November 23, 2020

CDC Updates Second Mystery E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak; Romaine?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated the second mystery E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that may be associated with leafy greens or romaine lettuce. This outbreak has now sickened at least 39 people in 18 states. There are three unsolved multistate E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks ongoing at this time; all of the investigation notices mention leafy greens, and one mentions an unnamed restaurant. The outbreak investigation notice states that "This outbreak is different from the two other E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks CDC is currently investigating." This is the same strain of E. coli O157:H7 which caused a massive outbreak last year that was linked to romaine lettuce from the Salinas Valley growing region in California. At least 167 people were sickened in that outbreak … [Read more...]

Dole Organic Romaine Hearts Recalled For non-O157 E. coli

Dole Fresh Vegetables is voluntarily recalling Dole Organic Romaine Hearts and Wild Harvest Organic Romaine Hearts for possible pathogenic non-O157 E. coli contamination. No illnesses or any consumer complaints have been reported to the company to date. And these recalled items are not associated with the strains that are connected to ongoing multistate outbreaks. The recalled items are Dole Organic Romaine Hearts 3pk with UPC number 0-71430-90061-1, in combined English/French packaging. The Harvested-On dates are 10-23-20 and 10-26-20. Also recalled is Wild Harvest Organic Romaine Hearts with UPC number 7-11535-50201-2. The Harvested-On dates for that product are also 10-23-20 and 10-26-20. The Harvested-On sticker is on the upper right corner of each bag. The UPC number is on the … [Read more...]

Canada E. coli Romaine Lettuce Update – Import Restrictions are Working

Every year since 2017, there has been at least one E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to romaine lettuce or leafy greens in the United States and in Canada. While no such outbreak has been officially announced in the United States yet in 2020, there have been three "mystery" E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks announced by the CDC and FDA this fall that may be associated with romaine. No such outbreaks have occurred in Canada this year. Why? It may be because last month the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) imposed import restrictions on romaine lettuce grown in the United States. The romaine that allegedly caused illnesses in Canada mostly came from the Salinas growing region in California. So romaine importers either had to prove to the Canadian government that the lettuce did not … [Read more...]

Are There Three Romaine E. coli O157:H7 Outbreaks?

Food safety experts are talking about three separate new E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks in the United States that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have not definitively linked to any food or facility. All may have a common thread, however. Are there three romaine E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks currently ongoing in this country? Maybe. The first two outbreaks were announced at the end of October 2020. The first E. coli O157:H7 outbreak, which sickened 21 people in 8 states and hospitalized 8, may be associated with a restaurant. The significant clue in this outbreak is that the outbreak strain is closely related to the E. coli O157:H7 bacteria that sickened 210 people in a deadly outbreak linked to romaine lettuce in 2018. The second outbreak, which has sickened at least … [Read more...]

Pritzker Hageman Files Second E. coli O157:H7 Lawsuit in Ohio

The law firm of Pritzker Hageman has filed a second E. coli O157:H7 lawsuit in the state of Ohio on behalf of a teenage girl who was sickened with a Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) infection after allegedly eating food purchased at the Chipotle at 1140 Polaris Parkway in Columbus, Ohio. The suit was filed on Friday, November 6, 2020. The first lawsuit, also against the same restaurant location, was filed on October 31, 2020. Their client allegedly ate a salad bowl or burrito bowl purchased from that restaurant on September 22, 2020, and another on September 24, 2020. The bowl contained romaine lettuce, tomato salsa, guacamole, and other items. Several days later the teenager got sick with bloody diarrhea, and sought medical treatment. A diagnosis of STEC infection was … [Read more...]

How Common Are E. coli O157:H7 Leafy Greens Outbreaks?

There are currently two active E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks in the United States that were announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this month. Neither has had a specific food, brand, store, or restaurant associated with it, although the FDA has hinted that one may be linked to a restaurant and one may be linked to leafy greens. How common are foodborne E. coli O157:H7 leafy green outbreaks? The CDC has a fact sheet on leafy greens that will shed light on this question and also helps consumers protect themselves against foodborne illness linked to those products. From 2014 to 2018 there have been 51 foodborne illness outbreaks linked to leafy greens. Five of those outbreaks were publicized by the government. Two of those five outbreaks were inked to packaged … [Read more...]

FDA Notice of Tanimura & Antle Romaine Recall For Possible E. coli

The FDA has published a notice of single heads of Tanimura & Antle romaine recall for possible E. coli O157:H7 contamination. Earlier today, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development posted a notice stating that E. coli O157:H7 bacteria had been found on that romaine lettuce. The product packed on dates are 10/15/2020 or 10/16/2020 and the UPC number is 0-27918-20314-9.. The FDA notice states that "there have been no reported illnesses associated with this recalled product," and the Michigan notice stated that the bacteria found on the Tanimura & Antle romaine is "closely related genetically" to bacteria that has sickened two people in Michigan. That doesn't mean that there are illnesses linked to this newly recalled product, only that the bacteria are … [Read more...]

Tanimura & Antle Romaine Lettuce Tests Positive for E. coli: Outbreaks?

Tanimura & Antle romaine lettuce has tested positive for E. coli O157:H7, according to a consumer advisory put out by the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD). That agency is warning consumers not to eat Tanimura & Antle romaine lettuce that is packed as single heads. A routine sample of the lettuce that was collected at a Walmart store in Comstock Park, Michigan, and tested by MDARD's Laboratory Division was confirmed positive for the pathogen. Analysis by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services found that the strain of E. coli recovered from that romaine is "highly related genetically" to the E. coli O157:H7 bacteria that has sickened two people in Michigan. The CDC stated last week that there are are two E. coli O157:H7 … [Read more...]

List of Active Multistate Outbreaks Remaining in 2020 Include E. coli

As 2020 starts to wind down, it's important that consumers stay informed about the list of active multistate outbreaks that may still be sickening people. As of November 2, 2020, there are still four active multistate outbreaks in the United States: Two E. coli outbreaks, one Listeria monocytogenes outbreak, and a Salmonella outbreak. Just one of these outbreaks, the Salmonella outbreak linked to dried wood ear mushrooms, is associated with a recall. The Listeria monocytogenes outbreak is linked to as yet unidentified deli meats, and the foods that the two E. coli outbreaks were caused by have not yet been identified, although associations with a restaurant and romaine lettuce or leafy greens have been alleged. Salmonella Stanley Outbreak Linked to Wood Ear Mushrooms The … [Read more...]

Chipotle E. coli Lawsuit Filed by Pritzker Hageman in Ohio

A Chipotle E. coli lawsuit has been filed by the Pritzker Hageman law firm in Ohio, alleging that their client, a teenage girl, was sickened with an E. coli O157:H7 infection after eating food at that establishment. Their client got sick after eating a salad bowl, which was made with romaine lettuce, tomato, salsa, and guacamole, on September 24, 2020 at the Chipotle restaurant on 1140 Polaris Parkway in Columbus, Ohio. As a result of this infection, the girl was hospitalized for a debilitating and painful gastrointestinal illness. As a result of the Chipotle E. coli lawsuit, the law firm's attorneys are investigating whether this illness is associated with either of the two recently announced multistate E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks that have sickened 44 people and hospitalized 18. … [Read more...]

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