February 24, 2021

FDA Warns Against All El Abuelito Cheese In Listeria Outbreak Investigation

The FDA warns against all El Abuelito cheese in the most current Listeria monocytogenes outbreak investigation notice that was posted today. The notice states, "Out of an abundance of caution, and due to the severity of Listeria infection, the FDA is expanding its warning to include all El Abuelito brand cheeses until more information is known. According to the firm’s website, this includes queso fresco, Oaxaca cheese, cotija cheese, and crema." Whole genome sequencing has linked El Abuelito queso fresco cheese to the outbreak. On February 19, 2021, tests conducted by the Connecticut State Laboratory determined that the Listeria monocytogenes found in a sample of the cheese purchased at a grocery store in that state is a match to the outbreak strain. El Abuelito Cheese recalled … [Read more...]

El Abuelito Cheese Listeria Sample Matches Outbreak Strain

The El Abuelito cheese Listeria monocytogenes sample matches the outbreak strain, according to a notice from the FDA. The Connecticut Department of Public Health collected product samples of that cheese where a sick person who lives in that state bought cheeses. Sample analysis found the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in samples of El Abuelito Queso Fresco cheese that was sold in 10 ounce packages, marked as Lot A027 with an expiration date of 02/26/2021. On February 19, 2021, whole genome sequencing (WGS) analysis that was conducted by the Connecticut State Laboratory found that the Listeria monocytogenes found in the samples is a match to the outbreak strain. On February 19, 2021, El Abuelito Cheese of Paterson, New Jersey recalled all Queso Fresco products with "sell by" … [Read more...]

New Listeria Outbreak Associated With Hispanic-Style Fresh Soft Cheeses

A new Listeria outbreak has been announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Hispanic-style fresh and soft cheeses have allegedly sickened seven people in four states as of February 11, 2021. No recall has been issued yet. The patient case count by state is: Connecticut (1), Maryland (4), New York (1), and Virginia (1). All seven patients have been hospitalized because they are so sick. No one has died. Illness onset dates range from October 20, 2020 to January 22, 2021. Six of those sickened got sick in 2021. The patient age range is from 45 to 75 years. Six of those sickened are of Hispanic origin. State and local public health officials are interviewing people about what they ate during the month before they started feeling sick. Of the four people who … [Read more...]

Taco Bell Hepatitis A Exposure in Chilhowie, Virginia

A Taco Bell hepatitis A exposure may have occurred in Chilhowie, Virginia, according to the Virginia Department of Health. That restaurant is located at 153 VA-107 in Chilhowie. Anyone who ate at that restaurant from April 14 to April 30, 2020 could have been exposed to the virus. Dr. Karen Shelton, director of the health district said in a statement, "Individuals who ate food from Taco Bell in Chilhowie during that time and who have not been previously vaccinated for hepatitis A or have not previously had the disease are recommended to receive the hepatitis A vaccine. This may help prevent, or lessen the severity of, illness. The vaccine works best if given within 2 weeks of exposure and may not prevent infection with Hepatitis A for all, but it can help protect many who have been … [Read more...]

Enoki Mushrooms Listeria Monocytogenes Outbreak Sickens 36

At least 36 people are sick in an enoki mushroom Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to product imported from Korea. The mushrooms were imported by Sun Hong Foods. The mushrooms were just recalled after a sample tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. There is zero tolerance for Listeria monocytogenes contamination in ready to eat foods in this country. These enoki mushrooms were sold in 7.05 ounce clear plastic packaging, with UPC number 7 426852 625810. These mushrooms are also known as enokitake, golden needle, futu, or lily mushrooms. The mushrooms were sold to these retailers: J&L Supermarket, Jusgo Supermarket, ZTao Market, New Sang Supermarket, and Galleria Market in these states: California, Florida, … [Read more...]

Moby Dick House of Kabob Salmonella Outbreak Sickens 33 in MD, VA, and DC

The Moby Dick House of Kabob Salmonella outbreak has sickened 33 people in two states and the District of Columbia. This outbreak was first announced on September 26, 2019 by the Maryland Department of Health. There are no notices of the outbreak on the Virginia Department of Heath or the Washington, D.C. Department of Health Websites. On September 26, the Maryland Department of Health stated that nine confirmed Salmonella cases were identified in this outbreak. Eight of those nine people said they ate Moby Dick House of Kabob hummus. The sale of that hummus was voluntarily suspended by the company. News reports were stating that the hummus had been excluded as a source of the Salmonella earlier in October 2019. The outbreak continued to grow. In mid-October, Maureen C. Regan … [Read more...]

Moby Dick House of Kabob Salmonella Outbreak Sickens Nine in Virginia

Nine people in Virginia are sick in the Moby Dick House of Kabob Salmonella outbreak, according to Julie Henderson, Director, Division of Food and General Environmental Services of the Virginia Department of Health. This number is in addition to the 23 sick in Maryland. Those nine Virginia patients are all adults. Eight of the patients were not hospitalized, and hospitalization "was not confirmed" for the ninth. The last illness onset date was September 19, 2019. This outbreak was first discovered in Maryland in September, when nine people were diagnosed with Salmonella infections. At first, public health officials blamed hummus served at and sold from the restaurant for the illnesses. Some doubt was cast on that food being responsible in the press, but the Maryland Department of … [Read more...]

Cyclospora Outbreak Associated With Workplace Cafeterias in Central Virginia

A cyclospora outbreak that is associated with three workplace cafeterias has sickened people in central Virginia, according to a news release by the Virginia Department of Health. A food or water source of these cyclosporiasis outbreaks has not been identified by public health officials. The press release states that workplace cafeterias in the following locations are part of the online investigation: Capital One Building at 1600 Capital One Drive in McLean, Virginia; Valo Park Building at 7950 Jones Branch Drive in McLean, Virginia; and CarMax at 12800 Tuckahoe Creek Parkway in Richmond, Virginia. These cafeterias are not "widely accessible" to the general public. Officials are working with the business owners to try to solve this outbreak. There are 39 confirmed cases of … [Read more...]

Siga Logistics Basil Imported From Mexico May Be Source of Cyclospora Outbreaks

There are now six cyclospora outbreaks sickening people in several states around the country. What is the culprit?  Past outbreaks have been linked to lettuce, raspberries, and cilantro. We may have an answer today: the FDA has just released information stating that there is a multistate outbreak of cyclospora illnesses potentially linked to Siga Logistics basil. The full company name is Siga Logistics de RL de CV that is located in Morelos, Mexico. The investigation is ongoing, but CDC's analysis of epidemiologic information indicates that the contaminated fresh basil is the likely cause of the illnesses. Fresh basil available at points of sale where people got sick was exported into the country by Siga Logistics. The FDA is working with the firm to facilitate a recall. These … [Read more...]

Northern Virginia Cyclospora Outbreak Has Sickened At Least 55

A cyclospora outbreak in Northern Virginia and the Arlington area has sickened at least 55 people, according to the Virginia Department of Health. This is a significant increase in cases reported since mid June 2019. There are 15 cyclosporiasis cases in Northern Virginia, and more than 40 people sick from "two large businesses in the area," are under investigation for suspected cyclosporiasis. The businesses are not named. And a food or water source of this outbreak has not been identified. The Virginia Department of Health is working with state, local, and federal health officials to investigate this increase. Northern Virginia Health Districts involved in this investigation include Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax (Fairfax County, the City of Fairfax and Falls Church), Loudoun, … [Read more...]

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