September 30, 2016

CDC Updates Blue Bell Creameries Ice Cream Listeria Outbreak

The CDC has updated their investigation of the Listeria monocytogenes outbreak in Kansas linked to Blue Bell Creameries ice cream products. The notice states, "based on the information CDC has at this time, we recommend that consumers do not eat any Blue Bell Brand products made at the Oklahoma production facility [in Broken Arrow] and that retailers and institutions do not sell or serve them." Five people have been sickened in this outbreak, and three have died. All five people were hospitalized for unrelated illnesses, and were served the ice cream while at the Via Christi hospital in Wichita, Kansas. The Kansas outbreak is linked to products made at the Blue Bell plant in Brenham, Texas. Attorney Fred Pritzker, who has won millions for people sickened in such outbreaks, said, … [Read more...]

Lab Work Solidified Kansas Listeria Link to Blue Bell Ice Cream

The food poisoning laboratory that solidified the link between Blue Bell ice cream and a Listeria outbreak among Kansas hospital patients in Wichita is a deeply experienced unit with notable success in protecting public health, according to archives at the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). The tragic Kansas Listeria outbreak killed three of five patients at Via Christi St. Francis Hospital who drank milkshakes made from a now-recalled Blue Bell ice cream product, "Scoops." Public alerts may have saved others from a similar fate, but officials are concerned that some recalled Blue Bell ice cream items may still be in the home freezers of people unaware of the outbreak. Bulk ice cream sold in half-gallons, pints, quarts and 3 gallons is not part of the Blue Bell … [Read more...]

Sequencing the Deadly Caramel Apple Listeria Outbreak

Starting in October 2014 when the caramel apple Listeria outbreak was claiming its first victims, public health officials in states like Minnesota, Arizona, Missouri, New Mexico and Texas were about to receive the first indications of a lethal food poisoning problem from an unlikely source. It took two months to coalesce, but state reporting of individual cases of listeriosis and federal monitoring of those reports with a system of genetic fingerprinting tied the cases together: pre-packaged, commercially produced caramel apples were making people deathly ill and sending them to the hospital. Listeria lawsuit court records, state health agency documents, outbreak reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and an investigation summary filed by the Food and Drug … [Read more...]

Cheese Listeria Outbreak Caused 2013 Shutdown of Crave Brothers

On July 3, 2013, Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese Company of Waterloo, Wisconsin, voluntarily recalled its Les Frères, Petit Frère, and Petit Frère with Truffles cheeses with make dates of July 1, 2013, or prior. The recalled cheeses were distributed nationwide through retail stores that included some Whole Foods outlets, restaurant supply carriers and mail orders. Investigators in Minnesota and elsewhere, including food safety and infectious disease experts at the FDA and CDC, associated the cheese with a multi-state outbreak of listeriosis from the pathogen Listeria monocytogenes. This food poisoning outbreak killed a person in Minnesota and caused a pregnant woman to have a miscarriage. Four other people were hospitalized and the outbreak touched Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Texas. The … [Read more...]

FDA: Listeria in Wholesome Soy Sprouts Killed 3

This post was updated January 29. Did Listeria in Wholesome Soy bean sprouts kill two people or three? It depends on which federal agency's report you read. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued its final report on the outbreak January 27 saying five people had been sickened and two of then died. Later that same day, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  issued its report saying five people had been sickened and three of them died. The FDA updated its report today,  January 29, saying two people have died. Both agencies agree that five people in two states were sickened between June and August, 2014; that  four cases were reported in Illinois and one was reported in Michigan and that all five case patients were hospitalized. But it's unclear how many people … [Read more...]

Caramel Apple Lawsuit Names Happy Apple, Bidart Brothers, Safeway

A wrongful death lawsuit filed in connection with the caramel apple Listeria outbreak names the apple grower, the caramel apple maker and the store that sold the contaminated product as defendants.  Filed on behalf of one of the three people who have died in this 10-state outbreak, the wrongful death lawsuit initially named Safeway, the store where the caramel apple was purchased. But, after a recall was issued, the grower, Bidart Brothers, and the maker, Happy Apple, were added. According to the lawsuit, Shirlee Jean Frey, 81, died after contracting listeriosis from a caramel apple she purchased at Safeway just before Halloween. She began to feel ill the first week of November and was dead one month later. The two other deaths were reported in Minnesota, which has been hard hit by … [Read more...]

Arizona Prominent in Listeriosis Outbreak, Caramel Apple Recalls

Arizona is one of only five states named as a distribution territory in the latest caramel apple recall and now has the distinction of being involved at many levels of a rapidly evolving investigation of Listeria food poisoning.  New outbreak details could be released in the coming week, but Arizona already is proven to have 14 percent of the 29 confirmed cases of listeriosis associated with pre-packaged, commercially produced caramel apples. Four deaths have stemmed from the outbreak and nine illnesses have occurred in a pregnant woman or her newborn baby. Arizona, Minnesota, Missouri, Texas and New Mexico are the leading states in the outbreak, but five other states have confirmed cases and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been monitoring the national … [Read more...]

Lawsuit Prompts Happy Apple Caramel Apples Recall

A wrongful death lawsuit and Listeria outbreak has prompted Happy Apple Company to recall caramel apples with a best use by date between August 25th and November 23rd, 2014. The recall was issued on Christmas Eve. The Wrongful Death Lawsuit According to the Complaint (a document filed with the court), in late October, 2014, Shirlee Frey went to the Safeway store in Felton, California. While there she purchased a prepackaged caramel apple and later ate it. About a week later, she began to feel ill. On December 2, 2014, the family was informed that Mrs. Frey was suffering from literiosis (a Listeria infection). She died that day. The listeriosis wrongful death lawsuit was filed on behalf of Mrs. Frey's family on December 22, 2014. The Happy Apple Caramel Apples Recall On … [Read more...]

Listeria Deaths Investigated with Advanced Outbreak Detection

U.S. food safety and health agencies are continuing to expand the use of whole genome sequencing (WGS) to detect outbreaks of life-threatening foodborne illness, especially clusters of infection from Listeria monocytogenes. A 2014 Listeria YouTube video presentation shared recently by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention depicts how the use of WGS solved a mysterious Listeria outbreak that was sickening pregnant women and infants in Maryland. The same outbreak caused a Listeria death in California. More recently, WGS was credited for helping to solve a multi-state outbreak of Listeriosis associated with mung bean sprouts produced by Wholesome Soy Products Inc. Currently, WGS is at the center of the public health response to a 10-state outbreak of Listeria associated with … [Read more...]

Safeway Sued in Wrongful Death Lawsuit Linked to Caramel Apple Listeria Outbreak

The family of an 81-year-old California woman who died after contracting listeriosis from a caramel apple has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Safeway grocery stores. Shirlee Jean Frey purchased the tainted treat from a Safeway store just before Halloween and began to feel illl the first week of November. Symptoms of a Listeria infection  include fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions. Among pregnant women, listeriosis can lead to miscarriage or stillbirth, premature delivery, or infection of the newborn baby. Symptoms begin from 3 to 70 days after eating food contaminated with the bacteria. In early November, Frey fell and hit her head. She was airlifted to a hospital for surgery and remained there for a week, according to the … [Read more...]

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