December 18, 2017

Salmonella Sickens 150 After Chincoteague Chili Cook-Off in VA

At least 150 people from as many as eight states have been sickened in the Salmonella outbreak linked to the Chincoteague Chili Chowder Cook-Off in Chincoteague, Virginia. Delaware is the only state that has posted an announcement of this outbreak on their web site. People who attended that event live in that state, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, and North Carolina, as well as Virginia. Dr. David Matson, director of the Eastern Shore Health District told DelMarVa Now, "We are positive it is a Salmonella outbreak." According to that paper, more than 20 cultures from different laboratories in Maryland and Virginia tested positive for Salmonella. The cook off was held on September 30, 2017. Some of those sickened may have been hospitalized, although … [Read more...]

K-Bar Dairy Allowed to Sell Raw Milk Again After Brucella Outbreak

K-Bar Dairy in Wise County, Texas, is allowed to sell raw milk again after a Brucella outbreak was associated with their products. Public health officials are investigating Brucella illnesses in seven states in connection with this issue. Last month, officials warned anyone who consumed raw milk or raw milk products between June 1 and August 14, 2017 contact their doctors and get antibiotic treatments after Brucella bacteria was found in K-Bar Dairy's raw milk. This rare strain of Brucella causes serious illness, and can cause chronic conditions such as heart problems, enlargement of the liver or spleen, nervous system conditions, and arthritis. Testing conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Veterinary Services Lab found that two cows in the herd were shedding … [Read more...]

Chincoteague Chili Cook Off Outbreak Caused by Salmonella

News outlets are reporting that the food poisoning outbreak at the Chincoteague Chili Chowder Cook Off in Virginia on September 30, 2017 was apparently caused by Salmonella. The Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services in Richmond found Salmonella bacteria in specimens associated with the event. More than 2,000 people attended that event. Dozens are apparently sick, but officials have not given specific numbers. There is no word on whether or not anyone has been hospitalized, the age range of the patients, or suspected foods. All attendees of that event are being asked to complete an online survey put up by the Accomack County Health Department so public health authorities can narrow the scope of their investigation and focus on probable foods. No foods that may be associated … [Read more...]

Food Poisoning Outbreak at VA Chincoteague Chili Cook-off

A possible food poisoning outbreak at the 18th Annual Chincoteague Chili Chowder Cook-off and Car Show is being investigated by the Virginia Department of Health. That event was held on September 30, 2017. Officials have issued a press release that states, "we are expanding our investigation and are reaching out to the Hampton Roads area as well." There is no information about the symptoms people are experiencing, foods they are concentrating on, or how many people may have been sickened or hospitalized. Anyone who attended that event, whether sick or well, is asked to complete a survey to help officials investigate and solve the outbreak. The survey takes about 5 to 10 minute to complete. Participation is voluntary and responses and any personal information will remain … [Read more...]

Why Doesn’t Everyone Who Drinks Raw Milk Get Sick?

Over the years, Food Poisoning Bulletin has received many, many messages from people defending raw milk consumption. Every one of these messages has used the claim, "I have drunk raw milk for years and I have never gotten sick." There are several problems with that statement: one is the logical fallacy of a small sample size. But first, some history. There is a Salmonella outbreak that was just discovered in Washington state. Raw milk from Pride & Joy Dairy has teated positive for a rare strain of Salmonella Dublin that sickened and hospitalized two people in that state in January 2017. The dairy's license to sell raw milk was pulled by the Washington State Department of Health. Raw milk has been consumed by people for many years. And many people have been sickened and … [Read more...]

Salmonella Outbreak Associated With Restaurant in Easton, MA

A Salmonella outbreak is being investigated in Eaton, Massachusetts, Ann Scales of the Massachusetts Department of Health told Food Poisoning Bulletin. The investigation began on Monday, September 25, 2017. The MDH is working with the Easton Board of Health to collect information to determine the source. The outbreak is associated with a restaurant. Other news outlets have mentioned the restaurant by name, but we will not do that until there is confirmation from a government source. Ms. Scales told us, "We do not advertise the names of restaurants under investigation unless there is reason to believe there is an on-going health threat. In this situation, while these reports certainly led us to start an investigation, we really do not have enough information at this point to believe … [Read more...]

Salmonella Outbreak at MN Bayshore Facility Sickens 15, 2 Hospitalized

News outlets are reporting that a Salmonella outbreak at the Bayshore Residents and Rehabilitation nursing home in Duluth, Minnesota sickened at least 15 people and hospitalized two. All of those sickened were residents and staff; eleven residents and four staff members were ill. The outbreak occurred in August 2017. Five people tested positive for Salmonella. Officials are saying that the illnesses were caused by "contaminated hands of staff or residents." The illness was foodborne. Facility personnel did a "thorough examination" of the kitchen at the facility and concluded that the bacteria was brought in from outside the building. There is no mention of how that conclusion was reached. The facility is located at 1601 St. Louis Avenue on Park Point. It provides 139 nursing … [Read more...]

Mysterious E. coli Outbreak in LaCrosse, WI Hospitalizes 6 Kids

An E. coli outbreak has sickened at least eight people in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and hospitalized six children. The La Crosse County Health Department is investigating the outbreak, according to the La Crosse Tribune. Some of the children have recovered and have been released from the hospital. The bacteria that made them sick is E. coli O157. And they were hospitalized because they developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a complication of an E. coli infection that can cause kidney failure, strokes, seizures, and death. This type of bacteria releases shiga toxins, which travel through the bloodstream and kill red blood cells. Those dead and damaged cells can then clog the kidneys, causing them to fail. The Wisconsin Department of Health is assisting La Crosse County in … [Read more...]

Hispanics Disproportionately Affected by Papaya Salmonella Outbreak

The deadly Salmonella outbreak linked to Maradol papayas imported from Mexico has hit the Hispanic population disproportionately hard. As of last week, at least 235 people in 24 states are sick in this outbreak, which is actually a group of four separate outbreaks caused by eight different strains of Salmonella. According to the CDC, the percentage of Hispanics in each group ranges from 50% to 94%. The outbreak strains of Salmonella have been found in imported papayas. They match the strains taken from patient isolates. The outbreaks are separated based on the farms where the papayas were grown. Those farms are the Carica de Campeche farm in Mexico, with papayas contaminated with Salmonella Thompson, Salmonella Kiambu, Salmonella Agona, and Salmonella Gaminara; the Rancho El … [Read more...]

Brucella Outbreak From K-Bar Dairy Raw Milk Prompts CDC Warning in Seven States

A health warning for Brucella in Texas' K-Bar Dairy raw milk has been issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Texas Department of State Health. Public health officials are investigating brucellosis illnesses in as many as seven states. It is illegal to sell unpasteurized, or raw, milk, across state lines. The milk in question came from K-Bar dairy in Paradise, Texas. Weeks ago, Food Poisoning Bulletin told you about a Brucella outbreak in that state linked to raw milk that hospitalized one woman. Isolates from that patient match antibiotic-resistant Brucella bacteria in samples taken from the dairy's raw milk. The bacteria is called Brucella RB51, which is rare but causes serious illness. Officials are warning that anyone who consumed raw milk or … [Read more...]

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