06/11,2012
ISSUE:499

                                 

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E. coli O145 outbreaks past: what caused the 2010 O145 outbreak linked to Freshway romaine lettuce?
Source : http://www.cdc.gov/Features/VitalSigns/FoodSafety/
By CDC (June 09, 2012)
A quick re-cap: 14 are ill across 6 states with E. coli O145 (Alabama (2), California (1), Florida (1), Georgia (5), Louisiana (4), Tennessee (1)). The dates when those people became ill range from April 15 to May 12, 2012. We are also investigating the confirmed E. coli illnesses of people from at least one other state.  The CDC's statement today indicates that they have not yet identified the cause of illness.  See Efoodalert's "CDC Statement on E. coli O145 Outbreak Investigation."
E. coli O145 is one of the "big six" strains of shiga-toxin producing non-O157 E. coli.  It is not the first time we have seen this bug.  Most memorably, E. coli O145 sickened at least 33 people in several states back in 2010 in an outbreak ultimately linked to romaine lettuce processed by Freshway, an Ohio distributor, and grown by an unnamed farm in Arizona.  We sued those entities on behalf of a number of folks sickened in the outbreak.
But what was the true cause of the outbreak?  Thanks to Food Poison Journal's readers, we are reminded that the likely cause of the lettuce contamination was an ill-placed RV park.  Or maybe it was the lettuce field that was ill-placed.  In any event, the FDA's environmental assessment after that outbreak found as follows:
An R.V. park is located on a knoll directly above the lateral irrigation canal that supplies water to the suspect fields. The R.V. park is serviced by eight on-site septic leach systems. During this investigation we found evidence of drainage from the R.V. park property directly into the lateral irrigation canal. Of particular concern was an area that exhibited evidence of drainage into the irrigation canal in which the soil was moist; no surface source of the moisture was observed and there had not been any recent rains.
Soil samples from these moist drainage areas tested negative for STEC. Non--O157 STEC Shiga toxin 2 (Stx2)-producing E. coli was detected in two drag swabs and one mud sample collected from the irrigation canal adjacent to the R.V. park; but none were the O145 shiga toxin 2-producing outbreak strain. We determined that the R.V. park is a reasonably likely potential source of the outbreak pathogen based upon the evidence of direct drainage into the lateral irrigation canal; the moist soil in this drainage area; the multiple sewage leach systems on the property; the presence of other STEC found in the lateral irrigation canal and in the growing fields of the suspect farm; and the fact that the section of the lateral canal downstream from the R.V. park supplies water to only one other farm in addition to the suspect farm.
Two pumps are located on the main Wellton canal near the lateral canal split that supplies water to fields of the suspect farm; one gasoline powered pump on a trailer and one permanent electric pump with an attached hose. The electric pump supplies canal water to an attached open-end hose. The site is not secured from vehicles and the hose pump is also unsecured. At the time of this investigation there were people living in recreational vehicles on undeveloped land within one mile of the hose pump. The fact that this area is open to vehicles and the pump and hose are unsecured make it possible for an R.V. owner to dump and rinse out their R.V. septic system into the main Wellton canal at the lateral canal split that supplies the farm. The ground near the hose pump shows erosion evidence of drainage into the Wellton canal. Soil collected from this erosion site tested positive for other Stx2-producing STEC, but did not match the outbreak strain.

Far-flung E. coli outbreak sickens 14 in 6 states
Source : http://vitals.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/08/12127022-far-flung-e-coli-outbreak-sickens-14-in-6-states?lite
By JoNel Aleccia
Federal health officials are investigating a mysterious outbreak of E. coli infections that has sickened at least 14 people in six states, including a 21-month-old Louisiana girl who died.
No source has been identified for the strain of E. coli O145 genetically linked to illnesses in states as far-flung as Florida and California, officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Friday. People became ill between April 15 and May 12.
Most of the infections have been reported in Georgia, with five cases, and Louisiana, with four cases, including the death of the child identified as Maelan Elizabeth Graffagnini of New Orleans.
Two infections with the outbreak strain have been reported in Alabama and one each has been reported in California, Florida and Tennessee. The Florida victim is a 22-year-old woman from Leon County, state health officials said.
“This ongoing multi-state investigation has not yet identified a source of those infections,” a CDC statement released Friday said. “The investigation is looking at both food and non-food exposures.”
Health officials in several states are interviewing ill people to determine how they may have been exposed to the E. coli strain, one of several Shiga Toxin-producing E. coli — or STEC — varieties.
The most common STEC is E. coli O157:H7, which is the potentially deadly strain commonly linked to ground beef. The strain of E. coli O145 is less common, but can be just as harmful.
This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture began testing certain cuts of commercially produced beef for E. coli O145 and five other STEC strains that have the potential to cause serious illness and death.
People typically become ill between two and eight days after being infected. Most people develop diarrhea, including watery and bloody diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. Most people get better in a week, but some people — including children, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems — can become seriously ill, developing a condition known as hemolytic uremic syndrome, which can cause kidney failure and death.
While the specific cause of the outbreak remains unknown, health officials recommend several general steps to prevent transmission of illness:
•Wash your hands after using the bathroom, changing diapers and before eating or preparing food. Wash up also after contact with animals or their environments, including petting zoos, farms, fairs and home backyards.
•Prevent cross contamination of food by washing hands, counters, cutting boards and utensils after they touch raw meat.
•Cook meat thoroughly. Ground beef and meat that has been tenderized should be cooked to at least 160 degrees F. Use a meat thermometer to check doneness.
•Avoid raw milk, unpasteurized dairy products and unpasteurized juices such as fresh apple cider.
•Avoid swallowing water when swimming or playing in lakes, ponds, streams, swimming pools and kiddie pools.

Organic Meats May Have Increased Toxoplasmosis Risk
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/organic-meats-may-have-increased-toxoplasmosis-risk/
By Linda Larsen (June 09, 2012)
A study published in the May 22, 2012 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases has found that organic meats may have increased toxoplasmosis risk.
Toxoplasmosis gondii is a single-celled parasite that used to be a significant problem in pork. The definitive host for the parasite is cats. When pigs were allowed to forage for food, they often ate food contaminated with infected cat feces, or ate wild animals and birds that contained the oocysts. That’s why your grandmother used to cook pork well done to 160 degrees F, because that destroyed the parasite in all of its forms.
When pork farmers changed the methods of hog raising to eliminate foraging and fed the animals processed food, the risk of toxoplasmosis fell considerably. But the current trend toward free-range food animals, especially pigs and lamb, has increased the toxoplasmosis risk, since those animals are foraging for food. Wild game, such as venison, is also a a source of the toxoplasmosis parasite.
The symptoms of toxoplasmosis include swollen lymph glands, aches and pains that last longer than a month, and the feeling of unwellness that usually accompanies the flu. Treatment is usually not needed in normally healthy people, but some require medication. The parasite can infect the placenta and the fetus in pregnant women, which can cause stillbirth and neurological damage. Toxoplasmosis infections hospitalize 4,000 people and kill 300 every year in the U.S.
Many people carry the parasite but do not become ill or show symptoms because their immune systems are strong.
The USDA recommends these final internal cooked temperatures for meat:
¡á145 degrees F with a 3-minute standing time for whole cuts of meat, including pork chops, pork roasts, lamb chops and roasts, and beef roasts.
¡á160 degrees F for all ground meats.
¡á165 degrees F for all poultry, including chicken and turkey.
Freezing meat at sub-zero temperatures for several days can greatly reduce the Toxoplasmosis oocysts in contaminated meat. If you choose to use this step, make sure that your freezer temperature is below 0 degrees F. Since many people are carriers, following food safety rules is critical to reducing the risk of toxoplasmosis and all foodborne illnesses: always wash your hands after using the bathroom and before and during food preparation, avoid cross-contamination, and do not wash meat before cooking.
The foods with the greatest risk of carrying Toxoplasmosis gondii include raw ground beef, lamb cooked to rare, unpasteurized goat’s milk, wild game, and raw clams, mussels, and oysters.

After last year's E. coli outbreak: The impact on children
Source : http://crofsblogs.typepad.com/h5n1/2012/06/after-last-years-e-coli-outbreak-the-impact-on-children.html
By H5N1 (June 10, 2012)
Thanks to Michael Walsh for tweeting the link to this report in Clinical Infectious Diseases: An Outbreak of Shiga-Toxin Producing E. coli O104:H4 Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (STEC-HUS) in Germany: Presentation and Short-term Outcome in Children. The abstract:
Background. In May and June 2011 the largest known HUS-outbreak occurred in northern Germany. Since, quite unusually, a large number of adults was affected and the causative E. coli strain, serotype O104:H4, showed an atypical virulence factor pattern, it was speculated that this outbreak was associated with an aggressive course and an unfavorable prognosis also in children.
Methods. Retrospective analysis of medical records of 90 children and comparison to previous outbreak and sporadic case series.
Results.Median age in was unusually high compared to historical series (11.5 years). Only one patient (1.1%) died in the acute phase. Most patients (67/90, 74%) received supportive care only. Renal replacement therapy was required in 64/90 (71%) of the children. Neurological complications, mainly seizures and altered mental stage, were present in 23/90 (26%) patients. Ten patients received plasmapheresis, six eculizumab, and seven a combination of both.
After a median follow-up of four months, renal function normalized in 85/90 (94%) patients, while three patients still had CKD stage III or IV, and one patient (1.1%) still requires dialysis. Complete neurological recovery occurred in 18/23 patients. Mild to moderate and major residual neurological changes were present in three and one patient, respectively, although all patients were still improving.
Conclusions.E. coli O104:H4 caused the largest HUS-outbreak in children reported in detail to date and most patients received supportive treatment only. Initial morbidity as well as short-term outcome due to this pathogen is comparable to previous pediatric series of STEC-HUS.

