February 21, 2018

Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Coconut Tree Shredded Frozen Coconut Ends

The Salmonella outbreak that is linked to recalled Coconut Tree shredded frozen coconut is over, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At least 27 people were infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella I 4,[5],12:b:- or Salmonella Newport in nine states. Six people were hospitalized in this outbreak. No deaths were reported. All epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback evidence found that Coconut Tree brand frozen shredded coconut, which was distributed by Evershing Trading Company, was the likely source of this Salmonella outbreak. Public health officials used the PulseNet system to identify people who were part of this outbreak. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and whole genome sequencing (WGS) were used to identify the DNA of the … [Read more...]

More Than 400 Sickened in Norovirus Outbreak at El Toro Restaurants in Tacoma, Washington

At least 400 people have been sickened in a norovirus outbreak in Tacoma, Washington that is linked to two El Toro restaurants. Those two restaurants are located at 3820 Bridgeport Way West in University Place, and at 5716 North 26th Street in the Westgate area of the city.  Health officials said last week that the outbreak number is now 434 sick. Reports of an outbreak started on January 5, 2018 from patrons who ate there between December 31, 2017 and January 2, 2018. People were experiencing the typical symptoms of norovirus, which included vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea. Symptoms usually begin about a day or two after exposure to the pathogenic virus. Lab testing on patient samples identified norovirus in the outbreak in Westgate. Tests are still pending for the illnesses at … [Read more...]

Top 10 Food Poisoning Outbreaks of 2017: Salmonella Associated with Raw Tuna or Salmon

A Salmonella paratyphi outbreak associated with raw tuna or salmon sickened at least 30 people in seven states, and was the 7th largest food poisoning outbreak of 2017. This outbreak investigation developed gradually in the fall of 2017. This outbreak has not been solved. Relish Foods recalled raw frozen tuna loins and tuna steaks in mid-October, but the outbreak strain of Salmonella bacteria was not found on those products. Ill persons live in Washington, Oregon, Texas, Florida, California, Hawaii, and New Jersey. The outbreak investigation began when five Salmonella cases were reported to public health officials in late August, 2017. The DNA from the bacteria in all of these cases matched. Then in early September, Oregon Health Authority found 12 additional cases with … [Read more...]

Salmonella Outbreak in Oregon and Washington State: Not the First Time Cantaloupe Has Been Contaminated

The Salmonella outbreak in Washington state and Oregon that has sickened at least 18 people has been linked to precut cantaloupe, watermelon, or fruit mixes containing both of these fruits. Most people don't think of fruit as being a source of pathogenic bacteria, but this is not the first time melons have been linked to a food poisoning outbreak. In 2011, a Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to cantaloupe sickened more than 140 people in 28 states and killed thirty. The contaminated melons were traced to Jensen Farms in Colorado. Almost all of those sickened were hospitalized because their illnesses were so severe. In 2012, a Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak linked to cantaloupes grown in Indiana sickened at least 141 people in 20 states. At least 31 people were hospitalized … [Read more...]

Salmonella Newport Outbreak in WA and OR: Why is Precut Fruit a Food Poisoning Risk?

A Salmonella Newport outbreak in Washington and Oregon has been linked to precut fruit sold at QFC, Fred Meyer, Rosauers, and Central Market stores. How is this possible? How can fruit, which doesn't naturally carry pathogenic bacteria like meats and poultry do, be contaminated? Most people don't know that eating produce is the most common way people get food poisoning. In fact, Salmonella is the most common pathogen found on produce. The fruits and vegetables can be contaminated in the field by animal feces or by contaminated irrigation water. They can be contaminated during harvest, or during processing or transportation before they even get to the stores. And cutting fruits and vegetables at those stores or at distribution centers can multiply the problem. Whenever a piece of … [Read more...]

Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Pre Cut Fruit in Washington and Oregon Sickens Eighteen

A Salmonella outbreak linked to pre-cut fruit including watermelon, cantaloupe, or fruit mixes has sickened at least 18 people in Washington and Oregon, according to the Washington Department of Health. The items were sold at QFC, Fred Meyer, Rosauers, and Central Market in both states. The products were sold on or about October 25, 2017 up to December 1, 2017. The case count in this Salmonella outbreak by county is: King (5), Mason (1), Pierce (1), Snohomish (7), Thurston (1), and Yakima (1) counties and two individuals from Oregon. Lab tests have identified Salmonella Newport as the bacteria responsible for these illnesses. The Washington Department of Health is working with state and federal health officials to try to find out where the fruit originated, where it was cut and … [Read more...]

Salmonella Paratyphi Outbreak Associated With Raw Tuna Sickens 30

A Salmonella paratyphi outbreak associated with raw tuna or salmon was announced at a Clark County health board meeting in Washington state. During that meeting, on October 26, 2017, Madison Riethman, an applied epidemiology fellow at that department, said that illnesses in at least 30 people in 7 states have been confirmed. The information was presented in a slide show. On August 29, 2017, five cases of Salmonella were reported to Clark County Public Health's Communicable Disease team. Three of five cases were interviewed that week, but no common exposures were found. Then, on September 8, lab tests on the Salmonella bacteria from all five cases came back with the same DNA fingerprint. On that day Oregon Health Authority found 12 more Salmonella cases with the same DNA. Out of … [Read more...]

Pride and Joy Dairy License Suspended After Salmonella illnesses Confirmed

Two people sickened with Salmonella Dublin and hospitalized in January 2017 have been linked to raw milk samples produced by Pride and Joy Dairy in Toppenish, Washington. The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) suspended that dairy's milk processing plant license due to "ongoing concerns about pathogens in their retail milk product," according to the news release. In September, WSDA told consumers not to drink any Pride and Joy retail milk products because Salmonella bacteria had been found in the beverage. Pride and Joy at first refused to issue a recall, then did so a day later. The sampling was part of routine testing of all licensed raw milk dairy operations. The dairy can still ship milk to other processing plants for pasteurization, but cannot legally bottle … [Read more...]

CDC Issues Report About 2016 Campylobacter Outbreak in Clark County, WA

A Campylobacter outbreak in Clark County, Washington in 2016 was associated with undercooked chicken liver mousse. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Notes from the Field about that outbreak in last week's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). On July 13, 2016, Clark County Public Health received a report of diarrheal illness in four of seven members of one party who ate at a local restaurant earlier that month. The report was received through an online and phone reported system. Five people interviewed said their only shared exposure was that restaurant meal. CCPH closed the restaurant kitchen on July 13, 2016, and began an investigation. The restaurant was not named, and news of the outbreak was not released to the public. This outbreak was … [Read more...]

Campylobacter Outbreak Associated with Cafe Juanita in Washington State

A Campylobacter outbreak that has sickened two people is associated with Cafe Juanita in Kirkland, Washington state. A single meal was consumed by a party there on June 24, 2017. On July 24, Public Health King County learned about two ill persons during an interview with one of them who had been diagnosed with this type of food poisoning. King County did not confirm the second illness until August 16, 2017. No other ill persons have been identified. The patients shared many food items, including foie gras. This food has been linked to other Campylobacter outbreaks in the past, especially when it is eaten raw or undercooked. Public Health's Environmental Health Inspectors visited the restaurant on August 17, 2017. During the field inspection, officials saw the cooking process … [Read more...]

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