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Foodborne Illness Outbreaks

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Appellate judges won’t release Wilkerson while awaiting appeal

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The extended visiting hours for Memorial Day weekend at Federal Correction Institution (FCI) Marianna probably won’t be much consolidation for 43-year-old Mary Wilkerson, who was denied in her second request for release on bail. She remains incarcerated at the western Florida panhandle federal prison. It’s about an hour from Wilkerson’s home in South Georgia. Circuit Judges… Continue Reading

Publisher’s Platform: Supreme Court weighs in without a word

High court declines to hear appeals of egg men in cases related to 2010 Salmonella outbreak

Opinion

egg men illustration DeCoster

I can hear a bit of silence in the board rooms of America. Monday the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the appeals of Austin “Jack” DeCoster and his son, Peter DeCoster, without comment. In April 2015 U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett sentenced the DeCosters to prison, saying they knew or should have known about the… Continue Reading

Supreme Court will not review DeCoster sentences in egg cases

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Austin “Jack” DeCoster, 83, and his 53-year old son Peter DeCoster are not going to get their day in the Supreme Court after all, but instead are likely to spend their summer and fall taking turns doing 3-month prison sentences at the Federal Prison Camp in Yankton, SD. The DeCosters had petitioned the U.S. Supreme… Continue Reading

Rogers flour sold by Costco in Canada linked to new outbreak

Rogers flour Canada Costco label

Another E. coli O121 outbreak traced to flour, this time Rogers brand, has sickened at least six people in British Columbia where public health officials are urging consumers to check their homes for the implicated flour. As of Friday evening neither the company, Rogers Foods Ltd. of Armstrong, British Columbia, nor the Canadian Food Inspection… Continue Reading

Family of botulism victim seeks damages from gas station

Family photos of Lavina Kelly before she contracted botulism poisoning, left, and as she is now, partially paralyzed and on a ventilator in an intensive care unit. 
Photos courtesy of family members

A mother of three who turns 33 today is among victims who are hospitalized with botulism poisoning after eating at Valley Oak Food & Fuel, a gas station in Sacramento County, CA. Lavinia Kelly remains partially paralyzed and on a ventilator as her family and friends wonder whether this will be her last birthday. She… Continue Reading

SoyNut Butter Co. bankrupt because of E. coli outbreak

Dixie Dew Products expected to liquidate next; retailers Target, Amazon, etc., also could be liable

SoyNut Butter bankruptcy

The SoyNut Butter Co. has filed for bankruptcy, citing an E. coli outbreak linked to its I.M. Healthy brand peanut butter substitute and manufacturer Dixie Dew Products as the causes for its financial failure. The Glenview, IL, soy butter company’s president and 90-percent shareholder Stephen Grubb listed some victims of the E. coli outbreak as… Continue Reading

Wilkerson seeks release on bail as Lightsey gains his freedom

Crimes and consequences in cases of peanut executives and deadly Salmonella outbreak

Lightsey, left, and Parnell

Samuel Lightsey, the one-time operations manager for the Peanut Corporation of America’s processing plant in Blakely, GA, is out of prison with a new job at a company equipping the peanut industry. Another key figure in the PCA Salmonella saga, 43-year-old Mary Wilkerson, wants to be released from prison pending the outcome of her appeal,… Continue Reading

Nacho cheese sauce suspected in California botulism outbreak

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Nacho cheese sauce is the likely suspect in a botulism outbreak among patrons of a gas station in California, according to public health officials in Sacramento County. In addition to narrowing the scope of possible sources, the Sacramento County Public Health Department announced Wednesday that another patient with suspected foodborne botulism has been added to… Continue Reading

Poisoned in paradise: Rat lungworm nightmare in Hawaii

Victim, legislator, researcher skeptical of Hawaii health officials efforts regarding rat lungworm

Tatum Larson and her mother posed for this photo in Hawaii days before Tatum began having symptoms of rat lungworm disease.

Whether state officials have downplayed the danger of rat lungworm parasites, the fact remains that Hawaii is in the midst of an outbreak that has given at least three people from the mainland lasting impressions of the island state. The mainlanders — a California couple on their honeymoon and a Seattle woman who was set… Continue Reading