Most California Produce Has Little Detectable Pesticide Residues
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/most-california-produce-has-little-detectable-pesticide-residues/
By Linda Larsen (Sep 8, 2014)
The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) has released a report saying that the majority of produce it tests annually has “little or no detectable pesticide residues and posed no health risk to the public.” Ninety-five percent of all California grown products sampled in 2013 was in compliance with allowable limits. Each piece of produce may legally contain trace amounts of one or more pesticides. The limit of these compounds is set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
DPR tested 3,483 samples of different fruits and vegetables sold in farmers markets, wholesale and retail outlets, and distribution centers around the state. More than 155 different fruits and vegetables were sampled to reflect the population’s eating habits. Of all the samples collected, 43.53% had no pesticide residues detected, 51.51% had residues that were within legal tolerance levels.
But 3.99% of the samples had illegal residues of pesticides that were not approved for use on the produce tested, and 0.98% of the samples had illegal pesticide residues in excess of established tolerances. The report does point out that produce with an illegal residue level does not necessarily indicate a threat to health.
Testing has frequently detected illegal pesticide pesticide residues on Cactus Pads from Mexico, Ginger from China, Snow Peas from Guatemala, and Spinach from the United States. Still, the majority of the time these residues do not pose a health risk, with the exception of Cactus Pads from Mexico. In 2013, they were tainted with an organophosphate-based pesticide that could sicken people. An alert on this product was issued in February 2014 and it was removed from store shelves.
All About Shigella
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/food-poisoning-information/all-about-shigella/#.VBEku01WE-J
By Patti Waller (Sep 8, 2014)
Shigella is the bacterium that causes the disease shigellosis, also known as bacillary dysentery. Shigella is one of the most easily transmitted bacterial diarrheas, since it can occur after fewer than 100 bacteria are ingested. While reported cases of Shigella range between 14,000 and 20,000 annually, with the majority of these cases occurring between July and October. Shigella Sonnei is the most common type of Shigella. It accounts for over two-thirds of cases of shigellosis in the United States.
Shigella bacteria are generally transmitted through a fecal-oral route. Foods that come into contact with human or animal waste can transmit Shigella. Thus, handling toddlers’ diapers, eating vegetables from a field contaminated with sewage, or drinking pool water are all activities that can lead to shigellosis.
Symptoms of Shigella Food Poisoning
Symptoms of Shigella poisoning most commonly develop one to three days after exposure to Shigella bacteria, and usually go away within five to seven days. It is also possible to get Shigella but experience no symptoms, and still be contagious to others, a condition known as being asymptomatic.
Common Shigella Food Poisoning Symptoms
•Diarrhea: Diarrhea ranges from mild to severe. It is bloody in 25 to 50 percent of cases and usually contains mucus
Complications from Shigella
Complications from shigellosis can include severe dehydration, seizures in small children, rectal bleeding, and invasion of the blood stream by the bacteria. Young children and the elderly are at the highest risk of death. The following is a list of specific complications caused by Shigella.
Proctitis and Rectal Prolapse: The bacteria that causes shingellosis can also cause inflammation of the lining of the rectum or rectal prolapse.
Reactive Arthritis: Approximately 3 percent of patients with Shigella infection, most often those with Shigella flexneri, develop Reactive Arthritis. It occurs when the immune system attempts to combat Shigella but instead attacks the body. Symptoms of Reactive Arthritis include inflammation of the joints, eyes, or reproductive or urinary organs. On average, symptoms appear 18 days after infection.
Toxic Megacolon: In this rare complication, the colon is paralyzed and unable to pass bowel movements or gas. Symptoms of Toxic Megacolon include abdominal pain and swelling, fever, weakness, and disorientation. If this complication goes untreated and the colon ruptures, the patient’s condition can be life-threatening.
Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, or HUS: Shigella rarely results in HUS, which is more commonly a complication of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli infections. HUS can lead to kidney failure.
Diagnosis of Shigella
A Shigella infection is diagnosed through laboratory testing of a stool sample.
