November 16, 2018

Utah STEC Outbreak Investigated; Petting Zoos and Farms Studied

Public health officials in Utah are investigating an increase in Shiga toxin-producing E. coli infections (STEC) in that state, according to the Utah Department of Health. The source of this Utah STEC outbreak has not been identified, but some patients said they visited farms, corn mazes, and petting zoos before they got sick. This is nothing new. In the past few years, there have been several E. coli outbreaks linked to those types of attractions. Food safety attorneys Fred Pritzker and Ryan Osterholm warned the public years ago about the potential danger at agricultural tourism venues. Ruminant animals, such as goats and cows, carry E. coli and other pathogenic bacteria in their intestines, and those animals do not get sick. The bacteria are shed in the animal's feces, which … [Read more...]

Multidrug-Resistant Salmonella Infantis Infections Linked to Raw Chicken

Multidrug-resistant Salmonella Infantis infections have sickened at least 92 people in 29 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Twenty-one of those patients have been hospitalized because they are so sick. The case count by state is: Alabama (1), California (1), Connecticut (1), Delaware (2), Florida (2), Georgia (2), Hawaii (1), Illinois (5), Indiana (1), Kentucky (1), Louisiana (1), Maine (1), Maryland (2), Massachusetts (9), Michigan (3), Minnesota (3), Missouri (3), North Carolina (4), Nebraska (1), New Jersey (9), New York (10), Ohio (7), Pennsylvania (11), Rhode Island (2), South Carolina (1), Tennessee (1), Texas (2), Virginia (2), and Washington (2). There is no explanation for why this multidrug-resistant Salmonella Infantis outbreak seems to … [Read more...]

Outbreak at Pasha’s Mediterranean Grill in San Antonio, Texas; Lawsuits Possible

An outbreak of food poisoning at Pasha's Mediterranean Grill in San Antonio, Texas has been reported by the San Antonio Metro Health Department. The press release states that "numerous, independent companies of foodborne illness [have been] reported by individuals who have dined at Pasha's Mediterranean Grill on Wurzbach Road during the past Labor Day weekend. UPDATE 9/8/18: News reports are stating that 255 people are sick in this outbreak, and that twelve people have been hospitalized. There is no update on this outbreak at the San Antonio Metropolitan Health Department website. News reports are also stating that the outbreak was caused by Salmonella bacteria. More than 60 people reported symptoms of nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea as of September 5, 2018. But, … [Read more...]

Publix Ground Chuck Associated with E. coli O26 Outbreak in Florida; Lawsuits May Be Filed

The USDA has issued a recall that contains an announcement about an E. coli O26 outbreak among people, who primarily live in Florida, who have eaten Publix ground chuck products. At least 18 people are sick with this infection, with illness onset dates ranging from July 5 to July 25, 2018. Publix is voluntarily recalling ground chuck items that were purchased by consumers from June 25, 2018 through July 31, 2018. The list of recalled products is very long, and includes Bacon & cheddar burgers, Bacon & Fried onion slider, Badia seasoned ground chuck burger, Blue cheese burgers, Ground chuck, Ground chuck for chili, Jalapeño & cheddar slider, Jalapeño and cheddar meatballs, meat loaf grillers, Mesquite seasoned ground chuck burger, Seasoned meatloaf (oven ready), Spanish … [Read more...]

Outbreak at Jamestown, New York McDonald’s Sickens 22; Lawsuits May Be Filed

An outbreak of undetermined nature is associated with the Jamestown New York  McDonald's restaurant at 2803 North Main Street Extension, according to the Chautauqua County Health Department. That establishment is located in Chautauqua County. At least 22 people are sick with symptoms of nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. The statement says that the illnesses are "potentially associated" with that restaurant. Christine Schuyler, County Public Health Director, said in a statement, "e are working diligently with the State Health Department and McDonald’s representatives to conduct a thorough epidemiological investigation into these illnesses. There is currently no identified source of these illnesses and there is no evidence that the illness can be spread from person to person." Those … [Read more...]