Salmonella is a Sneaky Germ: Seven Tips for Safer Eating
Source : http://www.cdc.gov/Features/VitalSigns/FoodSafety/
By CDC
Salmonella can contaminate more than poultry and eggs. It sneaks its way into many foods— ground beef, pork, tomatoes, sprouts—even peanut butter. Learn what you can do to make your food safer to eat.
Salmonella is a bacteria and a common cause of foodborne illness, sometimes called "food poisoning." In the past few years, large outbreaks of illness caused by Salmonella-contaminated eggs and peanut products have made the headlines. Although many other foodborne illnesses have declined in the past 15 years, Salmonella infections have not declined at all. A new Vital Signs report on making our food safer to eat focuses on reducing contamination from Salmonella.
Don't let Salmonella sneak up on you. Seven facts that may surprise you—know the risks.
1.You can get Salmonella from eating a wide variety of foods, not just from eggs and undercooked poultry. Although poultry and eggs are primary culprits, Salmonella can be found in a variety of foods including ground meat, fruits, vegetables—even processed foods such as frozen pot pies.
2.Salmonella illness can sometimes be serious. In most cases, illness lasts 4–7 days, and most people recover without antibiotic treatment. But, in rare cases, people may become seriously ill. Compared with other foodborne germs, Salmonella is the deadliest. It also causes more hospitalizations as well.
3.For every 1 case of Salmonella illness that is confirmed in the laboratory, there are about 30 times more cases of Salmonella illnesses that were not confirmed.
Most people who get food poisoning usually do not go the doctor, and therefore don't get laboratory confirmation of exactly what made them sick. So Salmonella can cause more illness than you might suspect.
4.Salmonella illness is more common in the summer.
Warmer weather gives bacteria more opportunity to contaminate food. When eating outdoors in the summer, either in the backyard or on a picnic, follow these guidelines:
•Always keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot.
•When you're finished eating, refrigerate leftovers promptly. Don't let food sit out for more than 2 hours. On a hot day (90°F or higher), reduce this time to 1 hour.
•Be sure to put perishable items in a cooler or insulated bag.
5.You can get Salmonella from perfectly normal-looking eggs.
Chicken feces on the outside of egg shells used to be a common cause of Salmonella contamination. To counter that, stringent procedures for cleaning and inspecting eggs were implemented in the 1970s. However, now there's a new cause for concern. An epidemic that started in the 1980s and continues today is due to a type of Salmonella that is inside intact grade A eggs with clean shells. This type of Salmonella can silently infect the ovaries of healthy appearing hens and contaminate the inside of eggs before the shells are formed.
6.To avoid Salmonella, you should never eat raw or lightly cooked (runny whites or yolks) eggs.
Cooking reduces the number of Salmonella bacteria present in an egg. However, a lightly cooked egg with a runny egg white or yolk still poses a greater risk than a thoroughly cooked egg. Lightly cooked egg whites and yolks have both caused outbreaks of Salmonella infections.
7.Salmonella is more dangerous for certain people.
Although anyone can get a Salmonella infection, older adults, infants, and people with impaired immune systems are at increased risk for serious illness. In these people, a relatively small number of Salmonella bacteria can cause severe illness.
You can keep you and your family safer by remembering to:
Clean. Wash hands, cutting boards, utensils, and countertops.
Separate. Keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood separate from ready-to-eat foods.
Cook. Use a food thermometer to ensure that foods are cooked to a safe internal temperature: 145°F for whole meats (allowing the meat to rest for 3 minutes before carving or consuming), 160°F for ground meats, and 165°F for all poultry.
Chill. Keep your refrigerator below 40°F and refrigerate food that will spoil.
Don't prepare food for others if you have diarrhea or vomiting.
Be especially careful preparing food for children, pregnant woman, those in poor health, and older adults.

Washing raw meat is a risk
Source : http://barfblog.foodsafety.ksu.edu/blog/155278/12/06/09/washing-raw-meat-risk
By Doug Powell (June 09, 2012)
It’s Taste of Charlotte not Taste of Bacon.
And whatever the meat, don’t wash it.
Fox Charlotte (that’s in North Carolina) interviewed some vendors at the annual Taste of Charlotte, where Mital Naik of the Brazz Steakhouse booth was preparing to feed 5,000 people a sampling of 10 types of meats prepared on a traditional Brazilian grill.
"Today we're doing filet wrapped in bacon and chicken wrapped in bacon and scallops wrapped in bacon," Naik said.
As Health Officials race against the clock to determine the cause of an E. coli outbreak just hours away in Atlanta, Naik said he's making sure his high-end steak house's meat is thoroughly cooked and washed. Naik said, "It's something you have to think about."
Don't wash raw meats. Salmonella and other bugs can be sprayed up to 3 feet away by washing. Canadian, American and even British governments all recommend no washing of raw meat. Washing cooked meat may not help with that high-end appeal.

Jensen Farms idle during listeria settlement process
Source : http://www.9news.com/news/article/271559/339/Jensen-Farms-idle-during-listeria-settlement
By Matt Flener (June 08, 2012)
One of the owners of a Colorado farm linked to a deadly-cantaloupe listeria outbreak says he has not planted crops in 2012.
"We're just sitting on our hands, waiting," Eric Jensen, co-owner of Jensen Farms in Granada said. "We're just trying to get through it all."
Jensen Farms, co-owned by Eric and his brother Ryan, filed for bankruptcy in May. Eric Jensen told 9NEWS his family is waiting on a settlement with victims.
"We're not really commenting on anything because we're right in the middle of the settlement process," he said. "I don't want to do anything to mess with that."
The attorney representing many of the victims says a settlement with Jensen Farms should be complete by late August or early September. Bill Marler, a Seattle-based lawyer who represents 39 of the plaintiffs, says Jensen Farms' $2-million insurance policy will contribute to a roughly $4-million fund for victims.
"Jensen Farms was woefully underinsured," Marler said. "They took that risk, which is, frankly, why they're going bankrupt."
Marler estimated the victims have already amassed $8 million in hospital bills. An equipment company and an inspector that did a safety audit of the farm may also contribute to the victims' fund, he says. He also says there is pending litigation against those that sold and distributed the cantaloupes.
Marler told the Associated Press at least seven other lawsuits have been filed by other attorneys or victims representing themselves. Meanwhile, those in the small towns of Holly and Granada are left with the aftermath of what happened last fall.
"It's a small community, so we care," said Juanita Ortiz, who's lived in Granada her whole life. "We care for each other."
Ortiz said she and her husband Felipe would eat a cantaloupe every day from Jensen farms and never got sick.
"How can it be that people from New York, New Jersey, they died. And yet, I'm across the street from there?" she said. About Eric and Ryan Jensen, she said, "I saw every day how hard they worked. They worked hard."
"They're innocent," she said. "Just the way we are too, we're innocent."
But the federal Centers for Disease Control disagrees. That agency says in December, 30 people died, 146 people were sickened and one woman suffered a miscarriage. Marler believes 36 deaths can be attributed to the outbreak.
Marler told the Associated Press at least seven other lawsuits have been filed by other attorneys or victims representing themselves. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says, in December, 30 people died, 146 people were sickened and one woman suffered a miscarriage. Marler believes 36 deaths can be attributed to the outbreak.
CDC spokeswoman Lola Russell says the agency is standing by the death toll of 30, but it could be revised if more evidence is presented.
The federal Food and Drug Administration says dirty water on a floor, and old, hard-to-clean equipment probably were to blame for the outbreak.
It was the deadliest outbreak of foodborne illness in 25 years. The CDC says cases were reported in 28 states. Jensen Farms filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May, and listeria lawsuits against the company cannot go forward until the bankruptcy judge clears the way, Marler says.
"I'd like it done sooner than later," Tammie Palmer of Colorado Springs, whose 71-year-old husband, Charles, was diagnosed with listeria after eating cantaloupe last fall said.
The Palmers are suing Jensen Farms and are represented by Marler.
"My husband's not getting any better," she said. "Will he ever recover from it? I doubt it."
The plaintiffs in Marler's case allege that Pepper Equipment Corp., of Montrose, modified and then installed used equipment for Jensen Farms. John Grund, an attorney for Pepper, confirmed settlement talks are under way but declined to say how much the company's insurer might contribute.
Grund says the company denies any responsibility for the outbreak but explained a settlement would be "the sensible way to go."
The food-safety auditing company named in Marler's lawsuit - Bio Food Safety of Rio Hondo, Texas - didn't immediately return phone calls or an email seeking comment.

Licensed from E.coli strain sickens 14 in six states: CDC
Source : http://health.yahoo.net/news/s/nm/e-coli-strain-sickens-14-in-six-states-cdc
By David Beasley, Reuters (June 08, 2012)
One person has died and 13 more have fallen sick in six U.S. states in the past two months by a mysterious outbreak of a strain of E.coli bacteria, federal health officials said on Friday.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not yet identified a source of the bacteria, which since April 15 has sickened people in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Louisiana and California.
A child in Louisiana died after being infected, officials said.
"The investigation is looking at both food and non-food sources as a part of the ongoing investigation," the CDC said in a statement on Friday.
The most recent report of illness from Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli 0145, commonly abbreviated as E.Coli, was on June 4, according to the agency.
In Louisiana, where no new cases have been reported since May, health officials initially thought the infection might be linked to a petting zoo. But that theory was dropped because only the child who died had been to the zoo, not any of the adults who were ill, said Dr. Raoult Ratard, Louisiana State Epidemiologist.
Five cases have been reported in Georgia, the most of any state. Investigators there "have detected no food items or environmental exposures that are statistically associated with illness at this time," the state's Department of Public Health said in a statement on Friday.
The spread of E.coli bacteria can be prevented by washing hands thoroughly after changing diapers or going to the bathroom and after contact with animals, the CDC said.
Meat should be cooked thoroughly, and people should avoid juices and dairy products that have not been pasteurized. The CDC also warns against swallowing water when swimming.