Shigella Food Poisoning Treatment
A Shigella infection usually goes away on its own in five to seven days, although bowel movements may continue to be abnormal for up to a month following infection. Antibiotics, however, can shorten the course of the illness. A doctor can prescribe antibiotics after testing a stool sample for the presence of Shigella bacteria.
Some strains of shigellosis are resistant to antibiotics, meaning that antibiotics might not always be an effective treatment. Antidiarrheal medication should be avoided, as it can actually make the illness worse.
Preventing a Shigella Infection
Frequent hand washing is key to preventing Shigella, since individuals can carry Shigella without noticing symptoms, and Shigella bacteria can remain active for weeks after illness.
Steps for Preventing the Spread of Shigella Infection
•If a child in diapers has shigellosis, wash your hands after changing their diaper and wipe down the changing area with disinfectant
•People with Shigella should not prepare food for others for at least two days after diarrhea has stopped
•Drink only treated or boiled water while traveling and only eat fruits you peel yourself
•Only swim in pools maintaining a chlorine level of 0.5 parts per million and stay clear of pools where children not yet toilet trained are swimming
Additional Resources for Shigella
About-Shigella.com is a comprehensive site with in-depth information about Shigella bacteria and Shigella infection.
Shigella Blog provides up-to-date news related to Shigella outbreaks, research, and more.
Tainted Lard: China's Latest Food-Safety Scare Comes From Taiwan
Source : http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-09-08/chinas-tainted-lard-scare-linked-to-taiwan-made-food-imports
By Bruce Einhorn (Sep 08, 2014)
It’s the Mid-Autumn Festival in China, a holiday that coincides with the full moon in the eighth month of the lunar calendar, and people across the country will be celebrating by going out in the evening and gazing at the sky. Tradition calls for admiring the moon’s beauty while eating sweet round cakes loaded with egg yolks and lotus seeds, wrapped in a dough containing generous amounts of lard.
In the runup to this year’s festival, though, yet another food scandal is giving Chinese reason to worry about the safety of those mooncakes. For a change, the center of the latest scandal isn’t in mainland China but in Taiwan, where the government last week arrested six people for allegedly recycling oil from kitchens and grease from leather factories and selling the mixture to unwitting buyers.
That has led Chang Guann (1498:TT), a Taiwanese supplier of cooking oil, to remove from sale more than 236 tons of oil products, according to Taiwan’s Food and Drug Administration. Nearly 1,000 shops or restaurants on the island had unknowingly purchased tainted lard. Another company hit by the scandal is Wei-Chuan Food (1201:TT), a Taipei producer of everything from ice cream to MSG that has told the Taiwan stock exchange it expects to lose 79.4 million Taiwan dollars ($2.65 million) through product recalls and lost inventory. The company’s stock price plunged nearly 7 percent on Monday.
Story: Mooncake Economy Is Hit in China's Corruption Crackdown
The foul play in Taiwan provides a rare chance for the Chinese government, hit by scandal after scandal involving food safety, to indulge in some schadenfreude—or, to use the Chinese expression for taking pleasure in the misfortune of others, xin zai le huo. No doubt China’s beleaguered food-safety mandarins, repeatedly criticized for lax regulation of the food supply on the mainland, welcome any opportunity to point out the shortcomings of a rival.
The case is the second major food-safety scandal by a Taiwan-based company in the past year, as the state-run China News Service helpfully reminded readers; the earlier incident prompted Wei-Chuan to recall “tens of thousands of bottles of tainted cooking oil.” According to the official China Daily, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine, the Chinese agency in charge of food safety, said it hadn’t yet found any products on the mainland containing the recycled cooking oil. Still, the regulator has warned Chinese citizens against eating tainted food from Taiwan. In Hong Kong, meanwhile, the South China Morning Post reported today that the local government has said at least four importers had introduced the tainted oil into the city.
The new gutter-oil scandal has “shocked local consumers” in Taiwan who expect more from their government, according to a report by China’s Xinhua news agency. “I hope the law could be revised to impose tougher punishment on those who breach food safety regulations,” one New Taipei resident told the news agency.
