December 14, 2019

FDA Updates Romaine E. coli O157:H7 HUS Outbreaks

The FDA updates romaine E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks in a notice sent on December 12, 2019. This update is interesting because, although case counts in the large outbreak have not changed, the notice states that the two other ongoing E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks are linked to the large outbreak in a special way: "tracebacks on all three outbreaks have identified a common grower in Salinas." Those outbreaks are in the upper Midwest, sickening nine people in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota; and an outbreak in the Seattle, Washington area that is linked to Evergreen restaurants. One interesting tidbit: these two outbreaks are caused by E. coli strains that are different from each other and different from the larger outbreak. The case count is still 102 people sick in 23 states. … [Read more...]

FDA Has Identified a Common Grower in Three Ongoing E. coli Outbreaks

The FDA has identified a common grower in the three ongoing E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks that are linked to or associated with romaine lettuce. A statement from FDA commissioner Frank Yiannas issued last night updated the public on the investigation into these outbreaks. While a common grower, not named at this time, has been identified, the outbreaks are "currently being considered as three separate outbreaks caused by three different strains of E. coli O157:H7," according to the statement. These outbreaks were all identified at different times in November 2019 and early December 2019. While the FDA has identified a common grower in these outbreaks, Yiannas states "Because of the expansive nature of these outbreaks, our investigation remains a complicated work in progress, and it is … [Read more...]

Wisconsin Officials Found E. coli in Fresh Express Chopped Romaine

Wisconsin officials found E. coli in Fresh Express romaine salad from Salinas, California, according to the Wisconsin Department of Heath Services. This outbreak is the large one that is linked to romaine harvested in Salinas, California, with at least 102 people sick and 58 hospitalized. More laboratory testing is pending to see if the bacteria found in the romaine matches the strain that has caused the illnesses in the outbreak. Another Fresh Express product, Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp Salad Kit, is linked to second E. coli outbreak that has sickened nine people in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota. According to the CDC, whole genome sequencing conducted on isolates from people in that outbreak does not match the isolates taken from patients in the larger outbreak. And … [Read more...]

Fresh Express Sickens Five Minnesotans with E. coli O157:H7 Infections

Fresh Express sickens five Minnesotans with E. coli O157:H7 infections, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. (MDH). Yesterday, the FDA's press release stated that there were four people sick in that state. Doug Schultz, Information Officer for MDH told Food Poisoning Bulletin that there are no hemolytic uremic syndrome cases in the state, but that two of the five patients have been hospitalized. One patient has been released from the hospital. The illness onset dates for these patients range from November 8 to November 16, 2018. The patient age range is from 21 to 91. Four of the patients live in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, and one lives in Greater Minnesota. Three people are sick in Wisconsin, and one person living in North Dakota is ill. The product linked … [Read more...]

Fresh Express E. coli O157:H7 HUS Outbreak Investigated by FDA

The new Fresh Express E. coli O157:H7 HUS outbreak that has sickened eight people in the Upper Midwest is being investigated by the FDA. The outbreak is linked to Fresh express Sunflower Crisp Chopped Salad Kits both in the United States and in Canada. The case count by state is Minnesota (4), North Dakota (1), and Wisconsin (3). Illness onset dates range from November 5, 2019 to November 15, 2019. Three people have been hospitalized because their illness is so severe. One person has developed hemolytic ureic syndrome (HUS), which is a type of kidney failure that can develop after an E. coli infection. The outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 bacteria that is found in these case patients is different from the outbreak strain of the large E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to romaine … [Read more...]

Fresh Express Sunflower Salad Kit Linked to a New E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak

A new E. coli outbreak that has sickened people in the U.S. and Canada was just announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Unlike the multistate E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to romaine lettuce that has sickened at least 102 people, in this outbreak we have a brand name. Epidemiologic information indicates that Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp Chopped Salad Kits are a likely source of this outbreak. Eight people in three states are sick as of December 9, 2019. The case count by state is: Minnesota (4), North Dakota (1), and Wisconsin (3). Three people have been hospitalized because they are so ill. The illness onset dates range from November 5, 2019 to November 15, 2019. The patient age range is from 21 to 91. One person has developed hemolytic uremic syndrome … [Read more...]

Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp Chopped Kit Recalled for E. coli O157:H7

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is warning consumers not to eat Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp Chopped Kit because it is linked to an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in that country. This product is not likely available at retail stores, but some consumers may have it in their homes. The recalled product is Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp Chopped Kit, sold in 315 gram packages. The UPC number on the product is 0 71279 30906 4. All packages bearing a Best Before date up to and including 07DE19, and a lot code beginning with "Z", and indicating "Salinas" as a source of Romaine lettuce. This product was sold in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec. The recall was triggered by CFIA findings during an investigation into a … [Read more...]

Romaine Outbreak Sickens Canadians with E. coli O157:H7 Infections

The romaine outbreak sickens Canadians with E. coli O157:H7 infections. The same bacteria linked to romaine has sickened at least 102 people in the United States. The two people who are sick in Canada are infected with E. coli O157:H7 bacteria that has a similar genetic fingerprint to patients in the U.S. Public Health Canada is working with U.S. officials to determine the source of contamination. Consumers are still being advised not to eat any romaine lettuce harvested from the Salinas, California growing region. Romaine lettuce harvested in Canada is not affected by this advice. The types of romaine from Salinas that should be avoided include whole heads of romaine, hearts of romaine, and bags and boxes of precut lettuce and salad mixes that contain romaine, including baby … [Read more...]

Why Does Wisconsin Have 31 E. coli Cases in Romaine Outbreak?

Why does Wisconsin have 31 E. coli cases, the most of any other state, in the multistate outbreak linked to romaine lettuce from Salinas, California? Good question. We don't know. But it is true that, at 31 people sick, Wisconsin has more than 1/3 of the illnesses in this massive outbreak. It may be that a distributor in Wisconsin received a shipment of contaminated romaine from the Salinas, California area, which has been identified as the probable source of the pathogen. Wisconsin is just one of 23 states where ill persons live. No single supplier, distributor, farm, or even brand of romaine has been named as the source of the outbreak, although the CDC has named the Salinas growing region. We do know that Wisconsin was the first state to identify the outbreak back in … [Read more...]

Salinas CA Romaine E. coli HUS Outbreak Investigated by FDA

The Salinas CA romaine E. coli HUS outbreak is being investigated by the FDA, which released a statement yesterday. At least 102 people are sick in 23 states. Fifty-eight people have been hospitalized, and ten patents have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure that is a complication of this type of infection. The statement says that consumers should not eat romaine lettuce harvested from Salinas, California, as well as products that have been recalled in relation to this investigation. Missa Bay recalled about 75,233 pounds of meat and chicken salad products on November 21, 2019. Romaine lettuce may be voluntarily labeled with a harvest region. If this label has the word "Salinas" on it, don't buy it or eat it. If the romaine you want to buy doesn't … [Read more...]

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