E. Coli outbreak in Hokkaido kills seven, sickens over 100 others
Source : http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120820a5.html
By The Japan Times(AUG 20, 2012)
A major food-poisoning outbreak in Hokkaido has killed seven people, including a 4-year-old child, and sickened more than
100 others who ate pickled cabbage tainted with E. coli bacteria, health officials said Sunday.
In what is being described as the nation's deadliest food-poisoning outbreak in a decade, six of those who died were elderly women
who were fed the dirty cabbage at nursing homes.
According to health bulletins issued by the Hokkaido Prefectural Government, the six women died at nursing homes in Sapporo and Ebetsu.
The 4-year-old girl died on Aug. 11 after exhibiting food-poisoning symptoms, also in Sapporo.
Some 103 people have apparently been sickened by the same item — a lightly pickled Chinese cabbage produced in late July by a Sapporo-based company,
the bulletins said.
In Ebetsu, a female centenarian died early Sunday from multiple-organ failure, nine days after being hospitalized and 18 days after eating the cabbage,
a Hokkaido health official said.
"She ate the pickles at breakfast at her nursing home on Aug. 1," health official Narihiko Kawamura said by telephone.
The Sapporo girl died five days after developing E. coli symptoms, an official at the Sapporo public health center said.
"She and her family used to eat the company's pickled cabbage, which they often bought at a local supermarket," the Sapporo official, Seiichi Miyahara,
said by telephone. "But it is not certain when she ate the contaminated product."
Two of the other nursing home fatalities were in their 90s and died on Thursday, also in Ebetsu, about 10 days after being hospitalized with E. Coli symptoms.
"It is not easy to determine how the bacteria got mixed with the pickled cabbage," the official said. "We don't know whether there was a major problem
with sanitation control at the company yet."
In 2002, nine people were killed by E. coli infections after eating a marinated chicken and vegetable dish at a hospital and an annex
that was a nursing home for the aged in Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture.370 sickened in Tochigi Kyodo
UTSUNOMIYA, Tochigi Pref. — More than 370 people were hit by suspected food poisoning during weekend sporting events in Tochigi Prefecture,
Approximately 200 people attending a junior high school field hockey tournament in the city of Nikko fell ill on Saturday, while about 170 people,
many of them middle school students, complained of food poisoning symptoms at a softball event in Nasushiobara, local government officials said.
People at the two events had boxed lunches prepared by the same company in Nasushiobara, a prefectural health official said.
One student was hospitalized, but she is not in serious condition, the officials said.
CDC Announcement of Salmonella Cantaloupe Outbreak
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/cdc-announcement-of-salmonella-cantaloupe-outbreak/
By Linda Larsen(AUG 19, 2012)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has officially announced the multistate outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium
linked to cantaloupes grown in Indiana. So far, 141 people are ill in 20 states; 31 are hospitalized, and two people in Kentucky have died.
The case count by state is:
Alabama (7), Arkansas (3), California (2), Georgia (1), Illinois (17), Indiana (13), Iowa (7), Kentucky (50), Michigan (6), Minnesota (3), Missouri (9),
Mississippi (2), New Jersey (1), North Carolina (3), Ohio (3), Pennsylvania (2), South Carolina (3), Tennessee (6), Texas (1), and Wisconsin (2).
According to the epidemiological curve, at least 31 more people are projected to become ill in this particular outbreak. Illnesses that occurred
after July 26, 2012 may not yet be reported to the government.
It takes two to three weeks between when a person is diagnosed and when the illness is reported.
This pattern of illness usually causes 10 to 15 new cases a month.
Illness onset dates range from July 7, 2012 to August 4, 2012. Patients range in age from less than 1 to 92 years, with a median age of 49.
Fifty-five percent of patients are female.
Among 64 patients who provided information, 31 (48%) are hospitalized. That means this is a virulent strain of the bacteria that can cause serious complications.
Public health officials interviewed 24 patients; eighteen of them, or 75%, reported eating cantaloupe in the week before their illness began.
Preliminary results indicate that this strain of Salmonella is susceptible to antibiotics.
There is no connection between this outbreak and last year’s multistate outbreak of listeriosis linked to Jensen Farms cantaloupe.
CDC and FDA Weigh in on Unnamed Farm and Unnamed Grocery Stores
in Salmonella Cantaloupe Outbreak
Source : http://www.marlerblog.com/case-news/cdc-and-fda-weigh-in-on-unnamed-farm-and-unnamed-grocery-stores-in-salmonella-cantaloupe-outbreak/
By Bill Marler (AUG 17, 2012)
The CDC and the FDA report tonight that a total of 141 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium have been reported from 20 states.
The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Alabama (7), Arkansas (3), California (2), Georgia (1), Illinois (17), Indiana (13), Iowa (7),
Kentucky (50), Michigan (6), Minnesota (3), Missouri (9), Mississippi (2), New Jersey (1), North Carolina (3), Ohio (3), Pennsylvania (2), South Carolina (3),
Tennessee (6), Texas (1), and Wisconsin (2). 31 ill persons have been hospitalized. Two deaths have been reported in Kentucky.
Collaborative investigation efforts of state, local, and federal public health and regulatory agencies indicate that cantaloupe grown
in southwestern Indiana is a likely source of this outbreak.
