November 11, 2020

What You Need to Know About Raw Sprouts and Food Poisoning

Raw sprouts have been considered a health food for decades. They are crunchy and delicious and full of nutrients. The sprouting process increases the availability of protein, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese and vitamins C and K than unsprouted seeds. Unfortunately, the sprouting process also links raw sprouts and food poisoning. There have been many Salmonella and E. coli outbreaks linked to raw sprouts in the past few years. These outbreaks have been so numerous that a term was coined about them: sproutbreaks. The problem is that the seeds are inherently risky. The bacteria can be encapsulated in the seed itself, so cleaning the seeds before sprouting is completely ineffective. Then, when the seeds are sprouted in warm, moist conditions, those bacteria can grow and … [Read more...]

Restaurant Unpaid Sick Leave Policies Changing With Coronavirus Pandemic

The coronavirus outbreak, which has been characterized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization, has highlighted an issue in the United States. Experts are telling people to reduce social interaction with others, called social distancing, to reduce the rate of transmission. But what if your  job requires you to be around people?  And what if you are paid hourly and can't afford to take time off? That's an issue for many workers, especially those in the food industry. Because of this pandemic, restaurant unpaid sick leave policies are changing now. There is no federal regulation mandating paid sick leave in this country. Sick leave is set by corporations and some states. And since 1 in 4 Americans, or 32,000,000 people, have no sick leave, they are often unwilling or simply … [Read more...]

Possible Poisoning Outbreak at Jimmy John’s on Laclede in St. Louis

A possible food poisoning outbreak at a Jimmy John's restaurant at 3822 Laclede Avenue in St. Louis, Missouri may have sickened "multiple" students who attend St. Louis University. The University News, the newspaper for that campus, published this information on February 20, 2020. The article states that multiple students got sick "shortly after eating at the sandwich shop, some even being hospitalized." It seems that these illnesses happened in mid to late January 2020. The students attended a campus retreat for an SLU organization and that retreat was catered by Jimmy John's. More than a dozen students were sickened after attending that retreat and eating the food provided by Jimmy John's. They suffered from weakness and vomiting. The paper claims that the restaurant was shut … [Read more...]

Yosemite National Park Stomach Illness Outbreak Sickens Visitors

Federal health officials say a Yosemite National Park stomach illness outbreak has sickened at least a dozen people, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. An investigation has been launched after the reports of illness began, and inspections are being conducted at the service facilities. The illness or origin of the outbreak have not been identified. Those sickened are recovering or have already recovered. There is no information about this outbreak on Yosemite's web site. The concession provider is Aramark. They operate Yosemite's hotels, snack shops, and restaurants. Officials say they are cleaning and disinfecting their venues in the Park, which include the Ahwahnee Hotel. According to NBC News, complaints about Aramark's service have been "numerous," ranging from for food … [Read more...]

What Are the Symptoms of Common Foodborne Pathogens?

Since 48,000,000 Americans are sickened with food poisoning every year, which hospitalizes 128,000 and kills about 3,000, consumers should know the symptoms of these illnesses so they can get prompt treatment. There are 31 different pathogens that are known to cause foodborne illness, but the three most common are Salmonella, Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), and Listeria monocytogenes. What are the symptoms of common foodborne pathogens? Salmonella Symptoms Symptoms of a Salmonella food poisoning illness include a mild fever, a headache, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea that may be bloody. Symptoms usually start 12 to 72 hours after ingestion of the pathogen. Most people do recover on their own without medical treatment, which is why food safety experts use … [Read more...]

FDA Updates Yellowfin Tuna Scombrotoxin Outbreak

The FDA has updated the yellowfin tuna scombrotoxin outbreak that is linked to tuna that has sickened dozens of people in the U.S. In November 2019, FDA placed Truong Phu Xanh Co., LTD of Vietnam on Import Alert, which allows the government to detail the firm's yellowfin tuna without physical examination. Truong Phu Xanh is the supplier of the tuna associated with most of the illnesses. The FDA has also asked the company to initiate a voluntary recall of all of its imported yellowfin (ahi) tuna with production dates from January 2019 to the present, and the firm has not complied. In November 2019, there were 47 people sick with scombrotoxin fish poisoning with illness onset dates from August 8, 2019 to October 15, 2019. As of December 26, 2019, there are 50 people sick in this … [Read more...]

2019 Cyclospora Outbreaks Sickened More Than 2,400

The CDC has issued a final report on the cyclospora outbreaks that hit the United States in 2019. This illness is most common in the summer months, and can run from May through September. Multiple outbreaks of cyclosporiasis were identified and linked to different produce items this year. As of November 13, 2019, there are 2,408 laboratory-confirmed cases of cyclosporiasis in 37 states, the District of Columbia, and New York City. These people got sick between May 1 and August 31, 2019, and had no history of international travel during the 14-day period before illness onset. At least 144 people were hospitalized in the various outbreaks. Multiple illness clusters were associated with different restaurants and events. About 10% of ill persons were associated with a multistate … [Read more...]

Is Truong Phu Xanh Yellowfin Tuna Linked to Scombrotoxin Outbreak?

The FDA has released a notice about their investigation of Scombrotoxin fish poisoning that is linked to yellowfin tuna. As a result of this investigation, the government has placed Truong Phu Xanh Company of Vietnam on Import Alert, so the FDA field staff can detain the product without physical examination. This fish cannot enter the US unless the importer proves it meets U.S. food safety standards. FDA has asked the supplier of yellowfin tuna that is associated with most of the illnesses, Truong Phu Xanh Co., to initiate a voluntary recall of all of its imported yellowfin tuna with production dates from January 2019 to the prevent. The firm has not recalled any of the fish to date. As part of the investigation, the FDA has evaluated the firm's Hazard Analysis and Critical … [Read more...]

Tip Top Poultry Listeria Recall Updated to Include Retailers

The Tip Top Poultry Listeria recall, issued on September 28, 2019, has been updated to alert consumers that the ready-to-eat chicken products were used in more products, that is, secondary recalls. Some of these products may have been served from the deli country in retail stores. A list of the retailers that may have sold these products has been released, and pictures of product labels have also been released. These lists will be updated "as more information becomes available," according to the USDA. Some of the retailers that may have sold some of these products in certain states include Food Lion in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland,West Virginia, Delaware, Tennessee, and Georgia; IGA is South Carolina and Georgia, BI-LO in New Jersey, South Carolina, and Georgia, … [Read more...]

How to Report a Problem With Food to the FDA and USDA

Most Americans have had food poisoning at one time or another, giving that 48,000,000 Americans contract this form of illness every year. Most people think they have the "stomach flu" or a "24 hour bug" when they actually have food poisoning. How do you report a problem with food? What do you do if you think you have food poisoning? First, know the symptoms of food poisoning for various pathogens: E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and Salmonella. You can report your illness to the government if you think that a problem with food (such as the Northfork Bison E. coli outbreak) purchased from a store is the problem. First, call your doctor to get necessary treatment. Many foodborne illnesses can have long term health complications and this should be noted on your medical … [Read more...]

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