Marler Clark Retained in Botulism Outbreak
Linked to VR Green Farms Pine Nut Basil Pesto
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/food-poisoning-information/marler-clark-retained-in-botulism-outbreak-linked-to-vr-green-farms-pine-nut-basil-pesto/#.VBEltU1WE-J
By Bill Marler (Sep 6, 2014)
California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director and State
Health Officer Dr. Ron Chapman warned consumers today not to eat
VR Green Farms jarred food products because they may have been
improperly produced, making them susceptible to contamination
with Clostridium botulinum.
Ingestion of botulism toxin from improperly processed jarred and
canned foods may lead to serious illness and death. CDPH is coordinating
with the US Food and Drug Administration and the Ohio Department
of Health in the investigation of two cases of suspected food-borne
botulism infections that may be associated with consumption of
the firm’s Pine Nut Basil Pesto.
VR Green Farms of San Clemente, California, is voluntarily recalling
the following varieties of jarred food products: Pine Nut Basil
Pesto, Pickled Farm Mix, Old World Tomato Sauce, Sundried Tomatoes
in Olive Oil, Tuscan Grilling Sauce, and Pasta Sauce. These food
products were sold under the VR Farms label and packaged in Mason-style
glass jars with screw-on metal lids. The product labels do not
include any coding or “use by” dates. Photographs
can be found on Recalled Product Photos Page. The products were
sold at the VR Green Farms stand in San Clemente, California and
via the Internet to consumers throughout the United States.
Botulism toxin is odorless and colorless. Consumers who have any
of these products or any foods made with these products should
discard them immediately. Double bag the cans in plastic bags
and place in a trash receptacle for non-recyclable trash. Wear
gloves when handling these products or wash your hands with soap
and running water.
Botulism is a rare but serious paralytic illness caused by a nerve
toxin that is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.
The initial symptoms frequently experienced are double or blurred
vision, drooping eyelids, and dry or sore throat. Progressive
descending paralysis, usually symmetrical, may follow. Infants
with botulism appear lethargic, feed poorly, are constipated,
have a weak cry and poor muscle tone.
Of Eight Multistate Salmonella Outbreaks
So Far This Year, Was This One Different?
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2014/09/eight-multistate-salmonella-outbreaks-but-this-one-is-different/#.VBEmCU1WE-J
By Dan Flynn (Sep 4, 2014)
The first seven multistate outbreaks of Salmonella all began the
same way. State health departments and the U.S. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) began investigating human infections
reported up the chain after the sickened individuals began showing
up at doctor’s offices and medical clinics.
By investigating those reports, state and federal health officials
were able to trace the human illnesses to their sources, including
raw cashew cheese, Tyson chicken, pet bearded dragons, live poultry,
frozen feeder rodents, organic sprouted chia powder, and even
a microbiological laboratory.
That’s usually the way it works. People get sick. The illnesses
are connected to a specific food. The product is traced back to
the processing plant that made it.
But then there was the eighth multistate outbreak for Salmonella
this year. At this point, it does not involve a large event. Just
four people sickened by Salmonella Braenderup in four states when
CDC announced it on Aug. 21.
It’s the outbreak associated with the nSpired Natural Foods
Inc. recall of various conventional and organic brands of almond
and peanut butter, including Arrowhead Mills, MaraNatha, Trader
Joe’s, Whole Foods, Safeway and Kroger.
What was unusual about this outbreak was that it did not start
with sick people going to the doctor. Instead, this Salmonella
outbreak was discovered through FDA’s routine inspection
of the nSpired Natural Foods plant located in Ashland, OR.
As they often do, FDA inspectors took environmental samples and
subjected the isolates of the bacteria they found to both pulsed-field
gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and whole genome sequencing. PFGE generated
the DNA “fingerprinting” of the Salmonella bacteria.
Genome sequencing identified the strain.
Then public health officials went hunting for people with illnesses
that the PFGE and whole genome sequencing could tie to the bacteria
found in the Ashland facility. Matches were made using the PulseNet
system, and all four of those sickened reported eating either
almond or peanut butter made by nSpired.
