December 3, 2022

History of Deli Meat and Cheese Listeria Outbreaks

Once again, a new Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to deli meats and cheeses has been reported by the CDC. These outbreaks have happened regularly since 2018, and cause serious illness and hospitalizations. The history of deli meat and cheese listeria outbreaks is deadly. These products are susceptible to Listeria contamination for several reasons. First, this pathogen is very persistent and it can protect itself against regular cleaning products by producing a biofilm. Once it has been introduced into a deli environment it is very difficult to eradicate. The bacteria can hide in cracks and in machines that are difficult to clean, such as deli meat slicers. And since many establishments may not clean their slicers often enough or thoroughly enough, cross-contamination … [Read more...]

New Deli Meat and Cheese Listeria Outbreak Sickens 16

A new deli meat and cheese Listeria outbreak has sickened at least 16 people, hospitalized 13, and killed one person, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Those patients live in six states. The case count by state is: California (1), Illinois (2), Maryland (3), Massachusetts (2), New Jersey (1), and New Y0rk (7). Illness onset dates range from April 17, 2021 to September 29, 2022. The patient age range is from 38 to 92 years. Eleven of the patients are of Eastern European background or speak Russian. Of 14 people who gave information about their illnesses to public health investigators, 13 have been hospitalized. One person got sick during their pregnancy, resulting in a fetal loss. And one death from Maryland has been reported. Officials are … [Read more...]

Big Olaf Ice Cream Listeria Outbreak Joins List of Other Brands

The Big Olaf Ice Cream Listeria monocytogenes outbreak joins a list of other brands that have caused illnesses over the past decade. The CDC has named Big Olaf ice cream in the new outbreak centered in Florida that has sickened at least 23 people. A recall has not been issued, but the company is contacting their customers to "recommend" against selling their products. Big Olaf ice cream is only sold in Florida, where most of the ill persons live. And among the 82% of patients who ate ice cream before they got sick and were interviewed by government officials, six said they ate Big Olaf Creamery brand ice cream or ate at restaurants where that ice cream was served. Over the years there have been dozens of recalls of ice cream for possible Listeria contamination. In fact, in 2019 … [Read more...]

Deadly Florida Listeria Monocytogenes Outbreak Linked to Ice Cream

The new deadly Florida Listeria monocytogenes outbreak is linked to ice cream, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As a result of the investigation, Big Olaf Creamery of Sarasota, Florida is contacting retail locations to recommend they not sell their product. Anyone who has any Big Olaf Creamery brand ice cream at home should discard it immediately, even if some has been consumed and no one has been ill. The case count by state remains at: Colorado (1), Florida (12), Georgia (1), Illinois (1), Kansas (1), Massachusetts (2), Minnesota (1), New Jersey (1), New York (2), and Pennsylvania (1). The patient age range is from less than one to 92. Five people got sick during a pregnancy, and one illness resulted in a fetal loss. The person who died lived in … [Read more...]

Mystery Listeria Monocytogenes Outbreak Sickens 23 With One Death

A mystery Listeria monocytogenes outbreak has sickened at least 23 people in 10 states, and one person has died, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Twenty-two people have been hospitalized. The only clue so far is that most of the patients either live in or traveled to Florida about a month before they got sick. The case count by state is: Colorado (1), Florida (12), Georgia (1), Illinois (1), Kansas (1), Massachusetts (2), Minnesota (1), New Jersey (1), New York (2), and Pennsylvania (1). The patient age range is from less than one to 92. Five people got sick during a pregnancy, and one illness resulted in a fetal loss. The person who died lived in Illinois. Of the 22 people who provided information to investigators, 20 said they lived in or … [Read more...]

El Abuelito Listeria Monocytogenes Outbreak Report in MMWR

The El Abuelito Listeria monocytogenes outbreak in 2021 is the subject of a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) from the CDC for the week of May 27, 2022. That outbreak sickened at least 13 people in four states. Twelve people were hospitalized and one person died. The outbreak was linked to Hispanic-style cheese within 19 days of the detection of the illness cluster. Rapid food testing by agencies identified the implicated cheese. PulseNet, the national molecular subtyping surveillance network that is coordinated by the CDC, found a cluster of three infections on January 19, 2021. Two of the patients lived in Maryland and one lived in Connecticut. All of the patients were of Hispanic ethnicity. The cheese that was linked to this outbreak is a fresh, soft cheese made … [Read more...]

Deadly Dole Salad Listeria Outbreak Ends With 18 Sick in 13 States

The deadly Dole Salad Listeria monocytogenes outbreak has ended with 18 sick in 13 states, 16 patients hospitalized, and three deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That's an increase of one more patient in Ohio and one more death, also in Ohio, since the last update in early February 2022. The patient case count by state is: Idaho (1), Iowa (2), Maryland (1), Michigan (1), Minnesota (2), Nevada (1), North Carolina (1), Ohio (3), Oregon (1), Pennsylvania (1), Texas (2), Utah (1), and Wisconsin (1). Illness onset dates range from August 16, 2014 to January 15, 2021. The patient age range is from 50 to 94 years. Of 16 people who gave information to public health officials, all were hospitalized. Three deaths have been reported: one each from … [Read more...]

Salmonella Saintpaul Outbreak Case Count Increases to 60

The Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak case count on the FDA's CORE Outbreak Table has increased to 60 sick, up from 59 sick  in the last update that was issued on March 16, 2022. No product has been identified yet in this outbreak. And while traceback has been initiated, no recall has begun, no on-site inspection has started, and there has been no sample collection or analysis. This lack of information is typical for this outbreak table. The FDA will not release more information about an outbreak unless there is some action that consumers can take to protect themselves. Three other outbreaks are still active. The investigation into the Cronobacter sakazakii illnesses linked to recalled Similac powdered infant formula is ongoing. Four infants were sickened after allegedly consuming … [Read more...]

FDA Updates the Recalled Cronobacter Infant Formula Product List

The FDA has updated the recalled Cronobacter infant formula list with a full list of recalled products. In addition, they say that metabolic and other medical specialty infant formulas were produced at the same plant which made the recalled Similac PM 60/40, but those products were not recalled "because the FDA has determined that the risk of not having these specialty products available could significantly worsen underlying medical conditions. For many of these patients, the risk of life-threatening adverse events from restricted access to these critically needed products is likely greater than the risk from consuming products that have been produced at the facility." So far, at least four infants, who lived in Minnesota, Texas, and Ohio, have been diagnosed with Cronobacter … [Read more...]

FDA Removed a Salmonella Illness From Powdered Infant Formula Count

The FDA removed a Salmonella illness from the powdered infant formula case count, accord to an update issued for that agency's CORE Outbreak Investigation Table. The Table itself does not contain this information; it was sent in an email. Salmonella has been removed from the Pathogen column in that outbreak investigation. There are still four infants in the case count linked to Similac, EleCare, and Alimentum powdered infant formulas. Those infants are from Minnesota, Ohio, and Texas. The two infants who lived in Ohio died, although the FDA is investigating to see if Cronobacter sakazakii contributed to those deaths. Two recalls have been issued for those infant formula products. The first, on February 17, 2022, was for Similac, EleCare, and Alimentum powdered infant formula with … [Read more...]

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