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Stop & Shop over Child¡¯s E. coli Poisoning
Source of Article:
CONCORD, NH (July 10, 2006) A lawsuit was filed Thursday against Quincy,
Massachusetts-based Stop & Shop, a subsidiary of Ahold USA, on behalf
of an eight-year-old boy who became ill with a severe E. coli O157:H7
infection after eating ground beef purchased at a Manchester, New Hampshire,
Stop & Shop. Marler Clark, the Seattle law firm that has successfully
represented hundreds of E. coli victims, filed the lawsuit on behalf of
Hercules ¡°Eric¡± Tsirovakas and his parents, John and Christina Tsirovakas,
of Epsom, New Hampshire. The complaint, which was filed in United States
District Court in Concord, New Hampshire, seeks compensation for the family¡¯s
significant medical-related expenses, economic losses, and for Eric¡¯s
pain and suffering.
Eric consumed a hamburger made from ground beef purchased at Stop &
Shop at a family barbecue on September 4, 2005. He subsequently became
ill with an E. coli infection, experiencing painful abdominal cramping,
nausea, vomiting, and bloody diarrhea. Eric was seen in the emergency
room at Concord Hospital twice, and was admitted to the hospital on his
second visit. Twenty-four hours after being admitted, he was transferred
by ambulance to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC). Eric developed
hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS)*, a complication of E. coli O157:H7 infection,
and spent 22 days in a pediatric intensive care unit at DHMC, undergoing
several surgical procedures and eight rounds of kidney dialysis treatments
after his kidneys shut down. Eric¡¯s medical bills to date total over $100,000.
¡°We filed this lawsuit after
months of trying to discuss with Stop & Shop how to make matters right
for Eric and his family,¡± said Denis Stearns, the Marler Clark partner
who filed the lawsuit. ¡°Medical bills aside, the strain on the family
was enormous. John, Christine, and their other children faced the possibility
that Eric might not recover from his illness. John and Christine were
forced to leave their two younger children with family members while they
stayed with Eric at the hospital. And all of this was because of tainted
The City of Manchester Department of Health and the New Hampshire Department
of Health and Human Services conducted an investigation into the cause
of Eric¡¯s E. coli infection. The Stop & Shop¡¯s meat department was
cited for unsafe meat-handling practices, a ¡°critical violation,¡± and
E. coli O157:H7 was found in uncooked hamburger patties made from ground
beef purchased at Stop & Shop. Health officials concluded that the
source of Eric¡¯s E. coli infection was contaminated ground beef purchased
from Stop & Shop.
*Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome is a frightening illness that even in the best
American medical facilities has a mortality rate of about 5%. About 50%
of patients require dialysis due to kidney failure, 25% experience seizures,
and 5% suffer from diabetes mellitus. The majority of HUS patients requires
transfusion of blood products and develops complications common to the
critically ill. Among survivors of HUS, about five percent will eventually
develop end stage kidney disease, with the resultant need for dialysis
or transplantation, and another five to ten percent experience neurological
or pancreatic problems which significantly impair quality of life. See
BACKGROUND: Marler Clark (www.marlerclark.com)
has extensive experience representing victims of foodborne illnesses.
William Marler represented Brianne Kiner in her $15.6 million settlement
with Jack in the Box in 1993. In 1998, Marler Clark resolved Odwalla Juice
E. coli outbreak cases for five families whose children developed HUS
and were severely injured after consuming contaminated apple juice for
a reported $12 million. The firm has litigated dozens of E. coli cases
against supermarket chain stores, including Albertson¡¯s, BJ¡¯s Wholesale
Club, Cub Foods, Price Chopper, and Supervalu. Marler Clark is working
with David McGrath of Sheehan Phinney Bass & Green, PA, on the case.
kids' illness likely from E. coli
OMAHA, Neb. - Health investigators are, according to this story, trying
to find out how at least four children who attended the same day-care
center contracted diarrhea from what probably was E. coli.
The four toddlers all were attending the Here Wee Grow center in Sidney.
Two of the children remain hospitalized. The four range in age from 9
to 18 months.
Dr. Tom Safranek, the state epidemiologist, was quoted as saying, "We
have no idea how it first got into the day-care center. We're trying to
define how big an outbreak of diarrhea it was. It's most likely E. coli,
but we haven't established that yet," Safranek said. "I don't
know that I ever will. ¡¦ Day-care center operations have to anticipate
that kids with infectious diarrhea will show up, and they have to have
a protocol to deal with it."
