March 19, 2018

Revisiting Raw Sprouts: Why Are They Such a Health Risk?

The current Salmonella Montevideo outbreak at Jimmy John's restaurants seems to be pinpointed on raw sprouts served on that chain's sandwiches. Unfortunately, most people do not think of produce as being a risk for food poisoning. But that class of foods is most often associated with foodborne illness outbreaks. There have been many outbreaks in the past few years linked to fresh produce, including leafy greens, apples, raspberries, snow peas, cilantro, and yes, sprouts. In fact, sprouts are almost in a category by themselves. The way this food is produced is part of the problem. To make sprouts, seeds are placed in a warm and moist environment, which happens to be the ideal medium for bacterial growth. Since 1998, fresh or lightly cooked sprouts have been linked to 49 food … [Read more...]

FDA Weighs In On Multistate Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Jimmy John’s Raw Clover Sprouts

The FDA is weighing in on the multistate Salmonella Montevideo outbreak linked to raw clover sprouts sold at Jimmy John's restaurants in Illinois and Wisconsin. The FDA is advising consumers not to eat sprouts at those restaurants in that state because they may be contaminated with the pathogenic bacteria. We now know that the product being focused on is clover sprouts. Jimmy John's did announce on January 19, 2018, that all of its retail locations temporarily stopped serving sprouts. Epidemiologic evidence indicates that the sprouts served at Jimmy John's restaurants are the likely source of the outbreak. The most recent illness began on January 3, 2018. The FDA is working with partners in Illinois and Wisconsin, and the CDC, to conduct traceback on the clover sprouts. They want … [Read more...]

Five Sickened in Wisconsin in Jimmy John’s Salmonella Sprouts Outbreak

Five people are sick in Wisconsin in the multistate Salmonella Montevideo outbreak that happened after consumers ate sprouts at Jimmy John's restaurants in that state and Illinois. Two people are sick in Illinois, and one person is sick in Minnesota. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is working with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, health departments, and the CDC to investigate this outbreak. All five patients are sick with the outbreak strain of Salmonella. And all of those patients said they ate sprouts at a Jimmy John's restaurant in the state in mid-to-late December, 2017. People who have been sickened by the same bacteria strain said they ate sprouts at Jimmy John's locations in their state. Officials are trying to identify … [Read more...]

Salmonella Montevideo Outbreak in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois Associated With Jimmy John’s Sprouts

A multisite outbreak of Salmonella Montevideo infections is associated with sprouts sold at Jimmy John's restaurants in Illinois and Wisconsin, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC statement reads, "Epidemiologic evidence indicates that raw sprouts served at Jimmy John’s restaurants are a likely source of this multistate outbreak." Those sickened in this outbreak reported eating raw sprouts on sandwiches served at Jimmy John's restaurants in those two states. Eight people are sick in those states. The case count by state is: Illinois (2), Minnesota (1), and Wisconsin (5). There have been no hospitalizations and no deaths reported. Illnesses started on dates ranging from December  20, 217 to January 3, 2018. The patient age range is from 26 to 50. All … [Read more...]

Top 10 Food Poisoning Outbreaks of 2017: Salmonella Outbreak at Bemidji Burger King

The number 8 food poisoning outbreak of 2017 was the Salmonella outbreak associated with two Burger King restaurants in Bemidji, Minnesota. At least 27 people were sickened in this outbreak. Four more probable cases are pending. Both restaurants closed voluntarily on November 30, 2017. Most people got sick in September, but when two more people were diagnosed with Salmonella infections in late November, the restaurants closed. Interventions were put into place after the outbreak was first identified in September. The public was only notified about this outbreak in early December. Officials think that the outbreak is linked to ill employees who were working while sick. This outbreak highlights the issue of restaurant managers letting employees work while they are ill, … [Read more...]

Burger King Salmonella Outbreak in Bemidji, MN Sickens at Least 27 People

A Salmonella outbreak associated with two Burger King restaurants in Bemidji, Minnesota has sickened at least 27 people, according to news reports quoting the Minnesota Department of Health. Those cases have been confirmed in this Burger King Salmonella outbreak, and there are four more pending probable cases. Both of the restaurants voluntarily closed on Thursday, November 30, 2017.  Apparently most of the illnesses were identified in September, but two more people were diagnosed with Salmonella food poisoning this week. Doug Schultz of the Minnesota Department of Health told the Bemidji Pioneer, "They may have been sick a couple of weeks or so before then. It takes a while before people get symptoms, and then they're sick enough to go to the doctor, and then we … [Read more...]

Clostridium Perfringens Likely Cause of Ramsey County Jail Outbreak

The outbreak at the Ramsey County jail last month was likely caused by Clostridium perfringens bacteria, Doug Schultz of the Minnesota Department of Health told Food Poisoning Bulletin.  That outbreak, which occurred on September 9, 2017, sickened 137 inmates at the St. Paul jail. Nurses treated inmates at the jail. No one was hospitalized in this outbreak. Sample trays of food that were served for lunch and dinner on that day were tested for pathogenic bacteria. Clostridium perfringens was found in a sample of rice and in tamale pie. C. perfringens causes food poisoning when foods are not properly reheated or are held at a dangerous temperature for a long period of time. Outbreaks usually occur in restaurant and institutional settings, where large containers of food are … [Read more...]

Outbreak at Ramsey County, MN Jail

An outbreak at the Ramsey County jail last week sickened more than 100 inmates, according to Doug Schulz, Information Officer for the Minnesota Department of Health. There were probably no hospitalizations in this outbreak. According to Schulz, food testing is not complete, but he said that negative results won't be meaningful, since food testing is difficult. Food trays were tested after the outbreak was reported to public health officials. One stool sample was collected, but since it was collected long after recovery from the illness, the results will be limited. This sample is not being tested for the same pathogens the food trays were tested for. MDH is not able to interview inmates, and officials probably won't have any further details or answers than what is currently … [Read more...]

Salmonella Outbreak at MN Bayshore Facility Sickens 15, 2 Hospitalized

News outlets are reporting that a Salmonella outbreak at the Bayshore Residents and Rehabilitation nursing home in Duluth, Minnesota sickened at least 15 people and hospitalized two. All of those sickened were residents and staff; eleven residents and four staff members were ill. The outbreak occurred in August 2017. Five people tested positive for Salmonella. Officials are saying that the illnesses were caused by "contaminated hands of staff or residents." The illness was foodborne. Facility personnel did a "thorough examination" of the kitchen at the facility and concluded that the bacteria was brought in from outside the building. There is no mention of how that conclusion was reached. The facility is located at 1601 St. Louis Avenue on Park Point. It provides 139 nursing … [Read more...]

Four People in Minnesota Sickened in Salmonella Papaya Outbreak

Four people in Minnesota have been sickened in the deadly Salmonella outbreak linked to imported Maradol papayas. Nationwide, at least 210 people in 23 states are sick with eight different strains of Salmonella bacteria. The CDC and FDA are both investigating this outbreak. Many of those who are sick are female and of Hispanic origin. As of September 1, 2017, three farms in Mexico have been identified as growing and the shipping the contaminated fruit. There are actually three outbreaks of Salmonella infections linked to the papayas. The first outbreak, which was first identified by officials is Maryland, has sickened 201 people. The Salmonella strains in that outbreak are Thompson, Kiambu, Agona, and Gaminara. All of those sickened in Minnesota are part of that particular … [Read more...]

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