December 5, 2016

5-Second Rule Depends on the Food Dropped and the Contact Surface

A Rutgers University study looked whether the "5-second rule" is a reality or a myth. For those few who are not familiar with this rule, it states that food that drops to the floor and is picked up in less than 5 seconds is safe to eat. The Rutgers study, published online in the American Society for Microbiology’s journal, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, looked at four different foods, surfaces and contact times. The four foods were watermelon, bread, bread with butter, and gummy candy. The four surfaces were stainless steel, ceramic tile, wood and carpet. The four contact times were less than one, 5, 30 and 300 seconds. The study found that "some transfer takes place 'instantaneously' at times <1 s, disproving the 'five-second rule'." For example, watermelon got … [Read more...]

2015 Food Poisoning Outbreaks from Pets

During 2015, there were seven multistate food poisoning outbreaks linked to contact with pets. All of them were Salmonella outbreaks. Here is a brief look at each one. Two of the outbreaks were linked to turtles and occurred at the same time. The Salmonella outbreaks linked to tiny pet turtles sickened 51 people in 16 states. About half of the illnesses, which were reported between  January 22, 2015 and September 8, 2015, affected children 5 and under. Because small turtles have long been associated with Salmonella infections, especially in children, the sale of turtles with shells of less than four inches in length has been banned since 1974. Many of the case patients in this outbreak reported buying the small turtles from street vendors. A Salmonella outbreak linked to crested … [Read more...]

Salmonella in Bean Sprouts Sickens 68 in 10 States

Salmonella in bean sprouts produced by Wonton Food Inc. of New York has sickened 68 people in 10 states, according to the Vermont Department of Health.  Eleven people have been hospitalized. Vermont has been working with other state health departments, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on an investigation of the outbreak which includes three people from Vermont who were not hospitalized and all have recovered. Some of those who were sickened ate sprouts on food they purchased at restaurants. Restaurants and grocery stores have been advised not to serve or sell bean sprouts from this firm. The CDC has not yet announced which other states are involved in the outbreak. Massachusetts is a likely candidate as health … [Read more...]

Backyard Poultry? Reduce Salmonella Risk With CDC Tips

Are you tending a backyard flock of chicks or ducklings this spring? If so, consider these tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on reducing your risk of Salmonella poisoning. Salmonella from live poultry sickened more than 450 people in 2012. Generally, children are disproportionately affected in these outbreaks. Why? Their immunes systems are not fully developed, they are less likely than adults to wash their hands properly and more likely than adults to put their fingers in their mouths and to snuggle or kiss the small birds. The CDC recommends that children under 5 and others with weakened immune systems, including pregnant women, not handle young birds. Older children should be supervised with the birds and while washing their hands afterward. Wash … [Read more...]

Lawyer Represents Victims of Old Country Buffet Salmonella Food Poisoning Outbreak in MN

Attorney Ryan Osterholm is representing victims of the Salmonella Enteritidis outbreak linked to eating at the Old Country Buffet in Maple Grove, Minnesota.  Osterholm has begun his investigation of the outbreak. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and Hennepin County are also investigating. Osterholm is providing free consultations to victims of the outbreak. Osterholm commented, "Salmonella is particularly difficult when it strikes young children.  Unfortunately one of the individuals I represent in this outbreak is a young boy that required hospital treatment.  I hope Old Country Buffet is cooperating with health authorities to find out what went wrong to ensure this does not happen again." Osterholm is part of the team of Salmonella lawyers at PritzkerOlsen, P.A., a … [Read more...]

Extra Danger in Foster Farms Chicken Salmonella Outbreak

The type of Salmonella making people sick in the Foster Farms chicken outbreak is putting victims in the hospital at an alarming rate, has proven to be resistant to antibiotics and is causing blood infections at an abnormally high rate, according to state and federal infectious disease experts. Foodborne pathogens that are resistant to drug treatment aren't new, officials say, but the Foster Farms outbreak is a clear example of how food safety is becoming more important. "With so many people being treated at hospitals for illnesses related to food poisoning by Foster Farms, this outbreak is showing more and more people what a burden it can be to stack contaminated food into our grocery aisles,'' said Fred Pritzker, a food safety lawyer representing victims of the outbreak. Pritzker said … [Read more...]

Iguana Joe’s Restaurant Salmonella Outbreak in Houston, TX Area: Lawyer Video

Ryan Osterholm, a national food safety lawyer, has a video on YouTube discussing the Salmonella outbreak associated with eating at Iguana Joe's Restaurant in Atascocita, Texas. At least 20 people, including children, reported getting sick after eating at the restaurant on Father's Day weekend. The number of ill is likely rise, according to Osterholm. According to the Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services, the restaurant was closed on June 25 because of health code violations, including food that was not held at the correct temperature. Although Harris County health officials have associated the outbreak of Salmonella with eating at the Iguana Joe's, the exact source or food associated with the outbreak has yet to be determined. According to Osterholm, this does … [Read more...]

FDA To Cantaloupe Growers: Prepare To Be Inspected

After two major food poisoning outbreaks in two years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is urging the cantaloupe growers to review their practices and to make sure they are doing all they can to prevent dangerous pathogens form contaminating their melons. In a letter to growers, the agency is also telling growers it will be conducting inspections of some operations to make sure these efforts have been made. Combined, the cantaloupe Listeria outbreak of 2011 and the cantaloupe Salmonella outbreak of 2012 sickened more than 400 people. Thirty six people died.  In both outbreaks, investigators discovered unsanitary conditions in the packinghouses. “Due to our observations at cantaloupe packinghouses, we urge the cantaloupe industry to review its current operations in the … [Read more...]

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