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Foodborne Illness Outbreaks

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Papaya Salmonella cases top 200; more farms implicated

The victim count in ongoing Salmonella outbreaks traced to papayas from Mexico has topped 200, with U.S. officials not only reporting they linked two more farms to sick people, but that they expect to identify even more farms and victims. Infections from three additional serotypes of Salmonella bacteria have been confirmed in outbreak victims, according… Continue Reading

Chicago BBQ restaurant closes amidst Salmonella outbreak

The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) has identified a new Salmonella outbreak that has sickened at least 14 people, six of whom have required hospitalization. The CDPH investigation links the outbreak to Best BBQ Ribs at 1648 W. 115th St. in Chicago. Best BBQ closed voluntarily today at CDPH’s request and is fully cooperating with… Continue Reading

More Campylobacter cases in Seattle; poultry possible source

For the second time this week public health officials in the Seattle area have disclosed an investigation into Campylobacter infections suspected to have been foodborne. Wednesday the Seattle & King County Public Health Department reported two people had been confirmed by laboratory analysis with campylobacteriosis. Multiple other people reported illnesses consistent with Campylobacter infection, but… Continue Reading

Dozens sick from handling turtles; children under 5 hardest hit

Again this year, young children across the country are becoming violently ill and being hospitalized because of Salmonella infections from contact with pet turtles, many of which are illegal. Of the 37 victims confirmed with infections, a third are younger than 5 years old, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Outbreak investigators… Continue Reading

2 Camplyobacter cases linked to restaurant; foie gras suspected

A restaurant in the Seattle suburb of Kirkland, WA, has been confirmed as the source of two recent Camplyobacter infections, causing health officials to warn the public about the dangers of eating foie gras. Public health officials investigated an outbreak infecting “a single meal party” at Café Juanita, according to a notice posted by Seattle & King County Public Health. “On July 24th, Public… Continue Reading

Papaya pathogen problems persist

Little appears to have changed since 2011 outbreak, despite efforts of U.S., Mexican governments

Salmonella — the pathogen behind an ongoing foodborne illness outbreak that has sickened 173 people across 21 states, killing one — is a normal inhabitant of the intestinal tract of many birds, reptiles and mammals. The possibility that an agricultural product such as papayas may be contaminated with Salmonella is impossible to eradicate; however, the… Continue Reading

Beach Beat: Taking a chance with raw milk? Don’t bet your kid

Virginia officials should have erred on the side of transparency during secret E. coli outbreak

Opinion

I’ve never been much for games of pure chance. They simply leave too much up to, well, chance. Where’s the fun or challenge in that? I prefer activities that involve logic and reason and strategy — like “Clue” or pinochle. Yah, yah, I know both of those involve an element of chance. There’s the luck… Continue Reading

Two E. coli O157:H7 illness clusters under scrutiny in Japan

Japan health authorities are dealing with two new clusters of E. coli O157:H7 infections. The first involves a suspended grilled-meat restaurant in Yokohama, linked to the illnesses of a teenage girl and a man in his 80s who ate there on July 30. The second involves a deli in the Saitama Prefecture and a potato salad… Continue Reading

Arkansas Salmonella outbreak centers on Stuttgart restaurant

Epidemiological work by the Arkansas Department of Health suggests an outbreak involving as many as 30 people in the Stuttgart, AR, is likely centered on the local Chuck Wagon Restaurant. In a statement Wednesday, the department (ADH) said it has four confirmed cases of salmonella in the outbreak, which it began investigating Aug. 18. The… Continue Reading

Could the ongoing Salmonella outbreak have been prevented?

Opinion

Outbreaks of Salmonella and other pathogens in fresh produce are unfortunately relatively frequent occurrences. This is true, particularly with imported Mexican papaya. Neither the Food and Drug Administration nor the Centers for Disease Control have disclosed potential root cause in the latest outbreak, however, the factors that lead to contamination of produce are well known…. Continue Reading