As a result of the initial investigations by the state health departments in Indiana and Kentucky, a[n] UNNAMED farm in southwestern
Indiana has contacted its distributors, which reach outside Indiana into other states, and is withdrawing its cantaloupe from the market place.
The farm has agreed to cease distributing cantaloupes for the rest of the growing season.
Consumers who recently purchased cantaloupes grown in southwestern Indiana are advised not to eat them and discard any remaining cantaloupe.
Based on the available information,consumers can continue to purchase and eat cantaloupes that did not originate in southwestern Indiana.
This is my favorite helpful hint to busy mom's and dad's:
Many cantaloupes have the growing area identified with a sticker on the fruit. If no sticker is present, consumers should inquire about the source.
When in doubt, throw it out.UNNAMED retailers and UNNAMED food service operators should not sell or serve cantaloupe grown in southwestern Indiana.
I appreciate that the CDC and FDA - and local and state health authorities - can count, but don't you think telling consumers where the cantaloupe was grown
and where it was sold would be helpful? Well, eventually, it will all become public. A few cantaloupe examples:
•Del Monte Cantaloupe Salmonella Outbreak Lawsuit - Nationwide (2011)
•Susie Cantaloupe Salmonella Outbreak Lawsuit - Washington (2002)
•Viva Cantaloupe Salmonella Outbreak Lawsuit - Washington, California (2001)
•Jensen Farms Rocky Ford Cantaloupe Listeria Outbreak Lawsuits - Nationwide (2011)
Cantaloupe, a Deadly Fruit – Again
Source : http://www.marlerblog.com/legal-cases/cantaloupe-a-deadly-fruit---again/
By Bill Marler (AUG 17, 2012)
According to Bloomberg News, Salmonella linked to cantaloupes are responsible for killing two people and sickening 141 others in 20 U.S. states.
Among those sickened, 31 were hospitalized. Kentucky had the most reports of illness, 50, followed by Alabama, 7; Arkansas, 3; California, 2; Georgia, 1;
Illinois, 17; Indiana, 13; Iowa, 7; Michigan, 6; Minnesota, 3; Missouri, 9; Mississippi, 2; New Jersey, 1; North Carolina, 3; Ohio, 3; Pennsylvania, 2;
South Carolina, 3; Tennessee, 6; Texas, 1; and Wisconsin, 2.
“It is great that state health departments give us the numbers, but why not the name of the farm where the cantaloupes were grown,
and more importantly, what grocery stores they were sold at,” Bill Marler, a lawyer at Marler Clark LLP in Seattle who represents more than 40 victims
of the Jensen Farms outbreak, said in an e-mail. Since the story broke of yet another recall and outbreak linked to cantaloupe - this time Salmonella
with nearly 150 sick in several states with two dead - I have received several phone calls from clients from last year's Listeria cantalupe outbreak
- 137 sick with likely 37 dead. This should not be happening again. Let's hope that I can stop updating my chart.
Cantaloupe's track record: 2+ decades of outbreaks
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/foodborne-illness-outbreaks/cantaloupes-track-record-2-decades-of-outbreaks/
By Drew Falkenstein (AUG 17, 2012)
In July, 50 people from Kentucky were sickened by Salmonella, and 2 died, linked to cantaloupes from a southern Indiana grower.
Here is the track record for this fruit, starting with the mother of them all:
•Jensen Farms Listeria Outbreak 2011: A multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes was associated with consumption of cantaloupe
that had been grown in the Rocky Ford region of Colorado and shipped by Jensen Farms.
As of December 8, 2011, a total of 146 persons had been reported to the CDC and were infected with at least one of the four outbreak associated strains.
Thirty seven persons died, and one pregnant woman miscarried her pregnancy.
•Del Monte Cantaloupe Salmonella Outbreak 2011: Del Monte Fresh Produce recalled whole cantaloupes
after an epidemiologic link was found between the cantaloupe and an outbreak of Salmonella Panama.
The cantaloupes were sold as a package of three through warehouse clubs in Alaska, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington.
The cantaloupes were grown in Guatemala.
•California Restaurant Cantaloupe 2008: A confirmed outbreak of Norovirus occurred among people who had eaten cantaloupe at a restaurant in California.
•Colorado Private Home Cantaloupe and Watermelon 2008: A confirmed outbreak of Salmonella Newport was linked to eating cantaloupe or watermelon
while at a private home in Colorado.
•Agropecuraria Montelibano Cantaloupe 2008: Cantaloupes grown in Honduras by the company, Agropecuraria Montelibano, were implicated in an outbreak
of Salmonella Litchfield in the USA and Canada.
•California Private Home Cantaloupe 2007: A confirmed outbreak of Salmonella Litchfield was linked to the consumption of cantaloupe that was eaten
in private homes.
•Colorado Unknown Location Cantaloupe 2005: A confirmed outbreak of Salmonella Newport occurred in Colorado. The vehicles of infection were cantaloupe
and ground beef. The exposure location was not given.
The circumstances of how these vehicles became contaminated were not described.
•Utah Private Home Cantaloupe, Barbequed Chicken, Corned Beef 2005: A confirmed outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis occurred in Utah among people
who had eaten together in a private home.
The vehicles of infection were described as cantaloupe, barbequed chicken, and corned beef. The circumstances behind how these foods became contaminated
were not described.
•Florida Unknown Location Cantaloupe, Pineapple, Bananas 2003: A confirmed outbreak of Norovirus was associated with eating fruit, specifically cantaloupe,
pineapple, or bananas, at an unknown location in Florida.