Safranek said he didn't know whether the Here Wee Grow center was prepared
for the outbreak. But, he said, his long-distance impression was "that
it's really a highly professional operation."
Melody Leisy, emergency response coordinator for the Panhandle Public
Health District, was cited as saying the center has not been fined or
previously admonished for any health violations.
as 41 struck down in latest E.coli outbreak (UK)
Press Association 2006
The UK Health Protection Agency (HPA) was cited as saying today that two
schools have been closed after an outbreak of E.coli struck down 41 people,
A total of 39 cases - including 37 children - linked to Hayes Primary
School, in Bromley, south London, have been confirmed as the potentially-fatal
E.coli O157 strain and there are a further two suspected cases.
Two cases - both children - linked to Parklands Nursery, Bromley, have
also been confirmed.
Hayes Primary School was closed on June 30 and Parklands Nursery closed
voluntarily last Wednesday.
Dr Rachel Heathcock, South East London Health Protection Unit Director,
was quoted as saying, "Unfortunately, with E.coli O157 there is always
a risk of transmission to family members, and we have advised the siblings
of all known cases to stay at home from schools, nurseries and playgroups.
We will continue to work closely with Hayes Primary School, Parklands
Nursery and Bromley Council's environmental health department to try and
identify the source of these infections. In the meantime, control measures
including closing the school and nursery while they are cleaned reduce
the possibility of person-to-person transmission."
The outbreak comes after 24 people were struck down with the bug in Leeds.
A five-year-old girl and an 82-year-old woman were among those affected
by the potentially-fatal E.coli O157 strain, centred on a butcher's shop
in the city.
salad linked to more illnesses: 35 sickened at 2 catered events in Lucas
The Blade, Toledo, Ohio
The Toledo-Lucas County health department was cited as saying yesterday
that ontaminated potato salad that made about 100 people sick in the Bowling
Green area also was the likely source of a food-borne illness that affected
as many as 35 more people at two other catered events.
Alan Ruffell, the health department's director of environmental health,
was cited as saying that the same potato salad that led health inspectors
to Nick & Jimmy's Bar & Grill, 4956 Monroe St., was believed to
have been served at an office lunch party on June 16 and a g raduation
party June 17 -- both held in Lucas County.
Those who became ill at the two Lucas County parties are in addition to
the nearly 100 people sickened June 15 at a graduation party in Wood County.
The Ohio Department of Health, which is investigating the complaint, found
that eight stool samples from people who ate the potato salad tested positive
According to the Wood County health department, the potato salad served
at the gatherings tested "fairly high for fecal coliform."
Public health officials said the potato salad was most likely contaminated
when a food service employee failed to wash his or her hands after using
Restaurant owner Nick Tokles was cited as saying the Ohio Department of
Health reported to him that the tests could not verify whether the virus
was animal or human and that vegetables are often grown using manure-based
fertilizers and the problem could have been from the improper washing
of carrots or celery before being added to the potato salad, adding, "They
cannot tell you it was done through humans or if it was animal,"
he said of the health department. They can speculate, but they cannot
Mr. Tokles was cited as saying he has been in the restaurant business
most of his life, including 27 years at the Monroe Street location and
that he has catered numerous events and served the potato salad to thousands
of people without problems.
The story notes that in response to the initial complaint, the Toledo-Lucas
County health department inspected Nick & Jimmy's Monroe Street location
on June 16 and found 35 violations, including 12 that were labeled critical.
A June 27 follow-up inspection found only three violations, of which two
On June 28, the health department issued a public health order to "cease
and desist" all catering operations because the restaurant is not
a licensed caterer.
Mr. Ruffell added that the health department has "not ruled out anything
as far as penalties."
posts guide to pre-harvest security
norovirus caused outbreak at Special Olympics
Source of Article: http://www.whotv.com/Global/story.asp?S=5127780&nav=menu100_2
DES MOINES, Iowa Samples from individuals who became ill during the Special
Olympics U-S-A National . in Ames have tested positive for norovirus.
At least 30 people were treated yesterday for vomiting, nausea and diarrhea.
The Iowa Department of Public Health says norovirus is a common cause
of viral gastroenteritis, also known as the stomach flu.
Outbreaks are normally associated with food and water.
The Special Olympics held its closing ceremonies last night. Officials
are concerned that people heading home this weekend will bring the sickness
with them. More than 30-thousand people from across the country attended
the six-day event in central Iowa.