DeCoster Egg Farm Knew About Widespread Contamination Before Salmonella Outbreak
Source : http://foodwhistleblower.org/blog/23-2012/407-decoster-egg-farm-knew-about-widespread-contamination-before-salmonella-outbreak
By Sarah Damian (June 07, 2012)
FIC blogged a couple weeks ago about the criminal probe against egg tycoon Jack DeCoster regarding the 2010 Salmonella outbreak. A lawsuit filed by NuCal Foods – which purchased millions of eggs from DeCoster's Iowa farm that it later had to recall – alleged that DeCoster and his companies knowingly sold tainted product and kept information from the public.
Well, it turns out he knew a lot, according to newly released evidence from an Iowa State University facility hired by DeCoster to test for contamination.
From the Associated Press:
ISU's Veterinary Diagnostics Laboratory found salmonella in manure at several Iowa egg-laying plants and in the internal organs of their birds, which were dying at unusually high rates, about four months before the August 2010 recall of 550 million eggs linked to the outbreak, records show.
The laboratory reported the results to the producer who had requested the tests, but scientists say they had no legal or ethical obligation to alert regulators or consumers. The tests have recently been made public in a civil lawsuit, while a federal grand jury looks into whether egg company executives misled the public by continuing to market products as safe despite potential knowledge that they were tainted. 
How could informing people that eggs they’ve purchased come from a farm with serious Salmonella problems not be an ethical obligation? As is typical among the food and agricultural industries, "proprietary information" has seemingly trumped public health once again. The lab, despite discovering that samples from 43 percent of DeCoster's hen houses in Iowa tested positive for Salmonella and that the bacteria found in hens' livers meant it was "almost certainly in the eggs," wasn't duty-bound to report this to the government. In fact, doing so would supposedly violate confidentiality agreements! What do they have to hide? By the looks of it, a lot. Whistleblowers in the food system face enough intimidation and other obstacles already when it comes to trying to bring food safety threats to light. With these additional industry-friendly loopholes, it's no wonder DeCoster wasn't held accountable before thousands of people became sick. These horrific findings of contamination only came out due to the subpoena from NuCal Foods, almost two years later.
A point of contention is whether DeCoster, knowing the lab results, complied with a new FDA egg rule that went into effect in July 2010 – requiring producers who detect Salmonella to initiate additional testing and destroy the bacteria or divert the eggs to non-food use. NuCal's lawsuit argues that he did not abide the rule, saying DeCoster "hid the filthy conditions at their farms so that they could continue to profit."
This is why transparency is so important along the food chain. Consumers put their health in the hands of companies that raise tens of thousands of food-producing animals in one facility. If they mean to prevent future outbreaks, adequate outlets for truth-telling insiders are indispensable.
Sarah Damian is New Media Associate for the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization.

E. Coli Outbreak in CDC’s Backyard
Source : http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/06/e-coli-outbreak-in-cdcs-backyard/
By Brian Hartman (June 07, 2012)
The nation’s top disease hunters are racing to solve a mysterious outbreak that is unfolding right in their own backyard.
The death of an infant in New Orleans last week has been linked to at least 10 other cases of E. coli illness in four southern states. The largest cluster of five sickened people, ranging in age from 18 to 52, is centered in Atlanta, home to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“At this time, we continue to interview new cases as we are notified of them,” Georgia’s Department of Public Health spokeswoman Nicole Price said in an email to ABC News. “We have detected no food items or environmental exposures that are statistically associated with illness at this time.  This investigation is ongoing.”
Maelan Elizabeth Graffagnini was 21 months old when she died last Thursday at a hospital in New Orleans. Two others in the New Orleans area were also recently stricken by the same strain of E. coli, known as 0145.
Alabama public health officials have linked two cases to this outbreak. And in Florida, a 22-year-old woman’s illness has been traced to the same dangerous bacterium.
Aside from the E. coli strain, all these cases have in common is that officials still have no idea what caused the illnesses.
“The likely exposure is a food source,” Louisiana Department of Health spokesman Tom Gasparoli said. “But this has yet to be confirmed. Often, the contact source is not found.”
Epidemiologists at CDC headquarters are poring over data sent in from the states in search of a common factor that could pinpoint a cause.
For any E. coli outbreak at this time of year, suspicions immediately turn to undercooked ground beef. The period from April through September is what scientists call “high-prevalence season” for E. coli.
E. coli are a common bacteria and not every strain is dangerous. But some, like those that carry the 0145 genetic fingerprint that is behind this outbreak, produce a deadly toxin known as shiga. This poison can cause violent reactions, including severe kidney damage and death.
Until this week, the government was not checking meat for the 0145 strain. Just this week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the first time began testing meat for six new strains of E. coli, including the strain causing this outbreak.
In an unrelated case, a 6-year-old boy in Millbury, Mass., died last week from kidney failure caused by E. coli. Massachusetts health officials said scientists have determined his illness was not caused by the same strain of E. coli as the clusters in the South. Officials in Tennessee said a recent E. coli case in that state was also unconnected.

Dog-Food Related Salmonella Outbreak Triggers Lawsuit
Source : http://www.qualityassurancemag.com/dog-food-recalled-salmonella-risk-lawsuit.aspx
By Quality assurance & Food safety (June 05, 2012)
Following an ever-increasing list of Salmonella-related recalls, Diamond Pet Foods faces what may be the first lawsuit filed in connection with the illness.
Pritzker Olsen, a national law firm specializing in food safety, filed the suit last week against Diamond Pet Food Processors and Costco Wholesale Corp. in U.S. District Court in New Jersey.
According to the firm’s website, the suit was filed on behalf of the father of an infant who was sickened by a rare strain of salmonella infantis and hospitalized for three days.
The attorneys link the case to the recalled pet food because the bacteria cultured in the infant was found to be the same rare subtype discovered in samples of Diamond Pet Food dog food and in other people who have sickened from the outbreak.
Multiple brands of dry dog food produced at the company's manufacturing plant in South Carolina have been connected with the human infections of salmonella, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Feds want increased penalties for those who put food safety at risk
Source : http://www.canada.com/health/Feds+want+increase+those+food+safety+risk/6740915/story.html
By Sarah Schmidt, Postmedia News (June 07, 2012)
The federal government is unveiling a food-safety bill Thursday that will hike penalties for serious offences to $5 million.
The bill, to be tabled in the Senate, could bring together as many as five food statutes with varying standards under one piece of legislation — the food provisions of the Food and Drugs Act, the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act, the Meat Inspection Act, the Fish Inspection Act and the Canada Agricultural Products Act.
The move follows a recommendation from Sheila Weatherill to simplify and modernize federal legislation and regulations that affect food safety. The government turned to Weatherill to conduct an independent investigation on the state of food safety in Canada after the 2008 deadly listeriosis outbreak linked to deli meats produced at a federally inspected facility.
Weatherill, who zeroed in on a "vacuum in senior leadership" among government officials, directed more than half of her 57 recommendations to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency following the death of 23 Canadians who consumed contaminated meat.
It is unknown if CFIA's bill, called Safe Food for Canadians act, is more housekeeping than a substantive change to the way CFIA polices Canada's food-safety system, but a government official highlighted that the act will strengthen current fines and penalties for those who put food safety at risk.
Under current rules, anyone convicted of a serious offence could be fined up to $250,000. Under the new act, penalties could be as high as $5 million, or, in the case of the most serious offences, even higher at the court's discretion.
According to prosecution bulletins posted on CFIA's website, the agency has secured convictions in 60 cases involving contraventions of acts governing food safety, animal health and plant protections since 2010, with fines ranging from $250 to $100,000.
In addition to the new bill, the official cited commitments to CFIA totalling $462.2 million made since 2006, to be spent through 2015-16 to improve food safety.
“Since coming to office in 2006, the Harper government has been working to strengthen what was a decimated food safety system," the official said.
This includes $75 million, announced in September 2009 to be spent over three years to implement Weatherill's recommendations to improve the government's ability to prevent, detect and respond to food borne illness outbreaks.
This year's federal budget committed another $51.2 million to be spent at CFIA over the next two years so the increased frequency of government inspections at meat processing plants, put in place with the initial investment of $75 million, will continue rather than be wound down as initially planned.
The 2011 federal budget also committed $100 million over the next five years to invest in the agency's food inspection system to bring eight separate inspection systems under one.
This will be the 11th government bill to be introduced in the Senate during this parliamentary session. Money bills must be introduced in the House of Commons.

