February 28, 2024

How Do People Get Sick From Contaminated Pet Food?

Pet food recalls for bacterial contamination are pretty common. And occasionally, there is an outbreak linked to those types of products. Many people wonder, how do people get sick from contaminated pet food? On social media, there are often comments made about people feeding children dog food, or eating it themselves. That is not how these outbreaks happen. Any type of pet food can be contaminated with pathogens. There have been recalls linked to raw frozen pet food, to canned pet food, and to dry kibble. Just like human food, pet food can be contaminated with pathogens like Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. When pets eat contaminated food, several things can happen. The animal may not get sick at all. Or they may become carriers of the pathogen … [Read more...]

New Mexico State Fair Cryptosporidium Outbreak Sickens 18

A New Mexico State Fair Cryptosporidium outbreak has sickened at least 18 people, according to the New Mexico Department of Health. The outbreak is "statewide" according to the press release. The Fair took place from September 7 to September 17, 2023. Illnesses are associated with exposure to livestock exhibited at a petting zoo at the fair. There are three patients with laboratory confirmed cryptosporidiosis infections, and an additional 15 clinically compatible cases who visited that petting zoo. The patients live in multiple counties accorded the state. There is no word on whether or not any of the patients were hospitalized, and we do not know the patient age range or illness onset dates. Cryptosporidium is a microscopic parasite that is spread by contact with animals … [Read more...]

FDA Releases Food Safety Guidance For Producing Sprouts

The FDA has released its final food safety guidance for producing sprouts. That ingredient has been linked to many outbreaks over the years, including a Salmonella outbreak earlier this year caused by Sun Sprouts alfalfa sprouts that sickened at least 63 people in eight states and hospitalized 10 of those patients. The 2023 Final Guidance updates and finalizes these sections of the original draft guidance that was issued in 2017: Cleaning and Sanitizing, Agricultural Water in Sprout Operations, Seeds for Sprouting, Environmental Monitoring, and Recordkeeping. Some sections of the 2017 document have been reissued and one new section is in the revised guidance. The update and new sections are on Equipment, Tools, and buildings, Sampling and Teting of Spent Sprout Irrigation Water, and … [Read more...]

How Do You Know if You Have a Giardia Infection?

How do you know if you have a Giardia infection? This tiny parasite Giardia duodenalis causes gastrointestinal illnesses and usually sickens people who swallow contaminated recreational water or drinking water. The parasite lives in the intestine of animals and people and is passed in feces. Giardia is found in every country around the world and in every region of the United States. The parasite is very contagious and spreads easily, including from person to person and through contact with contaminated surfaces. Giardia Infection Symptoms People usually start having symptoms of this infection one to two weeks after swallowing the parasite. Symptoms include diarrhea, gas, foul-smelling, greasy poop that can float, stomach pain and cramps, loss of appetite, nausea, and dehydration. … [Read more...]

Blue Ridge Rock Festival Outbreak Sickens People in Virginia

A Blue Ridge Rock Festival outbreak has sickened concertgoers in Virginia, according to the Virginia Department of Health and news reports. Public health officials are asking that anyone who attended that event, which was supposed to be held September 5 through September 10, 2023, to complete an online survey, even if they didn't get sick, to help them solve this outbreak. The Southside Health District of the Virginia Department of Health  is leading the investigation. The festival was canceled two days early, allegedly because of weather conditions. It was held at the Virginia International Raceway located at 1245 Pine Tree Road in Alton, Virginia. 10 News got "hundreds of messages" about the festival from patrons who said that there were unsanitary and unsafe conditions at the … [Read more...]

Belgrade Fall Festival Outbreak in Bozeman, Montana Sickens 200

A Belgrade Fall Festival outbreak in Bozeman, Montana has allegedly sickened at least 200 people, according to the Gallatin City-County Health Department and news reports.  The Festival was held at the Belgrade Senior Center. According to the Gallatin City-County Health Department Facebook page, beef brisket served at the festival on September 16, 2023 is suspected as the source of these illnesses. All but one of those sickened ate the brisket. Officials do not know what pathogen caused this illness. Event coordinators are cooperating with the health department in its investigation of this outbreak. According to NBC Montana, the beef brisket is a tradition at that festival. The Belgrade Chamber of Commerce smokes the beef overnight before the day of the festival and serves the meat … [Read more...]

Tacos El Guero Food Truck Outbreak in WA Sickens 34

A Tacos El Guero food truck outbreak in Kirkland, Washington has sickened at least 34 people, according to the Seattle King County Health Department. Officials do not yet know the exact food or drink that caused these illnesses. The outbreak is associated with a private event that was catered by a Tacos El Guero food truck on September 14, 2023. No patients were hospitalized. The 34 patients developed one or more symptoms that are consistent with a bacterial toxin infection, including abdominal cramps, nausea, and diarrhea. Illness onset dates range from September 14, 2023 to September 15, 2023. In the news release about the outbreak, information about Bacillus cereus and Clostridium perfringens, two pathogens that cause symptoms quickly after infection, was provided. The exact … [Read more...]

Alleged Kumo Sushi Bacillus Cereus Outbreak in NY Sickens 28

An alleged Kumo Sushi Bacillus cereus outbreak in Stony Brook, New York has sickened dozens of patrons, according to news reports. People got sick on Saturday, September 9, 2023. The Suffolk County Department of Public Health believes that rice is the culprit. At least 28 people were sick and some were hospitalized. The Kumo Sushi & Steakhouse restaurant, also known as Kumo Japanese Steakhouse, is located at 2548 Nesconset Highway in Stony Brook. Known as "fried rice syndrome," when rice is not properly stored after being cooked, Bacillus cereus can grow. And the symptoms of a Bacillus cereus food poisoning infection can happen just hours after people eat the rice. The Suffolk County Police Department and local fire departments went to the restaurant after people called, … [Read more...]

Deadly Dave’s Sushi Morel Mushroom Outbreak Ends With 51 Sick

The deadly Dave's Sushi morel mushrooms outbreak has ended with 51 people sick, according to the FDA, although the Gallatin City-County Health Department and the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services are conducting follow-up activities. The FDA said that there does not appear to be any further risk to the public. That is an increase of one more patient since the last update on May 18, 2023. There were two deaths in this outbreak. Toxicology reports and autopsy reports have not been released. Three people were hospitalized because they were so sick. The last illness onset date was April 21, 2023. Symptoms included abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, and/or vomiting. The mushrooms sampled from the restaurant were true morels, not "false morels," which are toxic. … [Read more...]

Which Restaurant Chains Like Applebee’s Have Had Outbreaks?

Which restaurant chains like Applebee's have had outbreaks? More than you'd think, including Wendy's, McDonald's, and Jimmy John's. Just because a restaurant is famous or popular doesn't mean they don't serve contaminated food. Every year there are hundreds of outbreaks associated with restaurants, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). During the time frame from 2017 to 2019, 800 outbreaks associated with 875 retail food establishments were reported to NEARS, the National Environmental Assessment Reporting System that was set up to compliment surveillance. The most common pathogens were norovirus and Salmonella. About 40% of those outbreaks had at least one reported factor associated with contamination by a sick or infectious food worker. Contaminated … [Read more...]

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