•Multistate Day Care Center or Private Home Cantaloupe and Honeydew Melon 2003: A confirmed outbreak of Salmonella Muenchen was associated
with eating cantaloupe or honeydew melon in day care center or private home.
•Susie Cantaloupe Distributed by I. Kunik Company 2002: This multistate, Salmonella Poona, outbreak was one of three outbreaks
that occurred between 2000 and 2002 involving imported, Mexican cantaloupe.
Ten of the cases occurred in Canada. These outbreaks led to an import alert on cantaloupes from Mexico. The cantaloupe was purchased whole or eaten
as part of a fruit salad or garnish.
The cantaloupe had been distributed by the I. Kunik Company of McAllen, Texas, who had purchased it from a Mexican producer.
•Oregon Nursing Home or Restaurant Cantaloupe 2001: A confirmed outbreak of Salmonellosis occurred in Oregon. The vehicle of infection was cantaloupe.
The exposure locations were "nursing home, assisted living, home care" or restaurant.
•Viva Brand/Shipley Sales Cantaloupes 2001: An outbreak of Salmonella Poona occurred among persons who had eaten Viva brand cantaloupe imported
from Mexico; the outbreak was first discovered in California.
Cantaloupes were purchased whole and pre-cut. The Salmonella Poona strain that was isolated had a rare biochemical trait,
the inability to produce hydrogen sulfide. Shipley Sales, the US importer of the cantaloupes,
could not provide proper Mexican documentation for inspection when requested by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The owners of the company were subsequently indicted for submitting false invoices and misrepresenting the facts to the federal government.
After a financial settlement and a fine, the 66 counts of the indictment were dismissed.
This outbreak was one of three outbreaks that had occurred between 2000 and 2002 involving imported, Mexican cantaloupes.
The outbreaks ultimately led to an import alert on cantaloupes from Mexico.
•Cantaloupe 2000: An outbreak of Salmonella Poona occurred among people who ate whole or pre-cut cantaloupe.
This outbreak was one of three outbreaks that occurred between 2000 and 2002 involving imported, Mexican cantaloupe.
These outbreaks led to an import alert on cantaloupes from Mexico
•Ontario, Canada, Cantaloupe 1998: An outbreak of Salmonella Oranienburg occurred in Ontario, Canada.
Cantaloupe consumption was a risk factor for illness.
•Imported Mexican Cantaloupe 1997: Twenty four persons were known to be infected with a genetically identical strain of Salmonella Saphra.
A case control study implicated the consumption of cantaloupe as a risk for illness.
A traceback identified one growing region in Mexico as a source of cantaloupe for 95% of the case-patients.
Very few persons reported washing cantaloupe prior to cutting them.
•Cantaloupe 1991: During June and July, 1991, more than 400 laboratory-confirmed Salmonella Poona infections occurred in 23 states and Canada
(Ontario, Newfoundland,Quebec, Saskatchewan).
Illness was associated with eating cut up cantaloupe in salad bars or fruit salads. At least 72 of the cases were in Canada. Salmonella was never isolated
from cantaloupe as the produce had been consumed, or discarded,
before the epidemiologic investigations began. Although industry sources identified the lower Rio Grande Valley, in Texas,
as the probable source of the implicated cantaloupes, some cantaloupes may have come from Mexico.
•Multistate Cut Up Cantaloupe 1990: A multistate (30 states, states not described) outbreak of Salmonella Chester was linked to the consumption
of cut cantaloupe that had been served in salad bars.
•Wisconsin Unknown Location Cantaloupe 1985: A confirmed outbreak of Campylobacter jejuni was associated with eating cantaloupe in Wisconsin.
The exposure location was not available.
NC State Fair Takes Measures to Prevent Another E. coli Outbreak
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/08/nc-state-fair-invests-measures-to-prevent-e-coli-o157h7-outbreaks/
By Dan Flynn (AUG 16, 2012)
Last year's E. coli O157:H7 outbreak attributed to the Kelley Livestock Building at the North Carolina State Fair has brought changes in pedestrian
and animal traffic patterns, now designed to minimize health risks at the fair.
The big Raleigh event, next scheduled for Oct.11 to 21, 2012, was responsible for its third E. coli O157:H7 outbreak last year.
In 2004, the NC fair's petting zoo left 108 fairgoers infected with E. coli O157:H7. In 2006, the NC fair's pita stand was found responsible for
infecting three people with the bacteria. And last year,
the livestock building was blamed for infecting at least 27 fairgoers with O157.
For 2012, the NC State Fair has spent $206,000 on improvements designed to reduce the likelihood that a fairgoer will come into contact
with disease-causing pathogens.
More than one million visitors attend the annual NC State Fair.
After last year's outbreak, a newly appointed State Fair Study Commission took up the issue with the goal of keeping people
and competition livestock separated as much as practical without keeping people totally away from the animals.
An NC public health investigation last year found that fairgoer illnesses stemmed from exposure to sheep, goats and pigs competing
in the fair's livestock shows and being kept in the Kelley building.
NC State Agricultural Commissioner Steve Troxler set up the study to review the repeated problem of fairgoers being infected with E. coli.
The solutions the study group came up with involve changing the traffic patterns in buildings where livestock are housed or shown, the Kelley Building,
Jim Graham Building, and the Expo Center.
