December 12, 2018

Vibrio Outbreak Linked to Fresh Crab Meat From Venezuela Ends; Lawsuits Possible

The Vibrio outbreak that was linked to fresh crab meat imported from Venezuela has ended, according to the FDA. As of September 27, 2018 26 lab-confirmed cases in seven states and the District of Columbia were reported in people who ate this product. Nine people were hospitalized. Illness onset dates ranged from April 1, 2018 to July 19, 2018.   The FDA's Bacterial Analytical Manual states that "“A heat-processed product should not contain viable V. parahaemolyticus and if so, would indicate a significant problem in manufacturing practices or post-process contamination." The notice states that "Consumers and restaurants may want to consider using pasteurized crab meat or fully recooking (bringing to an internal temperature of at least 165°F) fresh crab meat, particularly for … [Read more...]

Multistate Vibrio Outbreak Linked to Fresh Crab from Venezuela Sickens 12; Lawsuits Possible

A multistate vibrio outbreak linked to fresh crab imported from Venezuela has sickened at least 123 people in Maryland, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia. Four people have been hospitalized because they are so sick. Illness onset dates range from April 1, 2018 to July 3, 2018. Ill persons range in age from 26 to 69 years. Epidemiologic evidence indicates that precooked fresh crab meat imported from Venezuela is the likely source of this outbreak. Whole genome sequencing shows that isolates taken from patients are closely related genetically. The means that people who are sick in this outbreak are likely to share a common source of infection. More people associated with this outbreak include some who ate crab and who had a positive test for Vibrio, which may or … [Read more...]

Vibrio Outbreak Linked to Venezuela Crab Sold in Maryland

A Vibrio outbreak in Maryland is linked to fresh Venezuela crab meat that was sold in that state. The crab in question was sold under different brand names. The brand names for this Venezuela crab were not mentioned in the press release. The Maryland Department of Health is wanting consumers to avoid eating non-pasteurized crab meat because of this potential risk. The fresh crab meat is sold in plastic tubs, with a label indicating that it was imported from that South American country. Crab harvested in the Maryland area is not associated with this outbreak, even though the waters of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries have contained this particular bacteria. The Venezuela crab has been sold to individual households and to restaurant settings. It has been made into crab cakes, … [Read more...]

Vibrio Cholerae Infections Associated with Herring Eggs in Canada

The First Nations Health Authority and Island Health is warning the public in Canada that confirmed cases of Vibrio cholerae infections have been reported in association with herrings eggs that are laid in the marine environment, and not in herring roe harvested from the fish. This bacteria causes a form of cholera, which is practically unknown in Canadian waters. You can see the possible contamination areas in the map below. Canada has had just two cases of cholera a year since 2014. At least four people are sick in this outbreak. This infection is very rare in industrialized nations, but occurs in Africa, Haiti, and Southeast Asia, according to the CDC. As of March 23, 2018, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has issued an emergency closure on Herring Egg Harvest in … [Read more...]

Why Undercooked Oysters Can Make You Sick

Public Health-King County is telling consumers why raw oysters can make you sick. Jenny Lloyd, one of the epidemiologists who has been investigating foodborne illness outbreaks linked to oysters in that state, answered some questions. The current outbreaks in Seattle have been caused by Vibrio bacteria. That bacteria lives in marine waters. Their numbers increase during the warm summer months, which explains the current crop of outbreaks. Since oysters are filter feeders, the bacteria concentrate in their flesh. Eating raw or undercooked shellfish, especially oysters, is the main risk for contracting this illness. Most seafood should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145°F. Fish should be opaque and separate easily when tested with a fork. Clams, mussels, and oysters should … [Read more...]

Vibrio Outbreak Associated with Tilapia From Seattle Supermarket

A Vibrio vulnificus infection has been diagnosed in a Seattle man, who cut his hand preparing tilapia that was allegedly purchased live on July 16, 2017 from Seattle Supermarket, according to Seattle - King County Public Health. The man got sick on July 17, 2017 and is still hospitalized. His wife got sick with diarrhea and abdominal cramps, also on July 17, 2017. She was not hospitalized and is recovering. Tilapia fish obtained from Seattle Supermarket tested positive for Vibrio vulnificus bacteria. All epidemiological and laboratory evidence collected so far suggest that tilapia from Seattle Supermarket are a likely source of this outbreak. This is the sec and occurrence of Vibrio vulnificus associated with live tilapia. Seattle Supermarket has a hold placed on the sale of all … [Read more...]

Man Diagnosed with Vibrio After Purchasing Fish from Live Tank

A King County man in Seattle, Washington was diagnosed with a Vibrio vulnificus infection after preparing and eating fish purchased from live fish tanks at a local store. The man had a rare round infection after buying fish at the Seattle Supermarket, at 4801 Beacon Avenue South in Seattle. This bacteria can cause life-threatening illness if ingested, or if it enters a wound on the skin. Health officials are warning anyone who has eaten or prepared fish purchased from that location before July 25, 2017 to watch for symptoms of infection for 7 days. If you bought fish from that store, throw it away. Dr. Jeff Cuhin, Health Officer for Public Health - Seattle & King County said in a statement, "This is the second case of this illness in the past year and both cases came from … [Read more...]

Oyster Vibrio Cases in Washington Increase to 25

The King County Public Health Department has updated their investigation into the vibrio outbreak linked to raw oysters in Washington state. Now as many as 25 people are sick. Those patients ate raw oysters at several restaurants and purchased from several markets. These illnesses were reported to the Washington State Department of Health Shellfish Program. This outbreak may result in closure of certain harvest locations or other enforcement actions after investigation. Environmental Health inspectors conduct investigations at each retail or restaurant location reported in an outbreak. They make sure that the oysters were purchased from approved sources, were held at proper temperatures, at or below 41°F, and handled to minimize the risk of cross-contamination. Bacteria from one … [Read more...]

Vibrio Outbreak at Salted Sea Restaurant in Seattle, WA

A vibrio outbreak at Salted Sea, ate 4915 Rainier Avenue in Seattle Washington has sickened at least three people, according to King County Public Health. Patients got sick after consuming raw oysters at that location. Two people from one dinner party got sick on June 9, 2017. Another person from a separate party got sick after eating raw oysters at that facility on June 17, 2017. Public Health was informed about the outbreak on June 22, 2017. One person has a laboratory confirmed vibrio infection, and two others have the same symptoms. An on-site investigation was conducted at the restaurant by environmental health inspectors. No factors were identified that would have caused the outbreak. Cross-contamination and insufficient refrigerator temperatures could have contributed to … [Read more...]

FDA Will Not Control Vibrio in Shellfish

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has stated that the FDA has denied their petition to control Vibrio in shellfish. Every year, Americans are sickened, and some die, after eating raw shellfish contaminated with Vibrio vulnificus. The FDA could set a performance standard that would control this issue. CSPI petitioned the FDA to use this power in 2012. The government denied the petition, citing "competing priorities." Most people who do contract this infection get sick during the summer months after eating raw oysters from Gulf Coast states. Vibrio infections are, unfortunately, occurring even in northern states as climate change is warming ocean waters. In September 2015, a Vibrio outbreak in Massachusetts closed oyster beds in the area. In August 2015, another Vibrio … [Read more...]

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