Chipotle Outbreak in Ohio Caused by Clostridium Perfringens; Lawsuits Filed

The huge food poisoning outbreak in Ohio linked to one Chipotle restaurant on Sawmill Parkway in Powell, Ohio was caused by Clostridium perfringens, according to an update posted by the Delaware General Health District. At least 647 people have reported symptoms of diarrhea and abdominal cramps after eating at that restaurant. This bacteria grows in protein-rich and other foods, such as beef and gravy, that are held at unsafe temperatures for too long. The danger zone for bacterial growth is 40°F to 140°F. Laws governing restaurants and food handling prohibit foods held at this temperature for precisely this reason. These outbreaks usually occur in restaurants because large quantities of food can often remain at unsafe temperatures for long periods of time. Although food samples … [Read more...]

Shades of Sherwood Campground Cryptosporidium Outbreak Grows to 72

The Shades of Sherwood Campground Cryptosporidium outbreak in Zumbrota, Minnesota has grown to include 72 sick. That is an increase of  69 more patients since the first outbreak notice was posted on August 3, 2018. The Minnesota Department of Health investigators are working with the owner to determine ongoing risks and to take steps to control those risks in the future. Information from the public helped determine the number of illnesses in this outbreak. The owner has taken several steps to prevent more illnesses of this type at the recommendation of health officials. The swimming pool was temporary closed and hyper-chlorinated to kill the parasite. The pool has reopened. The campground posted signs at the pool warning visitors not to swim for two weeks if they have been … [Read more...]

Cryptosporidiosis Outbreak at Shades of Sherwood Campground in Zumbrota, MN

An outbreak of cryptosporidiosis has occurred among people who visited the Shades of Sherwood Campground in Zumbrota, Minnesota. Three people have been sickened in this outbreak; one person has been hospitalized. One of these patients was also infected with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli. Minnesota Department of health investigators want to speak with anyone who has visited the Shades of Sherwood Campground since July 1, 2018, whether or not they have been sick. The press release states that "This step is especially important in this investigation because MDH investigators have been unable to get key information from the facility itself." If you visited that campground during the month of July, please call the MDH Waterborne Diseases Unit at 651-201-5794. Cryptosporidiosis is a … [Read more...]

Gastrointestinal Outbreak at Climb Works in Gatlinburg, Tennessee May Have Sickened Hundreds

A gastrointestinal outbreak at Climb Works in Gatlinburg, Tennessee may have sickened many people, East Tennessee Region Health Department Assistant Director Gail Harmon told Food Poisoning Bulletin. Most of those sickened visited the zipline canopy tour facility between mid-June and early July. Public health officials sent out 2,901 online surveys to the company's online ticket sales list, Harmon said. As of July 11, 2018, they had received 808 responses, with 548 stating they had become ill with the symptoms of gastrointestinal illness after visiting the venue. The survey found that the common denominator among all of those ill persons was the drinking water provided by Climb Works. Testing of that water, which came from a well, was conducted at the Knoxville State Laboratory. … [Read more...]

DC Offers Tips on Fruit and Vegetable Safety Amid Cyclospora and Salmonella Outbreaks

There are two outbreaks right now in the U.S. that are linked to fresh produce. A cyclospora outbreak linked to Del Monte Vegetable Trays has sickened 212 people in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Michigan. And a Salmonella Adelaide outbreak linked to recalled fresh precut melons has sickened. So the CDC is offering advice on fruit and vegetable safety. Fruits and vegetables are important to a good diet. They help protect y0u from illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, and some cancers. But these types of foods are more likely than others to be contaminated with pathogenic bacteria. And many of these products are not heated before they are consumed, which means any contaminated food will make someone sick. For fruit and vegetable safety, the safest produce has been cooked to a … [Read more...]

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