The recommendations included changing the location of animals within buildings and how animals and people enter and exit buildings.
In addition, food vendors are being relocated from the area between the Graham Building and Expo Center. Instructional signs at animal exhibits will be larger,
and hand-washing stations will have nighttime lighting and more signs to increase visibility.
"The changes put forth by the Study Commission are a practical and effective way to further reduce the potential for disease transmission
- both animal-to-human and human-to-animal," Troxler said.
"They build upon protective measures already in place, and they reduce risks while maintaining the fair's agricultural heritage."
Lindsay Tallent, mother of then 2-year old Hunter Tallent who spent 16 days in the hospital with kidney failure after being infected
with E. coli at last year's NC State Fair, said its sad that families must be kept further away from the animals,
but in the long run it is better to "keep away any spread of diseases and keep families away from what we've had to deal with."
State Fair revenues are being used to pay for the changes.
"While there is no way to completely eliminate the potential for exposure, the measures being implemented will minimize the risk," said Dr. Megan Davies,
state epidemiologist with the N.C. Division of Public Health.
"We also want to encourage the public to do their part as well by following traffic patterns at the fair and using common sense measures to keep themselves
and their families healthy."
Wake County Community Health Director Sue Lynn Ledford, a member of the study commission, said State Fair visitors can help themselves stay healthy by:
- Leaving strollers outside buildings containing animals.
- Following instructions on signs indicating animals that should not be touched.
- Using the hand-washing stations located throughout the fairgrounds.
- Helping children wash their hands well at the appropriate times.
"While hand sanitizers and hand wipes are easy to use, washing hands for 20 seconds with soap and water and drying them
with clean paper towels is the best way to prevent the spread of germs that cause illness," Ledford said.
"Washing hands before you eat, every time you eat, greatly reduces the spread of disease. This is particularly important after visiting animal exhibits
or being in direct contact with animals."
The 15-member State Fair Study Commission consisted of public health professionals, veterinarians, livestock exhibitors, State Fair staff
and representatives of N.C. Cooperative Extension
and the N.C. Department of Agriculture
and Consumer Services.
David Smith, chief deputy commissioner of the department, chaired the group.
NC cantaloupe grower lacked audits, traceability; all melons recalled
Source : http://barfblog.foodsafety.ksu.edu/blog/155857/12/08/16/nc-cantaloupe-grower-lacked-audits-traceability-all-melons-recalled
By Doug Powell (AUG 16, 2012)
Food safety needs to be marketed at retail, otherwise consumers have no idea what they are buying.
Hucksters and posers can gas on about how their food is natural, sustainable, local and comes from a farmer I can look in the eye,
but I’d rather know the food safety program behind the fruit and veg, along with the data to verify things are working.
Few hawkers, at a market or a supermarket, can answer those questions.
Consumers are left with faith-based food safety.
That faith usually rests with buyers at supermarkets and retailers.
So when it was revealed that Burch Farms had to recall the entire season’s worth of rock and honeydew melon because listeria was found
and then it was discovered they had never had a food safety audit
-- a standard but inadequate minimal requirement to secure retail space -- I wondered, who buys this stuff?
“The cantaloupes and honeydew melons involved in this expanded recall were sold to distributors between June 23rd and July 27th, in the following states:
FL, GA, IL, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, SC, and VA, VT and
WV. The melons may have further been distributed to retail stores, restaurants and food service facilities in other states."
Complete distribution details on the melons are not available, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The Packer reports today that Listeria contamination at the Burch Farms melon packing facility in Faison, N.C., was confirmed on Aug. 13.
Company spokeswoman Teresa Burch said it has not had its cantaloupe operation audited by a third party for food safety practices,
and although the company has traceability programs for other items, there is none in place for its melons.
Burch Equipment LLC, doing business as Burch Farms, originally recalled about 5,200 cantaloupes July 28
after the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Microbiological Data Program found listeria on one melon at retail during a random sampling.
The grower expanded the recall to include 188,900 cantaloupes Aug. 3 and corrected the variety from athena to caribbean golds.
That expansion came after the FDA revealed it had found “unsanitary conditions” at the Burch packing shed.
Owner Jimmy Burch Sr. said he uses the sanitizer SaniDate in his packing facility’s water.
According to the Burch Farms website,
the operations are audited by PrimusLabs.
PrimusLabs in-house counsel Ryan Fothergill confirmed that the company has audited the leafy greens processing and field operations
at Burch Farms but not the cantaloupe operation.
Fothergill said Primus records show its staff was last at the Burch operation in March.
Burch said he planted only about 10 acres of honeydews for this season. The entire crop went to wholesalers. He said his farm has not had food safety issues
in the past. Of course not. Ignorance is bliss. And that’s the way growers and sellers prefer it. Market food safety at retail.
Hainan food poisoning found to be bacterial
Source : http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2012-08/16/c_131787921.htm
By English.news.cn (AUG 16, 2012)
Investigation has found that the food poisoning which sickened 141 tourists on Sunday in south China's Hainan Province was caused by bacteria,
local authorities announced on Wednesday.
A team consisting of 10 experts from the Sanya Health Bureau, under the guidance of four experts from the provincial center for disease control,
has been probing the cause of the outbreak
since it was reported, said an official of the health bureau of Sanya city.
Salmonella was detected in samples from the suspect food.
The vacationers were sent for medical treatment after their breakfast from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. in the Howard Johnson Hotel in Sanya on Sunday.
