December 11, 2016

Feds Block Sale of Henry’s Sprouts After Listeria Recalls, Insanitary Conidtions

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Justice have blocked the sale of Henry's Farm bean sprouts which have been recalled several times since 2012 for Listeria. The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia entered a consent decree of permanent injunction between the United States and Henry’s Farm Inc. of  Woodford, Va.  and its owner Soo C. Park, today. The action, which "prohibits Henry’s Farm, Inc. from receiving, processing, manufacturing, preparing, packing, holding and distributing ready-to-eat soybean and mung-bean sprouts," comes after the FDA and state health officials found multiple food safety violations at Henry's Farm, and regulations. “It’s the FDA’s responsibility to protect consumers from potentially harmful food … [Read more...]

Sprouts Listeria Recall is Latest Example of Inherent Risk

A Listeria recall for Good Seed brand bean sprouts is the latest example of the inherent risk associated with bean sprouts. Public health officials say sprouts pose a unique food safety risk because the conditions required to grow them are also perfect for growing bacteria. The recalled Good Seed sprouts were sold in Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey and North Carolina. Consumers who have purchased them should not eat them as Listeria can cause serious illness and death. Symptoms of an infection include high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women. Since 1996, there have been more than 30 “sproutbreaks” where sprouts contaminated with Salmonella, Listeria, E. coli and other … [Read more...]

Judge Signs Injunction Against Wholesome Soy

U.S. District Judge James B. Zagel for the Northern District of Illinois signed a consent decree of permanent injunction against Wholesome Soy Products and their owners. The owners, Paul and Julia Trinh, signed the document on April 5, 2015. The decree prevents them from distributing adulterated mung bean and soybean sprouts. Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer of the Justice Department's Civil Division said in a statement, "we must work to ensure that the food we buy from store shelves is safe and produced under sanitary conditions. The Department of Justice will continue to work with our partners at FDA to accomplish that goal." Wholesome Soy products are linked to a deadly Listeria monocytogenes outbreak this past fall. Five people were sickened, and two … [Read more...]

Feds Sue Wholesome Soy in Wake of Deadly Listeria Outbreak

In the wake of a deadly Listeria outbreak, the federal government has filed a lawsuit against Wholesome Soy Products Inc. The suit, filed April 3 in U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, seeks to enjoin Wholesome Soy from distributing food in the future. Wholesome Soy products killed two people and sickened three others in 2014. The company has not been making or distributing food since agreeing to a November 7 request by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to halt production. But the complaint states the government believes that Wholesome Soy poses a future threat of producing foods that are adulterated if they are not restrained From June to August 2014, five people in Illinois and Michigan developed listeriosis, two of them died. During interviews, two of the … [Read more...]

Listeria Bean Sprout Outbreaks in 2008, 2014 Have Similar Story

The Wholesome Soy bean sprout Listeria outbreak in 2014 has a similar story to the first reported Listeria bean sprout outbreak in 2008. Both were discovered by routine testing. The 2008 outbreak  included 20 cases reported between March 2008 and March 2009. Pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) tests showed all 20 patients were sickened by the same strain. The cases were reported from seven states: CA (1), MA(6), NY(6), NJ(4), MD(1), ME(1) and NH(1). The case patients ranged in age range from 20 to 89. Sixty five percent were female, 21 percent were pregnant at the time of infection. All of them were hospitalized. The source of the infections was unknown until the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets found Listeria in sample of alfalfa sprouts and uploaded it to … [Read more...]

FDA: Listeria in Wholesome Soy Sprouts Killed 3

This post was updated January 29. Did Listeria in Wholesome Soy bean sprouts kill two people or three? It depends on which federal agency's report you read. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued its final report on the outbreak January 27 saying five people had been sickened and two of then died. Later that same day, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  issued its report saying five people had been sickened and three of them died. The FDA updated its report today,  January 29, saying two people have died. Both agencies agree that five people in two states were sickened between June and August, 2014; that  four cases were reported in Illinois and one was reported in Michigan and that all five case patients were hospitalized. But it's unclear how many people … [Read more...]

Wholesome Soy Listeria Outbreak Ends With 5 Sick, 2 Dead

The Wholesome Soy Listeria outbreak has ended after sickening five people in Michigan and Illinois, killing two of them. The Chicago-based company is longer producing  sprouts, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's final report on the outbreak, issued today. Calls to the company were not answered. Health officials used whole genome sequencing (WGS) and pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) to link sprouts produced by Wholesome Soy to four cases of listeriosis in Illinois and one case in Michigan. All five case patients in this outbreak were hospitalized. During interviews, two of the surviving patients reported eating bean sprouts before they became ill. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspected the Wholesome Soy Products Chicago facility in … [Read more...]

Illinois Sprouts Listeria Accountability Addressed in FDA Report

Food safety shortcomings at Wholesome Soy Products Inc. included employee practices that allowed for potential contamination in various ways, according to an FDA inspection report completed one month ago. The report, obtained by Food Poisoning Bulletin, was made in the wake of an Illinois outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes associated with mung bean sprouts. The outbreak, which also spread to Michigan, included the tragedy of two Listeria deaths. According to FDA documents, a team of four inspectors observed a variety of conditions and employee practices at Wholesome Soy Products over a series of 10 visits to the Chicago sprout-growing facility beginning October 7 and ending October 31. Seven days later, Wholesome Soy Products verbally agreed to close its facility, cease production and … [Read more...]

Sprouts to Blame for Two 2014 Food Poisoning Outbreaks

It's been 15 years since a United States National Advisory Committee issued a special report on the problem of pathogen contamination in commercially grown sprouts and the associated outbreaks of E. coli, Salmonella and Listeria that have become a chronic foodborne illness risk for consumers. Based on a pair of multi-state food poisoning investigations so far in 2014, the chances of falling seriously ill or dying from eating contaminated raw sprouts is still a threat. The latest outbreak confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is associated with mung bean sprouts produced in Chicago by Wholesome Soy Products Inc. Two people died and three other case patients were hospitalized in June, July and August from a strain of Listeria monocytogenes traced to the … [Read more...]

Listeria Causes Three Deadly Multistate Outbreaks in 2014

A Listeria outbreak linked to mung bean sprouts is one of three deadly multistate outbreaks in 2014. And all three of the deadly outbreaks were caused by was Listeria. A rare and deadly foodborne pathogen, Listeria is often associated with ready-to-eat deli meats, soft cheeses and smoked fish. Of the 1,600 people diagnosed with listeriosis each year, 1,500 require hospitalization and 260 die, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Listeria poses a special risk for children, seniors, pregnant women and others with compromised immune systems. Among pregnant women, listeriosis can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery and birth defects. "These cases are so sad," said Fred Pritzker, Food Poisoning Bulletin publisher and food safety attorney who … [Read more...]

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