IDPH Director Mary Mincer Hansen says that norovirus can be spread from
person to person, especially among family members. At least ten people
have been hospitalized. Others are being held in a recreation center at
Iowa State University as a precaution.
victim may sue Cadbury¡¯s
By Times Online and PA
Source of Article: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,200-2263884,00.html
A woman who was in hospital for five days with suspected salmonella poisoning
after eating a Cadbury¡¯s chocolate bar is considering legal action against
the confectionary giant.
Lawyers for Catherine Henderson, 62, from Northern Ireland, said they
are investigating the possibility of taking Cadbury¡¯s to court after tests
showed Mrs Henderson had been struck down by the same rare strain of salmonella
found in its chocolate. Cadbury¡¯s recalled more than a million chocolate
bars across seven product lines last month after a leaking pipe at its
Herefordshire factory caused salmonella contamination. Mrs Henderson¡¯s
solicitors said she was rushed to hospital after having trouble breathing
and was kept on an isolation ward for five days where she was hooked up
to a drip and given antibiotics. Mrs Henderson, who said she had eaten
a "Cadbury¡¯s caramel bar", said: "I couldn¡¯t believe what
was happening to me. All of a sudden my legs went weak and I started finding
it hard to breathe. My heart was racing and slowing down as if it was
going to stop." She was told by environmental health officials that
her tests showed the presence of salmonella montevideo. Lawyers said the
Health Protection Agency had so far identified 31 people who had been
infected with this strain of salmonella - which can cause diarrhoea, vomiting,
fever, chills and headaches - and that one adult, one child and one infant
had been admitted to hospital with the infection. Sallie Booth, from law
firm Irwin Mitchell, said: "This type of bug is extremely dangerous,
especially to the most vulnerable in society - the very young and the
very old. "As chocolate is targeted mainly at children, the measures
taken by Cadbury¡¯s should have been ultra-rigorous."
Last week Britain¡¯s food standards watchdog said Cadbury failed adequately
to assess the risk of salmonella in its chocolate.
Apples Convenient and Safe
By Rosalie Marion Bliss
July 14, 2006
A new wash treatment developed by Agricultural Research Service (ARS)
scientists provides antibrowning as well as antimicrobial benefits to
fresh-cut apples. Microbiologist Arvind Bhagwat led the project. He worked
with plant physiologist Robert Saftner and horticulturist Judith Abbott.
They are with the ARS Produce Quality and Safety Laboratory (PQSL) in
Beltsville, Md. Thanks to ARS research, managers at schools, grocery stores
and restaurants nationwide have already been providing customers with
sliced apples that stay fresh for several weeks. This ARS team now has
discovered a dip solution--PQSL 2.0--that keeps sliced apples fresh and
controls pathogens. Volunteer sensory panelists tasted four slices of
Fuji and four slices of Granny Smith apples. Each slice had been dipped
that day in one of four different commercial or ARS wash treatments including
PQSL 2.0. The panelists then reported any differences detected in aroma
and flavor. All four treatments were found to maintain the apple slices¡¯
cut-surface color, firmness, aroma and flavor similarly. In a separate
test, the researchers exposed five pathogens to fresh batches of each
of the same four antibrowning wash treatments for two hours. Formula PQSL
2.0 reduced levels of all five pathogens in the wash solutions by 99.999
percent. PQSL 2.0 also came out ahead in reducing microflora on sanitized
apples after slicing. Such native bacterial and fungal populations can
accelerate spoilage over time. Further preliminary studies have shown
that a newer version of PQSL 2.0 controlled, or eliminated, two pathogens
on apple slices. Low doses of Listeria and Salmonella had been put directly
onto apple slices along with the new formula, and the pathogens were found
to be inhibited, or completely eliminated, after one, two and three weeks.
X-ray inspection system targets food sector
By Ahmed ElAmin
Source of Article: http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/
11/07/2006 - An entry level X-ray inspection system offers processors
a cost-effective way of meeting the EU's food safety requirements, its
UK-based manufacturer claims.
Loma Systems says its new machine, released in June, offers processors
with small pockets an advanced X-ray technology for detecting contaminants
such as metal, stone, glass, dense plastics, bone and ceramics in their
products. In addition, the X-ray system can detect other product problems
such as over or underfill, Loma Systems stated. ¡°Key drivers such as supermarket
codes of practice and other important food manufacturing regulations are
having major impact on suppliers who are now demanding increasingly better
technology as well as value for money,¡± the company said in a press release
this month. New EU hygiene regulations now require all food businesses
to implement a documented safety management system based on Hazard Analysis
and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles. HACCP is a tool to assess
hazards and establish control systems that focus on prevention rather
than relying mainly on end-product testing. It is an internationally accepted
systematic method of identifying specific hazards in plants and measures
for their control to ensure the safety of food. Loma Systems said the
design of its X-ray collimator improves its penetration of products making
contaminant detection more precise.