Is this example of first finding the bacteria in a food plant
and then going out and seeing if anyone was sickened new and different?
Is it the product of new law (Food Safety Modernization Act) with
a focus on prevention? Or are the new technologies, such as complete
genome sequencing, just moving from the research laboratory to
Roy Costa, owner of Florida’s Environ Health Associates
Inc., told Food Safety News that the nSpired investigation looks
to be “a new twist on the use of such information, and the
advanced molecular techniques is what made this possible. This
is good for public health.”
“My thought is that only cases presenting with severe symptoms
will have clinical isolates, and not all states will have the
capacity to capture this information for the reporting system,”
he added. “So when this turns up a hit, I suspect the outbreak
will usually be much larger than four persons. Case findings now
will probably intensify, so more cases will likely be identified.”
Costa said he is not sure if this amounts to prevention or just
better use of the testing and surveillance systems that public
health has relied upon for some time.
“Prevention would have come about if the firm (nSpired)
had done the tests and found the agent before shipping contaminated
products,” he said. “But, again, this is overall good
for public health, just a little late.”
Dr. David Acheson, the former FDA associate commissioner for foods
who now heads The Acheson Group, said this type of investigation
was being done when he was in government and therefore cannot
really be called new and is “not actually related to the
“But,” Acheson noted, “I would predict we will
see more and more in the future.”
Here are CDC’s reports to date on multistate Salmonella
outbreaks this year:
• Nut Butter – Salmonella Braenderup
• Clinical and Teaching Microbiology Laboratory Exposure
– Salmonella Typhimurium
• Organic Sprouted Chia Powder – Salmonella Newport,
Salmonella Hartford, and Salmonella Oranienburg
• Frozen Feeder Rodents – Salmonella Typhimurium
• Live Poultry – Salmonella Infantis and Salmonella
• Pet Bearded Dragons – Salmonella Cotham and Salmonella
• Tyson Chicken – Salmonella Heidelberg
• Raw Cashew Cheese – Salmonella Stanley
Canadians Sue in California Over Salmonella
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/foodborne-illness-outbreaks/canadian-sue-in-california-over-salmonella-chia-powder/#.VBEmoU1WE-J
By Andy Weisbecker (Sep 4, 2014)
Canadian Couple Suffer Major Illnesses, Including Appendicitis,
After Consuming Salmonella Tainted Chia Seed Powder
Husband and wife from Alberta are two of 63 confirmed cases in
Canada; Seek counsel from food safety law firm, MarlerClark, to
file suit against manufacturer Navitas Naturals
Marler Clark, the nation’s only law firm dedicated to representing
victims of foodborne illness, has filed a lawsuit in the United
States District Court for the Northern District of California
on behalf of Timothy and Jennifer Stoddart, two Sylvan Lake residents
sickened with a Salmonella infection linked to the nationwide
recall in early June of sprouted chia seed powder and sprouted
chia/flax seed powder from Navitas Naturals©, the Superfood
Company™. The suit’s case number is 3:14-cv-03993.
On May 9, 2014, Timothy and Jennifer Stoddart purchased chia powder
at the Natural Solutions store in Sylvan Lake, Alberta. Just two
days later, they began to suffer from severe gastrointestinal
symptoms. For the next several months, the couple was in and out
of hospitals receiving treatment, including surgery for Timothy,
whose appendix was removed due to appendicitis. It was ultimately
determined that both plaintiffs were suffering from a Salmonella
infection, which was the direct result of consuming Navitas Naturals
The Public Health Agency of Canada is collaborating with Provincial
public health partners, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and
Health Canada to investigate 63 Canadian cases of Salmonella infection
linked to the consumption of sprouted chia seed powder. In Canada,
two strains of Salmonella have been associated with this outbreak:
Salmonella Newport and Salmonella Hartford. As a part of this
investigation, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has issued
food recall warnings for various products containing sprouted
chia seeds and sprouted chia seed powder under the brands Organic
Traditions, Back 2 the Garden, Intuitive Path SuperFoods, Harmonic
Arts Botanical Dispensary, Naturallyorganic, and Pete’s
“Many people think that healthy foods are not susceptible
to Salmonella outbreaks, but that is just not true,” said
Bill Marler, who has been working to help improve food safety
standards since representing victims of the Jack in the Box E.
coli outbreak in the early 1990s. “Healthy foods are just
as prone to Salmonella and E. coli as milk and eggs.”
