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Food Safety News

Breaking news for everyone's consumption

Publisher’s Platform: The Team

While many of us have been wondering what the Kardashians will do next, or who will be cut from Dancing with the Stars, or what silly thing the Republican presidential nomination race will bring next, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Outbreak Response Team has been busy protecting us, or at least figuring out what happened.

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The CDC’s Outbreak Response Team collaborates with the national network of epidemiologists and other public health officials who investigate outbreaks of foodborne, waterborne, and other enteric illnesses in the United States. It works in partnership with federal, state and local health departments, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and PulseNet (a national surveillance network made up of state and local public health laboratories and federal food regulatory agency laboratories that perform pulsed-field gel electrophoresis on bacteria that may be foodborne).

 

The Outbreak Response Team works to ensure rapid, coordinated detection and response to multistate outbreaks of enteric diseases and promote comprehensive outbreak surveillance. It also seeks to improve the collaboration and partnership among officials in local, state and federal agencies who work with foodborne and diarrheal disease outbreak surveillance and response.

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Here are summaries of the outbreak reports that the team published so far in 2011 – most recent first.  The team has been busier than Santa’s elves in 2011.  Let us hope they can take the rest of the year off.

Romaine LettuceEscherichia coli O157:H7

A total of 60 infections due to the outbreak strain of E. coli serotype O157:H7 have been reported from 10 states. The number of ill persons identified in each state: Arizona (1), Arkansas (2), Georgia (1), Illinois (9), Indiana (2), Kansas (3), Kentucky (1), Minnesota (3), Missouri (37), and Nebraska (1).

Kosher Broiled Chicken LiversSalmonella Heidelberg

A total of 179 illnesses due to Salmonella Heidelberg with the outbreak pattern were reported from 6 states. The number of ill persons identified in each state the product is distributed to is as follows: New York (99), New Jersey (61), Pennsylvania (10), Maryland (6), Ohio (2), and Minnesota (1).

Turkish Pine NutsSalmonella Enteriditis

A total of 43 individuals infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Enteritidis were reported from 5 states.  The number of ill persons identified in each state with the outbreak strain was as follows: Maryland (1), New Jersey (2), New York (28), Pennsylvania (8), and Virginia (4).

Jensen Farms CantaloupesListeria monocytogenes

A total of 146 persons infected with any of the four outbreak-associated strains of Listeria monocytogenes were reported to CDC from 28 states. The number of infected persons identified in each state: Alabama (1), Arkansas (1), California (4), Colorado (40), Idaho (2), Illinois (4), Indiana (3), Iowa (1), Kansas (11), Louisiana (2), Maryland (1), Missouri (7), Montana (1), Nebraska (6), Nevada (1), New Mexico (15), New York (2), North Dakota (2), Oklahoma (12), Oregon (1), Pennsylvania (1), South Dakota (1), Texas (18), Utah (1), Virginia (1), West Virginia (1), Wisconsin (2), and Wyoming (4).  Thirty deaths were reported: Colorado (8), Indiana (1), Kansas (3), Louisiana (2), Maryland (1), Missouri (3), Nebraska (1), New Mexico (5), New York (2), Oklahoma (1), Texas (2), and Wyoming (1). Among the 30 persons who died, ages ranged from 48 to 96 years, with a median age of 82.5 years. In addition, one woman pregnant at the time of illness had a miscarriage.

Ground TurkeySalmonella Heidelberg

A total of 136 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Heidelberg were reported from 34 states with illness onset dates between February 27 and September 13, 2011. The number of ill persons identified in each state: Alabama (1), Arkansas (1), Arizona (3), California (7), Colorado (4), Connecticut (1), Georgia (2), Illinois (16), Indiana (2), Iowa (2), Kansas (3), Kentucky (2), Louisiana (1), Massachusetts (4), Maryland (1), Michigan (12), Minnesota (2), Mississippi (2), Missouri (7), Nebraska (2), Nevada (1), New Jersey (1), New York (3), North Carolina (4), Ohio (12), Oklahoma (2), Oregon (1), Pennsylvania (8), South Dakota (3), Tennessee (2), Texas (18), Utah (1), Vermont (1), and Wisconsin (4). One death.

Whole, Fresh Imported PapayasSalmonella Agona

A total of 106 individuals infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Agona were reported from 25 states between January 1 and August 25, 2011. The number of ill persons identified in each state with the outbreak strain: Arkansas (1), Arizona (4), California (8), Colorado (1), Georgia (8), Illinois (18), Indiana (1), Kentucky (1), Louisiana (2), Massachusetts (1), Minnesota (3), Missouri (3), Nebraska (2), Nevada (1), New Jersey (1), New Mexico (3), New York (9), Ohio (1), Oklahoma (1), Pennsylvania (2), Tennessee (1), Texas (25), Virginia (2), Washington (5), and Wisconsin (2).

