December 1, 2020

Massachusetts Counties Hard Hit in Listeria Deli Meat Outbreak

The new multistate Listeria monocytogenes deli meat outbreak announced one week ago has sickened ten people in three states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but several Massachusetts counties have been hard hit. That state alone has seven of the ten cases in three counties. The Massachusetts counties hard hit include Essex County with four cases, Suffolk County with two cases, and one patient in Middlesex County, according to information from the Massachusetts Department of Health. The current outbreak cluster and the cluster of  listeriosis cases from last year's outbreak are not related. The patient age range in Massachusetts is from 60 to 89 years, and five out of the seven cases are female. There is one "common chain" among Massachusetts … [Read more...]

Most Listeria Cases Are in Massachusetts in Deli Meat Listeria Outbreak

Most Listeria cases are in Massachusetts in the deli meat Listeria monocytogenes outbreak announced last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). All ten patients have been hospitalized, and one person, who  lived in Florida, has died. Seven people who live in Massachusetts were sickened in this outbreak. The patients who gave information to investigators said that they ate Italian-style meats, such as mortadella, salami, and prosciutto before they got sick. They purchased both prepackaged deli meats  and meats that were sliced at the counter. Officials do not yet know if there is a specific meat or common supplier that is linked to these illnesses. Public health investigators are using the PulseNet system to try to find patients who have been sickened with … [Read more...]

History of Meat and Cheese Listeria Monocytogenes Outbreaks

There is a new deadly Listeria monocytogenes outbreak that is linked to deli meats and cheeses. Ten people are sick in three states, including Florida, Massachusetts, and New York, and one person who lived in Florida has died. All ten patients were hospitalized. While people at high risk for serious complications of food poisoning are warned to stay away from deli meats and cheeses, how often are outbreaks linked to those products? The issue is usually one of cross-contamination. If there is Listeria monocytogenes contamination in a deli, the pathogen can spread via slicing machines. One this pathogen is established, it can resist cleaning. These outbreaks don't happen often, and each one doesn't sicken many people, but those who do get sick are usually hospitalized. This is a … [Read more...]

Deli Meat Listeria Monocytogenes Outbreak Sickens 10 in 3 States

A deli meat Listeria monocytogenes outbreak has sickened 10 people in three states, according to a notice posted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Epidemiologic evidence shows that deli meat is a likely source of this outbreak. The case count by state is: Florida (1), Massachusetts (7), and New York (2). All ten patients have been hospitalized. One person who lived in Florida has sadly died. Illness onset dates range from August 6, 2020 to October 3, 2020. The patient age range is from 40 to 89 years. Nine of the patients were interviewed by investigators. All of them said that they ate Italian-style meats, such as salami, mortadella, and prosciutto, before they got sick. They bought prepackaged deli meats and meats sliced at deli counters at different … [Read more...]

Former Blue Bell President Charged in Connection with 2015 Listeria Issue

A Texas grand jury has charged a former Blue Bell Creameries president with wire fraud and conspiracy in connection with an alleged scheme to cover up the company's sales of Listeria monocytogenes contaminated ice cream in 2015, according to the Justice Department. The indictment was filed in federal court in Austin, Texas. The former president Paul Kruse was charged with seven counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The indictment states that when Texas officials told Blue Bell in February 2015 that two of their ice cream products teated positive for Listeria monocytogenes, Kruse allegedly tried to deceive some Blue Bell customers, according to the complaint, telling employees to remove potentially contaminated products from stores without telling retailers or … [Read more...]

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...]

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