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Food & Water Watch Opposes USDA AC21 GMO Compensation Plan
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/food-water-watch-opposes-usda-ac21-gmo-compensation-plan/
By Linda Larsen (Nov 24, 2012)
Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter has released a statement in opposition to the USDA Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture, also called AC21. The purpose of the committee was to design a compensation mechanism for farmers who are economically harmed by contamination from genetically engineered (GE) crops or genetically modified (GMO) organisms. Farmers would have to buy an insurance policy to be compensated.
She says, “it is outrageous that those being most harmed by GE contamination are the ones that would be responsible for paying into an insurance program outlined in the report. The liable party for contamination should be the patent holder of the gene technology, not the farmer who grows its seed. The companies that profit from the technology should develop a fun from which contaminated farmers can be compensated.. Yet during the committee’s meetings, there was virtually no discussion about the idea of a patent-holder funded compensation fund.”
Food Poisoning Bulletin has been covering the story of GE and GMO crops and animals for months. Environmental groups have been concerned about the possibility of these modified foods “outcrossing”, which means the modified genes moving into wild species. The American Medical Association, while opposing labeling of GE foods, states that there should be long-term studies on the possible health effects of these products. No epidemiological studies about the effects of these foods have been conducted.
Ms. Hauter continues, “aside from the fact that organic and non-GE growers should not be responsible for their harm from GE contamination, there are growing concerns that a crop insurance mechanism is not feasible for organic growers. Often, organic growers are reimbursed for losses at conventional prices, instead of receiving the premium associated with their specialized production, and others do not even have access to crop insurance because there is less risk data associated with these crops.
“The AC21 committee’s final recommendations will simply perpetuate the status quo, allowing GE gene flow to continue and farmers harmed by contamination to continue to pay for economic losses suffered from a technology they do not want or use. Instead of favoring the biotech industry, a more equitable solution for the growing problem of genetic contamination would be for the USDA to enact a moratorium on GE crop approvals until the agency develops a stronger stance on preventing contamination.

China Bans US Peanuts Due to Salmonella
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/food-recall/china-bans-us-peanuts/
By  Andy Weisbecker (Nov 24, 2012)
According to the China Daily, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine will suspend import of nuts produced by Sunland Inc.
The Quarantine branches will step up checks on nuts or nut products from the United States, as well as postal goods and luggage carried by passengers.

Parts of nuts and nut products from Sunland Inc. have been linked with a Salmonella Bredeney outbreak. Forty-one people have fallen ill in 20 US states with ten of them being hospitalized, according to the CDC.
Sunland Inc. has recalled products in 200-plus production batches, including those sold through the Internet. The shelf life of the products vary with the longest being October 2013, according to the administration.
The FDA found that between June of 2009 and August of 2012, Sunland Inc. had distributed, or cleared for distribution, portions of 11 lots, or daily production runs, of peanut or almond butter after its own testing program identified the presence of at least one of nine different Salmonella types (Arapahoe, Bredeney, Cerro, Dallgow, Kubacha, Mbandaka, Meleagridis, Newport, and Teddington) in those lots. Two of these lots showed the presence of the outbreak strain of Salmonella Bredeney.