Salmonella is transmitted by food, water, or surfaces that have
been contaminated with the feces of an infected animal or person.
Many animals carry Salmonella yet do not get sick. It can also
be found in unpasteurized egg and milk products. It is commonly
transmitted via the fecal-oral route, from one infected person
to another. Symptoms (which develop 6 to 72 hours after infection)
may be mild and a person can continue to carry Salmonella for
weeks after symptoms have subsided.
The best ways to prevent the spread of this illness are to avoid
preparing food for others while ill, thoroughly cooking meat and
egg products, not consuming unpasteurized eggs and milk products,
and washing hands, especially after using the bathroom and before
handling or preparing food.
Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s
leading law firm representing victims of Salmonella outbreaks.
The Salmonella lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands
of victims of Salmonella and other foodborne illness outbreaks
and have recovered over $600 million for clients. Marler
Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused
exclusively on foodborne illness litigation. Our Salmonella
lawyers have litigated Salmonella cases stemming from outbreaks
traced to a variety of foods, such as cantaloupe, tomatoes, ground
turkey, salami, sprouts, cereal, peanut butter, and food served
in restaurants. The law firm has brought Salmonella lawsuits
against such companies as Cargill, ConAgra, Peanut Corporation
of America, Sheetz, Taco Bell, Subway and Wal-Mart.
Public Comments on Seafood Fraud Task Force Ask for Traceability
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/public-comments-on-seafood-fraud-task-force-ask-for-traceability/
By Linda Larsen (Sep 3, 2014 Leave a Comment
In June 2014, the White House announced a Presidential Task Force on Combating Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing and Seafood Fraud and asked for comments from the public to develop recommendations. Oceana, one of the groups commenting on the proposal, has long advocated for traceability to help combat seafood fraud.
That fraud consists of mislabeling and deliberately misnaming seafood in order to receive a higher price for the product in the marketplace. Some facilities substitute lesser quality species for more desirable fish, which can lead to allergic reactions and other health problems. Some of the species substituted for higher quality fish are higher in heavy metals such as mercury, which can cause serious illness. When farmed fish are substituted for wild-caught species, antibiotic residues are often in those products.
Oceana released a study last year that found more than 30% of the seafood samples obtained in supermarkets and other stores was mislabeled. Between 20 and 43% of wild-caught seafood imported into the United States comes from “illegal, unrelated and unreported or ‘pirate’ fishing.”
Other groups submitting comments included Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, the American Public Health Association, the Center or Food Safety, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Food & Water Watch, and Consumer Federation of America.
At least 80% of the seafood in the U.S. is imported. But the FDA inspects less than 2% of those imported products. In addition to problems with species substitution and economic loss, concerned groups say that illegal fishing and fraud threatens vulnerable fish stocks around the world.
UK Lets Big Food Businesses Regulate Themselves
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/uk-lets-big-food-businesses-regulate-themselves/
By Linda Larsen (Sep 3, 2014)
According to Food & Water Watch, the UK Department of Food and Rural Affairs has decided to make a “significant shift” that “puts business in charge of driving reform”, to “lightening needless burdens without weakening essential controls.” Businesses will be able to review enforcement of regulation in their areas.
Hamburger in Meat CaseThe press release had a statement from Business Manager Matthew Hancock which said, “businesses will now have the power to lead the reform of counterproductive, time consuming or bureaucratic enforcement of regulation that can get in the way of growth.”
Food & Water Watch points out that horse meat is still present in European beef supplies, that Food Standards Agency has concerns about filthy conditions in the UK poultry industry, and salmon in the marketplace labeled “wild Scottish” is actually intensively farmed Norwegian fish. In addition, an ongoing Salmonella outbreak in Europe linked to contaminated eggs has sickened at least 247 people in England.