The number of patients reached 141 at peak time, 131 of whom were hospitalized,
the official said.
As of Wednesday afternoon, 61 of the people had left hospital while others remained in the People's Hospital of Sanya
and No. 425 Hospital
of the People's Liberation Army, the official said.
Four of the tourists are from Russia and two from Japan, and all of them are in a stable condition.
Service at the hotel's restaurant has been suspended.
An emergency response team has been set up by the hotel, and 80 employees have been dispatched to hospitals to help take care of the patients.
The hotel will compensate the patients based on investigation.
The municipal government of Sanya, a city known as a tourist resort, has called for supervision of food security in its restaurants, including those in hotels,
to be strengthened.
Hepatitis A alert at Tom's Gyro in Pocatello, Idaho
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/foodborne-illness-outbreaks/hepatitis-a-alert-at-toms-gyro-in-pocatello-idaho/
By Drew Falkenstein (AUG 15, 2012)
Patrons of Tom’s Gyro, 150 N. 3rd Ave., in Pocatello may have been exposed to Hepatitis A during August 2nd-August 14th, as an employee
there has been confirmed as having the disease.
Currently, there is no evidence of a hepatitis A outbreak associated with Tom’s Gyros. While the risk to public health is low, the possibility exists
that Tom’s Gyro patrons could have been exposed to hepatitis A.
Tom’s Gyro has cooperated fully with the investigation into the situation. The employee is believed to have practiced good hand hygiene
but could have inadvertently contaminated food and drinks at the restaurant.
The risk of exposure is considered small, but not zero.
Southeastern Idaho Public Health is recommending that those persons who are not immune to hepatitis A (due to previous vaccination or previous illness)
and who have eaten food or drink at Tom’s Gyro between August 2nd-August 14th receive hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin (IG) immediately.
In addition, anyone who has consumed food or drink at Tom’s Gyro from July 15th-August 2nd should contact their medical provider if they are exhibiting
any symptoms of hepatitis (please see below).
Hepatitis A vaccine and IG are available through most medical providers. In addition, Southeastern Idaho Public Health will have hepatitis A vaccine
and immune globulin (IG) available for people directly affected
by this potential exposure. Please call Southeastern Idaho Public Health’s hotline at 234-5888 to be screened and to make an appointment, if appropriate.
It is important to know that if you have had a hepatitis A vaccine
or have had the illness in the past, you are protected from hepatitis A infection. Please consider the following when deciding to call to make an appointment:
•If you consumed food or drink at Tom’s Gyro between August 2nd-14th, you can benefit from the vaccine, which is very effective in preventing illness.
The vaccine is recommended for children and adults from the ages of 12 months to 40 years of age who are not pregnant, immune-compromised
or have chronic liver disease.
•If you are over 40 years of age, pregnant, immune-compromised, have chronic liver disease or are an infant under 12 months of age,
and ate or drank at Tom’s Gyro August 2nd-14th ,
immune globulin (IG) is available for prevention of infections.
•Because neither the hepatitis A vaccine, nor the immune globulin, will protect you if you ate or drank at Tom’s Gyro before August 2nd you should watch
for symptoms of hepatitis A (please see below).
•If you experience symptoms, please contact your medical provider.
A US link to Scottish Child's E. coli Death?
Source : http://www.marlerblog.com/case-news/a-us-link-to-scottish-childs-e-coli-death/
By Bill Marler (AUG 15, 2012)
According to the Scottish Daily Record, a schoolgirl who died of E. coli O157:H7 may have contracted the killer bug while on holiday in America.
Rachel Shaw, eight, died at Yorkhill sick children’s hospital in Glasgow after being taken to the doctor suffering from sickness and diarrhea.
She is believed to have returned recently from a holiday in the States to visit her dad Adam, 34, who lives there.
The tragedy has shocked Rachel’s home village of Dalrymple, Ayrshire, where she lived with mum Louise, 37, sister Abby, 11, and brother Daniel, 6.
A source at Dalrymple Primary, where Rachel would have started primary five this week, said: “She was one of the nicest little girls you could ever meet.
Everyone is in shock – she would have been coming back to join her class in just a few days.
“So far as I know she had been in America visiting her dad over the school holidays and perhaps it was over there she has picked up the infection.
“I think it was a few days after returning that her mum Louise had taken her to the doctor suffering from diarrhea. “Her condition deteriorated after
that and she didn’t recover.”
Company expands cantaloupe recall to honeydews
Source : http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/08/14/13280762-company-expands-cantaloupe-recall-to-honeydews?lite&__utma=238145375.
By Maggie Fox, NBC News (AUG 15, 2012)
A North Carolina company that has recalled tens of thousands of cantaloupes because of potential food poisoning extended
the recall to honeydew melons on Tuesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said.
Burch Equipment LLC (Burch Farms) of Faison, N.C., is expanding its recall to include all of this growing season's cantaloupes
and honeydew melons that may still be on the market.
“The honeydew melons involved in this recall expansion do not bear any identifying stickers but were packed in shipping cases labeled melons,”
the FDA said in a statement.
“The cantaloupes and honeydew melons involved in this expanded recall were sold to distributors in the states of Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky,
Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire,
New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, Vermont and West Virginia, who may have further distributed them to other states,”
the FDA said.People who bought melons should ask the stores whether they got the fruit from Burch Farms.
