July 17, 2024

HUS Kidney Failure from Shredded Lettuce: The Federico’s Story

E. coli HUS patients from last summer's major E. coli O157:H7 restaurant outbreak are able to look back now with durable evidence that contaminated shredded lettuce caused their kidney failure. Records produced by the Maricopa County Departments of Public Health and Environmental Services explain in some detail how the E. coli food poisoning cases clustered among scores of people who dined at one Phoenix-area Federico's Mexican Restaurant. Foodborne outbreaks of E. coli O157:H7 in restaurants can have devastating effects. What typically starts with fever may develop into full-blown hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) -- a disease that is particularly devastating in children, the elderly or others who have underdeveloped or weakened immune systems. In the Federico's outbreak, public health … [Read more...]

Salmonella Outbreak At Proper Restaurant in Boone, NC

The Appalachian District Health Department is investigating a Salmonella outbreak associated with the Proper restaurant in Boone, North Carolina. As of Monday, June 9, 2014, there are 37 people with the signs and symptoms "consistent with Salmonellosis" according to public health officials. Seven of those people are confirmed cases. No one has been hospitalized, and no one has died. The Health Department is asking anyone who ate or drank beverages at the Proper restaurant at 142 South Water Street on or after Saturday, May 17, 2014, and started having diarrhea within three days to call the department at 828-264-6635. After hours calls will be answered by on-call staff. The symptoms of Salmonella food poisoning include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, chills, … [Read more...]

Serving Up Norovirus, Restaurants are Most Common Source of Outbreaks

Norovirus causes more food poisoning outbreaks than any other pathogen and most of those outbreaks occur at restaurants, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Restaurants were the source of almost two thirds of all foodborne norovirus outbreaks between 2009 and 2012. The reason? Sick employees working and not taking time off. About 70 percent of norovirus outbreaks at restaurants originate from a sick food worker.  Norovirus, which is highly contagious, is usually spread via the fecal-oral route, meaning an infected person didn't wash his or her hands properly after using the restroom and then contaminated various surfaces or foods by touching them. The contaminated foods are then eaten by customers who become ill. This is how almost 20 … [Read more...]

Lawyer Says Restaurant Responsible for E. coli O157 in Burger

At least 5 people in Michigan have been diagnosed with E. coli O157 after eating undercooked ground beef the last week of April. Three of them were hospitalized because they were so seriously ill. The likely source of this outbreak is undercooked burgers and other menu items. One man told WOODTV that he ate a rare burger about 4 days before getting sick. The incubation period for E. coli is usually three to four days, so the time frame is right. "If a restaurant sells rare burgers, that burger should be safe to eat, free of any dangerous pathogens like E. coli O157," said Fred Pritzker, a lawyer who represents people sickened by E. coli food poisoning. He and his team won a $4.5 million settlement for a client who contracted an E. coli infection from steak sold at a national chain … [Read more...]

CDC: New Tools to Improve Food Safety in Restaurants

Almost half of all foodborne illness outbreaks that occur every year in the U.S. are associated with restaurants and delis. The CDC has released new findings and prevention tools to improve food safety in restaurants. Public health officials say that increased awareness and implementation of proper food safety in restaurants and delis may prevent many of the foodborne illness outbreaks reported every year in the U.S. Education of restaurant workers and public health surveillance are two critical tools necessary in preventing these illnesses. Food preparation and handling practices, worker health policies, and hand-washing practices are some of the factors that are not reported during outbreaks. Carol Selman, head of the CDC's Environmental Health Specialists Network team said, … [Read more...]

The Porch Restaurant E. coli Outbreak Confirmed in Pittsburgh Area

The Porch Restaurant in the Oakland area of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is at the center of an outbreak of  E. coli O157:H7 food poisoning still under investigation by public health officials in the Keystone State. Dr. Karen Hacker, director of the Allegheny County Health Department, said 12 people have been confirmed as case patients in the outbreak while nine others have had "suggestive symptoms'' of toxic E. coli infections. Four of the first five known victims were hospitalized last month, when the outbreak was first detected. Hacker said four more restaurant customers were hospitalized, but that no further cases have been reported since the restaurant was approved to re-open on October 31. In a statement to reporters on Friday, Hacker said  investigators have been unable to … [Read more...]

Jimmy John’s E. coli Food Poisoning Outbreak in Denver, Colorado, Lawyers Investigate

At least 8 people are part of an E. coli outbreak associated with 3 Jimmy John's locations in Denver, Colorado, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).  One teen remains hospitalized. E. coli lawyer Fred Pritzker and his team are investigating the Jimmy Johns E. coli outbreak, as are CDPHE, the FDA, and the CDC.  At this time the prime suspect is one batch of a produce item. The FDA is doing traceback investigations to confirm this suspicion. The name of the implicated supplier is being withheld. CDPHE was first alerted to the outbreak when it was notified of five cases of E. coli on Oct. 18.  All five ate at Jimmy John's locations in Denver around the first weekend of October, said CDPHE representative Mark Salley. Since then. three additional … [Read more...]

Hacienda Don Villo Employee Tests Positive for Salmonella as County Investigates Complaints of Illness

Over 34 people have complained of illness after eating at Hacienda Don Villo, a Mexican restaurant in Channahon, IL, according to Philip Jass, Health Admistrator with the Grundy County Health Department. Jass told Food Poisoning Bulletin some of the stool samples are coming back positive for Salmonella, including the stool sample of one employee. All other employee stool samples have been negative. The county received the first complaint of illness on September 23. After being alerted to the possible food poisoning outbreak, the owner voluntarily closed the restaurant. According to a sign on the door, the restaurant was going to reopen today, but Jass told Food Poisoning Bulletin that the employees who were working at the restaurant can't go back to work until they have 2 negative test … [Read more...]

Hacienda Don Villo Linked to Salmonella Outbreak in Illinois

Hacienda Don Villo, a restaurant in Channahon, Illinois, may be the source of an outbreak of Salmonella poisoning in Grundy County. It is not yet known what food item served at the restaurant was contaminated with Salmonella bacteria.  Osterholm said in some outbreaks linked to restaurants, it’s not possible to identify the precise food product responsible for the illnesses.  If the contaminated product was produce, there is often none left to test by the time illnesses are reported to the health department. Also, if a person who was sickened had, for example, tacos, the adulterated product that caused illness could have been the lettuce, tomatoes, meat or an ingredient in the salsa. Even if health officials can’t say for sure which product was responsible, outbreak victims may still … [Read more...]

El Potrero Restaurant in Owosso, Michigan, Tied to Outbreak

Salmonella food poisoning investigators for Shiawassee County are probing an outbreak that they say may be tied to the El Potrero Mexican Restaurant in Owosso, Michigan, west of Flint. There was nothing on the Shiawassee County Health Department website, but local newspaper The Argus-Press reported the investigation and said representatives of El Potrero said they are shocked the probe has focused on the business because of its emphasis on sanitation. Manager Alex Aylala Friday told the newspaper that the health department’s investigation has centered on the restaurant’s salsa and canned tomatoes used in the preparation of the condiment. Previous inspections of the restaurant were not problematic, but county health workers saw a cluster of salmonellosis in people who ate at the … [Read more...]

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