Health officials squash E. coli speculation in New Orleans-centered outbreak
Source : http://barfblog.foodsafety.ksu.edu/blog/155216/12/06/06/health-officials-squash-e-coli-speculation-new-orleans-centered-outbreak
By Doug Powell (June 06, 2012)
State health officials say last month three people in the New Orleans area contracted E. coli bacteria. One of them recently died from the illness.
The funeral for 21-month-old Maelan Elizabeth Graffagnini was held Monday. Now the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals has some partial answers.
Two other adults in the New Orleans area were also sickened by the same strain of E. coli linked to a multi-state outbreak.
But Tuesday night, state health officials are discounting speculation that in this new case, the bacteria was contracted from animals at the Audubon petting zoo. They say their scientific investigation shows otherwise.
Dr. Raoult Ratard, who is the state epidemiologist, wrote in a statement: "Contact with a petting zoo can be ruled out due to the fact that no cases, except one, had contact with the local petting zoo. The likely exposure is a food source but this has yet to be confirmed."
According to Dr. Gary Balsamo, state public health veterinarian and assistant state epidemiologist in the Office of Public Health, Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, "Three cases of toxigenic E. coli were reported to DHH in May 2012 in the greater New Orleans area. These cases all have the same 'DNA fingerprints.' They are part of a CDC cluster of cases coming from several southern states. The CDC investigation has not yet identified the common source. Rumors that the strain are coming from petting zoos appear to be unfounded."

Lawsuit to be filed in North Carolina Salmonella outbreak
Source :http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/foodborne-illness-outbreaks/lawsuit-to-be-filed-in-north-carolina-salmonella-outbreak/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+FoodPoisonBlog+%28Food+Poison+Blog%29
By Drew Falkenstein (June 05,2012)
North Carolina has been the site of many Salmonella illnesses in recent months.  As has been diligently reported at Marlerblog, a salmonella outbreak linked to tempeh sold by an Asheville, N.C., company called Smiling Hara Tempeh Company has sickened --- people, and a recall of the contaminated product has been issued by the Rockville, Maryland company that sold Smiling Hara the bad tempeh.  The strain of salmonella involved in the tempeh outbreak is Paratyphi B, and the tempeh outbreak has sickened at least 88 people.
Then of course there's the 10 North Carolina residents sickened in the Salmonella linked to frozen raw yellowfin tuna product, known as Nakaochi Scrape, from Moon Marine USA Corporation. According to the CDC, information indicates that the Salmonella-contaminated yellowfin tuna product came from a single tuna processing facility in India.  This outbreak has sickened at least 316 people nationally.
And even though this is a North Carolina Salmonella-focused article, we would be remiss to fail to point out that, according to the state health department, at least 11 people became ill in an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to a Mexican restaurant called El Mexicano in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Two of the victims have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which can cause kidney failure.
But back to North Carolina and its Salmonella problems.  This outbreak flew below the radar to some extent, but made a lot of people sick nonetheless, including Carrie and Charlie Nivens, whose lawsuit we will be filing against Lancaster BBQ restaurant located in Iredell County.  Here is a description of the outbreak:
On January 10, 2012 Iredell County Health Department (ICHD) learned of 5 patients diagnosed with Salmonella who had experienced symptom onset around January 1. Patient isolates were at the North Carolina State Public Health Laboratory (NC PHL) for serotyping and molecular analysis. That same day ICHD received foodborne illness complaints from two patrons of Lancaster’s BBQ, a restaurant located in Mooresville. ICHD notified the North Carolina Division of Public Health that a foodborne illness outbreak might be underway. It was not until January 23 that local and state public health investigators felt there was sufficient evidence to launch an outbreak investigation. On that date the NC PHL had confirmed an indistinguishable strain of Salmonella Enteriditis in 6 patients. Investigators conducted patient interviews and discovered that all 6 individuals had eaten at the Lancaster BBQ Restaurant on one of two consecutive days, December 31, 2011 or January 1, 2012. Two other restaurant patrons were symptomatic but were not laboratory confirmed with Salmonella.
In an attempt to identify a contaminated food item prepared at Lancaster BBQ, public health investigators conducted a case control study. Controls (non-ill persons) were selected from credit card receipts provided by Lancaster BBQ. In total 12 ill persons (cases) and 24 controls were interviewed. Study results implicated salads as the source of the outbreak. ICHD and staff from the North Carolina Division of Environmental Health conducted on-site environmental investigations at the Lancaster BBQ, focusing on salad preparation.
The team inspected the Lancaster BBQ on January 11, 2012 and found no critical food safety violations. A second visit was made on February 2, 2012. During this inspection multiple opportunities for cross contamination were observed including liquid from thawed poultry dripping on the floor of the walk-in cooler which was being tracked throughout the restaurant by employees. A single employee was responsible for grilling meats and for salad preparation. This employee was observed handling salad ingredients without wearing gloves, providing another opportunity for cross contamination.
Local and state public health investigators concluded that between Christmas 2011 and New Year’s Day 2012, an outbreak of Salmonella Enteriditis occurred among Lancaster BBQ customers. Ill patrons were much more likely to report eating salad and BBQ Pork Salad. Environmental investigations suggested that cross contamination was the likely cause of the outbreak.

Possible Multi-State E. coli Outbreak Prompts Warning
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/food-poisoning-watch/possible-multi-state-e-coli-outbreak-prompts-warning/#.T852FmYDqSM.twitter
By Bill Marler (June 05,2012)
As federal and state health officials in the South work to find the source of what appears to be a multistate E. coli outbreak that recently took the life of a 21-month-old child in Louisiana, attorneys at Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm are urging the public to stay informed on issues surrounding E. coli.
Shiga toxin–producing E. coli (STEC) causes approximately 175,000 illnesses, 4,000 hospitalizations, and 100 deaths annually in the United States.  Although foods of bovine origin are the most common cause of both outbreaks and sporadic cases of E. coli serotype O157:H7 infections, outbreaks of illnesses have been linked to a wide variety of food items.  For example, produce has been the source of substantial numbers of outbreak-related E. coli O157:H7 infections since at least 2000. Outbreaks have been linked to alfalfa, clover and radish sprouts, lettuce, and spinach. Other vehicles for outbreaks include unpasteurized juices, yogurt, dried salami, mayonnaise, raw milk, game meats, hazelnuts, and raw cookie dough.
Marler Clark has represented victims of every major foodborne illness outbreak since the notorious 1993 Jack in the Box E. coli O157:H7 outbreak.  In 2007 the firm’s E. coli attorneys represented Stephanie Smith, a 19-year-old dance instructor whose E. coli infection left her in a months-long coma and paralyzed from the waist down. Michael Moss of the New York Times won a Pulitzer Prize for an article he wrote about Ms. Smith and the beef responsible for her illness.  In 2009 the firm worked on behalf of Linda Rivera, a mother of six who was hospitalized for over a year when from a severe E. coli contracted from eating cookie dough.
In 2009, outcomes of cases like these implored Marler Clark attorneys to petition the U.S. Department of Agriculture to increase E. coli testing in meat.  In 2011, the USDA responded by announcing it would indeed begin a ramped up testing program – a program that kicked off this month.
“We’ve been fortunate to see tremendous progress in food safety since I began this practice nearly twenty years ago,” said Marler Clark attorney William Marler. “Unfortunately, that progress feels negated when you read of these heartbreaking outbreaks.  Indeed to the families involved, it feels totally nonexistent.”
E. coli can lead to a severe, life-threatening complication called the hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). HUS accounts for the majority of the acute deaths and chronic injuries caused by the bacteria. HUS occurs in 2-7% of victims, primarily children, with onset five to ten days after diarrhea begins. E. coli serotype O157:H7 infection has been recognized as the most common cause of HUS in the United States and it is the most common cause of renal failure in children.

Sources Remain Mysteries in Two Separate E. Coli Deaths
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/06/sources-remain-a-mystery-in-two-separate-e-coli-deaths/#.T85npVSeh9g.twitter
By James Andrews (June 05,2012)
Two unrelated E. coli deaths at the end of May -- a 6-year-old Massachusetts boy and a 21-month-old girl in Louisiana -- still have public health officials searching for possible sources and explanations.
In Millbury, Massachusetts, Owen Carrignan died May 26 after developing hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a kidney disease brought on severe E. coli O157:H7 infections. How he got the infection, however, still has investigators stumped.
Meanwhile, an E. coli infection killed New Orleans toddler on May 31 and has sickened at least two other adults in Louisiana. Health officials suspect that these illnesses are linked to an outbreak spread across multiple southern states, but just like in Massachusetts, they are still looking for answers to how the infections might have occurred.
"At this stage, we have no idea," said Louisiana State Epidemiologist Dr. Raoult Ratard.
Ratard said that the E. coli strain that infected the New Orleans children was not O157:H7, but he did not have information on the specific strain readily available (Update: The Georgia Department of Health has confirmed the outbreak strain as E. coli O145). While most E. coli strains do not pose harm to humans, a handful produce the potentially deadly Shiga toxin responsible for E. coli outbreaks.
A spokesman for the Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals said that while the infections could have been transmitted via any food, drink or animal contact, health officials have tentatively ruled out the Audubon petting zoo as a possible source after it was suspected early on in the investigation.
So far, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declined to name the other states involved in the multistate investigation. A CDC spokeswoman told Food Safety News that they are working with various state health officials to release any potentially relevant information when ready.
Graffagnini first showed signs of E. coli infection more than a month before her death and was hospitalized for several weeks, Ratard said. According to MSNBC, Carrignan fell ill on May 20, six days before he passed away.
Ratard offered a few suggestions to help avoid E. coli infection: Wash hands thoroughly after touching animals, and don't let children play in areas where animals are kept. When preparing meals, cook foods to the recommended internal temperatures.

