September 27, 2016

Mr. Rick’s Flouted Permit Rule For Years Before Salmonella Outbreak

Mr Rick's Catering, the source of a Salmonella outbreak in Washington state, operated for years without a permit, ignoring health department warnings to stop doing so even after being fined.  Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department named Mr Rick's in a warning it issued about the importance of choosing a caterer with a permit to operate. The event was attended by as many as 175 people, but not all of them are sick. The health department "has notified Mr. Rick’s Catering not to operate several times since 2012, and as a result of the incident in Snohomish County, recently issued a $710 fee for continuing to operate without a permit. In the interest of protecting public health, and because the business owner continues to advertise as a viable business, Tacoma-Pierce County Health … [Read more...]

E. coli and Salmonella Outbreaks from Nuts, Nut Butters and Nut Cheese

Nuts and products made from them are common sources of food poisoning as a look back at some E.coli and Salmonella outbreaks shows. Yesterday, a Salmonella outbreak linked to Wonderful brand pistachios that has sickened 11 people was announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  A recall has been issued for pistachios sold under the brand names Wonderful, Paramount Farms, and Trader Joe’s, consumers who have purchased the recalled nuts should not eat them. In 2015, a Salmonella outbreak linked to Jem brand nut butters sickened 13 people in 10 states. A recall was issued for the products which were linked to illnesses from July 2015 to November 2015. Cases of Salmonella Paratyphi B variant L(+) tartrate(+) infection were reported from the following states … [Read more...]

Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Wonderful Pistachios

Wonderful brand pistachios have been linked to a nine-state Salmonella Montevideo outbreak that has sickened 11 people, hospitalizing two of them, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A recall has been issued for pistachios sold under the brand names Wonderful, Paramount Farms, and Trader Joe's, consumers who have purchased the recalled nuts should not eat them. State and federal health officials have used DNA "fingerprinting" to identify case patients, who range in age from 9 years to 69 year old.  Those sickened reported onset of illness dates ranging from December 12, 2015 to February 9, 2016. The outbreak strain has also been isolated  from samples of raw pistachios collected from Paramount Farms, where Wonderful pistachios are grown. Health officials … [Read more...]

FDA Joins Salmonella, E. coli “Sproutbreak” Investigations

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has join the investigations into the E. coli and Salmonella outbreaks linked to contaminated alfalfa sprouts. The multistate outbreaks, that are unfolding simultaneously, have been linked to sprouts produced by two different companies: Jack and the Green Sprouts of River Falls, Wis. and  Sweetwater, Inmnan, Kan. Recalls have been issued for alfalfa and onion sprouts sold under these brand names which were distributed to restaurants, grocery stores, co-ops and food service operations. Consumers and customers who have purchased these products should not eat them as E. coli and Salmonella can both cause serious illness. The Salmonella outbreak, linked to Sweetwater alfalfa sprouts, has sickened 13 people in four states. The outbreak strain … [Read more...]

A Tale of Two Chickens and Salmonella: Koch Poultry and Foster Farms

Two giant poultry processors have been linked to serious food poisoning outbreaks in the past few years. One, Foster Farms, was the source of chicken tainted with antibiotic-resistant Salmonella that sickened almost seven hundred people. Despite objections from food safety experts, that company only issued a small recall of chicken produced over a period of one week in March 2014. Other retailers such as Costco did issue recalls of Foster Farms chicken, including rotisserie chickens that were professionally cooked. The second, Koch Poultry, under the name Aspen Foods, was the source of frozen breaded stuffed chicken tainted with Salmonella. While the company did recall products linked to an outbreak last summer, they refused to issue a new recall when the USDA requested it after finding … [Read more...]

Salmonella at DC Fig & Olive May Have Sickened 160 in 5 States

A Salmonella outbreak at the Washington, DC City Center Fig & Olive may have sickened as many as 160 people, according to the DC Department of Health (DOH). Ten cases have been confirmed and another 150 cases from five states are being investigated. Those states have not been named. Health officials say anyone who ate at the restaurant and developed symptoms of a Salmonella infection including fever, abdominal cramps, vomiting and diarrhea that may have been bloody, should see a doctor and mention possible Salmonella exposure. A stool culture can confirm an infection and determine if it it part of the outbreak. The restaurant reopened today after a six-day closure triggered by the outbreak. Health investigators say they were able to confirm through follow-up inspections that the … [Read more...]

Three Salmonella Outbreaks: 642 Sick Across U.S.

There are currently three ongoing Salmonella outbreaks across the country, with at least 642 sick. Two people have died, and dozens have been hospitalized because of their illness. There are 45 people sick in the Salmonella outbreak linked to Chipotle restaurants in Minnesota. Four hundred eighteen people are sick with Salmonella linked to slicer cucumbers imported from Mexico. And as many as 160 people are sick in the outbreak at the Fig & Olive restaurant in Washington, D.C. Using the standard multiplier for Salmonella outbreaks, 30.3, which means that for every case reported there are 30 that go unreported, that means there may be more than 16,000 Americans sickened with Salmonella just this summer in the U.S. in these three clusters. What is going on? Nationwide, … [Read more...]

Salmonella at Chipotle in Minnesota Sickens 45

A Salmonella outbreak linked to food served at Chipotle restaurants in Minnesota has sickened 45 people since Wednesday, September 2, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. The outbreak involves 17 locations, most of them located in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Because many cases of salmonellosis go undiagnosed,  the number of those sickened is likely to be much higher and health officials want to alert people who have become ill with symptoms of salmonellosis to see a health care provider and mention the outbreak. Symptoms of a Salmonella infection usually develop within six to 72 hours of exposure and include fever, nausea, abdominal cramps and diarrhea that can be bloody. Typically, these symptoms last between four and seven days.About  28 percent of cases require … [Read more...]

Andrew & Williamson Feels Bad for Victims, But Unsure if it is Salmonella Outbreak Source

There's a difference between feeling sorry for something and feeling bad about it. And Andrew and Williamson, the San Diego produce company identified by health officials as the likely source of the deadly cucumber Salmonella outbreak, wants families of those sickened or killed to know that it feels bad for them, but isn't sure it is responsible. In a statement issued today, coinciding with updates from the CDC and the FDA saying the outbreak has expanded to 30 states, with 341 sick, 70 hospitalized and two dead, the company said: "Our thoughts go out to the victims, their families and their loved ones. We want to let those who are affected know we are fully cooperating with health officials to ensure we are doing everything possible to learn if we are responsible and how this could … [Read more...]

Why Are Children so Sick in the Cucumber Salmonella Outbreak?

Children comprise 54% of the patients in the nationwide Salmonella outbreak linked to imported cucumbers. That means at least 157 kids are sick in 27 states across the country. Why are children more susceptible to these infections? Children are more susceptible because their immune systems are developing and haven't reached maturity. When bacteria enter your body, your immune system responds and tries to kill the invaders. Proteins called antibodies mark the bacterial cells, then T cells destroy the bacteria with a process called phagocytosis. This process becomes stronger and more efficient as you age, then it starts to decrease in the elderly. Children under the age of 5 are especially susceptible to bacterial infections, particularly E. coli and Salmonella infections. They will … [Read more...]

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