December 3, 2022

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...]

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...]

Some Who Ate Recalled Dole Salads Still Watching for Listeria Symptoms

Listeria has such a long incubation period that some people who ate Dole salads recalled in January still have a month to watch themselves for symptoms of  an infection. Dole recalled the salads after it was linked salads produced at Dole's facility in Springfield, Ohio and sold under a variety of brand names was discovered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The outbreak has sickened 18 people; one person has died. The recalled salads were sold under the following names: Dole, Fresh Selections, Simple Truth, Marketside, The Little Salad Bar, and President’s Choice. The manufacturing code found underneath the “enjoy by” date of potentially affected salads begins with the letter “A.” They were sold at Giant, Kroger, ALDI, Price Chopper, Walmart, Fred Meyer, Schnucks, … [Read more...]

Deadly Listeria Outbreak Linked to Dole Salads Expands to 9 States, 18 Sick

The deadly Listeria outbreak linked to Dole prepackaged salads has expanded to nine states sickening 18 people, one of whom has died, according to the latest update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  All 18 people were hospitalized; one of them was a pregnant woman. Since the last update from the CDC on January 28, the outbreak has spread to one more state - Ohio, and grown to include three more illnesses. Health officials used  DNA "fingerprinting" to identify the outbreak. The first illness was reported July 15, 1015, the most recent illness reported was on January 31, 2016. Laboratory tests and epidemiologic evidence indicate that bagged salads produced at Dole's Springfield plant are the likely source of this outbreak, according to the CDC. These salads … [Read more...]

Blue Bell Restarts Limited Ice Cream Production After Listeria Outbreak

After a deadly Listeria outbreak triggered a shutdown of its ice cream manufacturing facilities, Blue Bell Creameries is restarting production on a limited basis. During a test period, production will resume at the company's plant in Sylacauga, Ala. where changes to the facility, the process and employee training have been put in place. A firm date for the start of ice cream sales has not been set. “We have been working diligently to prepare our facilities to resume test production, and our focus throughout this process has been to ensure the public that when our products return to market, they are safe,” said Greg Bridges, vice president of operations for Blue Bell. “We are very excited about taking these important first steps as part of the process of getting high-quality Blue Bell … [Read more...]

Blue Bell Listeria Lawsuit Assigned to Judge Lee Yeakel

The nation's first lawsuit filed in the Blue Bell ice cream Listeria outbreak has been assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Lee Yeakel in Austin, Texas. The case centers on the near-fatal illness in Houston suffered by the associate executive director of a 462-apartment continuing care retirement community who regularly ate the type of Blue Bell ice cream that state and federal authorities have linked to the outbreak. D. Philip Shockley, 32, sued Blue Bell Creameries USA Inc. on May 19. The ice cream lawsuit alleges that Shockley's devastating listeriosis infection was caused by tainted products that Blue Bell made in facilities infested with the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes. Judge Yeakel was appointed to the federal bench in 2003 by President George W. Bush after confirmation by … [Read more...]

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