Salmonella Outbreaks Linked To Hatcheries
Source : http://www.livingfithealthyandhappy.com/2012/06/salmonella-outbreaks-linked-to-hatcheries.html
By Joseph (June 06,2012)
On 30 May 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that a salmonella outbreak has infected 93 people in 23 states, resulting in 18 hospitalizations and 1 possible fatality. 90 % of the cases in this latest outbreak have been linked to contact with live poultry which, the CDC says, has been traced to a mail-order hatchery in Ohio.
Unfortunately this outbreak -and research conducted by Nicholas Gaffga from the CDC's Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases Division - underscore the fact that salmonella continues to be a problem for American consumers, agriculturalists and health care professionals.
Salmonella is an ongoing Problem for the United States
Based on an extensive eight year investigation, which was recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a team of scientists have concluded that mail-order hatcheries are a primary source of America's salmonella infections.
A team led by Nicholas H Gaffga of the CDC, conducted a multistate investigation of hatchery-linked salmonella outbreaks between 2004 and 2011; in order to find the answers they needed, researchers relied on a variety of methods including patient interviews and environmental testing. During the course of their investigation, they made some shocking discoveries about the pervasiveness of this troublesome pathogen.
Salmonella Outbreaks Discovered in 43 States Between 2004 and 2011
Dr. Gaffga and his colleagues identified 316 outbreaks of salmonella infections extending across 43 states between 2004 and 2011. All of the outbreaks were traced back to one hatchery deemed "Hatchery C". Many of the cases resulted in hospitalizations with bloody diarrhea as the most common symptom of infection.
Gaffga's team also learned that 122 of the patients had become infected after coming into contact with live poultry. But even more unsettling was the revelation that despite implementation of biosecurity and interventions by the hatchery in 2006 (which did reduce the number of infections), transmission of salmonella persisted.
Gaffga and his colleagues pointed out that Hatchery C wasn't the only source of salmonella outbreaks. In fact, there were a number of investigations from 1955 to 2009 which identified salmonella outbreaks in the Pacific Northwest, Southwest, Midwest and Eastern United States.
Gaffga's team also noted that comingling of birds and sanitation issues affect salmonella transmission. Due to a lack of a standard guidelines for sanitation and biosecurity, various feed stores and hatcheries implement their own hygiene practices wherein poultry from multiple shipments may be housed together allowing for transmission of various pathogens.
Considering the seriousness of salmonella transmissions, Gaffga and his colleagues recommended: "Comprehensive control programs should be developed and maintained at hatcheries and breeder farms. These programs should include routine microbiologic monitoring and effective and practical sanitation components directed at reducing the occurrence of salmonella organisms in hatching eggs and chicks."
Their suggestion echoes government health officials recommend regarding the current outbreak such that agricultural stores, hatcheries and other outlets that sell ducks, chicks and other live poultry should provide consumers with health information about risk of infection prior to purchase.
For information about states included in the current salmonella outbreak, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Salmonella Outbreak homepage.
For info about salmonella and enteritis, check out my article Salmonella - The Pesky Foodborne Bug.

Simon & Luke Files First Salmonella Wrongful Death Claim Against Wright County Egg
Source :http://www.dui-attorney-news.com/maryland/uncategorized/simon-luke-files-first-salmonella-wrongful-death-claim-against-wright-county-egg/
By maryland (June 06,2012)
The Law Firm of Simon & Luke has Filed the Nations First Salmonella Wrongful Death Claim Against Wright County Egg in the Superior Court of the State of California, Alameda County Case No. RG12632871.
The Houston-based food safety law firm of Simon & Luke has filed the first wrongful death lawsuit against Wright County Egg linked to the 2010 Salmonella Enteritidis egg outbreak that sickened over 2000 people nationwide. The outbreak led Wright County Egg of Galt, Iowa to ultimately recall over 380 million shell eggs, which were distributed throughout the United States. The case, according to the Law Offices of Simon & Luke and the Gomez Law Firm, was filed on behalf of a California resident in Alameda, County.
According o the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the company announced the recall only after health officials identified Wright County Egg as the source of the Salmonella Enteritidis outbreak that was ultimately responsible for at least 2000 illnesses, including at least 1 death. (http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/enteritidis/).
Contaminated Wright County Eggs Allegedly Cause Salmonella Enteritidis Death
Simon & Luke, along with co-counsel The Gomez Law Firm, filed the Salmonella lawsuit in Alameda County, California on behalf of resident David Marlais, individually and as a representative for the estate of his father, Mate Marlais. The Complaint for Damages and Request for Jury Trial, No. RG12632871, was filed and stamped on Friday, June 1, 2012. According to court documents, Mate Marlais was a retired machinist who died after eating Salmonella-contaminated Wright County Eggs at a local restaurant. A file stamped copy of the lawsuit, and a photo of David and Mate Marlais before Mates death, are available upon request from Simon & Luke LLP.
According to the filed Complaint, a few days after Mate ate the contaminated eggs, he was found at home lying in his own diarrhea. He was rushed by ambulance to Eden Hospital, where he was admitted in a state of shock caused by intestinal salmonellosis. A stool sample, collected after Mates admission to the hospital, confirmed the presence of Salmonella in his system. The facts of the case are set forth in the Original Complaint, filed June 1, 2012, in the Superior Court of the State of California, Alameda County.
According to Court papers, tests confirmed the presence of rhabdomyelosis, or skeletal muscle destruction. The Complaint alleges the following: The destruction was secondary to the profound metabolic acidosis associated with his systemic Salmonella infection. On the second day of his hospital stay, Mate suffered an acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) and respiratory failure. As a result, he was placed on ventilator support and transferred to Eden Hospitals Critical Care Unit. Once there, his condition continued to deteriorate, and Mate fell into a coma. Mate thereafter remained on ventilator support until all of his family could be gathered at his bedside. He was then taken off life support, and died shortly thereafter on the afternoon of June 13, 2010, only four days after being admitted to the hospital.
According to Court documents, following Mates death, the California Department of Public Health Department determined that stool cultures taken during Mates hospital stay had tested positive for the exact genetic strain of Salmonella Enteritidis found in eggs from Wright County Egg.
Filth and Squalor at Wright County Egg Facilities
According to court documents filed in this case:
On August 16, 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that it had observed an approximately four-fold nationwide increase in reports of human illnesses caused by Salmonella Enteritidis during late June and early July 2010. The report linked consumption of eggs manufactured by WCE to the increase in the number of illnesses. Three days prior, WCE issued a recall of approximately 228,000,000 shell eggs that it had manufactured and distributed in recent months. WCE had distributed the recalled eggs to food wholesalers, distribution centers, and foodservice companies in California, Illinois, Missouri, Colorado, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. The companies to which WCE had distributed the contaminated eggs further distributed and sold the Salmonella

Georgia no stranger to E. coli outbreaks
Source :http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/foodborne-illness-outbreaks/georgia-no-stranger-to-e-colioutbreaks/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+FoodPoisonBlog+%28Food+Poison+Blog%29
By Drew Falkenstein (June 06,2012)
Food Safety News reported today that the recently announced E. coli outbreak that has caused the death of a young girl in Louisianna, and at least 5 confirmed cases in Georgia as well, was due to infection by E. coli O45.  In total, the outbreak, which has not yet been linked to a specific food item, has sickened 12 people in Georgia, Louisianna, Alabama, Florida and Tennessee.
Here are some past E. coli O145 outbreaks, one of the big six strains of E. coli that the USDA will begin testing for after pressure from several corners, including a petition filed by the law firm Marler Clark.
Georgia health officials are investigating the outbreak, along with the CDC and other state and local health departments.  Georgia officials are no strangers to E. coli outbreaks.  Here are a few that either happened in Georgia or sickened Georgia residents:
•Multistate Schnucks Salad Bars, College Campuses Romaine Lettuce 2011
•Nestle Raw Refrigerated Prepackaged Cookie Dough 2009
•Barbeque Pit Steak and Seafood Restaurant 2008
•Nebraska Beef Ltd/Kroger Company Ground Beef May, 2008
•Georgia Church Unknown 2007
•Fast Food Restaurant Hamburgers 1995
•Excel Ground Beef 2001
•Georgia White Water Water Park Kiddie Pool 1998
•Nursing Home Hamburger 1984

