May 29, 2024

Another Reoccurring E. coli O157:H7 Strain Linked to Leafy Greens

The CDC has identified another reoccurring E. coli O157:H7 strain that is linked to leafy greens outbreaks, according to the September issue of that agency's Emerging Infectious Diseases Dispatch. This strain is in addition to the other reoccurring strain that was mentioned by the CDC in August's Dispatch. Bacterial strains can be identified as reoccurring, emerging, or persisting (REP). Reoccurring strains repeatedly cause acute outbreaks, separated by periods when no illnesses are reported. Emerging strains are previously novel or rare strains that increasingly cause illness. And persisting strains cause illnesses consistently over a long time frame. Whole genome sequencing, which maps a pathogen's DNA, is used to find people sickened by the same bacterial strain. And WGS is … [Read more...]

Recurring E. coli O157:H7 Strain Linked to Leafy Greens Outbreaks

A recurring E. coli O157:H7 strain linked to leafy greens outbreaks has been identified, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The report was issued in the CDC's Dispatch for September 2023. Researchers found that this strain emerged in late 2015. The strain is emerging, reoccurring, or persistent (REP strain) and has caused illness over an extended time period. E. coli O157H7 causes about 63,000 domestically acquired foodborne illnesses in the United States every year, and causes 20 deaths. This illness causes symptoms including severe abdominal cramps and bloody diarrhea. A complication of this infection, called hemolytic uremic syndrome, can develop in children under the age of five, which is a ty-pe of kidney failure. Healthy cattle are the … [Read more...]

Consumer Reports Issues Advice to Buy Safer Lettuce

Consumers Reports has issued advice telling consumers how to buy safer lettuce in the wake of serious E. coli and Listeria monocytogenes outbreaks. Those outbreaks happen every year: earlier this year a Listeria outbreak was linked to Revolution Farms lettuce blends. And in fact, in 2018 Consumers Reports advised people to avoid romaine lettuce altogether until the FDA had a handle on that year's outbreaks. While it isn't possible to ensure that all lettuce or leafy greens you buy are perfectly safe, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk of illness. There were 78 foodborne illness outbreaks linked to leafy greens between 2014 and 2021 that sickened hundreds of people and hospitalized many. Some of the outbreaks were solved and some weren't. The lettuce can become … [Read more...]

Listeria Outbreak Linked to Leafy Greens Ends With 19 Sick

The Listeria outbreak linked to leafy greens has ended with at least 19 people sick in 16 states, according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This outbreak was not solved. No brand or type of product has been linked to these illnesses. This outbreak was last updated on April 21, 2023. The case count by state is: Arkansas (1), California (1), Colorado (1), Illinois (1), Louisiana (1), Michigan (2), Missouri (1), North Carolina (2), Nebraska (1), New York (1), Oklahoma (1), Pennsylvania (1), South Dakota (1), Texas (1), Washington (1), and Wisconsin (2). Samples were collected from July 3, 2018 to March 31, 2023. The patient age range is from less than 1 to 96 years. Eighteen people were hospitalized because they were so sick. State and local public health … [Read more...]

Robinson Fresh Leafy Greens Recalled For Possible Listeria

Robinson fresh leafy greens, including kale, spinach, and collard greens, are being recalled for possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. These products are expired, but the recall was issued to inform the public. No illnesses have been reported to the company to date in connection with the consumption of these items. The recalling firm is Lancaster Foods. The recalled products include Robinson Fresh Kale Greens that are packaged in eight pack 16 ounce containers. The item number is 00682, the UPC number is 0-95829-60015-9, and the best if used by date is May 1, 2023. Also recalled is Robinson Fresh Kale Greens in six pack 32 ounce bags. The item number is 00619, the UPC number is 0-95829-60016-6, and the best if used by date is May 1, 2023. Lancaster Chopped Kale is also … [Read more...]

Consumer Reports Lists 10 Risky Recalled Foods From 2017-2022

Consumer Reports lists 10 risky recalled foods from 2017 to 2022 that you should know about. These foods were recalled because of bacterial contamination and many were linked to foodborne illness outbreaks. The 10 risky recalled foods that are listed in rank order include: Leafy Greens. These types of vegetables were linked to 50 outbreaks and recalls. There were 614 illnesses and 11 deaths as a result of E. coli and Listeria monocytogenes bacterial contamination on these products, including the deadly Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to Fresh Express packaged salads that sickened and hospitalized 10 people in 10 states, and the Wendy's E. coli romaine outbreak¬†that sickened at least 109 people in six states. Contaminated water used to irritate crops is one source of these … [Read more...]

Persistent Strain of E. coli O157:H7 in United States, Says CDC

The CDC says that there is a persistent strain of E. coli O157:H7 in the United States that has caused illnesses and outbreaks. Illnesses caused by this strain, REPEXH01, occur year round but are less common in the winter. This strain has sickened people through contaminated food and contaminated recreational water. Persistent is a term used by the CDC to describe strains that have caused illnesses for years. Even though the number of illnesses may change over time, they continue to cause sickness. And these strains are sometimes linked to more than one course, making them more difficult to control. The strain is "relatively" diverse genetically, within 21 allele differences of one another. That is more diverse than pathogens that cause typical multistep foodborne illnesses … [Read more...]

History of Romaine E. coli O157:H7 Outbreaks is Long

With the recent Wendy's E. coli romaine lettuce outbreak in the news, how many of these types of outbreaks have been linked to romaine lettuce in the past? Quite a few. This is a look back at the history of romaine E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks. During the pandemic in the years 2020 to 2021, there were many E. coli outbreaks that were not solved, although a few were allegedly linked to romaine. They include three outbreaks in 2020. It was unusual that last year there were no E. coli O157:H outbreaks linked to romaine, since that history is lengthy. However, there were five food poisoning outbreaks linked to packaged leafy greens in 2021, but not specifically E. coli O157:H7. Recent Romaine E. coli O157:H7 Outbreaks The first is the ongoing E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that may be linked … [Read more...]

FDA Targets Sampling of Leafy Greens to Enhance Safety

The FDA targets sampling of leafy greens to enhance safety in the wake of the Wendy's E. coli romaine lettuce outbreak that has sickened at least 97 people in six states. This is the ¬†implementation of the Leafy Greens STEC Action Plan, which was launched in March 2020. There are three priority areas: Prevention, Response, and Addressing Knowledge Gaps. Sampling is intended to detect and prevent contaminated product from reaching consumers. It is also meant to help growers and processors identify practices that may present microbial risks. During the harvest season in fall 2020, the FDA plans to collect about 240 lettuce samples at farms and ranches in the Salinas Valley in California. Three farms were identified by traceback in the past few years as being associated with a … [Read more...]

CDC Weighs In On Deadly Simple Truth Power Greens E. coli Outbreak

The CDC is weighing in on the deadly Simple Truth Power Greens E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that has sickened at least 10 people in four states. As of March 3, 2022, the outbreak is over. One death has occurred. This is the first time that has been reported. The FDA investigation report does not mention this death. Two brands of this product, including Simple Truth and Nature's Basket, were associated with this outbreak. The case count is: Alaska (2), Ohio (1), Oregon (1), and Washington (6). The patient age range is from 26 to 79 years. Illness onset dates ranged from November 27, 2021 to December 9, 2021. Of 10 people who gave information to public health officials, four were hospitalized, and one developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a type of kidney failure. One … [Read more...]

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