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Foodborne Illness Outbreaks

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Outbreak investigation hampered by lack of business records

Snarl of distribution networks, inadequate traceability stymies search for source of romaine

Public health officials continue to be frustrated by a lack of traceability information from romaine lettuce growers and their customers as the investigation into an ongoing E. coli outbreak continues. For three weeks state and federal investigators have been trying to identify the source of the implicated romaine, which has sickened dozens across 16 states…. Continue Reading

Better tests, stronger laws, more foods add up to more recalls

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (ERS) is out with a report on what might be called the “recalls gone wild” era. In a 31-page report “Trends in Food Recalls, 2004-13” the researchers parse data from the Food and Drug Administration and USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). The facts showed an… Continue Reading

South Africa sees listeriosis cases drop; ramps up prevention

When the world’s worst rampage of listeriosis was at its peak, more than 30 confirmed cases were added to the outbreak weekly. After South Africa’s health officials identified the source and recalled the product from the market, the number of new confirmed cases was cut in half. And during the first week of April, it… Continue Reading

White Castle worker latest to expose Louisville to hepatitis A

Louisville, KY, residents are getting another in what’s been a series of public warnings about hepatitis A. This time, anyone who dined at a local White Castle restaurant between April 6 and April 20 is advised they might have been exposed to the virus and should get vaccinated. That’s because a White Castle employee who was… Continue Reading

‘Lettuce’ count the ways the feds have failed at food safety

Opinion

Editor’s note: This opinion column by Richard Raymond was originally published by feedstuffs.com and is reprinted here with permission. Yes, let us count the ways the federal government has failed to keep us safe from a foodborne illness. First is the current, growing E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to precut romaine lettuce. As of April… Continue Reading

Not it: Grocery stores, school say they don’t have the romaine

Officials from two regional grocery chains in Wisconsin and a state university in Connecticut are distancing their operations from a nationwide E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce. Federal officials have traced the ongoing E. coli O157:H7 outbreak to romaine from the Yuma, AZ, area. The outbreak has sickened at least 53 people in 16… Continue Reading

Listeria outbreak likely burning out; politicians still adding fuel

Update:  The world’s worst listeriosis outbreak now includes 1,019 laboratory-confirmed cases including 199 deaths. (Listeriosis outbreak situation report_22April 2018_fordistribution) The 1,011 laboratory-confirmed listeriosis cases, including 193 deaths, in South Africa are still creating political fissures in the country. Last week, there was another dust-up with a Member of Parliment (MP) from the opposition Democratic Alliance… Continue Reading

More restaurant workers with Hepatitis A; vaccinations urged

State and county officials across the country continue to alert the public about possible exposure to Hepatitis A from foodservice employees who have worked while infected with the virus. Two of the most recent warnings come from Arkansas and Indiana. The lab-confirmed cases among restaurant employees are among more than 1,200 in a multi-state outbreak… Continue Reading