E. coli O145 - A decade of outbreaks
Source : http://www.marlerblog.com/case-news/e-coli-o145---a-decade-of-outbreaks/#.T8_-jWuK9mk.twitter
By Bill Marler (June 06,2012)
Zillman Meat Market Ready-to-Eat, Custom, Smoked Meat Products Made From Game 2010:  An outbreak of E. coli O145 was linked to the consumption of ready-to-eat, custom, smoked meat products that were made from game. These products were produced and sold by the Zillman Meat Market in Wausau, Wisconsin between September 30 and December 28. Fresh meat products apparently were not implicated in the outbreak. Four cases were known in Wisconsin, and three were known in Michigan. The cases in the two states are linked in that they shared Zillman smoked meat products among themselves.
Venison 2010:  An outbreak of non-O157 Shiga toxin–producing Escherichia coli occurred among students at a high school in Minnesota, in November 2010. The students had handled and consumed venison from a wild white-tailed deer in a high school class. Consuming undercooked venison and not washing hands after handling raw venison were associated with illness. E. coli O103:H2 (2 isolates) and non-Shiga toxin–producing E. coli O145:NM (1 isolate) were isolated from ill students and the venison.
Freshway Foods Romaine Lettuce 2010, non-O157 STEC:  Cases of a genetically identical strain of E. coli O145 were identified in the states of Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and New York. Illness onsets occurred between April 10 and 26. Several of the cases were students at Ohio State University, the University of Michigan, and Daemen College (Buffalo, New York). Several of the ill in Ann Arbor, Michigan, had eaten at a common restaurant. At least four students in the Wappinger Central School District, in New York State, were also involved in the outbreak. Shredded lettuce served in the school district tested positive for E. coli bacteria. Romaine lettuce was named as the vehicle for this outbreak, on May 6, after the same strain of E. coli O145 was found in a Freshway Foods romaine lettuce sample in New York State. Freshway Foods issued a voluntary recall of various bagged lettuces. The traceback investigation suggested that the source of the lettuce was a farm in Yuma, Arizona. In Ohio, a second, independent strain, of pathogenic E. coli was isolated from Freshway Foods bagged, shredded, romaine lettuce, E. coli O143:H34. This strain was not linked to any known food-borne illness. The isolation of the second strain of E. coli led to an additional recall of lettuce. Andrew Smith Company, of California, launched a recall of lettuce sold to Vaughan Foods and to an unidentified third firm in Massachusetts. Vaughan Foods of Moore, Oklahoma, received romaine lettuce harvested from the same farm in Yuma, Arizona; the romaine lettuce had been distributed to restaurants and food service facilities.
Belgian Pasteurized Ice Cream 2007, Non-O157 STEC:  People who had eaten ice cream produced and sold at a farm in Antwerp developed Verotoxin-producing E. coli (VTEC). The pasteurized ice cream was served at two birthday parties and at the farm. Two strains of E. coli were involved in this outbreak E. coli O145 and E. coli O26. The identical strains of E. coli were found in leftover ice cream, in fecal samples from calves, and in samples of soiled straw at the farm. The pasteurization technique used by the farm appeared adequate. Because of the presence of the same bacteria on the farm, it seemed likely to the investigators that a farm worker could have contaminated the ice cream after it had been pasteurized.
Camp Yamhill Multiple Pathogen Drinking Water 2005:  An outbreak of gastroenteritis occurred at a camp in Oregon. The outbreak was caused by multiple pathogens such as E. coli O157:H7, Campylobacter, and E. coli O145. The water system may have been overwhelmed surface water runoff caused by heavy rainfall.
Minnesota Day Care Person-to-Person 1999:  Two children at a Minnesota day care program became ill due to E. coli O145. The infection was spread from person-to-person.

Lawyers: Deal is close in Colorado listeria lawsuits
Source : http://www.koaa.com/news/lawyers-deal-is-close-in-colorado-listeria-lawsuits/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
By AP posted by Juice Godfrey (June 05,2012)
Lawyers involved in lawsuits against a Colorado farm identified as the source of a deadly listeria outbreak last fall said Monday they were close to a settlement in the case.
The lawsuits were filed by people who were sickened or who had a family member die after the nationwide outbreak involving cantaloupes killed 30 people.
Attorneys for both sides said the deal could be finalized by fall.
"I would say we are very close," said Jim Markus, an attorney for defendant Jensen Farms in Holly, Colo.
Bill Marler, a lawyer for 39 of the plaintiffs, said the settlement also could include a company that manufactures and imports food-processing equipment and a firm that did a safety audit of the farm.
The possible settlement currently being discussed would set up a victims' fund of roughly $4 million, including $2 million from Jensen Farms' insurer, Marler said. The remainder would come from the insurers of the equipment company and the safety auditor, he said.
The plaintiffs might also pursue claims against others involved in the distribution and sale of the cantaloupes, he said.
"There's frankly plenty of responsibility to go around," he said. "The chain of distribution from the farm to the retailer bears responsibility for producing and selling that food."
Marler said at least seven other lawsuits have been filed by other attorneys or victims representing themselves.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in December that 30 people died, 146 people were sickened, and one woman suffered a miscarriage. Marler believes 36 deaths can be attributed to the outbreak.
CDC spokeswoman Lola Russell said the agency is standing by the death toll of 30, but it could be revised if more evidence is presented.
The federal Food and Drug Administration has said dirty water on a floor, and old, hard-to-clean equipment probably were to blame for the outbreak.
It was the deadliest outbreak of foodborne illness in 25 years. The CDC said cases were reported in 28 states.
Jensen Farms filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May, and listeria lawsuits against the company cannot go forward until the bankruptcy judge clears the way, Marler said.
"I'd like it done sooner than later," said Tammie Palmer of Colorado Springs, whose 71-year-old husband, Charles, was diagnosed with listeria after eating cantaloupe last fall.
The Palmers are suing Jensen Farms and are represented by Marler.
"My husband's not getting any better," she said. "Will he ever recover from it? I doubt it."
The plaintiffs in Marler's case allege that Pepper Equipment Corp. of Montrose, Colo., modified and then installed used equipment for Jensen Farms.
John Grund, an attorney for Pepper, confirmed that settlement talks are under way but declined to say how much the company's insurer might contribute.
Grund said the company denies any responsibility for the outbreak but explained a settlement would be "the sensible way to go."
The food safety auditing company named in Marler's lawsuit, Bio Food Safety of Rio Hondo, Texas, didn't immediately return phone calls or an email seeking comment.
Eric Jensen, co-owner of Jensen Farms, declined to comment on whether Jensen Farms was responsible for the outbreak.
He said the farm didn't plant any crops this year because of its finances. He hopes that once the bankruptcy and lawsuits are settled, he can resume farming, possibly growing cantaloupes again.
"It's going to take time to get through all of this," he said. "Have to take a look at what we have left and figure it out from there."
Marler said the projected $4 million settlement fund isn't enough to fairly compensate the victims. He said his clients have amassed a total of nearly $8 million in medical bills, and they deserve more for pain and suffering and for future medical bills.

Enhanced US access to Japan still looks distant
Source : http://www.beefcentral.com/p/news/article/1734
By Beef central (June 08,2012)
Trade observers in Japan are suggesting the prospect of access any time this year to the Japanese market for US imported beef from animals older than 20 months is looking increasingly distant.
Trade journal Shokuniku Sokuho claimed recently that the US beef import protocols issue may not be resolved this year, due to the degree of caution being shown in discussions and processes by Japan’s Food Safety Commission.
The Commission’s prions expert panel has met four times this year, but is only one of four expert panels focused on gathering relevant information and examining the areas of caution necessary to ease US beef import protocols.
Actual discussions about the import protocols will not start until after the next meeting of the prion panel, Shokuniku Sokuho said.
Meanwhile in other trade access developments, Japan and Australia held their 15th round of negotiations under their Economic Partnership Agreement in Canberra recently. These were the second round of talks following the resumption of dialogue, after a lengthy recess caused by the Tsunami/earthquake events of March last year.
The Canberra meeting was the first since the Japanese decision to express interest in participating in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) involving various Pacific Rim nations. The TPP negotiation will require Japan to show a strong commitment to agricultural reform – a reform best reflected in an FTA with an agricultural country like Australia, some onlookers suggest.
While beef remains officially on the list of sensitive goods not for negotiation, some flexibility is appearing to emerge - an encouraging a starting point, onlookers say.

From Farm to Fork: A Food Safety Lawyer Shares Lessons Never to be Forgotten
Source : http://farmingtonhills.injuryboard.com/defective-and-dangerous-products/from-farm-to-fork-a-food-safety-lawyer-shares-lessons-never-to-be-forgotten.aspx?googleid=301636
By Mark Bello (June 04,2012)
Foodborne illness outbreaks are not only devastating for the people who suffer illness, but also for the companies involved,” says Bill Marler, food safety attorney who has sued hundreds of large food companies on behalf of victims of foodborne illness. Mr. Marler is most noted for his fight for justice in the 1993 E. coli break-out in Jack in the Box hamburger meat. This outbreak resulted in the death of four children and the sickness of 600 others. Marley represented the family of one of the victims, a 9-year-old girl who was the most seriously injured survivor, suffering serious and life-altering injuries.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, foodborne illnesses in the U.S. cause an estimated 48 million cases each year, including 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. Foods causing illness or death in the last few years have not been limited to meats; the list includes cantaloupes, lettuce, spinach, hazelnuts, and sprouts. Before 1993, food poisoning might have given you a stomach ache, but it was never considered life-threatening. The Jack in the Box outbreak became a wake-up call for Americans; it has changed the way we eat.
Jeff Benedict’s Poisoned: True Story of the Deadly E. Coli Outbreak That Changed the Way Americans Eat is an account of the Jack in the Box case. Benedict conducted over 250 on-the-record interviews to produce a behind-the-scenes account of the E. coli outbreak. The book not only tells the story of Marler’s fight to secure an out-of-court landmark $15.6 million settlement for his client, but shares how this case has educated everyone on food safety, including doctors who had never seen a case of E. coli and Jack in the Box executives who had to quickly devise new industry safety standards beyond what any other restaurant chain had previously done.
For the last 20 years, Bill Marler has represented victims of nearly every large foodborne illness outbreak in the United States, but he is more than an attorney; Marler is a national food safety advocate. In his quest to improve food safety, Mr. Marler sent hundreds of copies of the book to the CEO of every major company he has sued. “Perhaps after reading Poisoned other food companies will look a little more closely at their own food safety procedures, as well as those of their partners in the supply chain,” said Marler.
At little or no cost to event organizers, Marler speaks worldwide on food safety issues and works regularly with industry, government, and academia to improve food safety in the U.S. and around the world. He frequently donates to industry groups for the promotion of improved food safety, and has established numerous collegiate science scholarships across the nation. To read more about Bill Marler, visit his website at http://www.billmarler.com/. To learn about upcoming speaking engagements or to request a speaker for your upcoming event, visit http://www.marlerclark.com/events_speaking_engagements/history/C90/2012 or contact Leslie Dale at (206) 407-2204 or ldale@marlerclark.com.

