June 20, 2018

Top 10 Food Poisoning Outbreaks of 2017: Salmonella Associated with Raw Tuna or Salmon

A Salmonella paratyphi outbreak associated with raw tuna or salmon sickened at least 30 people in seven states, and was the 7th largest food poisoning outbreak of 2017. This outbreak investigation developed gradually in the fall of 2017. This outbreak has not been solved. Relish Foods recalled raw frozen tuna loins and tuna steaks in mid-October, but the outbreak strain of Salmonella bacteria was not found on those products. Ill persons live in Washington, Oregon, Texas, Florida, California, Hawaii, and New Jersey. The outbreak investigation began when five Salmonella cases were reported to public health officials in late August, 2017. The DNA from the bacteria in all of these cases matched. Then in early September, Oregon Health Authority found 12 additional cases with … [Read more...]

Salmonella Outbreak in Oregon and Washington State: Not the First Time Cantaloupe Has Been Contaminated

The Salmonella outbreak in Washington state and Oregon that has sickened at least 18 people has been linked to precut cantaloupe, watermelon, or fruit mixes containing both of these fruits. Most people don't think of fruit as being a source of pathogenic bacteria, but this is not the first time melons have been linked to a food poisoning outbreak. In 2011, a Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to cantaloupe sickened more than 140 people in 28 states and killed thirty. The contaminated melons were traced to Jensen Farms in Colorado. Almost all of those sickened were hospitalized because their illnesses were so severe. In 2012, a Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak linked to cantaloupes grown in Indiana sickened at least 141 people in 20 states. At least 31 people were hospitalized … [Read more...]

Salmonella Newport Outbreak in WA and OR: Why is Precut Fruit a Food Poisoning Risk?

A Salmonella Newport outbreak in Washington and Oregon has been linked to precut fruit sold at QFC, Fred Meyer, Rosauers, and Central Market stores. How is this possible? How can fruit, which doesn't naturally carry pathogenic bacteria like meats and poultry do, be contaminated? Most people don't know that eating produce is the most common way people get food poisoning. In fact, Salmonella is the most common pathogen found on produce. The fruits and vegetables can be contaminated in the field by animal feces or by contaminated irrigation water. They can be contaminated during harvest, or during processing or transportation before they even get to the stores. And cutting fruits and vegetables at those stores or at distribution centers can multiply the problem. Whenever a piece of … [Read more...]

Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Pre Cut Fruit in Washington and Oregon Sickens Eighteen

A Salmonella outbreak linked to pre-cut fruit including watermelon, cantaloupe, or fruit mixes has sickened at least 18 people in Washington and Oregon, according to the Washington Department of Health. The items were sold at QFC, Fred Meyer, Rosauers, and Central Market in both states. The products were sold on or about October 25, 2017 up to December 1, 2017. The case count in this Salmonella outbreak by county is: King (5), Mason (1), Pierce (1), Snohomish (7), Thurston (1), and Yakima (1) counties and two individuals from Oregon. Lab tests have identified Salmonella Newport as the bacteria responsible for these illnesses. The Washington Department of Health is working with state and federal health officials to try to find out where the fruit originated, where it was cut and … [Read more...]

FDA Updates I.M. Healthy E. coli O157:H7 – HUS Outbreak

The FDA has updated their investigation into the I.M. Healthy E. coli O157:H7 - HUS outbreak that has sickened 23 people in 9 states, most of them children. The states where the patients live and the case count by state is: Arizona, (4), California (5), Maryland (1), Missouri (1), New Jersey (1), and Oregon (6) Virginia (2), Washington (2) and Wisconsin (1). Ten of the ill persons have been hospitalized because they are so sick. And seven of the patients have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure that can develop after this  infection. On March 2, 2017, the states of California, Washington, and Oregon began to collect open and unopened samples of I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter from grocery stores and from the homes of patients. Six samples collected by … [Read more...]

Seven People Now Have E. coli at Montessori of Alameda in Oregon

According to the Multnomah County Health Department, seven people have now been sickened by E. coli bacteria at Montessori of Alameda preschool in Portland, Oregon. Six of the patients are children and one is an adult. All of the cases have occurred in one classroom. Four of the seven patients have lab confirmed E. coli O157:H7 infections. Two of the cases genetically match the E. coli O157:H7 strain from the national, multi-state I. M. Healthy SoyNut Butter outbreak. Three patients have Shiga toxin-producting E. coli infections, but those infections have not been subtype. The Multnomah County Health Department has been investigating this outbreak since March 7, 2017. The CDC's page on this investigation into this outbreak has not been updated since March 13, 2017. The national … [Read more...]

Montessori of Alameda E. coli Linked to SoyNut Butter Company Product

Julie Sullivan-Springhetti, Communications Director for Multnomah County Health Department , told Food Poisoning Bulletin in an email that an E. coli outbreak at Montessori of Alameda preschool has sickened six people.  Five of those patients are children and one is an adult. In a press release issued yesterday, a Multnomah county press release stated that two of those patients are sick with the I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter E. coli O157:H7 strain. Those patients are not included in the CDC's outbreak investigation page as of March 15, 2017. All six patients in the Montessori of Alameda outbreak have E. coli infections and four have E. coli O157:H7 infections. Officials are waiting on lab tests to confirm the type of E. coli and the H antigen in the remaining two cases. One child was … [Read more...]

Two of Six Sick at OR Preschool Match I.M. Healthy E. coli

Two of the six people sickened at Montessori of Alameda preschool in Portland, Oregon have infections from E. coli O157:H7 that match the outbreak strain that has sickened at least 16 people in the national I.M. Healthy SoyNut outbreak.  Four of the six are ill with E. coli O157:H7. Two other people have shiga-toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infections, which can cause serious illness and kidney failure. Shiga toxins are made by this bacteria. They bind to the intestinal wall and invade the bloodstream, killing red blood cells. Further test results are pending. The health department has been investigating a diarrheal illness at the school since March 7, 2017. Dr. Jennifer Vines, Multnomah County Deputy Health Officer said in a statement "We are working closely with … [Read more...]

E. coli O157 Outbreak at OR Montessori of Alameda Preschool

An E. coli O157 outbreak has sickened six people associated with the Montessori of Alameda preschool in Portland, Oregon. All of the patients have laboratory-confirmed Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infections. One patient is an adult and five are preschoolers. One child has been hospitalized in this outbreak and as of March 10, 2017 was still in the hospital. All of the confirmed cases have occurred in one classroom at a Portland preschool. Samples from three of the patients have been typed so far and have been identified as E. coli O157. The Health Department is investigating the source of this pathogenic bacteria, including whether there is a link to this outbreak and the national recall of I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter. The cause is not yet known. Dr. Paul Lewis, … [Read more...]

Salmonella Outbreak at Schmidt Farm in Oregon

A Salmonella food poisoning outbreak linked to hazelnuts sold at Schmidt Farm and Nursery along Oregon Route 18 has been announced by the Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division and the Oregon Department of Agriculture.  Officials are telling consumers who purchased the nuts there to throw them away immediately. Dr. Paul Cieslak, medical director of the Public Health Division's Acute and Communicable Disease Prevention Section said in a statement, "people who have hazelnuts from the farm stand at Schmidt Farm and Nursery should toss them out right away." Five people are sick with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium. The illnesses began between October 15 and December 13, 2016. When interviewed, three of those sickened said they bought hazelnuts from the Schmidt … [Read more...]

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