Canada meat plant operations halted on food safety concerns
Source : http://news.yahoo.com/canada-meat-plant-operations-halted-food-safety-concerns-214835860.html
By Louise Egan; (Nov 23, 2012)
OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian food inspectors on Friday said they have suspended operations at a meat-processing plant in Edmonton, Alberta, for failing to properly track its deliveries after detecting the Listeria bacteria on an employee.
The incident comes just a month after a major health scare in Canada over tainted beef at another meat plant in the province.
Capital Packers Inc detected the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes -- which can cause fever, nausea and even meningitis in infected people -- on a worker's sleeve and on Monday notified the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
While such a finding is routine and there is no evidence that any food was contaminated, the CFIA suspended the company's license as a precautionary measure after finding it was unable to properly track the whereabouts of its products.
"The company's ability to understand the distribution of their products is in question and is an element of concern for us, hence the license suspension," Paul Mayers, associate vice-president of programs at the CFIA, told reporters on a teleconference.
Initially, the company told the CFIA that the potentially affected products were under its control. The CFIA's own investigation determined that they may in fact have been delivered to several provinces, Mayers said.
In September, the XL Foods meat plant in Alberta was shut down for about a month after it produced millions of pounds of beef tainted with the E. coli bacteria that sickened at least 16 people in Canada.
Capital Packers makes bacon, sausages, fresh meats and other products and sells them in Western Canada and the Northwest Territories, according to its Web site.
The company has voluntary recalled ham sausages under the brand names Capital and Compliments.
"The ham sausage recall that is underway is not directly related to the suspension, however we are voluntarily recalling this product because there was found to be a positive for listeria on an employee sleeve working on a packaging equipment line," the company said in a statement.
"We are working closely with the CFIA to rectify this situation in a timely manner."

CFIA officials said the plant would be closed until they were satisfied Capital Packers has improved its record-keeping and that additional products could be added to the recall as the investigation continues.

As Indiana Mulls Raw Milk Sales, Purdue Publishes FAQ
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/as-indiana-mulls-raw-milk-sales-purdue-publishes-faq/
By  Carla Gillespie (Nov 22, 2012)
Indiana is one of 20 states that does not permit the sale of raw milk, but it’s reconsidering. Earlier this year, the state Legislature passed a bill requiring the Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) to study the subject and produce a report by December 1, 2012. Just weeks before that deadline, Purdue Extension has published a raw milk FAQ.
When BOAH was tasked with producing a report for the Legislature about the legalization of raw milk, it put the question to Indiana residents who were invited to submit comments, ideas and suggestions for a three-month period ending September 1. Hundreds of people responded.
Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurized. Pasteurization is the process of heating milk, usually to 161 degrees for 15 seconds. It was developed as a way to prevent people from becoming ill from harmful bacteria that milk can contain such as: Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which causes tuberculosis; Brucella melitensis, which causes brucellosis, Coxiella rickettsia, which casues Q-fever and other pathogens that can cause serious or fatal illness including: Salmonella, Yersinia, Toxoplasma, E. coli O157:H7, Campylobacter, Listeria monocytogenes, and Cryptosporidia.
Purdue Extension’s raw milk FAQ explains the process of pasteurization and addresses the concerns and misperceptions some people may have about it and covers the risks associated with drinking raw milk. For example, Question 3 is: Is Milk Altered By Pasteurization. “In a word, yes. Milk must be heated to a temperature at which some changes to protein molecules begin to occur. This is expected, as the damage to proteins is necessary to inactivate harmful bacteria. Indeed, the degradation of an enzyme, alkaline phosphatase, that is present in all unpasteurized milk samples is one of the key measures of the effectiveness of pasteurization. However, research has proved that pasteurization does not degrade the healthful benefits of milk.”
The report then lists milk components and how they are affected by the high temperatures of pasteurization.“Bovine lactoferrin from pasteurized milk has similar antibacterial properties to that from unheated milk. Lactoperoxidase retains 70 percent activity when heated to 161°F for 15 seconds, with further decreases in activity as the temperature is increased. Lysozyme (bacteriocide) lysozyme will surviveat 176°F for 15 seconds. Bovine immunoglobulin has no loss in activity when held for 30 minutes at 145°F, and retains more than 59 percent of activity after hightemperature, short-time pasteurization. Lactose (milk sugar) concentration is not changed by pasteurization. Caseins’ and whey proteins’ nutritive values are largely unaffected by pasteurization. Fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K are not appreciably affected by pasteurization. Vitamin C, which is very low in cow’s milk, maybe reduced up to 10 percent by pasteurization. Bacterocins are heat stable and remain heat stable following pasteurization. Oligosacharides are heat stable.”
Because raw milk enthusiasts will often refer to pasteurized milk as “dead,” one section of the FAQ addresses this idea that pasteurization kills beneficial bacteria in milk. “It is true that some bacteria are present in milk, such as Lactobacillus species, and that those bacteria may aid in the digestion of lactose. However, those bacteria are generally not present in cow’s milk before it exits the udder. Thus, it arises from post-milking, unintentional contamination of the milk. If milk is contaminated by beneficial bacteria, it also may be contaminated by harmful bacteria. Beneficial bacteria can be added back to milk in cultured dairy products. For example, yogurt is produced through the culturing of milk with pure cultures of beneficial bacterias (e.g.,Lactobacillus delbrueckii subspecies bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophiles) and provides a safer source ofdelbrueckii subspecies.”
And what about the risks of drinking raw milk? “Clearly, the risks of unpasteurized milk consumption are in the possible contraction of the diseases mentioned above. Most of the time risks from consumption of unpasteurized milk are not great, but the health consequences if one contracts the disease can be very serious, or even fatal. There is no doubt that pasteurization reduces the risk. While there have been outbreaks of disease from pasteurized dairy products that were recontaminated or not properly pasteurized, the number of such occurrences is far, far less in proportion to the amount of milk consumed as pasteurized versus non-pasteurized. Furthermore, many environmental factors influence the risk that milk may be contaminated, and these vary greatly from farm to farm and week to week on any given farm.”