Beef plants continue advancing food safety
Source : http://www.cattlenetwork.com/cattle-news/latest/Beef-plants-continue-advancing-food-safety-156463325.html
By John Maday (June 04,2012)
Expanded testing for additional strains of E. coli in beef packing plants begins today, and while packers undoubtedly will experience some difficulty in the transition, history suggests they will adapt to the new requirements and continue to improve beef safety.
An audit report from the USDA’s Office of the Inspector General released last month shows beef packers are doing a good job of testing for E. coli O157:H7, and following up with investigations and corrective actions to protect beef safety.
The audit report preceded this week’s implementation of new rules from the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, requiring that plants test beef trim for non-O157 strains of E. coli. The tests focus on six Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), in addition to E. coli O157:H7. Read more about the new testing.
The auditors from the Office of the Inspector General had a number of positive things to say about food safety procedures in beef plants. “We found that industry was performing thousands of E. coli tests daily generally following the Food Safety and Inspection Service’s recommended procedures,” they wrote.  “Overall, industry was taking appropriate steps to help ensure that U.S. beef is safe from E. coli contamination, recognizing  that regardless of how stringently the industry tests for E. coli, there is always an inherent risk of its presence in slaughter plants.”
The auditors also found that plants took preemptive action on presumptive positive test results, often destroying suspect products and conducting investigations to find the cause behind positive test results.
Ongoing data collection in federally inspected beef plants shows a steady reduction in the percentage of positive tests for E. coli O157:H7 in ground beef. Recent data from USDA shows that during 2011, inspectors found nine positive tests  for E. coli O157:H7 out of 12,422 raw ground beef samples, or 0.07 percent positive. That compares with 29 positive results from 11,655 samples, or 0.25 percent positive during 2010.
For testing of raw ground beef components, such as beef trim, the results were not as positive, with 0.67 percent of tests positive during 2011 compared with 0.47 positive in 2010. However, year-to-date data through May 27, 2012, shows four positive tests from 1,068 samples of raw ground beef components, or 0.37 percent positive, compared with six positive tests from 1,057 samples, or 0.57 percent positive, during the same period during 2011.
Read the full audit report from USDA’s Office of the Inspector General.

Iowa Egg Company Warned Of Salmonella In Hens Before 2010 Outbreak
Source : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/04/iowa-egg-company-salmonella-outbreak_n_1568550.html
By RYAN J. FOLEY (June 04, 2012)
An Iowa State University scientist found evidence that sick hens at farms owned by an Iowa egg producer were "almost certainly" laying eggs contaminated with salmonella months before one of the nation's largest outbreaks of food-borne illness came to light, newly released records show.
ISU's Veterinary Diagnostics Laboratory found salmonella in manure at several Iowa egg-laying plants and in the internal organs of their birds, which were dying at unusually high rates, about four months before the August 2010 recall of 550 million eggs linked to the outbreak, records show.
The laboratory reported the results to the producer who had requested the tests, but scientists say they had no legal or ethical obligation to alert regulators or consumers. The tests have recently been made public in a civil lawsuit, while a federal grand jury looks into whether egg company executives misled the public by continuing to market products as safe despite potential knowledge that they were tainted.
Lawyers for several executives have denied their clients did anything criminal in connection to the outbreak, which the Food and Drug Administration has estimated sickened up to 62,000 Americans. Salmonella is the most common bacterial form of food poisoning, causing diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever within days of eating a contaminated product. It can be life-threatening, although no deaths were reported in this outbreak.
Lab operations director Rodger Main said salmonella enteritidis, the strain discovered and later linked to the outbreak, doesn't have to be reported to the state or federal government. He said doing so would have violated confidentiality agreements the lab signs with food producers, who pay for the voluntary testing and decide how to react after getting results.
"Our role is to provide a third-party quality assured diagnostic service, and it's up to the client to interpret the information," said Main, whose 125-employee lab receives $3.2 million in Iowa tax dollars and conducts about 1 million tests annually.
The laboratory released its testing records in response to a subpoena from NuCal Foods, a California cooperative that bought some of the tainted eggs. NuCal is suing egg mogul Jack DeCoster and his network of companies, which have been blamed for the outbreak, in federal court in California. NuCal says it purchased millions of eggs that it later had to recall, faced lawsuits from customers who were sickened and lost profits as demand dropped after the outbreak.
DeCoster's farms had asked the laboratory to test for salmonella at its Iowa egg plants as they prepared for federal rules to take effect in July 2010 that required mandatory testing for the bacteria at different stages of production. In January 2010, scientists collected samples from several plants. Testing the next month detected salmonella, and additional samples were collected.
By late April 2010, scientists had discovered that 43 percent of DeCoster's poultry houses in Iowa were testing positive for salmonella, emails show. Around the same time, DeCoster's managers started noticing a high mortality rate of chickens at some plants and sent dozens of carcasses testing.
On May 1, 2010, ISU scientist Darrell Trampel told a colleague that the lab had isolated salmonella enteritidis, or SE, from the livers of hens that had died at two sites, which each housed tens of thousands of birds. "If SE is in the livers of the laying hens, it is almost certainly in the eggs at this site," he wrote in an email, calling it "a very interesting finding."
The same day, Trampel relayed those findings in two reports to Tony Wasmund, a DeCoster manager. He described how the 20 carcasses' livers and spleens "were dark and swollen," adding that salmonella was present.
Trampel told Wasmund in another report May 11 that dead chickens found in three plants were contaminated with salmonella, which was found "in all locations" of their internal organs. Trampel said the samples were being sent to the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames for confirmation of salmonella, which came a month later.
It is not clear what DeCoster's operations did after receiving the reports. Charles Hofacre, a University of Georgia scientist who was consulting on the companies' safety program, sent a May 28 email to DeCoster executives proposing several steps to clean up the conditions, warning, "We have to get this level of SE knocked down!"
Hofacre declined to comment Monday, while a home phone listing for Wasmund rang unanswered. Both men have testified before the federal grand jury, court records show. Lawyers for DeCoster did not return messages.
The FDA rule that went into effect in July 2010 requires producers who find salmonella in their poultry houses to either conduct additional testing over several weeks and destroy the bacteria or divert the eggs to non-food use.
As the evidence of salmonella mounted, lab scientist Timothy Frana calculated that DeCoster's operations "would have to test roughly 156,000 eggs" to stay in the shell egg business under the new rule. He warned Main, the lab director, in an email, "even with new positions, I don't see how we could accommodate such levels of testing."
NuCal's lawsuit argues that DeCoster and his companies "did not initiate egg tests or salmonella decontamination" or divert the eggs and continued selling products they knew were tainted. The lawsuit says the defendants' hid the filthy conditions at their farms so that they could continue to profit.
FDA contacted DeCoster's operation, which was doing business as Wright County Egg, on Aug. 9 after scientists traced illnesses in California, Colorado and Minnesota to its eggs. The company issued a recall days later. Hillandale Farms, another Iowa egg producer with ties to Wright County Egg, also was linked to illnesses and recalled its products a week later.
DeCoster told Congress the next month he was horrified to learn his eggs may have been sickening Americans and apologized. But at the Iowa State laboratory, scientists say they acted appropriately in informing the company they had found salmonella. The lab's accreditor, the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, says in its guidelines that laboratories must "ensure the protection of its clients' confidential information and proprietary rights."
"We did our job very well here," said Trampel, the scientist who warned of salmonella inside the birds' organs. "We reported out the results to the owners. We have no authority to do anything beyond that."

Dog Food Linked To Salmonella Outbreak Killed Dozens of Dogs In 2005
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/dog-food-linked-to-salmonella-outbreak-killed-dozens-of-dogs-in-2005/
By Carla Gillespie (June 02, 2012)
Diamond Pet Food, the maker of dog food linked to a Salmonella outbreak that has sickened 15 people in nine states and spawned 10 dog food recalls  since April 6, was linked to the deaths of dozens of dogs in 2005, according to records at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
In December 2005, the company issued a recall of 19 varieties of cat and dog food made at its Gaston, S.C. facility after some of them were found to be contaminated with toxic mold. The recall, one of the largest pet food recalls in U.S. history, would later grow to include 31 brands totaling 700,000 packages shipped to 24 states and 30 countries, according to a report by the FDA.  But not before they killed dozens of dogs.
At least 76 dogs died after eating foods manufactured by Diamond, others who were sickened survived with damage to major organs and required specialized care for the rest of their shortened lives.
The FDA sent a warning letter to the company after FDA investigators found several violations during a December 2005 inspection.  One that was mentioned: “The inspection also revealed that the facility failed to implement appropriate controls to prevent the adulteration of the pet food, and that the plant personnel failed to follow established procedures.”
Fast forward (over a 2007 recall,  a 2009 recall, and a 2010 recall ) to 2012, when the same plant is linked to 10 ongoing recalls that are causing illness in humans including an 8-week-old baby who was hospitalized for three days. Here are a couple of the comments from FDA inspectors who visited the plant in April 2012: “All reasonable precautions are not taken to ensure that production procedures do not contribute contamination from any source.” And: “An employee was observed touching in-line fat filter and oil with bare hands.”
Tainted pet food can sicken humans who touch it or come into contact with surfaces it has touched. The symptoms of Salmonella poisoning usually set in 12 to 72 hours after exposure and include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps that last four to seven days. Infants, small children, the elderly, pregnant women and others with compromised immune systems are most at risk.

