January 27, 2023

Alleged Wendy’s E. coli Outbreak Was Number One in 2022

The alleged Wendy's E. coli outbreak was the number one outbreak of 2022, with at least 109 people sick in six states, and 52 patients hospitalized. The CDC says that they were unable to confirm a food source, but more than 80% of patients who were interviewed by public health officials said they ate at a Wendy's restaurant, choosing burgers and sandwiches made with romaine lettuce, before they got sick. The case count by state was: Indiana (11), Kentucky (2), Michigan (67), New York (1), Ohio (24), and Pennsylvania (4). The Wendy's restaurants where sick people ate were in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. The patient age range was from 1 to 94 years. Illness onset dates ranged from July 26, 2022 to August 17, 2022. Fifty-two people were … [Read more...]

Will There Be More Romaine Lettuce E. coli Outbreaks This Year?

This is the time of year that we typically start seeing E. coli outbreaks linked to romaine lettuce, as the harvest patters shift. Will there be more romaine lettuce E. coli outbreaks this year? Studies have shown that fall harvested romaine is more likely to case E. coli outbreaks.  The problem may be that the pathogen survives better on cold stored packaged romaine lettuce. In November, harvest shifts to the Yuma, Arizona region and the area of California near the Imperial Valley. And the issue with this type of lettuce is its shape and the way it's grown. The lettuce is grown very close to the ground. And the cup shape holds water, which lets any pathogens in that water have easy access to the leaves. The bacteria can get inside the leaves, and it can also burrow into the … [Read more...]

Alleged Wendy’s E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak Ends With 109 Sick

The alleged Wendy's E. coli O157:H7 outbreak has ended with 109 sick and 52 hospitalized, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC states that officials were unable to confirm the food source, but 83% of patients interviewed said they ate at a Wendy's fast food restaurant before they got sick. And many of those patients said they ate burgers and sandwiches made with romaine lettuce. The case count by state is: Indiana (11), Kentucky (2), Michigan (67), New York (1), Ohio (24), and Pennsylvania (4). That's an increase of 12 more patients since the  last update on September 1, 2022. The actual number of people sickened in this outbreak is likely higher than this number, and the outbreak may not be limited to the states listed. The patient age range … [Read more...]

FDA Says Salmonella Typhimurium Outbreak Was Cantaloupe

The FDA says that the previously unidentified Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak was cantaloupe in an update to that agency's CORE Outbreak Investigation Table. At least 87 people were sickened in that outbreak, which has ended. The investigation was closed recently, as it was still active in the last update issued on September 28, 2022. The FDA says that "more information will be forthcoming." We don't know the patient age range, illness onset date, or if anyone has been hospitalized. The outbreak case count has increased by one more patient since the last update. There is no ongoing risk to the public, according to the FDA, since these products are no longer available on the market. Still, learn how to protect yourself when preparing produce. There are still nine active outbreak … [Read more...]

New Salmonella Litchfield Outbreak on FDA CORE Table

A new Salmonella Litchfield outbreak has been listed on the FDA's CORE Outbreak Investigation Table. Twenty-eight people are sick. We do not know the patient age range, illness onset dates, or whether or not anyone has been hospitalized. Traceback has been initiated in this new outbreak, but there has been no recall, no on-site inspection, and no sample collection and analysis has been started. The CDC has not mentioned this outbreak yet because there is no action consumers can take at this time to protect themselves. Other outbreak investigations have been updated. For the cyclospora outbreak in a not yet identified food (reference #1080), sample collection and analysis has been initiated and an on-site inspection has been initiated. For the Salmonella Mississippi outbreak in … [Read more...]

More Illnesses on FDA CORE Outbreak Investigation Table

There are more illnesses on FDA CORE Outbreak Investigation Table as of September 21, 2022. There are currently nine active investigations, as well as the Abbott Nutrition infant formula cronobacter investigation, which has been transferred to IMG for further action. Three Salmonella outbreak case counts have increased, and one of the cyclospora outbreaks has had the case count increased. For the Salmonella Mississippi outbreak (ref# 1097) in a not yet identified product, the case count changed from 102 to 103. Traceback has been initiated, but there is no recall or onsite inspection and no samples have been collected. For the unsolved Salmonella Senftenberg outbreak (ref# 1087), the case count increased from 27 to 30. Only traceback has been started in that outbreak as … [Read more...]

History of Romaine E. coli O157:H7 Outbreaks is Long

With the recent Wendy's E. coli romaine lettuce outbreak in the news, how many of these types of outbreaks have been linked to romaine lettuce in the past? Quite a few. This is a look back at the history of romaine E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks. During the pandemic in the years 2020 to 2021, there were many E. coli outbreaks that were not solved, although a few were allegedly linked to romaine. They include three outbreaks in 2020. It was unusual that last year there were no E. coli O157:H outbreaks linked to romaine, since that history is lengthy. However, there were five food poisoning outbreaks linked to packaged leafy greens in 2021, but not specifically E. coli O157:H7. Recent Romaine E. coli O157:H7 Outbreaks The first is the ongoing E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that may be linked … [Read more...]

FDA Targets Sampling of Leafy Greens to Enhance Safety

The FDA targets sampling of leafy greens to enhance safety in the wake of the Wendy's E. coli romaine lettuce outbreak that has sickened at least 97 people in six states. This is the  implementation of the Leafy Greens STEC Action Plan, which was launched in March 2020. There are three priority areas: Prevention, Response, and Addressing Knowledge Gaps. Sampling is intended to detect and prevent contaminated product from reaching consumers. It is also meant to help growers and processors identify practices that may present microbial risks. During the harvest season in fall 2020, the FDA plans to collect about 240 lettuce samples at farms and ranches in the Salinas Valley in California. Three farms were identified by traceback in the past few years as being associated with a … [Read more...]

Some Outbreaks Ended on FDA CORE Outbreak Table

Some outbreaks ended on FDA CORE Outbreak Investigation Table, and some case counts have increased in some of the still active outbreaks. There are no new outbreaks to announce. As usual, there is very little information about each outbreak until the government identifies some action consumers can take, such as discarding food or avoiding a particular restaurant. For the Salmonella Mississippi outbreak (ref# 1097) in a not yet identified product, the case count has increased from 99 to 100 cases. For the Salmonella Senftenberg outbreak (ref# 1087) in a not yet identified food, the case count has increased from 22 to 27 cases. For the mystery Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak (ref# 1095), the case count has increased from 73 to 78 cases. For the Cyclospora outbreak (ref# 1080) … [Read more...]

Wendy’s E. coli Outbreak in Ohio Has Sickened 24

The Wendy's E. coli outbreak in Ohio has sickened at least 24 people and has hospitalized six, according to the Ohio Department of Health. Overall, at least 97 people are sick in six states: Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana, and Kentucky. The 24 cases in Ohio are located in these counties: Wood (10), Lucas (4), Lorain (3), Cuyahoga (2), Mahoning (2), Clermont (1), Franklin (1), and Summit (1). The patient age range in that state is from eight to 82 years old. No deaths have been reported. Ten people in this outbreak in all six states have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a complication of this type of infection that affects the kidneys, but the Ohio press release did not mention HUS. While a specific food has not been officially linked to this … [Read more...]

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