Food safety experts question labelling of packaged foods
Source : http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/story/2012/11/21/calgary-food-safety-series-four.html
By CBC News (Nov 22, 2012)
Food safety experts are warning people to read the labels of prepared meals very carefully as some people are only reheating foods that are supposed to be fully cooked.
Karen Liljebjelke, a microbiologist at the University of Calgary, worries many people are getting sick with salmonella as a result.
"There's no labelling regulation that says these ready-to-eat, or partially-cooked foods, have to be labelled very obviously," she explained.
Food safety experts are warning people to read the labels of prepared meals very carefully. (CBC)"So if someone makes the mistake of not reading the package and throwing something into the microwave just to heat it up rather than fully cook it, they're gonna expose themselves to any pathogens that might be there."
Melissa Nielsen, who has three young children, has made a habit of reading the fine print on food packages before cooking them.
"It's very concerning,” Nielsen said. “Like I said, we've run into the problem. I don't want to get my kids sick."
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says products that contain raw meat that could be mistaken for "ready-to-eat" must indicate that they need to be cooked on the front label.
But CBC found a number of products in Calgary where that wasn't the case.

CDC Issues Final Report on Listeria Cheese Outbreak
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/foodborne-illness-outbreaks/cdc-issues-final-report-on-listeria-cheese-outbreak/
By  Drew Falkenstein (Nov 21, 2012)
A total of 22 persons infected with the outbreak-associated strain of Listeria monocytogenes were reported from 13 states and the District of Columbia. The number of ill persons identified in each state was as follows: California (3), Colorado (1), District of Columbia (1), Maryland (3), Massachusetts (1), Minnesota (1), Nebraska (1), New Jersey (3), New Mexico (1), New York (1), Ohio (1), Pennsylvania (2), Virginia (2), and Washington (1).  20 ill persons were hospitalized. Four deaths were reported. Public health officials determined that two of these deaths were related to listeriosis. One fetal loss was reported.
Collaborative investigation efforts of local, state, and federal public health and regulatory agencies indicated that Frescolina Marte brand ricotta salata cheese imported from Italy and distributed by Forever Cheese, Inc. was the likely source of this outbreak.  On September 10, 2012, Forever Cheese, Inc. initiated a voluntary recall of this cheese with a single lot number and/or production code.  On September 13, 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration placed the exporter of the recalled cheese, Fattorie Chiarappa S.R.L.of Conversano, Italy, on Import Alert. This means that Fattorie Chiarappa cheese will be denied admission into the United States unless the importer shows that the cheese product is not contaminated with Listeria.  On September 14, 2012, Forever Cheese, Inc. issued an expanded recall of all lots and production codes of Frescolina Marte brand ricotta salata cheese and issued a market withdrawal of all cheeses they received that were produced by the Italian cheese exporter.