Eve Mitchell of Food & Water Watch points out that the 2008-2009 Salmonella outbreak linked to contaminated peanut products from Peanut Corporation of America serves as a warning to the UK. Deliberate sales of a known adulterated food product is one of the things regulations are supposed to prevent. Failure of proper enforcement of laws designed to protect the public can lead to serious repercussions.
In addition, in July 2014, an antibiotic banned since 1995 as a human cancer risk was found in animal feed supplied by a Dutch corporation to farms in several EU countries. And UK meat inspectors are on strike because the FSA will not give them a 1% cost of living pay increase. Food & Water Watch ends by stating “inviting industry to regulate itself in such circumstances is surely taking this business-friendly thing a bit too far.”
Cryptosporidium in Raw Milk Sickens 2 in Idaho
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/cryptosporidium-in-raw-milk-sickens-2-in-idaho/
By Carla Gillespie (Sep 3, 2014)
Cryptosporidium in raw goat milkCryptosporidium in raw goat milk from Treasured Sunrise Farm in Parma, Idaho has sickened at least two people. Consumers who have purchased raw goat milk from the farm on or after August 24 should not drink it. The milk was sold in stores in Boise, Caldwell, Ketchum, and Star.
Cryptosporidium is a parasite that is spread when microscopic amounts of feces from an infected human or animal are ingested. It takes fewer than 10 organisms to cause an infection. Outbreaks are commonly associated with water parks and daycare centers.
There isn’t a drug that effectively treats a cryptosporidium infection which puts immune compromised individuals at significant risk. Symptoms, which usually develop between two and 10 days of exposure, include: watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, fever, vomiting and weight loss. Illness lasts between one and two weeks.
State agriculture officials in Idaho have placed a hold on got milk sales from the farm. If you have experienced these symptoms and consumed this product, please see a doctor as soon as possible.
Salmonella at Esencia Urban Kitchen in Chicago Sickens 5
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/salmonella-at-esencia-urban-kitchen-in-chicago-sickens-5/
By Carla Gillespie (Sep 3, 2014)
Salmonella at Esencia Urban KitchenA Salmonella outbreak at Esencia Urban Kitchen in Chicago has sickened as least five people who ate at the restaurant, health authorities told Food Poisoning Bulletin today. Those who became ill reported eating at the restaurant on August 13 and August 14.
“We have inspected the restaurant to ensure it meets health code standards. The ongoing investigation includes additional interviews and testing food handlers who work there. The restaurant is cooperating with the investigation,” Alicia Siston, PhD, MPH, MS Epidemiologist, Communicable Disease Program said in an e mail.
DeCosters, Quality Egg LLC Object to Pre-Sentence Investigation Reports
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2014/09/decosters-and-quality-egg-llc-file-objections-to-pre-sentencing-report/#.VBEpuE1WE-I
By Dan Flynn (Sep 2, 2014)
The defendants in the criminal case involving Quality Egg LLC, including Austin (Jack) DoCoster and his son Peter, are objecting to the pre-sentence investigation reports that have been filed under seal with the court.
Both the Aug. 14 reports and the Aug. 28 objections filed against them by the defendants are sealed, making it impossible for the public to know the substance of the dispute between the DeCosters and the U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services. That arm of the federal courts conducts a pre-sentence investigation after a person enters a guilty plea or receives a guilty verdict following a trial.
The confidential report is based on interviews with the defendants, family members, employers and law enforcement officials to gather and/or verify background information. Probation officers also review court, school, military, financial and employment records.
While both of the DeCosters and Quality Egg LLC have filed objections to their pre-sentence investigation reports, it’s possible those will undergo revisions and amendments this week.
Federal Judge Mark W. Bennett extended the deadline for filing objections to Sept. 4. Defense attorney Frank R. Volpe, representing Jack DeCoster, has told the court that he plans to submit a declaration of Dr. Charles L. Hofacre from the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia.
Hofacre’s declaration will address the pre-sentence investigation report’s “findings and conclusions relating to the potential cases of the Salmonella outbreak at Quality Egg,” according to Volpe, who practices at Sidley Austin LLP in Washington, D.C.
