April 29, 2017

First Chicken & Rice Guys E. coli Lawsuit Filed by Pritzker Hageman Law Firm

An E. coli lawsuit, believed to be the first, was filed April 18, 2017 in the Massachusetts Superior Court against Chicken & Rice Guys, LLC by attorneys Brendan Flaherty and Ryan Osterholm of Pritzker Hageman, a national food safety law firm. Their client was diagnosed with an E. coli O157:H7 infection after allegedly eating food prepared by the restaurant chain that operates in the Boston area. There is an E. coli outbreak associated with that restaurant chain. At least 15 people have been sickened in the outbreak, according to the Boston Public Health Commission. Illnesses began to be reported to public health officials in early April. Ten patients in this outbreak, which is a very high percentage, have been hospitalized because they have been so sick. According to the … [Read more...]

Rep. DeLauro Applauds FDA for Closing Dixie Dew Products

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) is applauding the FDA for closing the Dixie Dew Products processing plant, which is the contract manufacturer for The SoyNut Butter Company. I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter products, made by The SoyNut Butter Company, are linked to an E. coli O157:H7 HUS outbreak that has sickened at least 29 people in 12 states. The FDA's investigations at the plant in Erlanger, Kentucky revealed that food safety violations at that facility go back at least 15 years. Some violations included broken temperature control equipment, an infestation of flies and larva, production machines that have not been cleaned since 2015, and no hot water in hand-washing sinks for the last two years. DeLauro said in a statement, "Dixie Dew’s gross negligence is sickening dozens of … [Read more...]

E. coli Outbreak Linked to Robin Hood Flour Sickens 25 in Canada

An E. coli O121 outbreak linked to Robin Hood flour in Canada has sickened at least 25 people, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. All patients identified in this outbreak have samples with E. coli bacteria that match genetically. This outbreak is reminiscent of the 2016 E. coli outbreak in the United States linked to General Mills flour. And it's another reminder that flour is a raw agricultural product, can be contaminated with pathogenic bacteria, and should never be eaten raw. The flour has been recalled. The product is Robin Hood All Purpose Flour, Original in 10 kilogram bags with a code of BB/MA 2018 AL 17 and 6 291 548. It was distributed in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Secondary recalls of products made with this flour may be announced … [Read more...]

CDC Issues Report of E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak Linked to Dough

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued a report about the 2015 E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to a dough mix that was made into pizzas at "restaurant A." That outbreak sickened at least 13 people in nine states. On January 4, 2016, PulseNet identified a cluster of 10 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7 infections. The dates of illness onset ranged from December 6, 2015 through February 9, 2016. Eventually, 13 outbreak-associated cases were identified in Minnesota (5), Iowa (1), Illinois (1), Kansas (1), North Carolina (1), Nebraska (1), New Jersey (1), South Dakota (1), and Wisconsin (1). Eight of those patients were hospitalized, and two developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Twelve patients were interviewed, and nine reported eating at one of … [Read more...]

FDA Announces Sprout Guidance: What Took so Long?

After eight multistate food poisoning outbreaks linked to raw sprouts in the past five years, the FDA is finally issuing draft guidance for comments to help sprout operations meet new standards that are designed to keep this product safe. Raw sprouts are often contaminated with pathogenic bacteria, and the damp and warm growing conditions are the perfect medium for bacterial growth. The Produce Safety Rule, under the FDA Food Safety Modernization act of 2011, mandated new requirements for sprout operations. Sprouts are a unique food poisoning risk because the conditions under which they are grown are ideal for the growth of pathogenic bacteria. Between 1996 and July 2016 there were 46 food poisoning outbreaks associated with sprouts in the United States. They caused 2472 … [Read more...]

E. coli O121 Outbreak in Canada

The Public Health Agency of Canada is investigating an outbreak of E. coli O121. Twelve confirmed cases of E. coli 0121 have been identified in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland. The cases all have a matching genetic fingerprint. Illness onset dates range from November to December 2016. Four people have been hospitalized. And officials do not know what caused the outbreak. The most common ways to contract an E. coli infection are by eating undercooked or raw ground meat, or by eating contaminated fruits and vegetables. You can also acquire this infection by petting animals, more specifically ruminant animals, which harbor the pathogenic bacteria in their intestines. The most recent E. coli O121 outbreak in the United States was the multistate outbreak linked to … [Read more...]

After General Mills E. coli Outbreak, Say No to Raw Dough!

The large E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to recalled General Mills flour sickened 63 people in 24 states this year. One person developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) as a complication of that illness. And many of those sickened got sick because they ate raw cookie dough. So the CDC is warning consumers not to eat raw cookie dough, cake mixes, or bread this holiday season, even if you are using pasteurized eggs. Raw flour is a raw agricultural product that has not been treated to kill pathogenic bacteria. And since flour has a long shelf life, that recalled General Mills flour could still be in people's homes. Please check the list of recalled products and make sure you don't have one of those flour types in your pantry. The recall was expanded once, and there have been some … [Read more...]

Marine Agrifuture Recalls Products for Possible Salmonella

Marine Agrifuture of Kahuku, Hawaii is recalling three products because they may be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria. This facility is linked to a Salmonella outbreak in Hawaii among people who ate Limu Poke, or raw fish with seafood. Fourteen people were sickened in mid-October in this outbreak. The Hawaii State Department of Health traced the seaweed back to Marine Agrifuture and found the bacteria in packaging and processing tanks and in the farm environment. The recalled products include Kahuku Ogo in plastic bags of various weights from 0.5 pounds to 35 pounds. They were sold from November 2, 2016 and before. Robusta Ogo is also recalled, sold in plastic bags in weights from 0.5 pounds to 35 pounds, sold from November 2, 2016 and before. Sea Asparagus is recalled, sold in 4 … [Read more...]

Gastrointestinal Outbreak at Jail in Wyoming in 2015

The CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report has published a report on a gastrointestinal illness outbreak associated with rancid tortilla chips that occurred at a correctional facility in Wyoming in October 2015. This outbreak was not reported to the public when it happened last year. A county health department notified the Wyoming Department of Health of an outbreak on October 12, 2015. Most of those sickened got sick within one to three hours after eating lunch served at the facility cafeteria at noon on October 11. Residents and staff members reported that the tortillas chips served at the lunch "tasted and smelled like chemicals." A case control study was conducted by the county health department and the Wyoming Department of Health. Multivariate logistic regression … [Read more...]

Mr. Christie’s Biscuits Recalled in Canada; Illnesses Reported

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says that illnesses have been reported in association with the consumption of Mr. Christie's brand Arrowroot Biscuits. The biscuits have been recalled due to potential off-taste. The products have been sold nationally in Canada only. The biscuits are marketed to babies, according to product label photos. The CFIA is conducting a food safety investigation and is verifying that industry is removing these products from the marketplace. There is no word on how many people may have been sickened, illness onset dates, a possible pathogen, or what the symptoms have been. The recalled products are all Mr. Christie's brand Arrowroot Biscuits in various sizes. The 350 gram size has UPC number 0 66721 01046 9 and Best Before Dates 2017 FE 24 and 2017 FE … [Read more...]

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