FDA Testing Spots Salmonella Tomatoes
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/food-recall/fda-testing-spots-salmonella-tomatoes/
By  Patti Waller (Nov 21, 2012)
Rio Queen Citrus, Inc. of Mission, TX is recalling 840 cartons of 12/1 Dry Pints of Mexican cherry tomatoes in “Karol” brand boxes, because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.
The “Karol” cherry tomatoes were distributed through retail stores in the states of Texas & South Carolina.
The product was originally distributed in a bulk container of 12/1 Dry Pints in boxes labeled “Karol” with the Lot No. “01W45” stamped in the upper, right-hand corner on the face of the box. The box states “Distributed by Interstate Fruit & Vegetable”, which is an affiliated business of Rio Queen Citrus, Inc. These packages were distributed at the retail level between November 10th & November 19th, 2012. At the retail level, the tomatoes may have been packaged in an alternative container depending on the area and retailer.
No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem.
The potential for contamination was noted after routine testing by FDA revealed the presence of Salmonella in a sample taken from the product, identified by Lot No. “01W45.”
Further distribution of the product has been suspended while FDA and the company continue their investigation as to the source of the problem.

Food Poisoning as Murder Weapon Rare in Real Life
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/11/food-poisoning-as-murder-weapon-rare-in-real-life/
By  Dan Flynn (Nov 20, 2012)
Food poisoning as a murder weapon shows up frequently in TV shows and in movies. PBS said the defining moment of the Cadfael mystery series came in the Monk’s Hood episode, when canny sleuth Brother Cadfael announces, “This is no ordinary death. Master Bonell died of poison taken in food recently,” speaking to Bonnell’s family after he dies at the dinner table.
And commercial TV detectives see their own share of these cases, such as when TV detective Jessica Fletcher – played by Angela Lansbury on CBS – had to solve a food poisoning murder in her fictional hometown of Cabot Cove.
Food poisoning is part of the arsenal when murder writers produce a script.
But in reality, the typical homicide detective in the U.S. may go through his or her entire career without ever investigating a single case in which food poisoning was used as a murder weapon.
Homicide data maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) shows only 11 cases involving any kind of poisoning in 2010, a year when 12,996 murders occurred in the U.S. Guns, knives, blunt objects and just plain old force are the murder weapons of choice in America.
And it isn’t even known how many of the 11 poisoning cases—just 0.084 percent of the total— involved the use of food or water to transmit the toxin. The FBI’s report on homicides for the year says one of the poisoning cases involved a babysitter killing a child, and two others involved arguments, but there were no details for the eight others.
Last week, however, charges against a suspect in the grisly murder of 18-year-old University of Florida student Christian Aquilar were amended to include poisoning that some reports say involves food or water as the transmission method.
Santa Fe College student Pedro Bravo is charged with first degree murder “by suffocating and poisoning (Aquilar) by some manner unknown.” Under Florida law, poisoning can involve any chemical compound with the intent to kill or injure.
Aquilar and Brave were classmates at the same Miami preparatory school. Before he went missing on Sept. 20, Aquilar was dating Bravo’s former girlfriend. Bravo told police the two former classmates got into a fight and he pushed Aquilar out of his truck and left him along side the road.
On Oct. 20, hunters came across the remains of the missing UF student about 60 miles south of the Gainesville campus in Florida’s Levy County near Cedar Key. Once autopsied, State Attorney Bill Cervone amended the charges.
He told local media the state now has evidence a chemical compound was used to sedate the victim so suspect could do the fatal injuries. The Gainesville Sun, citing a source close to the case, said the substance used was an over-the-counter drug that in the right amount would render whoever consumed it incapable of fending off an attack.
Bravo was taken into custody on Sept. 24 and remains at the Alachua County Jail, awaiting trial.
In an analysis of ten years of murder data, the Wall Street Journal found that the rate of food poisoning is just as low as what the FBI found in a single year of numbers, but WSJ added some detail. From 2000 to 2010, there were just 130 murders involving poison of all sorts.
Many of these cases in which food or water was used as a vehicle for poison involved an attack by one family member on another.
Of the 130 victims, 21 were sons, 13 were wives, 12 were daughters, 8 were husbands, 7 were friends, 6 were mothers, 5 were boyfriends, 4 were other family members, 3 were girlfriends, 2 were in-laws, 1 was a stepson and 1 was an ex-husband.
Killers also poisoned 16 acquaintances, 12 victims known to to the killer but with whom the killer had no relationship, and in 24 cases the relationship was unknown.
While murder is generally a male-dominated crime, the male-female split among those who use poison as a weapon is much more even, coming in at 71-62.
Still, the 130 poison murders account for only 0.078 percent of the 165,068 murders that occurred during the 10-year period.
Food poisoning does kill in far greater numbers than murder statistics will indicate. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta estimates that that roughly 1 in 6 Americans gets sick—about 48 million a year—and 128,000 are hospitalized, while 3,000 are killed by food poisoning.
Those deaths of course are not defined as murder, largely because they are not intentional or targeted at a specific individual, but result from breakdowns in the food safety system.
Food poisoning has also been used as a weapon to injure, not just to kill.
One infamous case occurred in 1984 when the commune followers of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh spiked the salad bars of local restaurants in The Dalles, OR area with the potentially deadly Salmonella Typhimurium, cooked up in the commune’s laboratory.
The perpetrators’ goal was to make local residents sick so that they would not participate in county elections. The group succeeded in making 751 ill and sending 45 to area hospitals. No one died from the food poisoning/bioterrorism incident.