The FDA said it found the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes (L. mono) on a honeydew melon grown and packed by Burch Farms.
Listeria can cause sometimes serious food poisoning, although no one has been confirmed sick from this particular recall, FDA said.
Symptoms of listeriosis include fever and muscle aches, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal problems.
“The disease primarily affects older adults, pregnant women, newborns, and adults with weakened immune systems. However, rarely,
persons without these risk factors can also be affected,” FDA says.
It can take anywhere from three days to more than two months to get sick after eating food contaminated with Listeria.
Earlier this month, Burch recalled 188,902 melons from stores. Food safety officials are especially wary of cantaloupes
after one of the deadliest foodborne illness outbreaks in U.S. history last year,
in which contaminated Colorado cantaloupes sickened at least 147 people, including at least 30 who died and one woman who had a miscarriage.
Dale T. Smith and Sons Meat Packing Recalling Beef for Possible E. coli 0157:H7
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/dale-t-smith-and-sons-meat-packing-recalling-beef-for-e-coli-0157h7-contamination/
By Linda Larsen (AUG 14, 2012)
Dale T. Smith and Sons Meat Packing of Utah is recalling about 38,200 pounds of beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli 0157:H7.
It is illegal to sell meat contaminated with that bacteria in the U.S.
Some of the recalled items are ground beef; others are primal cuts such as chuck, rib, sirloin, plate, and round.
The following products are part of the recall. Various weight combo bins of Boneles Beef “50/50″, “85/15″, “90/10″, “93/07″, or “95/05″
produced on August 7, 2012 are recalled. Various weight boxes of primal cuts, subprimal cuts
and boxed beef produced on August 7, 2012 are also recalled. Each box has a label with the identifying package date of “08/07/2012″
and the establishment number “EST. 4975″ inside the USDA mark of inspection.
The products were distributed to wholesale and retail establishments in California and Salt Lake City, Utah. The products were destined for further processing
and may not have the establishment number on the final products available for direct customer purchase.
The USDA will post the retail distribution list of recalled products at their FSIS web site.
There will probably be derivative recalls announced over the next few days.
The problem was discovered through lab testing conducted by the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service.
The contamination may have occurred as a result of refrigeration malfunction.
There have not been any reports of illness associated with the consumption of these products. For questions, call the company’s Plant Manager,
Mike Smith, at 801-571-3611.E. coli 0157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and hemolytic uremic syndrome,
which can cause kidney failure and death. The very young, those with compromised immune systems,
the elderly, and those with chronic illnesses are most at risk for serious complications. It’s very important that all ground beef products are cooked to
a final temperature of 160 degrees F to kill any pathogenic bacteria.
Canada Will Move to New Single Food Safety Inspection System
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/canada-will-move-to-new-single-food-safety-inspection-system/
By Linda Larsen (AUG 13, 2012)
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has released a draft about improving their food inspection model.
The single system model would replace the eight different inspection systems currently in place.
Now, the inspection models covers dairy, eggs, meat, processed foods, imported and manufactured food, fish and seafood, and fresh fruits
and vegetables separately.
Each facility will be issued a single license. Additional licenses will not be required for additional activities or products. The facilities will provide information
about their business, such as management’s commitment to meeting regulations,
preventative control plans, that key personnel have completed food handling training, and which products will be produced under different processes.
This information will help the CFIA develop a profile of the companies, how they conduct business, and a base of knowledge about the different food sectors.
Inherent risk will then be determined, which will set the level of oversight
and conditions of licensing.
Agriculture Gerry Ritz said in a statement, “we have a world class food safety system in Canada but we want it to be the best.
A single inspection approach will make an even stronger system that will benefit all Canadians.”
The CFIA is seeking comments from consumers and those in industry until October 31, 2012. These are the aspects of the new model under consideration:
a single licensing and registration requirement; more consistent oversight
and inspection; a scaled approach that adapts to the size and complexity of the business; and distribution of more information to consumers about compliance
and enforcement. To comment, visit the Consultation site of the CFIA.
Canada’s conservative government is cutting the budget for the CFIA by $56 million over the next three years. Spending on food safety alone is being cut
by $21 million.
One hundred inspectors will be laid off, and almost half of the agency’s veterinarians will be “affected” by the budget cuts.
The CFIA is going to stop checking nutrition labels for accuracy, and some inspection actions,
such as part of the meat inspection process, will be moved to the oversight of provinces.
The Agriculture Union PSAC has started a campaign called Food Safety First to publicize these changes. They want the Canadian government
to hire additional inspectors, declare a moratorium on industry self-policing, and remove obstacles preventing inspectors from taking immediate action
when serious health problems arise.
08/17. Instructor Nutrition and Food Safety – Ann Arbor, MI
08/17. Food Safety Consultant – Cleveland, OH
08/17. Dir, Food Safety & Quality - Maryland or Toronto
08/16. Legal Director – San Francisco, CA
08/16. Staff Attorney – San Francisco, CA
08/15. Laboratory Tech III – Phoenix, AZ
08/15. Mgr Food Safety and Microbiology – Topeka, KS
08/15. Food Safety Specialist – Harahan, LA
08/14. Sr. Scientist, Chem. Reg & Food Safety – Wash, DC
08/14. Food Safety Reg Affairs Scientist – Valhalla, NY
08/14. Food Safety Auditor (SQF) – Emeryville, CA
08/13. Food Safety Spec - Southern Region / Cincinnati, OH
08/13. Qual Mgmt Specialist - Food Safety – Jackson, MS
08/13. Quality Assurance Manager - Orlando, FL
Salmonella in cantaloupes sickens 141, kills 2
Source : http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/08/18/13353138-salmonella-in-cantaloupes-sickens-141-kills-2?lite&__utma=238145375.1260771225.