Loma said it also improved its X-ray tank for better thermal management
and build consistency in high speed processing lines. Loma has also redesigned
the machine's cabinet to provide better protection and stability. The
design for the X-ray tube protects it from the extreme temperatures use
in manufacturing facilities such as those for frozen foods, the company
claimed. The product on the machine's computerised menu holds up to 50
different product specifications, which can be automatically called up
and reset. Operators can access statistical data and automatic ¡®pop up'
A new Dry-Bag which you add 20 liters of di-water to
and then the food customer has a 20 liter bag of buffered peptone water.
view Powerpoint Presentation, click here
New test may offer easier detection of BSE, vCJD
by Ann Bagel on 7/10/2006 for Meatingplace.com
A new test may be able to detect bovine spongiform encephalopathy in animals
and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans before symptoms appear,
according to research published in the journal Science. The study, conducted
by scientists led by Claudio Soto of the University of Texas Medical Branch
at Galveston, suggests that damaged brain cells may "leak" the
prions that cause the diseases, offering a chance to detect the disease
in blood. Current tests for BSE and vCJD require brain or other tissue
samples. In the research, Soto and his colleagues infected hamsters with
prions, then tested their blood at various times. They used a special
technique to accelerate the prions' conversion from normal proteins to
misshapen infectious forms, which allowed them to detect the prions in
their "silent phase" of infection.
Soto and the university have created a company to develop the test commercially.
Realtime PCR detection of Aspergillus DNA
source from: rapidmicrobiology.com
Sangtec Molecular Diagnostics has launched a standardized diagnostic kit
for realtime PCR detection of Aspergillus DNA from clinical samples, affigene¢ç
The affigene¢ç Aspergillus tracer
assay is an important addition to the Sangtec's Opportunistic Infections
panel of assays targeted towards immunocompromised patients, such as transplant
recipients. The assay detects all clinically relevant Aspergillus species,
e.g. Aspergillus fumigatus, A. flavus, and A. niger says Therese Sundell,
International Product Manager. It has the same PCR profile as all other
affigene trender and tracer assays, which enables the laboratory to include
any combination of assays in the instrument during one run. The incidence
of invasive fungal infections has increased dramatically in recent years
among immunocompromised patients such as transplant recipients and patients
receiving intensive chemotherapy. Systemic fungal infection can be life
threatening. One of the most frequent fungal pathogens is Aspergillus
spp, today the most common mould infection in immunocompromised patients.
Early diagnosis and treatment is essential for adequate therapeutic management,
explains Ingvarsson. A reliable test with high sensitivity that provides
fast results is highly requested from transplantation centers since this
enables the physician to start treatment at a very early stage of the
infection which reduces the risk for the patient considerably. Also prophylactic
treatment can be avoided, which is very important since available treatments
give severe side effects. With a test that identifies an emerging Aspergillus
infection at an early stage, treatment can be given at the right timepoint
and only to the patients who need it, concludes Ingvarsson.
Risk Assessment of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) Update; Notice
of Availability and Technical Meeting
Consumers About Dangerous Ingredients in "Dietary Supplements"
Promoted for Sexual Enhancement
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers not to
purchase or consume Zimaxx, Libidus, Neophase, Nasutra, Vigor-25, Actra-Rx,
or 4EVERON. These products are promoted and sold on web sites as "dietary
supplements" for treating erectile dysfunction (ED) and enhancing
sexual performance, but they are in fact illegal drugs that contain potentially
harmful undeclared ingredients. These products have not been approved
by FDA, and there is no guarantee of their safety and effectiveness, or
of the purity of their ingredients. FDA advises consumers who have used
any of these products to discontinue use and to consult their health care
provider. FDA encourages anyone experiencing ED to seek guidance from
a health care provider before purchasing a product to treat this medical
"These products threaten the public health because they contain undeclared
chemicals that are similar or identical to the active ingredients used
in several FDA-approved prescription drug products. This risk is even
more serious because consumers may not know that these ingredients can
interact with medications and dangerously lower their blood pressure,"
said Dr. Steven Galson, Director of FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and
Chemical analysis by FDA revealed that Zimaxx contains sildenafil, which
is the active pharmaceutical ingredient in Viagra, a prescription drug
approved in the United States to treat ED. The other products contain
chemical ingredients that are analogues of either sildenafil or a pharmaceutical
ingredient called vardenafil. Vardenafil is the active ingredient in Levitra,
a prescription drug that, like Viagra, is approved in the United States
to treat ED. There is no mention of any of these ingredients in any of
the illegal products' labeling.