Burlington County Health Department offers Thanksgiving food safety tips
Source : http://www.southjerseylocalnews.com/articles/2012/11/20/region/doc50abb77966d94464451355.txt
By South Jersey Local News (Nov 20, 2012)
This Thanksgiving, the Burlington County Health Department is sharing tips for food safety. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in six Americans have a food-borne illness annually, leading to about 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths
each year. Holiday turkey meals have been linked to outbreaks of bacterial diseases caused by salmonella and E. coli, officials said.
“Food safety is a high priority for the Burlington County Health Department,” said Burlington County Freeholder Mary Ann O’Brien. “A few simple steps will not only ease your holiday fears but will ensure a delicious and a safe meal for you, your family and your friends.”
Following are tips for preparing the Thanksgiving meal.
—Clean: Wash hands and food-contact surfaces often. Bacteria can spread throughout the kitchen and get onto cutting boards, knives, sponges and counter tops.
—Separate: Don't cross-contaminate. Don't let bacteria spread from one food product to another. This is especially true for raw meat, poultry and seafood. Keep these foods and their juices away from ready-to-eat foods.
—Cook: Cook to proper temperatures. Foods are properly cooked when they are heated for a long enough time and at a high enough temperature to kill the harmful bacteria that cause food borne illness.
—Chill: Refrigerate promptly. Public health officials advise consumers to refrigerate foods quickly
because cold temperatures keep most harmful bacteria from growing and multiplying. Refrigerators should be set at 40 degrees F and the freezer at 0 degrees F, and the accuracy of the settings should be checked occasionally with a thermometer.


