February 4, 2021

Three Unsolved Multistate Outbreaks on USDA Investigations Table

There are three unsolved multistate outbreaks on the USDA foodborne illness investigation table. This is a companion table to the FDA's Core Outbreak Investigation Table. One is a Listeria monocytogenes outbreak with an unknown source; the second is a Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O145 outback that may be linked to ground beef; and the third is a Shiga toxin-producing E. coil o157:H7 outbreak with an unknown source.   The E. coli O157:H7 outbreak was announced by the CDC yesterday. There are sixteen people in five states sickened in that outbreak. The USDA and FDA are investigating, which means that any type of food could be connected to the outbreak. Nine people have been hospitalized, which is a very high rate for this type of outbreak, and one person in Washington has … [Read more...]

Sniff Test For Food Safety: Bad Advice From British Government UPDATED

We heard from the developer of the campaign and app about things the Guardian article let out. The actual campaign is much more aligned with food safety than the Guardian article would lead a reader to believe. We included their response at the end of this piece. An article published in The Guardian a few days ago outlined a new British government initiative that could be tragic: officials are telling people to "sniff and taste" their food before discarding it. The problem with the sniff test for food safety is that pathogenic bacteria, such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria monocytogenes, do not change the taste, aroma, or texture of food. And while refrigerator temperatures below 40°F slow bacterial growth, it doesn't stop it completely. The campaign, called "Look, Smell, … [Read more...]

FDA Declares Salmonella Paratyphi Outbreak Over With 18 Sick

On its Outbreak Investigation Table, the FDA has declared the Salmonella Paratyphi outbreak over after sickening 18 people overall. Ten illnesses were confirmed in Minnesota and the eight other illnesses are in three other states, according to the FDA. On that table, the product or products linked to illnesses are officially "not yet identified." The Minnesota Department of Health told Food Poisoning Bulletin on November 19, 2020 that they only knew of the ten illnesses in Minnesota. The FDA told us that the CDC doesn't have enough evidence in their investigation of this outbreak to issue advice to the general public about any food or location to avoid. The patients who live in Minnesota told public health officials that they consumed juices and smoothies and bowls at a … [Read more...]

Avoid Making and Serving These Potentially Dangerous Holiday Foods

Every year people are sickened by certain types of foods. Avoid making and serving these potentially dangerous holiday foods this season. Some are inherently dangerous, and others are easily contaminated with dangerous bacteria. The potentially harmful foods include cannibal sandwiches, raw cookie dough, eggnog, unpasteurized cider, and raw oysters. Cannibal sandwiches are sandwiches made with raw ground beef. They are a specialty in some areas of the Midwest United States. In 2013, an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in Wisconsin was associated with the seasonal consumption of these sandwiches. Raw ground beef is inherently risky, because cows carry pathogenic STEC bacteria in their guts. When the cows are slaughtered, the bacteria are released and can contaminate the beef. When this beef … [Read more...]

How E. coli, Salmonella and Listeria Recalls Prevent Serious Illness

When Food Poisoning Bulletin began a review of food recalls in 2020, we discovered there had been a dramatic decline in the number of recalls for meat and poultry but not for other food products. To find out why, we looked at five years of recall data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS), the federal agency that regulates meat, poultry, and eggs. A decline in the number of recalls for bacterial contamination is concerning. To read our in-depth analysis, click here. Bacterial Contamination in Meat is Serious E. coli, Listeria and Salmonella are bacteria that cause typical food poisoning symptoms when they are ingested but each of them can also cause serious illness and death. That’s why companies that produce food are required to have … [Read more...]

Again, Just Say No to Raw Dough During the Holidays

It's that time of the year again. People bake a lot during the holiday season, so it's time for another reminder: Just say no to raw dough. It's important that consumers not eat raw dough or batter of any kind unless the dough is made with pasteurized eggs and heat treated flour. Don't even taste a tiny amount. Those two ingredients can be contaminated with potentially deadly pathogens and in fact have caused many illnesses. Raw cookie dough and raw cake batter are the biggest culprits, but homemade play dough and play clay made with flour has also made children sick. Eggs are often contaminated with Salmonella bacteria; in fact, hens can carry the pathogen inside their ovaries. That means the eggs are contaminated on the inside so washing them won't help. And uncooked flour is a … [Read more...]

Hilly Acres Farm Eggs Recalled For Possible Salmonella Contamination

Hilly Acres Farm Eggs are being recalled in Canada for possible Salmonella contamination. These eggs were sold in Newfoundland and Labrador at the retail level. The recall notice states that "Consumers should not consume and distributors, retailers, and food service establishments such as hotels, restaurants, cafeterias, hospitals, and nursing homes should not serve, sell, or use the recalled products." No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this recall. The recalled Hilly Acres Farm Eggs were sold under two different brand names: Farmer John Eyking and Nova Eggs. The recalled products include Farmer John Eyking Large Size Eggs sold in 12 egg cartons. The UPC number on this product is 0 73557 00002 1 and the codes on the package are DEC 27 N38, JAN 3 N38, and JAN 10 … [Read more...]

FSIS Foodborne Illness Outbreaks For Fiscal Year 2019

The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has released its summary of FSIS foodborne illness outbreaks for fiscal year 2019 that involved FSIS-regulated products. The four pathogens that most often affect those products are Salmonella, Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), Listeria monocytogenes, and Campylobacter. During fiscal year 2019, FSIS investigated 16 outbreaks that sickened about 1000 people and hospitalized more than 175 patients. 94% of these outbreaks involved illnesses in more than one state. Salmonella was the most common pathogen in these outbreaks, followed by STEC, and Listeria monocytogenes. Beef and chicken were the most common food products of interest. Salmonella serotypes in these outbreaks included Blockley, Enteritidis, Newport, Rissen, and … [Read more...]

Metro Brand Products Recalled For Possible Salmonella

Metro brand products are being recalled in Canada for possible Salmonella contamination. These meat, fish, and juice products were sold in Ontario at the consumer level. No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this issue. You can see the long list of recalled products at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency web site, along with UPC numbers and codes. They are all Metro brand. The Metro brand recalled products include Fresh 2 Go Black Forest Ham Pinwheel, Beef Insie Round Alouette Stuffed with 30 and Swiss, Pork Loin Center Pinwheel Spinach Pepper Cheese, Pork Loin Centre Chops Boneless with Spinach and Cheese, Salmon Torenado, Hawaiian Green Juice, Tropical Green Juice, and Rainbow Trout Stuffed with Vegetable & Cheese, among others.  All units up to and including … [Read more...]

Fresh Attitude Baby Spinach Recalled For Possible Salmonella

Vegpro International of Quebec, Canada is recalling Fresh Attitude baby spinach sold in two sizes for possible Salmonella contamination. No illnesses have been reported to the company to date in connection with this issue. The spinach was produced in Vegpro's Eastern Canadian plant and was distributed only in eastern Canada and in the northeastern United States. States where the spinach may have been sold include New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Connecticut, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. All other Fresh Attitude products sold in the U.S. is produced in Belle-Glade Florida and are not linked to this recall. The recalled products include Fresh Attitude Baby Spinach sold in 8 x 5 ounce containers. The UPC number on the label of each individual bag is 888048000042, and the UPC number for … [Read more...]

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