October 27, 2021

Contaminated BH&G Aromatherapy Spray Matched by “DNA Fingerprint” to Melioidosis Outbreak

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has confirmed that the strain of Burkholderia pseudomallei bacteria that caused a 2021 outbreak of melioidosis in Georgia, Kansas, Texas, and Minnesota is a genetic match to the bacteria found in the bottle of Better Homes & Gardens aromatherapy spray from the home of one of the victims. The pathogen in the bottle was genetically matched to the bacterial strains taken from the four patients who were sickened.  Two patients, who lived in Georgia and Kansas, died from the disease. Aromatherapy Bottle Confirmed As Source of Infections A bottle of the Better Homes & Gardens Lavender & Chamomile with Gemstones spray tested positive for Burkholderia pseudomallei, the bacteria that causes the melioidosis infection. The DNA fingerprint of the … [Read more...]

Lavender Aromatherapy Spray Tests Positive For Burkholderia pseudomallei

Better Homes & Gardens Aromatherapy Spray, Sold at Walmart, is Suspected in Four Illnesses, Resulting in Two Deaths Lavender aromatherapy spray has tested positive for deadly Burkholderia pseudomallei bacteria, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Testing found the pathogen in Better Homes & Gardens Lavender & Chamomile Essential Oil Infused Aromatherapy Room Spray with Gemstones. The spray was found on October 6, 2021 in the home of a Georgia resident who got sick with melioidosis in late July, 2021. That person died, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission recall notice. This is the same type of bacteria that sickened four people in the U.S. earlier this year. The patients lived in Georgia, Kansas, Texas, and Minnesota. Two of the … [Read more...]

Georgetown Outbreak Has Increased to 62 Sick Students and Residents

The Georgetown outbreak has increased to 62 sick on the Main Campus, including students and "community members." That is an increase of 20 more patients since the last update on Thursday, September 23, 2021. We don't know the official patient age range in this outbreak, but college age students are in their late teens to early or mid 20s. Staff members are included in this outbreak. Health officials have seen a "marked decrease" in case numbers over the past two days, according to the update from the administration. The university is still coordinating with DC Health to investigate the source of these illnesses. Officials have still not identified a common food source among those who have been sick, which includes students and staff living both on- and off-campus. Georgetown … [Read more...]

Gastrointestinal Outbreak at Georgetown University in D.C.

A gastrointestinal outbreak at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. has sickened about a dozen students on the University's main campus, according to an update from the administration. Since early afternoon on Wednesday, September 22, 2021, individuals have symptoms including severe stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Those symptoms are consistent with several pathogens that cause food poisoning, including Salmonella, E. coli, Campylobacter, norovirus, and Clostridium perfringens. The students are being treated and are receiving support and are recovering. The updates were sent to the Georgetown community via email from Ranit Mishori, M.D., MHS, FAAFP, Professor of Family Medicine, Vice President and Chief Public Health Officer. The school is coordinating with DC … [Read more...]

How Do You Know If You Have a Clostridium Perfringens Infection?

Many food poisoning outbreaks have been caused by Clostridium perfringens, a bacteria that produces a toxin as it grows. The pathogen also can produce toxins in the intestines after it is ingested. This bacteria causes almost one million cases of foodborne illness in the United States every year. How do you know if you have a Clostridium perfringens infection? The bacteria is found on raw meat and poultry, in the intestines of animals, and in the environment. C. perfringens makes spores that protect the bacteria from stomach acid and cleaning solutions. Common sources of this pathogen include poultry, gravies, meat, and foods that are cooked in large batches. The bacteria is anaerobic, which means it grows in conditions without oxygen. Large batches of food are the perfect … [Read more...]

Alaska Hospital Outbreak Was Clostridium Perfringens

The Alaska hospital outbreak was Clostridium perfringens, according to an article in the Anchorage Daily News. The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services believe that the culprit was a Cubano sandwich, and may have been the pulled pork that was used to make that sandwich. Jeremy Ayers, section manager with the Food Safety and Sanitation Program within the Division of Environmental Health at the Alaska Department of Health told the paper that many of the signs during the investigation pointed toward the Cubano sandwich. Clostridium perfringens is a pathogen that commonly causes outbreaks when meat and gravies are cooled too slowly or held at improper temperatures in the danger zone of 40°F to 140°F. The pathogen produces a toxin as it grows in these protein rich … [Read more...]

Foodborne Illness Outbreak at South Peninsula Hospital in Homer, Alaska

A foodborne illness outbreak at South Peninsula Hospital in Homer, Alaska has sickened almost 80 people, according to the Anchorage Daily News. State epidemiologists are investigating the outbreak that has sickened hospital employees. All patients developed symptoms on or around on the morning of August 7, 2021. Everyone who got sick ate food brought in as employee meals from a variety of local restaurants. Those restaurants have not yet been named. A post on the Alaska Health and Social Services Facebook page has a survey that anyone who lives in the Homer area can take to help officials solve this outbreak. No patients or hospital residents ate the food. The source of the outbreak is not known at the time. The agencies investigating the outbreak are the Alaska Department of … [Read more...]

How Do You Know If You Have a Vibrio Parahaemolyticus Infection?

How do you know if you have a Vibrio parahaemolyticus Infection? This illness is caused by a type of bacteria that grows in marine water and can grow in shellfish. The pathogen causes an illness called vibriosis. Vibrio bacteria are found naturally in marine coastal waters, in saltwater, and in rivers and streams where freshwater meets saltwater. It is usually present in levels that are low enough to cause no problems, but it grows and multiples rapidly when water temperatures are high. Most vibrio illnesses and outbreaks occur in the summer months. Most cases of vibriosis are caused by eating raw and undercooked shellfish. Even fully cooked seafood can be recontaminated if rinsed with seawater after cooking. Other issues that can cause rapid bacteria growth include not keeping … [Read more...]

Real Water Ceased Operations After Non-Viral Hepatitis Outbreak

The FDA has announced that Real Water ceased operations after the non-viral hepatitis outbreak associated with their alkaline water may have sickened at least 16 people. According to a consent decree complaint, the company allegedly failed to comply with FDA manufacturing requirements. U.S. District Judge Jennifer A. Dorsey entered a consent decree of permanent injunction on June 1, 2021 between the United States and AffinityListstyles.com Inc, which is the majority shareholder of Real Water Inc. According to the compliant filed by the Department of Justice on behalf of the FDA, the defendants allegedly violated the FD&C Act by operating facilities that failed to meet preventive controls requirements to control food hazards. The complaint also alleges that the products are … [Read more...]

New Salmonella Duisburg Outbreak; Salmonella Miami Outbreak Closed

On the FDA CORE Investigation table, a new Salmonella Duisburg outbreak has been identified, while the unsolved Salmonella Miami outbreak has been closed. Five people are sick in the new Salmonella Duisburg outbreak. Products and/or facilities linked to this new outbreak have not been identified. We do not know the patient age range, illness onset dates, or possible hospitalizations of the patients, nor do we have any clues to what the FDA may be investigating. No recall has been initiated, no traceback has been started, no on-site inspections have been initiated, and the government has not started sample collection and analysis. The FDA does not release any of this information unless they know of actions that consumers can take to protect themselves. So people have to follow the … [Read more...]

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