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Foodborne Illness Investigations

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Listeria outbreak spurs CRF to expand frozen food recall

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CRF Frozen Foods has expanded its recall of certain frozen fruits and vegetables to include everything produced in its Pasco, WA, facility since May 2014 after learning seven people have become sick with Listeria infections. Two have died. More than 350 products sold under 42 brands are included in the recall. The products were sold… Continue Reading

Dole salad scandal spurs calls for stronger FDA

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Reactions have been varied to the news that Dole Food Co. knowingly produced and shipped salads from a contaminated facility, ranging from criticism of the FDA to an admission by Dole’s management that the company is being investigated by the Justice Department. U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-CT, is the ranking Democrat on the subcommittee responsible… Continue Reading

Dole knew of Listeria; feds launch criminal investigation

Dole Food Co.

UPDATED CONTENT 6:37 p.m. EDT — The U.S. Department of Justice in investigating Dole in relation to the Listeria monocytogenes outbreak, according to a news release posted on the company’s website. “Dole has recently been contacted by the Department of Justice in connection with its own investigation, and we will be similarly cooperating with the DOJ… Continue Reading

Dole restarts salad facility; mum on Listeria cleaning process

The salad production facility in Springfield, OH, was highlighted in Dole’s 2010 corporate report.

Dole Fresh Vegetables Inc. has resumed production at a salad facility that was linked to a deadly nine-month Listeria outbreak without revealing what was done to clean the plant or to prevent future contamination of food processed there. A statement on Dole’s website says investigations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for… Continue Reading

Worldwide human and economic costs of norovirus are huge

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Leave it to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to put a price tag on the worldwide cost of norovirus. After a CDC-sponsored symposium in February, scientists and experts calculated the global numbers, estimating 200,000 deaths and an economic cost of $60 billion annually. The Public Library of Science (PLOS), a nonprofit organization of… Continue Reading

Investigation ends; Garden of Life powders pose ongoing threat

Garden of Life provided the label sample on the left to the FDA for posting with its recall notice. As the outbreak linked via DNA to its "Organic Raw Meal" powders spread across the country, the company redesigned its labels and changed the word order in the product name to "Raw Organic Meal" as shown on the right.

Federal officials have concluded their investigation into a Salmonella Virchow outbreak traced back to Garden of Life brand organic shake and meal replacement powders, warning that additional people could become ill. Laboratory tests confirmed that at least 33 people in 23 states were infected with the outbreak strain, according to an update posted Thursday by… Continue Reading

Costco offers vaccines, denies liability and declares dividend

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To curb an ongoing Hepatitis A outbreak traced to frozen organic fruit sold at Costco stores in Canada, the retailer is offering free vaccinations to consumers, as it did in 2013 when a similar outbreak was linked to another frozen fruit product. The current outbreak linked to Nature’s Touch brand frozen organic “Berry Cherry Blend”… Continue Reading

Rapid lab tests likely hampering some public health efforts

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The next generation of rapid lab tests is helping doctors diagnose and treat foodborne illnesses faster than ever, but health officials are concerned increasing use of the tests is decreasing their ability to detect and investigate outbreaks. Known as CIDTs, the “culture-independent diagnostic tests” provide big picture results in hours, indicating whether a person’s illness… Continue Reading

California testing confiscated cheese; outbreak continues

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California officials continue to investigate a five-month Salmonella outbreak they believe is connected to Mexican-style soft cheeses and are testing cheese seized from Bakersfield woman’s home. Grace Martinez told BakersfieldNow.com that the 30 packages of cheese officials took from her home were brought to the U.S. by her family members from Sinaloa, Mexico. She sells… Continue Reading

Lawmaker seeks increased access amid raw milk warnings

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As Louisiana lawmakers consider whether to allow on-farm sales of raw milk, health officials in Utah and Tennessee are echoing last month’s federal warning about the dangers of drinking raw milk, citing outbreaks and deaths. As many as 3 percent of the people in the United States drink raw — aka unpasteurized — milk, according… Continue Reading