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Listeria Outbreak Ends After Striking 22, Killing 4
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/listeria-outbreak-ends-after-striking-22-killing-4/
By Carla Gillespie (Nov 23, 2012)
A food poisoning outbreak linked to cheese tainted with the pathogen Listeria monocytogenes has ended after sickening a total 22 people in 13 states and the District of Columbia and killing four, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The cheese, Frescolina Marte brand ricotta salata, was imported from Italy and distributed by Forever Cheese, Inc.
Listeria monocytogenes is a rare and dangerous bacteria, especially to pregnant women. It has and 80 percent hospital rate and 20 percent fatality rate. Symptoms include headache, fever and muscle stiffness which are sometimes accompanied by gastrointestinal symptoms. Although pregnant women may only experience mild, flu-like symptoms, it can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth and birth defects. In this outbreak, nine of the illnesses were related to a pregnancy; three of these were diagnosed in newborns. One fetal loss also was reported.
The case count by state is was as follows: California (3), Colorado (1), District of Columbia (1), Maryland (3), Massachusetts (1), Minnesota (1), Nebraska (1), New Jersey (3), New Mexico (1), New York (1), Ohio (1), Pennsylvania (2), Virginia (2), and Washington (1). The four deaths reported occurred in Minnesota, New York, Nebraska, and California.
Most of the victims reported purchasing the cheese from grocery stores that had cut and repackaged the cheese, including Whole Foods. The U.S.Food and Drug Administration has placed the exporter of the recalled cheese, Fattorie Chiarappa S.R.L.of Conversano, Italy, on Import Alert, meaning the cheese will be denied admission into the United States unless the importer shows that the cheese product is not contaminated with Listeria.

Multistate E. coli Outbreak Linked to Wegmans Organic Spinach Mix
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/multistate-e-coli-outbreak-linked-to-wegmans-organic-spinach-mix/
By  Linda Larsen (Nov 22, 2012)
The multistate E. coli 0157H7 outbreak linked to Wegmans Organic Spinach and Spring Mix blend has sickened at least 20 people in five states. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has put together consumer advice to hopefully contain the outbreak and prevent the spread of the bacteria through cross-contamination and person-to-person contact.
The product was recalled on November 2, 2012. It has since been withdrawn from the market. If you purchased this product, do not eat it. The product comes in 5-ounce and 11-ounce packages. You can bring the salad back to Wegmans for a refund, or dispose of it in a sealed trash container.
People most at risk for serious complications from an E. coli 0157:H7 infection include small children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems or chronic illnesses. The symptoms of an E. coli infection include diarrhea, which is usually watery and often bloody, and abdominal cramps. The symptoms appear three to four days after eating the contaminated food. Anyone who is sick should not prepare foods for others. Be careful about washing hands thoroughly after using the bathroom and changing diapers. Keep children with diarrhea home from school or day care. And always wash hands thoroughly before preparing food.
Attorney Fred Pritzker, who has represented many clients sickened by this pathogenic bacteria, said, “this investigation may expand beyond the specific product recalled, since other patients sickened with the same bacteria have reported consuming different salad mixes. We are investigating this outbreak to get more answers.”
The CDC has stated that the outbreak strain of the shiga-toxin producing E. coli bacteria (STEC) is rare. Complications of this illness can include hemolytic uremic syndrome, or HUS, which can cause kidney failure and death. If you or anyone you know ate bagged salad greens and experienced the symptoms of an E. coli infection, see your healthcare provider immediately. Anyone sickened by STEC bacteria needs prompt medical attention.