African Dwarf FrogsSalmonella Typhimurium

A total of 241 individuals infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium have been reported from 42 states since April 1, 2009. The number of ill person identified in each state: Alaska (5), Alabama (2), Arizona (10), California (21), Colorado (12), Connecticut (3), Florida (1), Georgia (4), Idaho (5), Illinois (10), Indiana (1), Kansas (3), Kentucky (4), Louisiana (3), Massachusetts (7), Maryland (5), Michigan (6), Minnesota (1), Missouri (5), Mississippi (1), Montana (2), North Carolina (1), Nebraska (2), New Hampshire (4), New Jersey (5), New Mexico (2), Nevada (4), New York (8), Ohio (7), Oklahoma (2), Oregon (5), Pennsylvania (17), Rhode Island (1), South Dakota (3), Tennessee (4), Texas (5), Utah (19), Virginia (11), Vermont (1), Washington (24), Wisconsin (4) and West Virginia (1).

Alfalfa and Spicy SproutsSalmonella Enteritidis

A total of 25 persons with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Enteritidis have been reported from 5 states: Idaho (3), Montana (10), New Jersey (1), North Dakota (1) and Washington (10).

Travel to GermanyShiga toxin-producing E. coli O104

During the outbreak period a total of 4,321 cases were reported to German health authorities, including 3,469 EHEC cases and 852 HUS cases. In total 50 patients died, including 18 EHEC patients and 32 HUS patients.  According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control 76 EHEC cases including 1 patient who died and 49 HUS cases (as of July, 22nd 2011) were reported across other countries of the European Union.  In the United States, six confirmed cases of STEC O104:H4 infections were identified. Of these six cases, five recently had traveled to Germany, where
they were likely exposed. Bacterial isolates from four HUS cases reported in Arizona (1), Massachusetts (1), Michigan (1) and Wisconsin (1), and two cases with diarrheal illness reported in Michigan (1) and North Carolina (1), were all confirmed as matching the outbreak strain. One death was reported — the Arizona resident with HUS who traveled to Germany before becoming ill. The Michigan resident with diarrheal illness did not travel to Germany, but likely acquired the infection through close contact with the Michigan resident with HUS. 

Chicks and DucklingsSalmonella Altona and Salmonella Johannesburg

A total of 68 individuals infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Altona were reported from 20 states. The number of ill persons identified in each state: Georgia (1), Illinois (1), Indiana (1), Kentucky (6), Maryland (5), Michigan (1), Minnesota (1), Mississippi (1), New Hampshire (1), New York (4), North Carolina (9), Ohio (12), Pennsylvania (6), South Carolina (1), Tennessee (3), Texas (2), Virginia (7), Vermont (1), Wisconsin (1), and West Virginia (4).

Microbiology LaboratoriesSalmonella Typhimurium

A total of 73 individuals infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium were reported from 35 states: AK (1), AL (3),  AZ (2), CA (1), GA (5), IA (1), ID (2), IL (3),  IN (1), KS (1), KY (3), MA (2),  MD (2),  MI (2), MN (4),  MO (2), NC (1),  ND (1),  NE (2),  NJ (2),  NM (3),  NV (1), NY (1),  OH (1),  OK (1),  OR (1),  PA (6),  SC (2),  SD (1), TN (2),  TX (1),  UT (3),  WA (5),  WI (3),  WY (1).

Turkey BurgersSalmonella Hadar

A total of 12 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Hadar were reported from 10 states: Arizona (1 case), California (1 case), Colorado (1 case), Georgia (1 case), Illinois (1 case), Missouri (1 case), Mississippi (1 case), Ohio (1 case), Washington (1 case), and Wisconsin (3 cases).

Lebanon BolognaEscherichia coli O157:H7

A total of 14 persons infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli serotype O157:H7 were reported from Maryland (3 cases), New Jersey (2 cases), North Carolina (1 case), Ohio (2 cases) and Pennsylvania (6 cases).

Del Monte Fresh CantaloupeSalmonella Panama

A total of 20 ill people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Panama were reported from Arizona (1), California (2), Colorado (1), Maryland (1), Montana (1), Nevada (1), Oregon (6), Pennsylvania (1), Utah (1) and Washington (5)

 

HazelnutsEscherichia coli O157:H7

A total of eight persons infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli serotype O157:H7 were reported from Michigan (1), Minnesota (3), and Wisconsin (4).

Let’s all thank the Outbreak Response Team for its work. The prompt surveillance of outbreaks caused by pathogens allows for illnesses to be noticed sooner, which can both stop the outbreak and more precisely identify the cause. The goal of the team is clearly to identify outbreaks as soon as collaboration between states allows. However, the end result of their work is to learn how the outbreak occurred to assist in the prevention of another.  Let’s hope their work slows and 2012 is used to implement what was learned the hard way in 2011.

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Photo courtesy of the CDC

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  • Joseph F. Michael

    Thank you also for looking outfor us. dates would good when it happen