January 30, 2023

Confusion Over Enoki Mushroom Recall Due to So Much Listeria

The FDA's announcement this week that it had identified the source of an enoki mushroom Listeria outbreak was a breakthrough in an investigation that has seemed dormant for months. But it was also something of a headscratcher. On January 17, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that enoki mushrooms imported from China and distributed in the U.S. by Utopia Foods, Inc. of Glendale, NY were the source of the outbreak. The significant development in the investigation was a long time coming. It was the first outbreak update the agency has issued since late November 2022. But the weird thing was Utopia enoki mushrooms were recalled for Listeria last month. The recall, issued on December 13, 2022, stated that the problem was discovered during routine sampling conducted in … [Read more...]

What FDA Isn’t Saying About an Enoki Mushroom Listeria Recall

When a recent Listeria recall set off some alarm bells at Food Poisoning Bulletin a couple of weeks ago, we asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) how banned enoki mushrooms made their way to store shelves.  The answer, it seems, is that the agency is still trying to work that out. A Problematic Recall The FDA doesn't like to use the term "banned," they told us. But a ban is the net effect when the FDA issues a countrywide import alert for a food product. This action means that the agency has gathered enough evidence to show that the product is in violation of FDA laws and regulations and can be detained at the border without physical inspection. In the case of enoki mushrooms from Korea, the evidence includes a 2020 Listeria outbreak in the U.S. that killed four people … [Read more...]

Did Banned Enoki Mushrooms Make Their Way to Store Shelves?

On November 17, Green Day Produce of Vernon, CA issued a Listeria recall for enoki mushrooms imported from Korea. But why were they on store shelves in the first place? Due to widespread problems with Listeria contamination in enoki mushrooms from Korea, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a countrywide import alert for them four months ago. This action essentially bans the import of all enoki mushrooms from the Republic of Korea. Companies seeking an exemption can submit documentation that the product has been tested and is pathogen-free, but even this does not guarantee that the product will be admitted to the U.S., according to the FDA website's information about import alerts. Firms that meet the criteria for exemption from an import alert are added to a "green … [Read more...]

Now 84 Sick in Wendy’s E. coli Romaine Lettuce Outbreak

Now there are 84 sick in Wendy's E. coli romaine lettuce outbreak, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There are 38 people who have been hospitalized, and eight people have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure that is a complication of this type of illness. That is a huge increase or 47 more illnesses from 37 official illnesses just one week ago. The case count by state is: Indiana (6), Michigan (53), Ohio (23), and Pennsylvania (2). Illness onset dates range from July 26, 2022 to August 9, 2022. The patient age range is from 5 to 94 years. Of 73 people who gave information to investigator4s, 38 have been hospitalized, for a hospitalization rate of 52%. Eight people who live in Michigan have developed hemolytic uremic … [Read more...]

What Do Inspection Reports for Big Olaf Creamery Reveal?

Last week, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services  (FDACS) revealed that Listeria had been found in 10 environmental swabs and samples from 16 different flavors of ice cream at Big Olaf Creamery's production plant in Sarasota, FL. The samples were collected after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on July 2 that epidemiological evidence identified the ice cream as the source of a Listeria outbreak that has sickened 23 people over an 18-month period. One of the patients died and another suffered a miscarriage. Presented with that information, Big Olaf declined to issue a recall. Then a spokesperson for the company issued a statement that deemed the epidemiological information "speculative" and wondered why the company was being unfairly … [Read more...]

Big Olaf Who? Amid Outbreak Shops Ditch Ice Cream, Branding

For Big Olaf, the break-ups came quickly but not all at once. And not all of them quietly. In the two and half weeks since Big Olaf ice cream was linked to a deadly Listeria outbreak, licensed shops throughout Florida started switching to new suppliers. One owner has permanently changed the names of the two stores she operates. Although Listeria isn't as common as other foodborne pathogens. It is the most deadly. And it targets pregnant women, who can suffer a miscarriage or stillbirth if they develop an infection. "Five of the patients in this outbreak are women who contracted listeriosis while they were pregnant," said Eric Hageman, a Listeria lawyer, and Food Poisoning Bulletin Publisher. Hageman has extensive experience with Listeria lawsuits including one filed on behalf of a … [Read more...]

Listeria Frozen Vegetable Recall at Walmart, Costco, Trader Joe’s, Safeway, Meijer

Frozen vegetables under recall after being linked to a Listeria outbreak were sold at Walmart, Costco, Trader Joe's, Safeway, Meijer and other stores, according to information posted on company websites.  The frozen vegetables were produced by CRF Frozen Foods of Pasco, Washington. On May 2, the company issued a recall for 358 consumer products sold under 42 separate brands since 2014. The brand names include Organic by Nature, True Goodness by Meijer, Bybee's, Columbia River Organics, Northwest Growers Select, C.H. Belt's, Chef Maxwell, Correct Choice, Earth's Pride, Endico, Farmer's Bounty, Fiesta Mart, The Inn, Live Smart, Parade, O Organics, Panda Express, Pantry Essentials, Safeway Kitchens, Signature Kitchens, Trader Joe's, USDA, VIP, Wellsley Farms, JFDA, McCain, Mity Fresh, … [Read more...]

Salad Recalled for Listeria Leaves Ohio Woman in Coma, Lawsuit Alleges

A lawsuit has been filed against Dole Fresh Vegetables Inc. on behalf of an Ohio woman who is in a coma stemming from a Listeria infection she developed after eating a prepackaged salad that she purchased from a grocery store. Prepackaged salads produced at Dole's plant in Springfield, Ohio and sold under Dole and other brand names have been linked to an ongoing Listeria outbreak that has sickened 18 people, one of whom has died, according to the latest update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Al 18 people included in the outbreak have been hospitalized. "While, Listeria is the most virulent foodborne pathogens, this outbreak may be particularly frightening.  So far, it has a 100% hospitalization rate," said Eric Hageman, a Minnesota food poisoning lawyer with … [Read more...]

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