 

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Fourteen People in Six States Are Sickened in E coli 0145 Outbreak
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/fourteen-people-in-six-states-are-sickened-with-e-coli-0145/
By Linda Larsen (June 08, 2012)
Fourteen people in six states are sickened with E coli 0145; the same strain killed a New Orleans toddler last week. While no one source has been pinpointed, state officials are working with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to solve the case and epidemiologists suspect food may be the culprit.
The case count is as follows:
¡áAlabama (2)
¡áCalifornia (1)
¡áFlorida (1)
¡áGeorgia (5)
¡áLouisiana (3 ill, 1 death)
¡áTennessee (1)
The CDC has released a statement about the outbreak. They say that the most recent report of illness was on June 4, 2012. The dates when patients became sick range from April 15 to May 12, 2012. Three people have been hospitalized.
Public health officials interview victims with questionnaires, asking them about exposure to different foods, restaurants, animals, and other potential bacterial sources. A petting zoo has been eliminated as the cause of the outbreak.
Food safety experts agree that it’s important to release information about these illnesses, because if someone is experiencing symptoms of E. coli infection, they need to see a doctor and be tested for the bacteria. Each patient is an important link when trying to identify a source of the contamination; information from just one person could solve the case. Patients usually develop STEC infection symptoms within two to eight days after consuming the bacteria.
Symptoms of E. coli infection include a mild fever, severe abdominal and stomach cramps, diarrhea which is often bloody, and vomiting. In some cases, especially children under the age of 5, an E. coli infection can lead to hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a severe condition that can cause kidney failure.
Dr. Raoult Ratard, state epidemiologist with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, released a statement that said, “The best prevention is always to handle and prepare food in a manner that minimizes the presence of harmful germs.” The statement from LDHH also said that foodborne illnesses are “often discounted by the general public as benign, but this is a reminder that they can have extremely serious consequences.”
Consumers can protect themselves against E. coli infections up to a point. Cross-contamination occurs easily, but by cooking meat thoroughly, washing fruits and vegetables before peeling and slicing, and washing your hands after using the bathroom you can reduce the risk of infections. Avoid raw milk, raw milk products, unpasteurized juice, and undercooked beef. Be careful when handling raw meat. Do not let raw meat juices drip onto other foods and do not put cooked meat on platters that held raw meat. And always use a food thermometer when cooking meat, poultry, eggs, and fish.
E. coli infections tend to spike in the warm weather months because animals shed more of the bacteria at this time. And more people cook hamburgers and steaks on the grill in the summer and may not cook hamburgers to well done, or 165 degrees F. Cross-contamination, either through improper hand washing or contact with raw meat, is another major source of infection in the summer months.

Georgia E coli Outbreak Linked to Deadly Louisiana Outbreak
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/georgia-e-coli-outbreak-linked-to-deadly-louisiana-outbreak/
By Linda Larsen (June 06, 2012)
A Georgia E coli outbreak has been linked to a deadly Louisiana outbreak, according to public health officials in both states. This particular strain of bacteria, called E. coli 0145, has not caused a multi-state outbreak in the United States for a year. Officials said that five people have been sickened in the Georgia E coli outbreak, and 2 adults are ill in Louisiana. A toddler in Louisiana has died from the illness.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 26 confirmed and 7 probable cases in that May 2010 outbreak were linked to contaminated lettuce. Three of those patients developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a complication of an E. coli infection, which can cause kidney failure.
E. coli 0145 is part of a group of bacteria called Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, otherwise known as STEC. The most well-known of that group is E. coli 0157:H7. It is illegal to sell ground beef contaminated with E. coli 0157:H7 in this country. The USDA just started testing beef trim for six other STEC bacteria on June 4, 2012.
A search of the CDC site revealed that last year’s E. coli 0145 outbreak was the only one caused by that particular bacteria to cross state lines. There have been many outbreaks of foodborne illness caused by various strains of E. coli bacteria in the past year, including:
¡áAn E. coli outbreak in South Carolina in May 2012 that has not been solved
¡áThree kindergardeners in Kentucky were sickened by E. coli in an unsolved case in April 2012
¡áRaw milk caused an E. coli outbreak that sickened 14 people in Missouri in April 2012
¡áRaw milk sickened 18 people in an E. coli outbreak in Oregon in April 2012
¡áAn outbreak of E. coli 026 was linked to Jimmy John’s raw sprouts in December 2011 through March 2012
¡áA 2011 outbreak of E. coli 0157:H7 linked to Organic Pastures raw milk
¡áThe Ambassador Restaurant in Michigan was the source of a December 2011 E. coli 0157:H7 outbreak
¡áRomaine lettuce was linked to a multi-state E. coli 0157:H7 outbreak in 2011
While consumers can reduce their risk of contracting foodborne illness from STEC bacteria by washing hands, cooking meat to a safe internal temperature, avoiding cross-contamination, and avoiding raw milk products, it is impossible to completely avoid the bacteria. Just 10 E coli 0157:H7 bacteria are enough to make a person sick.
If you or anyone you know has developed symptoms of an E. coli infection, including severe abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting, please see your doctor immediately. Tell her about your symptoms and ask for a culture to see if your illness is caused by E. coli bacteria.

Deadly E coli Outbreak Includes Cases in GA and LA
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/deadly-e-coli-outbreak-includes-cases-in-ga-and-la/
By Carla Gillespie (June 05, 2012)
An E coli outbreak that claimed the life of a Louisiana toddler this week includes cases in multiple states including Georgia and Louisiana, state health department officials told Food Poisoning Bulletin today.
A 21-month-old girl was one of three people in Louisiana to be sickened by the pathogen. She was the only fatality. In Georgia, there are five confirmed cases: two in Cobb county and one each in Cherokee, Coweta, and Forsyth counties. One person was hospitalized and released. Investigations in several states are ongoing, but health officials in Louisiana and Georgia say lab tests confirm the pathogen strain in each case is a genetic match.
A source of the deadly E coli outbreak has not yet been identified, but state health officials are working collaboratively and in conjunction with the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The last multi-state E.coli 0145 outbreak was in May 2010, according to the CDC. There were 26 confirmed and seven probable cases in that  outbreak, caused by tainted lettuce.  Almost 40 percent of those sickened, were hospitalized with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) a serious condition that leads to kidney failure.
Symptoms of E.coli infection include severe abdominal cramping and bloody diarrhea. If symptoms persist, HUS, the leading cause of kidney failure in children in the U.S., can develop quickly. Health officials urge anyone with these symptoms to see a health care provider.

Southern, multi-state E. coli O145 Outbreak Likely Kills Louisiana child
Source : http://www.marlerblog.com/case-news/southern-multi-state-e-coli-outbreak-kills-louisiana-child/
By Bill Marler (June 05, 2012)
The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is working with CDC to investigate a cluster of cases of E. coli 0145 infections. These cases were reported to public health and tested at the Georgia Public Health Laboratory, which was able to determine the molecular fingerprints of the isolates. Those molecular fingerprints are identical to one another.  At this time, Georgia has 5 confirmed cases, which reside in Cobb (2), Cherokee, Coweta, and Forsyth counties. One case was hospitalized overnight for this illness and no cases have died. At this time, we continue to interview new cases as we are notified of them. We have detected no food items or environmental exposures that are statistically associated with illness at this time. This investigation is ongoing.
Louisiana State Health officials are working with neighboring southern states and the CDC to identify the cause of several cases of E. coli illnesses (presumably not E. coli O157:H7) in the New Orleans area - one of which is blamed for the death of a 21-month-old girl (presumably from hemolytic uremic syndrome - HUS). While a source of her infection has not been identified, health experts said it is one of three cases recently diagnosed in the area.
Dr. Takeisha Davis, the Louisiana State Officer of Public Health, said the same strain of E. coli sickened two others (adults) in the New Orleans area and is linked to a multi-state outbreak.
Dr. Gary Balsamo, State Epidemiologist, released the following statement on Monday:
"Three cases of toxigenic E. coli were reported to DHH in May 2012 in the Greater New Orleans area. These cases all have the same 'DNA fingerprints.' They are part of a CDC cluster of cases coming from several southern states. The CDC investigation has not yet identified the common source.

Dog Food Linked To Salmonella Outbreak Killed Dozens of Dogs In 2005
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/dog-food-linked-to-salmonella-outbreak-killed-dozens-of-dogs-in-2005/
By Carla Gillespie (June 02, 2012)
Diamond Pet Food, the maker of dog food linked to a Salmonella outbreak that has sickened 15 people in nine states and spawned 10 dog food recalls  since April 6, was linked to the deaths of dozens of dogs in 2005, according to records at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
In December 2005, the company issued a recall of 19 varieties of cat and dog food made at its Gaston, S.C. facility after some of them were found to be contaminated with toxic mold. The recall, one of the largest pet food recalls in U.S. history, would later grow to include 31 brands totaling 700,000 packages shipped to 24 states and 30 countries, according to a report by the FDA.  But not before they killed dozens of dogs.
At least 76 dogs died after eating foods manufactured by Diamond, others who were sickened survived with damage to major organs and required specialized care for the rest of their shortened lives.
The FDA sent a warning letter to the company after FDA investigators found several violations during a December 2005 inspection.  One that was mentioned: “The inspection also revealed that the facility failed to implement appropriate controls to prevent the adulteration of the pet food, and that the plant personnel failed to follow established procedures.”
Fast forward (over a 2007 recall,  a 2009 recall, and a 2010 recall ) to 2012, when the same plant is linked to 10 ongoing recalls that are causing illness in humans including an 8-week-old baby who was hospitalized for three days. Here are a couple of the comments from FDA inspectors who visited the plant in April 2012: “All reasonable precautions are not taken to ensure that production procedures do not contribute contamination from any source.” And: “An employee was observed touching in-line fat filter and oil with bare hands.”
Tainted pet food can sicken humans who touch it or come into contact with surfaces it has touched. The symptoms of Salmonella poisoning usually set in 12 to 72 hours after exposure and include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps that last four to seven days. Infants, small children, the elderly, pregnant women and others with compromised immune systems are most at risk.