September 22, 2020

Recent Cyclospora Outbreaks in U.S. Sicken Thousands Linked to Produce

It's just like clockwork. Every summer, at least one cyclospora outbreak is announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These outbreaks are always linked to fresh produce that does not go through a kill step such as heating before consumers eat it. Let's look back at the recent cyclospora outbreaks in the U.S. First, Cyclospora cayetanensis is a microscopic parasite that uses a human host to reproduce and travel. When a person ingests a major oocyst, it breaks apart in the intestine, causes damage, and uses human cells to reproduce. It is excreted in feces, where it matures in the environment, contaminates food through waste in the fields, contamination along the food chain, or contaminated irrigation water, and the process repeats. Cyclospora Outbreaks in … [Read more...]

Nine Sick in Wisconsin Cyclospora Salad Outbreak From ALDI Hy Vee

There are nine sick in the Wisconsin cyclospora salad outbreak that is linked to bagged salads sold at ALDI and Hy-Vee stores in that state, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health. These patients are part of a larger multistate outbreak that has sickened at least 122 people in 7 states as of June 23, 2020. The garden salads in question contain iceberg lettuce, shredded carrots, and red cabbage. The Hy Vee product is called Garden Salad. The ALDI product is called Little Salad Bar Garden Salad. Both were produced by Fresh Express. Both salads were recalled this week. Jewel Osco is another brand that has been implicated in the larger outbreak, but no Wisconsin illnesses have been linked to that specific product at this time. If you live in Wisconsin and have purchased … [Read more...]

Illinois Cyclospora Outbreak Linked to ALDI HyVee Jewel Salads Sickens 30

The Illinois cyclospora outbreak that is linked to ALDI, Hy Vee, and Jewel Osco garden salads produced by Fresh Express has sickened at least 30 people in that state, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. The last update by that department was on June 20, 2020 and stated 23 illnesses, but the FDA and CDC have updated the case counts since then. Illinois officials and the CDC and FDA have stated that these may not be the only products linked to this outbreak. IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in a statement, "Although a link has been made to Cyclospora in some Illinois cases, public health officials continue to investigate other sources. If you consumed store brand packaged garden salads since May and then developed watery diarrhea, please contact a health care … [Read more...]

Cyclospora Sickens Thirteen Minnesotans From ALDI HyVee Bagged Salads

Cyclospora sickens thirteen Minnesotans after they allegedly ate bagged salads sold at ALDI and HyVee stores in that state. These patients are part of a large multistate cyclosporiasis outbreak that started in May 2020 and has sickened dozens in 7 states. The Minnesota Department of Health is working with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the FDA, and other state's public health agencies to investigate this outbreak. The salads sold in Minnesota that are believed to be contaminated are ALDI and Hy-Vee store brand "garden salads" that contain iceberg lettuce, red cabbage, and carrots. The ill Minnesotans range in age from 24 to 79 years. Two of the patients live in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area. Eleven live in … [Read more...]

Multistate ALDI HyVee Salads Cyclospora Infections Sicken 76 in 6 States

The FDA is weighing in on the multistate ALDI HyVee salads cyclospora outbreak. At least 76 people in 6 states are sick with this intestinal parasite. The ingredients in those bagged salads include iceberg lettuce, red cabbage, and carrots. The notice states that "This applies only to the store brand salads labeled as 'garden salads' and not for other types of store brand packaged salads sold at these retailers." The patient case count by state is: Iowa (28), Illinois (23), Kansas (1), Minnesota (10), Missouri (7), and Nebraska (7). Sixteen people have been hospitalized because they are so ill. Illness onset dates range from May 11, 2020 to June 14, 2020. The FDA and CDC are recommending that consumers do not eat all ALDI Little Salad Bar Brand Garden Salads that were sold in … [Read more...]

Bagged Salad Cyclospora Outbreak Sold at ALDI, Hy-Vee, Jewel-Osco

A bagged salad cyclospora outbreak has sickened 76 people in 6 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The salads include ALDI Little Salad Bar Brand Garden Salad, Hy-Vee Brand Garden Salad, and Jewel-Osco Signature Farms Garden Salad. Investigators are trying to determine if other products may also be a source of these illnesses. The patient case count by state is: Iowa (28), Illinois (23), Kansas (1), Minnesota (10), Missouri (7), and Nebraska (7). Sixteen people have been hospitalized because they are so sick. The patient age range is from 16 to 92 years. And illness onset dates range from May 11, 2020 to June 14, 2020. Cyclospora outbreaks have happened every year in the United States for the past several years. Last year, at least 2400 … [Read more...]

CDPH Issues Final Report on 2013 E. coli Outbreak at Trader Joe’s and Walgreens

The California Department of Public Health has released a report on their investigation into the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in October 2013 associated with pre-packaged salads sold at Costco and Walgreens stores. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released their final report on this outbreak in December 2013. Thirty-three people were sickened in this outbreak; seven of those people were hospitalized. Two people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a serious complication of an E. coli infection, from their illness. No deaths were reported. The outbreak count per state was: Arizona (1), California (28), Texas (1), and Washington (3). The STEC O157:H7 PFGE pattern was new to the PulseNet database. Epidemiologic and traceback investigations indicated that Field … [Read more...]

Bagged Salad Poses Risk of E. coli O157:H7

Researchers in Tennessee, along with scientists at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have released a study published in Foodborne Pathogens and Disease about the risk of E. coli O157:H7 in bagged salads. An estimated 63,000 STEC O157 infections occur every year in the United States. Recent outbreaks have been associated with leafy greens such as lettuce and spinach. The researchers look at an outbreak of STEC O157 that was associated with bagged salads in institutional settings. The outbreak was in schools, and the case-control study was made up of controls matched by school and grade. Seventeen patients from three states were identified. The median age of a cases was 23 years. Seventy-six percent of the cases were female. Six people were hospitalized and two … [Read more...]

Transport, Storage Temperature Affects Food Safety of Bagged Salad

Temperature fluctuations during commercial transport and retail storage and display can affect the quality and food safety of bagged salads, according to a new study published in the Journal of Food Protection. The study, the first to examine time and temperature in commercial settings, could improve the food safety of leafy greens which are a major source of food poisoning Researchers from Michigan State University in East Lansing,  California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo and the University of Cordoba in Spain, measured  temperatures on five transportations routes covering four geographic regions. The measurements included two to three days in transport, one to three days in retail storage, and three days of retail display. The conditions were then duplicated in a … [Read more...]

Fast-Growing Glass Onion Catering Under Scrutiny for E. coli

The California company at the center of a multi-state outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 associated with gourmet style, grab-and-go salads and wraps sold at Trader Joe's and other large and moderately sized retail chains is a fast-growing firm that only recently undertook a large expansion to serve a growing market. Now the company, known as Glass Onion Catering and Gourmet Foods, is the focus of investigation by three federal agencies and several state health departments in connection with its recall this week of 181,620 pounds of ready-to-eat salads and sandwich wrap products with fully-cooked chicken and ham that the feds say may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. So far, government officials say there are 22 people in California who have been confirmed as being infected by the outbreak … [Read more...]

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