September 25, 2022

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...]

New Listeria Monocytogenes Outbreak Sickens 20; No Food Identified

A new Listeria monocytogenes outbreak has been identified on the FDA's Core Outbreak Investigation Table. No food has been named, no advisory has been issued, and there are no recalls. So far, traceback has been initiated, on-site inspections have begun, and sample collection and analysis are initiated. That may mean that the FDA has an idea what food has caused these illnesses. But we don't know where the sick people live, their illness onset dates, the age range, or if anyone has been hospitalized. Listeria monocytogenes outbreaks are usually fairly small. The people who get sickest from this infection are typically the elderly, people with chronic illnesses, and those with compromised immune systems, such as cancer patients undergoing treatment. Pregnant women are also quite … [Read more...]

NetCost Market Listeriosis Outbreak in Brooklyn, New York Sickens Three

A NetCost Market listeriosis outbreak in Brooklyn, New York has sickened at least three people, according to a health alert from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The three patients have clinical isolates that are highly related by whole genome sequencing (WGS). All three patients live in Brooklyn. And all three patients purchased ready-to-eat food from the deli counter at the same NetCost Market which is located at 3100 Ocean Avenue in Brooklyn. NetCost management is working closely with the Health Department and New York State Agriculture and Markets to make sure that the deli area is safe for consumers. If you bought food from that deli counter before September 5, 2021, do not eat it, even if some has been consumed and no one has been sick yet. It can … [Read more...]

Precooked Chicken Listeria Outbreak Sickens 3 in Delaware and Texas

A precooked chicken Listeria outbreak has sickened three people in Delaware and Texas. All three patients have been hospitalized, and one person who lived in Texas has sadly died. Public health officials are investigating to discover which precooked chicken products are making people sick. The investigation notice states that this outbreak may be larger than officials think, and may not be limited to Delaware and Texas. All of the patients in this outbreak were served precooked chicken at a long term care facility or a hospital. The CDC says that those types of facilities should take extra precaution and not serve any cold dishes made with precooked chicken, such as chicken salad, unless the chicken was reheated first to 165°F. The case count by state is: Delaware (1), and Texas … [Read more...]

CDC: Do Not Eat El Abuelito Cheese For Possible Listeria Contamination

The CDC is joining the FDA in warning the public: do not eat El Abuelito cheese because it may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. The cheese is linked, through whole genome sequencing testing, to the outbreak strain of Listeria that has sickened ten people in four states. Earlier this month Connecticut officials found the outbreak strain of Listeria in samples of El Abuelito queso fresco cheese that was taken from a store where an ill person bought that cheese. The government says that other El Abuelito cheeses that were made or handled in the same facility as the queso fresco cheese have not been recalled, but officials are concerned that they may be contaminated and could make people sick. Investigators are trying to determine whether or not all cheese products … [Read more...]

History of Soft Cheese Linked Listeria Monocytogenes Outbreaks

With the news that the CDC and FDA have launched an investigation into a possible Hispanic-style soft cheese listeriosis outbreak late last week, the history of soft cheese linked Listeria monocytogenes outbreaks comes into focus. Seven people in four states are sick, including Maryland, Connecticut, New York, and Virginia. This is not the first time a deadly outbreak has been linked to those types of soft and fresh cheeses. These types of cheeses have long been a risk for Listeria monocytogenes contamination, according to the CDC. The issue is that many of these soft and fresh cheeses are made with unpasteurized milk. The government estimates that "the risk for listeriosis per serving is estimated to be 50- to 160-fold greater for cheese made from unpasteurized milk than … [Read more...]

Research Finds Most Pregnant Women Don’t Know Listeria Risk in Food

Research conducted in New Zealand has found that 75% of pregnant women don't know about the Listeria risk in some foods. Some foods can be at higher risk for contamination with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria, which poses a special risk to pregnant women. Pregnant women are ten terms more likely than the general population to contract this infection. And this infection can cause stillbirth, premature labor, miscarriage, and infection in the newborn. Researchers surveyed 205 pregnant women between December 2017 and January 2018. While the average woman got 95% of questions right, only 25% had a perfect score. The potentially problematic foods they missed included hummus, soft and semi soft cheeses, some salads, and baked goods with added cream or custard. In the past few years, … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

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