June 17, 2024

FDA Issues Import Alert For Foods with Chemical Contaminants

The FDA issues import alert for foods with chemical contaminants including PFAS, benzene, dioxins, and PCBs. PFAS are per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, while PCBs are polychlorinated biphenyls. PFAS in the environment can get into the food supply through plants and animals that are grown or raised or processed in contaminated areas. Very small amounts of some types of PFAS can get into foods through food packaging, processing, and cookware. Exposure to high levels of PFAS can affect the immune system. Other health effects may include increases in cholesterol levels, pregnancy-induced hypertension, lower antibody response to some vaccines, and kidney and testicular cancer. Studies to confirm these effects are ongoing. PCBs are synthetic organochlorine chemicals that used to … [Read more...]

Three North Carolina Vibrio Deaths; One From Seafood

Three North Carolina Vibrio deaths are linked to going into brackish water, but one patient also ate seafood harvested in those waters that was personally caught and not shared or commercially distributed. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS)  is urging caution. No links have been established between the cases or the areas where they were likely exposed to the pathogen. The press release did not state whether the illnesses were from Vibrio vulnificus or from Vibrio parahaemolyticus, but the were probably the former. Vibrio vulnificus infections are more severe, and one out of five patients infected with that pathogen die. Vibrio are bacteria that live in seawater or brackish water (which is mixed salt and fresh water). Anyone with open wounds, cuts, … [Read more...]

Consumer Reports Offers Advice on Safe Seafood Prep and Care

More seafood is consumed in the summer months, especially raw oysters. Learn how to keep seafood safe with these tips. Consumer Reports is offering advice on the safe seafood preparation and care. Like all perishable foods, seafood must be handled carefully to avoid food borne illness. If you choose to eat seafood raw, you must be especially careful. Sushi, ceviche, and raw oyster consumption has been linked to foodborne illness over the years. In fact, earlier this month a man from Missouri died after eating raw oysters contaminated with Vibrio vulnificus. Last year, raw oysters were linked to a sapovirus outbreak. And a Salmonella outbreak linked to raw oysters sickened at least eight people in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama. These foods can be contaminated with pathogenic … [Read more...]

CDC Releases Report of Northeast Seafood Salmonella Outbreak

The CDC releases report of Northeast Seafood Salmonella outbreak that sickened at least 115 people in 15 states in the fall of 2021. The report was released in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). This serotype is not usually associated with seafood, but with leafy vegetables, chicken, and beef. From May through October 2021, the outbreak sickened at least 115 people. The case count by state was: (1), California (1), Colorado (93), Connecticut (1), Iowa (1), Minnesota (2), Missouri (1), Nebraska (2), New Jersey (2), Pennsylvania (1), Texas (2), Virginia (3), Washington (1), Wisconsin (2), and Wyoming (2). The patient age range was from less than one year to 85. Twenty patients were hospitalized. Most patients reported that they ate seafood in Colorado before … [Read more...]

Court Enjoins Irvington Seafood From Distributing Products

A federal court has enjoined Irvington Seafood from Alabama from distributing adulterated seafood products, according to the United States Department of Justice. The civil complaint for permanent injunction was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama on April 25, 2023. The complaint alleges that Irvington Seafood violated the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act by distributing adulterated ready-to-eat crabmeat products. Multiple FDA inspections of the defendant's facility, that took place between 2006 and 2022, allegedly revealed that the defendants "prepared, packaged, and held crabmeat products under insanitary conditions and failed to comply with required current good manufacturing practices and seafood hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP) … [Read more...]

Number 2 Outbreak of 2022: Mariscos Bahia Seafood Salmonella

The number two outbreak of 2022 was the Mariscos Bahia seafood Salmonella outbreak that sickened at least 39 people in four states. That seafood was recalled on October 20, 2022, and included fresh salmon fillet, fresh deep skin salmon fillet, fresh salmon portions, Chilean seabass (fillet and portions), halibut (fillet and portions), tuna (fillet and portions), and swordfish (loin, fillet, and wheel). The case count by state was: Arizona (13), California (24), Illinois (1), and Texas (1). The patient age range was from 1 year to 80 years. Of 32 people who gave information about their illness to public health investigators, 15 were hospitalized. That's a hospitalization rate of 47%, more than twice the average for a Salmonella outbreak. Of those 18 patients, 13 of them said they … [Read more...]

Mariscos Bahia Seafood Salmonella Outbreak Ends With 39 Sick

The Mariscos Bahia seafood Salmonella Litchfield outbreak has ended with 39 people sick in four states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That is an increase of six more patients since the last investigation update that was issued on October 25, 2022. The outbreak has ended as of December 14, 2022. The patient case count by state is: Arizona (13), California (24), Illinois (1), and Texas (1). Illinois has been added to the state list. The new patients live in California and Arizona. Illness onset dates range from June 14, 2022 to October 23, 2022. The patient age range is from 1 to 80 years. Of 32 people who gave information to investigators, 15 were hospitalized, for a hospitalization rate of 47%, which is high for a Salmonella outbreak. Eighteen … [Read more...]

What Are the Current Food Poisoning Outbreaks?

What are the current food poisoning outbreaks in the United States? At this time there are four active outbreaks that are being investigated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state health departments. In total, these outbreaks have sickened at least 93 people and have hospitalized 33. The newest outbreak is the sapovirus outbreak linked to oysters that were harvested from a section of Galveston Bay in Texas. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, dozens of people who live in Texas and Florida are sickened in this outbreak. The Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to Enoki mushrooms that were imported from Korea is ongoing. That outbreak has sickened two people from Nevada and Michigan; both were hospitalized. That … [Read more...]

FDA Studies Seafood Consumption Role in Child Development

The FDA is studying seafood consumption roles in child development and growth, with the aim of limiting the exposure of babies and young children to heavy metals such as mercury, arsenic, lead, and cadmium that may be in those foods. The independent study is funded by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine and is called The Role of Seafood Consumption in Child Growth and Development. The FDA is partnering with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Environmental Protection Agency on this study. While seafood consumption is healthy and should be an important part of a child's diet along with a pregnant women's diet, seafood is the primary dietary source of mercury. That heavy metal can damage the … [Read more...]

FDA Results on PFAS in Seafood; Canned Clams From China A Concern

FDA results on PFAS in seafood were released yesterday, with the finding that the percentage of seafood samples with detectable PFAS were higher than the general food supply obtained from FDA's Total Diet Study. Canned clams imported from China were a particular concern. PFAS are per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, which include perfluorooctanoic acid acid (PFOA). Exposure to that chemical is associated with developmental effects, reduced immune response, changes to liver function, and increases in some types of cancer. Seafood may be at increased risk for PFAS contamination from the environment. This "limited survey" was conducted as a first step to see if that agency needs to conduct a more targeted or larger study on PFAS  in seafood. Eighty-one samples of clams, cod, … [Read more...]

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