September 22, 2020

Texas Court Sentenced Blue Bell Creameries; Will Pay $17.25 Million in 2015 Listeria Outbreak

A federal court in Texas has sentenced Blue Bell Creameries   to pay $17.5 million in criminal penalties in association with the deadly 2015 Listeria monocytogenes outbreak that killed three people who lived in Kansas. The company allegedly shipped contaminated product to hospitals where patients who were already susceptible to infection ate the ice cream in milkshakes and ice cream cups. In May 2020, Blue Bell pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of distributing adulterated ice cream products. The $17.25 million fine and forfeiture is the largest ever criminal penalty in a food safety case. Judy McMeekin, Pharm.D., Associated Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs in the FDA, said in a statement, "The health of American consumers and the safety of our food are too important to … [Read more...]

FDA Says Listeria Monocytogenes Enoki Mushroom Outbreak Is Over

The FDA says that the Listeria monocytogenes enoki mushroom outbreak is over after sickening 36 people in 17 states. The outbreak was linked to the mushrooms from Green Co, LTD of the Republic of Korea. These mushrooms are also known as enokitake, golden needle, tutu, or lily mushrooms. The case count by state is: Arizona (2), California (9), Florida (2), Hawaii (3), Indiana (1), Kentucky (1), Maryland (2), Massachusetts (2), Michigan (1), Missouri (1), New Jersey (1), New York (4), North Carolina (1), Rhode Island (1), Tennessee (1), Virginia (3), and Washington (1). The illness onset dates ranged from November 3, 2016 to December 13, 2019. The age range of the patients is from less than 1 to 96 years. The four deaths included two from California, and one each from Hawaii and New … [Read more...]

Enoki Mushroom Listeria Outbreak Ends With 36 Sick, 4 Dead

The enoki mushroom Listeria outbreak has ended with 36 sick in 17 states and 4 dead, according to an update published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Thirty-one people were hospitalized because they were so ill. The case count by state is: Arizona (2), California (9), Florida (2), Hawaii (3), Indiana (1), Kentucky (1), Maryland (2), Massachusetts (2), Michigan (1), Missouri (1), New Jersey (1), New York (4), North Carolina (1), Rhode Island (1), Tennessee (1), Virginia (3), and Washington (1). Illness onset dates ranged from November 3, 2016 to December 13, 2019. The patient age range is from less than 1 to 96 years. The four deaths were from California, Hawaii, and New Jersey. Six cases were pregnancy-related, with two ending in fetal … [Read more...]

Blue Bell Pleads Guilty in Ice Cream Listeria Monocytogenes Outbreak

Blue Bell pleads guilty in ice cream Listeria monocytogenes outbreak and pays $19.35 million. And a former company president has been charged in connection with a scheme to allegedly cover up the incident, according to the Justice Department. The charge is that the company shipped contaminated and adulterated product. That deadly outbreak covered a five year time span from 2010 to 2015 that sickened 10 people. All of the patients were hospitalized. Three people who lived in Kansas died. Eight of the patients were hospitalized when they were served contaminated Blue Bell ice cream. The outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes were found in ice cream made at the Blue Bell plants in Brenham, Texas and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. This outbreak was long and complicated; we have put together … [Read more...]

Three Enoki Mushroom Brands Recalled For Listeria Monocytogenes

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated outbreak information for the enoki mushroom Listeria Monocytogenes outbreak. Now three enoki mushroom brands, all imported from Korea, are recalled because they may be contaminated with the pathogen. These three enoki mushroom brands include Sun Hong Foods, which recalled their enoki mushrooms on March 9, 2020. Those mushrooms are the only ones thus far that are associated with illnesses. On March 23, 2020, Guan's Mushroom Company recalled their enoki mushrooms. And on April 7 2020, H&C Food Inc. recalled their product. The only recall warning that mentioned illnesses is the first, from Sun Hong Foods. All of these mushrooms were sold in 7.05 clear plastic bags with a green label. No grocery store or restaurant … [Read more...]