This deception poses a threat to consumers because the undeclared ingredients
may interact with nitrates found in some prescription drugs (such as nitroglycerin)
and lower blood pressure to dangerous levels. Consumers with diabetes,
high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart disease often take nitrates.
ED is a common problem in men with these conditions, and they may seek
products like the ones noted above because these products claim that they
are "all natural" or that they do not contain the active ingredients
used in FDA-approved ED drugs. In addition, because the manufacturing
source of the active ingredients in these "dietary supplements"
is unknown, there is no assurance that the ingredients are safe, effective,
FDA Warning Letters to the firms marketing these products state that the
products are illegal drugs based on claims made for the products or their
ingredients. The letters also state that the products' labeling is false
and misleading because it fails to disclose the presence of the chemical
ingredients or the potential side-effects associated with the products'
consumption. FDA instructed agency staff to stop the importation of Libidus,
and the agency recently stopped a shipment of 4 EVERON from entering the
United States. Based on responses to these actions, FDA may take additional
Today's actions follow a first-of-its-kind FDA survey, in which the agency
analyzed 17 dietary supplements marketed on the internet to treat ED and
to enhance sexual performance in men. "Our survey found that many
of the so-called 'dietary supplements' marketed as treatments for erectile
dysfunction actually contain non-dietary chemicals, including chemicals
used as active ingredients in FDA-approved drugs. The claims made for
these products were in fact claims made for the undeclared non-dietary
chemicals they contain, which rendered them illegal drugs. FDA is committed
to protecting the public health by removing such illegal and dangerous
products from the market," said Margaret O'K. Glavin, FDA's Associate
Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs.
Food Safety Guidelines for the Fresh Tomato Supply Chain from FDA
here to view
farmers of the dangers of corn fungus
BY PAUL HACKBARTH
For the News-Democrat
Source of Article: http://www.belleville.com/
Derik Holtmann/ News-Democrat What better setting than a corn field to
learn about a fungus affecting corn crops in Southern Illinois
That was the case Thursday as Southern Illinois University's Belleville
Research Center held short seminars about the latest agricultural updates
at its 40th annual Field Day.
Reducing the risk of aflatoxin contamination in corn was one of eight
topics that agricultural specialists from SIU Carbondale presented in
corn and soybean fields at the research center.
Aflatoxin is produced by the aspergillus fungus and can affect corn, cereal
grains, soybeans, spices and nuts. The toxin can cause liver cancer in
humans who eat affected corn or certain dairy products and animals that
consume affected corn feed. Cases of aflatoxin were found on grain farms
in Southern Illinois after a drought during the summer of 2002. Eleven
percent of samples collected exceeded the limit for human consumption
set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
David Steiner, 61, of Alhambra, said his farm was affected by the toxin
last year. "We still haven't got rid of the grains," he said.
Since his corn crop is shipped off, Steiner worried affected corn could
be used to make ethanol.
Ahmad Fakhoury, plant pathologist at SIUC, said the toxin would stay in
corn byproducts, such as ethanol. "The toxin will not be degraded,
and you can't get rid of it. It can actually concentrate it more in (ethanol),"
he said. While a small amount of toxin can cause serious problems for
farmers, "it's a wimpy fungus. It's not the kind that would wipe
out your entire crop," Fakhoury said. Aflatoxin can show up in corn
used for animal feed and in storage. Drought and insect damage can allow
the fungus to affect kernels, he said. High temperatures and humidity
are ideal conditions for the toxin. "86 degrees and 84 to 85 percent
humidity are optimal for growth," he said. Fakhoury said no hybrid
of corn is resistant to aflatoxin currently, but proper sanitation, fertilization,
protection from insects and drying corn to a moisture content of at least
13 percent minimizes growth. More than 275 local farmers, farm equipment
and pesticide dealers attended Field Day. The Belleville Research Center
is devoted to crop research but expanded Field Day this year to include
animal science, growing turf grass and landscape horticulture.