By JoNel Aleccia, NBC News (AUG 19, 2012)
Federal and state health officials are warning consumers not to eat cantaloupe grown in southwestern Indiana after an outbreak of salmonella food poisoning
that has led to 141 illnesses and two deaths in 20 states.
At least 31 people have been hospitalized in connection with infections caused by salmonella Typhimurium tied to contaminated melons, the Centers for Disease
Control reported late Friday.
Illnesses have been reported from July 7 to Aug. 4, although those that occurred after July 26 may not be included yet.
Investigators said cantaloupes grown in the southwestern Indiana region were the likely source of the outbreak. Kentucky laboratory officials isolated
the outbreak strain from two melons collected at a retail location in that state.
The deaths were reported in Kentucky.
Officials are continuing to investigate whether other types of melons may also be linked to the outbreak, the CDC said.
Officials with the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration did not identify an Indiana farm
where the suspect cantaloupes were grown, the distributors who handled them or the stores where the melons were sold. However, they said the farm
in question has agreed to suspend sales for the rest of the growing season.
Fifty of the illnesses caused by the outbreak strain were confirmed in Kentucky, 17 were logged in Illinois and 13 in Indiana. Other states recorded fewer illnesses,
with nine in Missouri; seven each in Alabama and Iowa;
six each in Michigan and Tennessee; three each in Arkansas, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio and South Carolina; two each in California, Mississippi,
Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and one each in Georgia, New Jersey and Texas.
The outbreak comes a year after listeria-tainted cantaloupe grown in Colorado sickened at least 147 people and led to at least 30 deaths.
Earlier this month, Burch Farms, a North Carolina cantaloupe grower, recalled cantaloupe and honeydew melons because of listeria contamination.
Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois Hit Hard in Cantaloupe Salmonella Outbreak
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/kentucky-indiana-illinois-hit-hard-in-cantaloupe-salmonella-outbreak/
By Linda Larsen (AUG 18, 2012)
The states of Kentucky, Illinois, and Indiana have been hit hard in the latest outbreak of Salmonella linked to contaminated cantaloupe.
The outbreak has sickened at least 141 people in 20 states and hospitalized 31.
The Kentucky Department of Public Health says that the outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium, which has sickened
at least 50 Kentuckians and has been
associated with two deaths in the state, began in early July.
Public health officials are investigating other clusters of salmonellosis in Kentucky, which may be linked to cantaloupe or watermelon consumption.
Acting Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steve Davis said,
“healthcare providers are encouraged to be mindful of patients who may have symptoms consistent with salmonellosis and report all cases to the local health
In Indiana, where 13 people are ill, state officials are asking that everyone discard cantaloupes purchased from July 7, 2012 to the present day.
The cantaloupe is believed to have come from a farm in southwestern Indiana,
although officials have not yet named that farm. Other farms, distributors, and retailers are being investigated as possible sources of the bacteria.
Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Gregory Larkin said that, “because the investigation is ongoing and we do not have a definitive source for this outbreak,
we are advising all Hoosiers to throw away any cantaloupes
they’ve recently purchased as a precaution.” The elderly, infants, and those with compromised immune systems and chronic illnesses are more likely
to suffer serious complications from Salmonella infections.
Illinois has 17 people included in the outbreak so far. About 2,000 cases of Salmonella are reported in that state every year.
What’s interesting in this outbreak is that officials say the cantaloupes may have bacteria present
on the inside of the flesh, so scrubbing the fruit, as is recommended, will not prevent illness.
The symptoms of Salmonella include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 t0 72 hours after infection. Patients may also have chills, nausea, vomiting,
and muscle aches. The bacteria is found in intestines of many animals.
Infection from produce is the result of cross-contamination, either through insanitary conditions, irrigation with contaminated water, or improper handling.
Cantaloupe a year after a deadly Listeria outbreak - now Salmonella, Again
Source : http://www.marlerblog.com/legal-cases/cantaloupe-a-year-after-a-deadly-listeria-outbreak---now-salmonella-again/
By Bill Marler (AUG 18, 2012)
A year after 147 people were sickened, and perhaps 37 died, from Listeria-tainted cantaloupe, comes yesterday’s announcement from the CDC and FDA
that a total of 141 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium
have been reported from 20 states. The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Alabama (7), Arkansas (3), California (2), Georgia (1),
Illinois (17), Indiana (13), Iowa (7), Kentucky (50), Michigan (6), Minnesota (3), Missouri (9),
Mississippi (2), New Jersey (1), North Carolina (3), Ohio (3), Pennsylvania (2), South Carolina (3), Tennessee (6), Texas (1), and Wisconsin (2).
31 persons have been hospitalized, and two deaths have been reported in Kentucky.
In the course of their investigation, state officials in Kentucky and Indiana found evidence that they believe indicate cantaloupes grown in southwestern Indiana
may be a source of the ongoing Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak.
However, the farm and the retail outlets where the cantaloupes were sold have as yet been unnamed.