Volpe said Hofacre needed the extra time because he had recently been without reliable Internet service.
The DeCosters pleaded guilty on June 3 to one federal misdemeanor count each under a plea agreement reached last April with the government. The agreement specifies that they will pay personal fines of $100,000 each.
The guilty pleas are for introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce, which also opens both of them up to possible one-year jail terms.
Separately, Quality Egg LLC, owned by a family trust, also pleaded guilty to two federal felonies and the same federal misdemeanor to which the DeCosters pleaded guilty. The company also agreed to pay fines totaling $6.8 million. The plea agreements with the two individuals are contingent on the company’s guilty pleas and payment of the big fines.
The U.S. Attorney for Northern Iowa began an outreach program for victims of the 2010 Salmonella outbreak caused by eggs from the Iowa production facilities owned by Quality Egg LLC. Half-a-billion eggs were recalled during that outbreak, in which as many as 62,000 people may have been sickened.
Prosecutors ask anyone who was sickened during the time of the outbreak to visit the Northern District of Iowa U.S. Attorney’s Office website, or to contact Shari Konarske, Victim-Witness Coordinator, at (319) 363-6333 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Food Safety to the Rescue
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2014/09/food-safety-to-the-rescue-the-key-that-opens-the-door-to-donations-of-nutritious-foods/#.VBEqm01WE-J
The Key to Donations of Fresher, More Nutritious Food
By Cookson Beecher (Sep 2, 2014)
Who doesn’t love a good rescue story? But now imagine one that involves rescuing millions and millions of pounds of nutritious foods from being taken to landfills and sending them to hungry people instead.
Welcome to Grocery Rescue, a program that redirects perishable foods that stores identify as unmarketable but still safe for people to eat to food banks and other feeding programs for the needy.
Perishables include meat, poultry, fish, dairy, fruits and vegetables. Examples of unmarketable perishables are those that are close-dated, slightly ripe, or perhaps too plentiful due to over production.
McDonald's To Boost China Supplier Audits After Food Safety Scandal
Source : http://www.ibtimes.com/mcdonalds-boost-china-supplier-audits-after-food-safety-scandal-1675508
By Reuters (Sep 02, 2014)
McDonald's Corp will increase the number of audits it conducts of suppliers in China, the firm said on Tuesday, after a food scandal in July dented China sales at the U.S. fast food chain and rival Yum Brands Inc.
In a statement emailed to Reuters on Tuesday, the restaurant chain said half of the audits would be done unannounced and would be carried out by third party auditors and internal teams.
Industry insiders had told Reuters that suppliers in China often knew about audits in advance.
McDonald's will push for more video monitoring at its Chinese suppliers and send more quality control specialists to all meat production facilities, it added.
The firm has also created a new role to oversee food safety governance in China and will launch a hotline later this year for whistleblowers to report food safety issues.
Last week, Chinese police arrested six staff from McDonald's supplier OSI Group Inc following allegations in July that workers at its Shanghai Husi plant used expired meat and doctored food production dates.
McDonald's has suspended supply from all Husi plants in China and is reviewing its relationship with parent OSI pending an investigation by Chinese regulators.
The OSI scandal dragged in KFC-parent Yum, coffee chain Starbucks Corp and Burger King Worldwide Inc among others. It also spread to Hong Kong and Japan.
China is McDonald's third largest market by the number of outlets and the number one market for KFC-parent Yum. McDonald's currently has over 2,000 restaurants in mainland China.
However, China's $1 trillion food processing industry struggles with fragmented suppliers and a lack of traceability, meaning auditors and food chains often remain one step behind in keeping supply chains in check.
First Lawsuit Filed in July E. coli O157 Outbreak on Lake Superior Chippewa Reservation
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/foodborne-illness-outbreaks/first-lawsuit-filed-in-july-e-coli-o157-outbreak-on-lake-superior-chippewa-reservation/#.VBErJU1WE-J
By Bill Marler (Sep 2, 2014)
Investigation by the MN Dept. of Health finds food served by Jim-N-Jo’s Northland Katering responsible for sickening dozens.
