October 20, 2019

University of Arizona Scientists Examine Yuma Romaine E. coli Outbreak

University of Arizona (UA) scientists are examining the Yuma romaine E. coli O157:H7 HUS outbreak linked to lettuce from that Arizona growing area to look at growing practices and the environment. That outbreak was the sixth largest of 2018. In all, 210 people in 36 states were sickened, 96 people were hospitalized, and five people, who lived in Arkansas, California, Minnesota, and New York, died. Twenty-seven of those patients developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure. This study is meant to provide recommendations to growers, packers, and distributors toward enhanced food safety. The FDA, the Arizona Department of Agriculture, and state partners conducted an environmental assessment in 2018 that narrowed the scope of the outbreak. The outbreak strain of … [Read more...]

After Romaine E. coli Outbreak, LGMA Adopts New Food Safety Practices

After the two romaine E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks last year, that together sickened 272 people in the U.S., the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA) has been amended to include more food safety practices on farms. More than 120 people were hospitalized in those outbreaks, and five people died. Scott Horsfall, CEO of the LGMA, said in a statement, "The California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement Board of Directors have adopted additional requirements to reduce risk when it comes to water used in growing lettuce and leafy greens. This means that every box of leafy greens placed into commerce by a certified LGMA member will now be produced under new, more stringent requirements." In the two romaine E. coli O157:H67 outbreaks, the outbreak strains of the pathogen were … [Read more...]

New Dates For Implementing Agricultural Water Produce Safety

FDA's Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb and Deputy Commissioner Frank Yiannas have addressed advancing new tools and science for produce safety via agricultural water, and have set new dates for implementation. The two E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks that were linked to romaine lettuce in 2018 were allegedly caused by contaminated agricultural water. In early 2018, 210 people were sickened in an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to romaine lettuce grown in the Yuma, Arizona region of the country. Ninety-six people were hospitalized, and 27 developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which can cause kidney failure. Five people died. This outbreak was the largest of its kind since 2006. The outbreak strain was found in canal water in the area. And in late 2018, romaine lettuce grown in … [Read more...]

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro Criticizes FDA Delay of Produce Safety Rule

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), has released a statement criticizing the FDA on the delay of some parts of the Produce Safety Rule  following the deadly romaine lettuce E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that occurred late last year. The FDA released the findings of its investigation last week. And that was not the only E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to romaine lettuce last year. Another was announced in summer 2018. Together, those outbreaks caused 272 illnesses, 121 hospitalizations, and five deaths. Her statement reads, "For all the Agency’s bluster on improving traceability, the FDA has done little to advance real actions that would prevent food outbreaks in the first place. The FDA’s investigations into last year’s romaine lettuce recalls have confirmed what we already knew to be … [Read more...]

Final Investigation of Romaine E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak: Questions Remain

The FDA has released a report on its investigation into the romaine E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that occurred during the fall and early winter of 2018. At least 62 people in 16 states were sickened in this outbreak. Twenty-five people were hospitalized, and two developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure. In November 2018, the FDA took the extraordinary step of telling consumers to avoid all romaine lettuce from all sources until they had more information on the outbreak. Officials eventually found contamination at one particular farm in California, but couldn't explain the entire outbreak. Adam Bros. Farming That farm, Adams Bros. Farming, was located in Santa Anna County in California. Officials found the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 in sediment … [Read more...]

E. coli Outbreaks in 2018 Sickened 296

Three E. coli outbreaks in 2018 sickened at least 296 people. These outbreaks were linked to romaine lettuce and ground beef. E. coli illnesses are serious because if a patient is under the age of five, they can develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), as a complication. That complication can cause kidney failure, strokes, seizures, and death. The E. coli outbreaks of 2018 included the strains O157:H7 and O26. There are six non-O157 E. coli strains that produce shiga toxins. Those toxins travel through the bloodstream, destroying red blood cells, which then clog tiny tubes in the kidneys. They also travel to the brain and can cause strokes. Patients sickened in this outbreak did develop that complication. One hundred twenty seven people were hospitalized, 29 developed HUS, and … [Read more...]

E. coli O157:H7 Romaine Lettuce Outbreak Ends With 62 Sick

The latest E. coli O157:H7 romaine lettuce outbreak has ended with 62 sick, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those people live in 16 states and the District of Columbia. The case count by state is: California (12), Connecticut (1), Washington DC (1), Florida (1), Georgia (1), Illinois (2), Louisiana (1), Massachusetts (1), Maryland (1), Michigan (7), New Hampshire (6), New Jersey (13), New York (7), Ohio (1), Pennsylvania (5), Rhode Island (1), and Wisconsin (1). Illness onset dates ranged from October 7, 2018 to December 4, 2018. Twenty-five people were hospitalized because they were so sick. Two people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure. The FDA, CDC, and state partners investigated farms and cooling facilities in … [Read more...]

Romaine E. coli Outbreak Over in Canada; U.S. Outbreak Continues

The latest romaine lettuce E. coli O157:H7 outbreak has ended in Canada, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. The outbreak in the U.S. is still ongoing, with at least 59 people sick as of December 14, 2018. There have been no illnesses reported in Canada since mid-November, 2018. Officials are no longer advising residents in the provinces of Quebec, Ontario, and New Brunswick to avoid eating romaine lettuce and salad mixes that contain romaine. Traceback information indicates that the contaminated romaine lettuce was harvested in the Central Coast growing regions of northern and central California. Romaine lettuce grown in Canada, including that grown hydroponically and in greenhouses, is not associated with this outbreak. There were 29 confirmed cases of E. coli … [Read more...]

First Romaine E. coli O157:H7 HUS Outbreak: Number Six of 2018

The number six food poisoning outbreak of 2018 is the first romaine E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that ended in June. (Yes, there was a second that is ongoing, but that outbreak did not make the Top 10 List.) In that outbreak, 210 people in 36 states were sickened, 96 people were hospitalized, and five people, who lived in Arkansas, California, Minnesota, and New York, died. Twenty-seven patients developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure. This was the largest E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to leafy greens since 2006. The CDC found the outbreak strain in canal water samples taken from the Yuma, Arizona growing region. Government officials are investigating to see how the bacteria got into the water in the first place and how the water contaminated the … [Read more...]

Romaine Lettuce E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak Grows to 59 Sick

The romaine lettuce E. coli O157:H7 outbreak has grown to include 59 people in 15 states, according to an update posted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That is an addition of seven more ill persons since the last update was posted on December 6, 2018. Twenty-three people have been hospitalized, and two people have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a  type of kidney failure. There are 27 people in Canada who are sick with the same strain of E. coli O157:H7 bacteria. All epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback evidence from both countries indicates that this outbreak is linked to romaine lettuce harvested from the Central Coastal growing regions of northern and central California. The case count by state is: California (12), Connecticut (1), … [Read more...]

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