E. coli from Spinach and Spring Mix Salad sold at Wegmans and Possibly Other Grocery Stores, New York Hit Hardest
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/e-coli-from-spinach-and-spring-mix-salad-sold-at-wegmans-and-possibly-other-grocery-stores-new-york-hit-hardest/
By  Kathy Will (Nov 21, 2012)
What started as an E. coli outbreak in New York linked to Wegmans Spinach and Spring Mix bagged salad has spread to 4 other states, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Virginia, according to a CDC report.  This Wegmans product (recalled on Nov. 2, 2012) was distributed to Wegmans stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts.
Outside of New York, all five (100%) of the ill persons interviewed told investigators that they ate several different brands of pre-packaged leafy greens that did not come from Wegmans. Because of this, investigations are ongoing to determine if other contaminated foods are also a source of illness in this outbreak.
Consumers may be wondering why the E. coli patients in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Virginia are part of the New York Wegmans outbreak.  According to E. coli attorney Fred Pritzker, every E. coli outbreak has its own genetic fingerprint. This means that the specific E. coli bacteria that made the people sick have matching DNA that are unique to the outbreak, says Pritzker. Health officials find the genetic fingerprint of each E. coli isolate through pulsed-field gel electrophoreses (PFGE), a process extremely familiar to Pritzker, who is one of the few attorneys in the United States who practices extensively in the area of E. coli personal injury and wrongful death.
“When E. coli patients are sickened by E. coli bacteria with the same PFGE pattern, it means that they were sickened by a common source, generally food or water,” states Pritzker, who can be contacted for a free consultation here.
In this outbreak, the same PFGE pattern was found in E. coli bacteria from the 28 victims and in bags of Wegmans Spinach and Spring Mix salad, according to the CDC.  This is evidence that the Wegmans bagged salad caused at least some of the illnesses.  Investigators are still working on finding out which leafy green in the bagged salad caused the illness, where it was grown, and where it was processed. This will help determine how the 5 victims outside of New York became sick.
We welcome comments from readers regarding the outbreak and its source.

Another Petting Zoo E. coli Outbreak, Another Tragedy, Another Lawsuit
Source : http://www.marlerblog.com/lawyer-oped/another-petting-zoo-e-coli-outbreak-another-tragedy-another-lawsuit/
By  Bill Marler (Nov 21, 2012)
I am beginning to sound a bit like a broken record.  How many of these outbreaks have to happen until WE rethink what WE are exposing our kids to?
For those interested, see my post on Food Safety News – “Publisher’s Platform: Time to Ban Petting Zoos, Yet?”
Now, here is the reality of this E. coli O157:H7 outbreak – there are at least 106 who were sickened.  There was 1 death and a dozen who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), and many more who were hospitalized.  Medical bills are likely to be in excess of $1 Million in total, and future needs for some of these kids will be very, very expensive.  My educated guess in that the petting zoo owner and the Cleveland County Fair have not much more than$1 Million each in insurance, and even less in assets.
So, what to do?
My friend and great lawyer from North Carolina, Mark Kurdys, and I will file a Lawsuit next week.  We will do the case pro bono (for free) and seek to get all lawyers to do the same.  Hopefully, we can get the medical insurance companies to waive any rights for reimbursement and get the petting zoo and Fair to do the right thing.
We shall see.

E.coli Spinach Hospitalizes Two With Kidney Trouble, HUS
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/e-coli-spinach-hospitalizes-two-with-kidney-trouble-hus/
By  Carla Gillespie (Nov 20, 2012)
At least two people  have been hospitalized with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS)  after eating spinach and salad greens tainted with E.coli.  HUS, the most common cause of kidney failure in children, is a condition that develops in some people suffering from E.coli poisoning. The two people hospitalized are among the 28 victims of a five-state E. coli outbreak that has hospitalized 10 people.
The outbreak began in New York and now includes cases in Connecticut, Virginia, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. A spinach and spring mix  blend sold at Wegmans grocery stores has been identified as one source of the outbreak. Many of those sickened in New York reported eating  the Wegmans salad blend before becoming ill.  And samples taken from four leftover packages collected from the homes of some of those who became ill tested positive for a strain of E.coli  O157:H7 that is a genetic match to the outbreak strain. However, all of the case patients outside of New York mentioned eating other brands of pre-packaged leafy greens  before they became ill. Those brands are being investigated.
The number of those ill in each state is as follows: Connecticut (2), Massachusetts (2), New York (22), Pennsylvania (1), and Virginia (1). The case patients, who range in age from 4 to 66 years old,  first became ill between October 18, 2012 and  November 3, 2012. Most of them,  68 percent,  are female.
Symptoms of E.coli  poisoning include abdominal cramping and diarrhea which can sometimes be bloody. Anyone who has these symptoms should contact a health care provider. HUS, a severe complication of E.coli poisoning, requires hospital care and  can be fatal untreated



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