Marler Clark, a Seattle-based law firm specializing in food safety, has filed suit against House of Prime on behalf of Robert Danielson, a resident of Cloquet in Carlton County. Danielson became ill with E. coli O157 after consuming food prepared by Jim-N-Jo’s Northland Katering, which is wholly owned and operated by House of Prime. Local co-counsel on the suit is Jardine, Logan, & O’Brien of Lake Elmo, MN.
Danielson is just one of as many as 60 people who became ill with E. coli O157 after consuming food served at an Elder’s Picnic hosted by the Chippewa Indian Tribe on July 11, 2014. All the food served at the event was prepared by Jim-N-Jo’s Northland Katering, which is headquartered in Cloquet.
Several days after the Elders Picnic, Danielson fell ill with nausea, fatigue, and a general feeling of malaise. His symptoms worsened that night and over the course of the next day to include severe and bloody diarrhea. Eventually he sought emergency medical treatment at the Cloquet Community Hospital where he was rehydrated and given medications to ease his discomfort. While Danielson was receiving treatment about a dozen other attendees of the Elders Picnic were in that same emergency room.
Danielson—and others who attended the Elders Picnic—tested positive for E. coli O157, which, in the most severe cases, can result in Hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), a potentially life threatening disorder.
This launched an investigation by local health officials and the Minnesota Department of Health. Marler Clark and their team of epidemiologists trained to trace back the causes of food borne outbreaks, was retained to help with the investigation.
Eventually the cause of the outbreak was linked to the Elder’s Picnic and the food from Jim-N-Jo’s Northland Katering. The most likely cause was found to be the potato salad or one of the raw ingredients that goes into it.
“Catered food is often the first place to look after an outbreak that can be tied to any event. Like restaurants, caterers are supposed to follow basic food safety standards, but sometimes these businesses are a bit more relaxed than they should be, which can result in cross contamination, not cooking or keeping foods at their appropriate temperatures, or other issues that can easily turn a good event into a nightmare for attendees,” said Bill Marler, founding partner of Marler Clark.
Marler has been on the front lines of food safety for more than two decades. Some of his first related clients stemmed from the outbreak E. coli O157: H7 traced back to the fast food chain Jack in the Box in the early 1990s. More recently, he represented Minnesota-native Stephanie Smith whose dreams of being a dancer were shattered after she ate a hamburger tainted with E. coli O157: H7.
Since being discharged from the hospital, Danielson’s health has steadily improved, but he still continues to recover from his illness.
Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of E. coli outbreaks and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The E. coli lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of E. coli and other foodborne illness infections and have recovered over $600 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation. Our E. coli lawyers have litigated E. coli and HUS cases stemming from outbreaks traced to ground beef, raw milk, lettuce, spinach, sprouts, and other food products. The law firm has brought E. coli lawsuits against such companies as Jack in the Box, Dole, ConAgra, Cargill, and Jimmy John’s. We have proudly represented such victims as Brianne Kiner, Stephanie Smith and Linda Rivera.
Raw Goat Milk Tests Positive for Cryptosporidium in Idaho
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/raw-goat-milk-tests-positive-for-cryptosporidium-in-idaho/
By Carla Gillespie (Sep 1, 2014)
Raw goat milk from Treasured Sunrise Acres in Parma, Idaho has tested positive for cryptosporidium. Consumers who purchased raw goat milk from the farm on or after August 24 should not drink it. The Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) has placed a hold on raw milk sales at the farm.
Cryptosporidium is a parasite commonly associated with outbreaks at water parks and pools. It’s hard outer shell makes it resistant to chlorine-based disinfectants and enables it to survive outside a host’s body for long stretches of time. It is spread when microscopic amounts of feces from an infected human or animal are ingested.
Symptoms of a cryptosporidium infection include: watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, fever, vomiting and weight loss. They usually develop within two to 10 days of exposure and last one to two weeks. Young children and pregnant women are at special risk for these infections. If you drank the milk and have these symptoms, see a doctor.
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