Current Food Poisoning Outbreaks: E. coli, Listeria, and Campylobacter

While information about the coronavirus pandemic has drowned out just about all other news at the present time, there are still four current food poisoning outbreaks and associated recalls that need some attention. The outbreak of E. coli O103 linked to raw clover sprouts and the Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to imported enoki mushrooms have sickened dozens of people in many states. A Listeria monocytogenes outbreak at China Buffet in Alexandria, Minnesota, and a possible Campylobacter outbreak at Rediviva restaurant in Aberdeen, Washington are also ongoing. It's important that consumers are aware of these outbreaks because there have been several recalls associated with two of them. People may still have some of the recalled foods in their refrigerators or freezers at … [Read more...]

CDC Weighs in on Enoki Mushroom Listeria Monocytogenes Outbreak

The CDC is weighing in on the Enoki mushroom Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to enoki mushrooms that have been imported from Korea. There are still 36 cases in 17 states. The case count by state is: Arizona (2), California (9), Florida (2), Hawaii (3), Indiana (1), Kentucky (1), Maryland (2), Massachusetts (2), Michigan (1), Missouri (1), Nevada (1), New Jersey (1),  New York (4), North Carolina (1), Rhode Island (1), Tennessee (1), and Virginia (3). Illness onset dates range from November 23, 2016 to December 13, 2019. Thirty people have been hospitalized because their illness is so severe. Four people have died; they lived in California, Hawaii, and New Jersey. And six of these illnesses are in pregnant women. Two of those women suffered fetal losses. Two products … [Read more...]

FDA Updates Listeria Enoki Mushrooms Outbreak With Recall Information

The FDA has updated the Listeria Enoki Mushrooms outbreak that has sickened 36 people in 17 states with more recall information. The case counts remain the same:  Arizona (2), California (9), Florida (2), Hawaii (3), Indiana (1), Kentucky (1), Maryland (2), Massachusetts (2), Michigan (1), Missouri (1), Nevada (1), New Jersey (1),  New York (4), North Carolina (1), Rhode Island (1), Tennessee (1), and Virginia (3). Another product has been recalled since the last update on March 10, 2020. Guan's Mushrooms, sold in 200 gram packages with the UPC number 859267007013 were recalled on March 23, 2020. They were sold to distributors and wholesalers in California, New York, and Pennsylvania in white cardboard boxes with Guan’s logo in green color and code “#02473,” but could have been … [Read more...]

China Buffet Listeria Monocytogenes Outbreak in Alexandria, Minnesota

A China Buffet Listeria monocytogenes outbreak in Alexandria, Minnesota was announced in a health advisory issued by the Minnesota Department of Health. Two cases of listeriosis have been identified among people who ate or may have eaten at that restaurant, which is located at 4721 Highway 29 South. The health advisory is skewed to healthcare providers. It was sent to local and tribal health departments, hospitals, and clinics. Listeriosis is a reportable illness, which means that any doctor who diagnoses a patient with this illness must report it to the health department. There are only about eight cases of listeriosis reported every year in Minnesota. The two patients in this outbreak have the same strain of Listeria monocytogenes, which indicates that they share the same … [Read more...]

History of Listeria Outbreaks Sickening Pregnant Women

The Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to imported Enoki mushrooms that was just announced has sickened six pregnant women; two of them suffered fetal loss. This is not the first time this has happened; pregnant women are at high risk for serious complications from this infection. Here's a brief history of Listeria outbreaks sickening pregnant women since 2012. In 2012, a Listeria outbreak linked to Frescolina Marte brand ricotta salata sickened 22 people in 13 states; 20 people were hospitalized and four died; two of these deaths were related to listeriosis. Nine of these illnesses were related to a pregnancy; three newborns were diagnosed with listeriosis. One fetal loss was reported. The listeriosis outbreak linked to Jensen Farms cantaloupe sickened 147 people. Seven … [Read more...]

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