July 21, 2017

Papayas Recalled in Maryland Salmonella Case Investigation

Caribeña’s brand yellow Maradol papayas may be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria, according to the Maryland Department of Health. The yellow papaya have been distributed to retail stores throughout the state. Consumers are encouraged to check any papayas they have purchased to see if they match the brand and type recalled. Five yellow Maradol papayas sold at a Baltimore retail location were tested as part of an ongoing Salmonella case investigation. Three of the five papayas tested positive for the pathogenic bacteria. There is no information on how many people may have been sickened or any information about a timeline. And officials have not found the source of the contamination, but state that it could have occurred at any time or place in the supply chain. The … [Read more...]

National Botulism Surveillance Summary for 2015

Botulism was in the news this year, after an outbreak in California that was tied to cheese sauce sold at Valley Oak Food and Fuel in Walnut Grove, California. That outbreak sickened 9 people and killed one person. All of the patients in that outbreak were hospitalized in serious condition. The CDC has released its National Botulism Surveillance Summary for 2015. It states that a total of 199 confirmed and 14 probable cases of botulism were reported in 2015. Infant botulism accounted for 71% of the cases, foodborne botulism for 20%, and wound botulism for 8%. Infant botulism can be caused by giving babies honey, which can contain botulism spores. Adults are resistant to spores from honey. The 39 cases of foodborne botulism were reported from seven states. There were five … [Read more...]

Shigella Outbreak in Nelson and Hardin Counties, KY

A Shigella outbreak in Nelson and Hardin Counties, Kentucky, has been confirmed by Donny Gill, Harm Reduction Manager at the Lincoln Trail District Health Department.  Just over 50 cases have been reported to the health department. Most of those sickened are children. The source "has been determined to be a Nelson county daycare center," according to Mr. Gill. That daycare has not been named. Mirna Chamorro, Public Information Officer at the Florida Department of Health, Seminole County, also confirmed the outbreak. She said that letters were sent to parents to provide general information on Shigella and to let parents know that if their children have symptoms, keep them at home until 48 hours after symptoms have passed. Mr. Gill told WDRB.com that people most at risk for this … [Read more...]

Deadly E. coli Outbreak in Hildale, Utah Kills Two Children

A deadly E. coli outbreak in Hildale, Utah was announced on the Southwest Utah Public Health Department's Facebook page. The announcement states, "Currently, this outbreak appears to be confined to a limited area with little or no risk to the larger community. We will post updates to this page." According to news reports, two children have died. A comment on the page states, "This E.coli investigation is specifically focusing on contaminated food or animal exposure." All of the water tested "so far" has been clean, according to public health officials. More information will be posted on the Department's Facebook page when it is available. The two children were hospitalized when they died, Deputy Marshal Daniel Musser told the Salt Lake Tribune. The exact number of illnesses is … [Read more...]

Rep. DeLauro Applauds FDA for Closing Dixie Dew Products

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) is applauding the FDA for closing the Dixie Dew Products processing plant, which is the contract manufacturer for The SoyNut Butter Company. I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter products, made by The SoyNut Butter Company, are linked to an E. coli O157:H7 HUS outbreak that has sickened at least 29 people in 12 states. The FDA's investigations at the plant in Erlanger, Kentucky revealed that food safety violations at that facility go back at least 15 years. Some violations included broken temperature control equipment, an infestation of flies and larva, production machines that have not been cleaned since 2015, and no hot water in hand-washing sinks for the last two years. DeLauro said in a statement, "Dixie Dew’s gross negligence is sickening dozens of … [Read more...]

E. coli O157:H7 HUS Outbreak Linked to I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter Sickens 29

The CDC has announced that the E. coli O157:H7 HUS outbreak linked to I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter has grown again. Now 29 people in 12 states have been sickened in this outbreak. That is an increase of six people since the last update on March 21, 2017. Three more states are now included in the count: Florida, Illinois, and Massachusetts. Twelve patients have been hospitalized because their illnesses are so serious. Two of the newly sickened have been hospitalized with hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure, which brings the total with HUS in this outbreak to nine. No deaths have been reported to date. The case count by state is: Arizona (4), California (5), Florida (1), Illinois (1), Massachusetts (1), Maryland (1), Missouri (1), New Jersey (1), Oregon (9), Virginia … [Read more...]

Alabama Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Catered Meal

A catered meal at a private event in Colbert County, Alabama is likely linked to a Salmonella outbreak that sickened at least 99 people and hospitalized 22, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health. About 150 people attended the event on November 12, 2016. Eighteen of the hospitalized persons have been discharged and are at home, and the remaining hospitalized patients are recovering. Preliminary results indicate that the state health department laboratory has identified Salmonella enteriditis in food specimens of cooked chicken and green beans. The investigation is still ongoing and officials are looking at different foods as suspect. Dr. Karen Landers, Assistant State Health Officer states that chicken was likely the primary source, as raw chicken is often … [Read more...]

ICAPP Recalls Frozen Strawberries for Hepatitis A

The International Company for Agricultural Production and Processing (ICAPP) is voluntarily recalling all frozen strawberries imported since the beginning of 2016 in response to an FDA investigation of a hepatitis A outbreak. This is the outbreak that sickened more than 100 people this summer that is linked to Tropical Smoothie Cafe restaurants in the eastern United States. These strawberries were distributed to food service establishments nationwide. They were not in food products offered at retail to consumers. But this news release is being issued to help reduce possible risk to public health. None of ICAPP's own testing has found hepatitis A in any of its products with its own third party testing, but they are recalling all frozen strawberries imported into the U.S. since … [Read more...]

How Does Salmonella Get on Pistachios?

The current Salmonella outbreak linked to recalled Wonderful pistachios brings up a question: how does Salmonella get on pistachios? Most of us are familiar with problems with Salmonella on poultry and in eggs. But a dry, shelf-stable product such as pistachios doesn't seem to be a candidate for this bacteria. Unfortunately, Salmonella can live for a long time on dry products, according to research published in the Journal of Food Protection in October 2015. Salmonella can survive for at least six months on foods that are very dry, and will not grow, but survive, on foods that are refrigerated or frozen. And, as we have told you before, any product, including produce, which includes nuts, can be contaminated with bacteria. There have been 89 recalls of nut butters and nuts for … [Read more...]

Jack and the Green Sprouts Recall for E. coli Lawsuit in MN and WI

Jack and the Green Sprouts alfalfa sprouts and alfalfa onion sprouts are at the center of an E. coli O157:NM outbreak in Minnesota and Wisconsin that has sickened at least nine people. There have been many outbreaks linked to sprouts in the past 20 years; in fact, some food safety experts say that raw sprouts should be treated like raw meat. At least 30 outbreaks in the past 20 years have been linked to this product. While all fresh produce, when eaten raw, and for that matter all food eaten raw, carries the risk of pathogen contamination, sprouts are a special case. During the sprouting process, which occurs in moist and warm conditions, bacteria can multiply up to a million times the original amount that was on the beans, according to experts at the USDA. The makeup of the sprouts … [Read more...]

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