Not surprisingly I received a few emails from clients that I represent in last year’s cantaloupe debacle. Here is one:
I can't believe that as we near the anniversary of my mother's death from eating Listeria contaminated cantaloupe that we are looking again at illnesses
and deaths from cantaloupe. And, this is coming on the heels of another widespread
cantaloupe recall from Listeria that is still ongoing. Has nothing been learned? Is anyone listening? Are more deaths to be accepted as business as usual?
Congress has its head so deep in the sand of denial that they can't hear our voices warning them.
So I understand now, more than ever, the need for louder noise on the part of the informed to drag our government leaders out and make them hear
what's at stake. Americans shouldn't have to lose a family member to foodborne illness to become aware of or understand the importance of this issue.
The loss of 37 lives last year due to Jensen Farm's negligence, in the largest foodborne death toll in a hundred years, is the tip of the possible iceberg
should a huge farm with wider distribution make similar mistakes and flood our nations markets with deadly produce on an even larger scale.
Here is another:
I feel like I have been kicked in the stomach. My heart goes out to the families and the victims of this latest cantaloupe food borne illness.
California and Colorado have strengthened their food safety standards especially for cantaloupe.
The problem still exists for the 'bad actors' in the industry.
My dad, a WWII Purple Heart winner, died from eating Listeria-tainted cantaloupe last year. Have we learned nothing?
This September the families of the Jensen Farms Listeria outbreak are observing a 1-year anniversary.
This will not be a joyous time.
And, one more:
Last year, as my mom lay dying of listeria from a Jensen Farms cantaloupe, she prayed that it would never happen to anyone else.
She was not normally a litigious person, but joined the lawsuit against Jensen Farms to help effect change.
You can't imagine how my heart ached when I read that there is now a salmonella outbreak from cantaloupe! Then I got the below email from the attorney
representing my mom and over 40 others.
My heart still aches, but now it is also filled with anger from what our government isn't doing to protect us!
One more came in this morning:
It is as if no one cares. Are they thinking "If something goes wrong that it what we have liability insurance for. Just doing business."
If one were to take a knife and kill 37 people and injure 147 others that person would be in prison and looking at death. Yet killing people by failing to
follow food safety laws is not punished with prison time; even if the results are the same.
Mass murder is mass murder.
And, it is not like government and the industry – growers, shippers and retailers – have not had ample warning:
Statewide Salmonella Outbreak in KY to be Announced
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/08/statewide-salmonella-outbreak-in-ky-to-be-announced/
By James Andrews (AUG 16, 2012)
The Kentucky Department for Public Health will likely announce a statewide outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium later today or Friday,
an epidemiologist at the Ashland Boyd County Health Department has told Food Safety News.
Public health investigators have not determined the source of the outbreak, but at least nine people in Carter County have fallen ill, said the epidemiologist,
A WSAZ News report stated that 44 cases have surfaced across the state, though spokespeople for the state health department have not yet returned calls
from Food Safety News to confirm that number.
Bolen said that health officials are investigating at least two distinct genetic patterns of Salmonella, also known as pulsed field gel electrophoresis patterns.
"July is usually our peak month for Salmonella infections, but we noticed this July that the state was having even more cases than expected," Bolen said.
"Then we started seeing that these cases were matching these two different patterns."
The cases in Carter County were all reported between July 24 and July 31, though Bolen said illnesses in other counties have been reported
in August and more may be incoming.
"They've all had close onset dates and they're near the same area," Bolen said. "They all ate something contaminated -- it's just not clear what it was yet."
The nine patients in Carter County range in age from 2 years old to 75. Bolen added that the statewide patient demographic appears to be evenly split between
male and female.
Salmonella Outbreak in Kentucky Sickens 44 - Source Unknown
Source : http://www.marlerblog.com/case-news/salmonella-outbreak-in-kentucky-sickens-44---source-unknown/
By Bill Marler (AUG 16, 2012)
WSAZ reported this morning that a statewide outbreak of Salmonella has moved its way into Olive Hill, Kentucky region with nine reported sick.
According to Christy Bolen with the Ashland Boyd County Health Department people started getting sick about July 11.
There have been no new cases of Salmonella reported since July 31.
Of the nine cases, four of the cases have been the same strain of 44 statewide Salmonella cases.
A statewide investigation is underway to try to find the source of the cases.
The symptoms of salmonella include: diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever. Infections usually resolve in 5-7 days and usually resolve without treatment.
Young children, older adults and persons with chronic conditions often have more severe illness and need hospitalization. Most infections go unreported
the illness is generally mild.
Nebraska Faces Salmonella Outbreak
Source : http://www.marlerblog.com/case-news/nebraska-faces-salmonella-outbreak/
By Bill Marler (AUG 14, 2012)
South Heartland District Health Department along with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services is investigating an outbreak of Salmonellosis
associated with the Blue Hill Care Center in Webster County.
To date there have been 17 confirmed cases and 2 probable or suspected cases reported in residents, staff or visitors.
Four residents were temporarily hospitalized after showing symptoms. A visitor is still hospitalized.
Blue Hill Care Center is cooperating fully with the investigation to help identify the source and eradicate the issue.
Symptoms of Salmonellosis include fever, diarrhea and intestinal cramps. Symptoms usually appear 12 to 72 hours after a person has been infected
and the illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days. While most people recover without treatment,
severe symptoms or spread of infection to the blood stream can lead to hospitalization.