animals. Earlier this year, a deadly E. coli outbreak at the San Diego County Fair sickened 10 people. Three people were hospitalized and one 2-year-old died. In 2014, an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to the traveling Zerebko Zoo … [Read more...]

Pritzker Hageman Files First Cooper’s Hawk Winery Cyclospora Lawsuit

Pritzker Hageman attorneys filed the first lawsuit in the Cooper's' Hawk Winery cyclospora outbreak today,  Friday, July 12, 2019. The suit was filed on behalf of Jacksonville resident Lekeysha Bentley, who became ill after eating food at that venue in Jacksonville, Florida in June 2019. The lawsuit (Filing number 92497394) was filed in Florida's Fourth Judicial Circuit Court. Because of her illness, Ms. Bentley suffered with debilitating symptoms for weeks. She has received treatment, but her symptoms have not abated. Food safety attorney Fred Pritzker, who  has represented many people who have been sickened in every major food poisoning outbreak in the last few years,  said, "No one should get sick just because they decided to go out to eat for dinner. These patients can be … [Read more...]

FDA Weighs In On Salmonella Uganda Papaya Outbreak

Update: The CDC now says that Cavi brand papayas distributed by Agroson's LLC of the Bronx are linked to this outbreak. The FDA has released information about the Salmonella Uganda papaya outbreak that has sickened at least 62 people in 8 states. the FDA is increasing import screening for whole, fresh papayas and will continue to investigate the sauce and source of this outbreak. They are also tracking distribution of these products. Preliminary analysis shows that whole, fresh papayas from Mexico are potentially linked to this outbreak. The papayas were distributed in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. Consumers in those states should not consume any whole, fresh papayas imported from Mexico and should throw them away. The FDA is … [Read more...]

Lawyer Warns of E. coli Danger at Petting Zoos

Attorney Fred Pritzker is parents warning about the dangers of E. coli infections from petting zoos. As the weather warms and summer starts, petting zoos are popular attractions for families with young children. Unfortunately, those venues can be and have been the source of serious and even deadly E. coli outbreaks. The issue is that ruminant animals often held at petting zoos, such as goats, sheep, and cows, can carry Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) bacteria in their guts. The animals don't get sick from this pathogenic bacteria because they lack the gene that permits the bacteria to grow and produce toxins that destroy red blood cells. It doesn't matter how old the animal is; young animals can carry this pathogen. The bacteria are shed in the animal's feces. From there, … [Read more...]

Center For Food Safety Forces FDA to Designate High Risk Foods

The Center for Food Safety (CFS) has forced the FDA to complete the high risk food designations and reporting requirements that were part of the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). CFS filed a lawsuit against the FDA in October 2018 for delaying those requirements. Now, the FDA must designate "high risk" foods by September 2020 and establish the reporting requirements for those foods by November 2022. The settlement was decided in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Ryan Talbott, CFS staff attorney, said in a statement, "This is a major victory for public health. FDA has sat on its hands for years, neglecting to make these high-risk designations, while outbreaks caused by Salmonella, E. coli, and other pathogens have sicken and killed … [Read more...]

FDA Inspects Del Monte Facility After Vegetable Tray Salmonella Outbreak

Today, the FDA inspects Del Monte facility that produced vegetable trays linked to a Salmonella outbreak. At least three people in Wisconsin and one in Minnesota have been sickened after allegedly eating these products. The Del Monte facility is located in Kankakee, Illinois. On May 21, 2019, the Wisconsin Department of Health issued a press release stating that vegetable trays produced by Del Monte Fresh Produce that were sold at Kwik Trip convenience stores in Minnesota and Wisconsin have sickened at least four people. There was no word on whether or not any patients have been hospitalized. Illness onset dates for this outbreak range from April 13 to April 27, 2019. Kwik Trip has removed all Del Monte vegetable trays from their stores. However, the trays may have been sold at … [Read more...]

Raw Ground Tuna Salmonella Newport Outbreak Ends With 15 Sick

The raw ground tuna Salmonella Newport outbreak has ended after sickening 15 people in 8 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That tuna, produced at JK Fish in Vietnam, was imported by Jensen Tuna in Louisiana. The case count by state is: Colorado (1), Connecticut (1), Illinois (1), Iowa (1), Minnesota (1), New York (2), North Dakota (4), and Washington (4). Two people were hospitalized in this outbreak. Illness onset dates range from January 8, 2019 to March 31, 2019. The patient age range was from 24 to 85 years. No deaths were reported. Officials used the PulseNet system to find people sickened in this outbreak. Whole genome sequencing performed on the isolates taken from ill persons showed that they were closely related … [Read more...]

Kwik Trip Del Monte Vegetable Trays Linked to Salmonella Outbreak in WI and MN

A new Kwik Trip Del Monte vegetable tray outbreak has sickened three people in Wisconsin and one person in Minnesota with Salmonella food poisoning, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health. Last year, a cyclospora outbreak that was linked to Del Monte vegetable trays, also sold at Kwik Trip and Kwik Star locations in the upper Midwest, sickened at least 250 people. All patients sickened in this outbreak have told officials they ate a Del Monte vegetable tray purchased from a Wisconsin or Minnesota Kwik Tip before they started feeling ill.  Kwik Trip is cooperating with the investigation and has removed all Del Monte vegetable trays from their stores. Patients in this new outbreak got sick between April 13 and April 27, 2019. The Wisconsin press release states that it is … [Read more...]

Salmonella Concord Outbreak Linked to Karawan Tahini Sickens Four

A Salmonella Concord outbreak linked to Karawan Tahini and Halva brand tahini has sickened four people in three states and hospitalized one person. The original outbreak notice stated that the tahini was imported from Israel. The recall notice, which was posted on May 16, 2019, says the tahini was imported from Palestine. This outbreak is not related to the 2018-2019 Salmonella Concord outbreak linked to Achdut Tahini. That earlier outbreak, which ended in February 2019, sickened eight people. The tahini in that outbreak was imported from Israel and was sold under several different brand names, including Achdut, Soom, Pepperwood, and Baron. In this new outbreak, the case count by state is: New York (2), Massachusetts (1), and Texas (1). The last illness onset date was March 23, … [Read more...]

Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee Hardest Hit in Ground Beef E. coli O103 Outbreak

The states that have been the hardest hit in the ground beef E. coli O103 outbreak are Georgia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Those states combined have 173 of the 196 people sickened in this outbreak. The outbreak does seem to be slowing down, according to the epidemiological Date of Illness Onset chart. Most cases were diagnosed in mid-March 2019, and have trailed off since then. But even though two companies have recalled raw ground beef products, the outbreak continues to grow. According to the epi chart, there could be as many as 50 more cases in this outbreak before it ends. States are investigating more illnesses that may be part of this outbreak. This outbreak actually begin in Kentucky, when public health officials there noticed a spike in E. coli cases. At first, … [Read more...]

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