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Food Safety News

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STEC

Update: Case Count Now at 22 in Washington State E. Coli Outbreak

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The number of E. coli O157:H7 infections in Whatcom County, WA, has been recalculated by federal and state investigators who have been on the scene since last week. As of Monday, May 18, the latest case count is 22 lab-confirmed cases, four cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), 10 people hospitalized, and no deaths. Several other… Continue Reading

FoodNet Data for 2014: E. Coli O157 Down, Mixed Results for Other Pathogens

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As in previous years, the latest federal data on trends in foodborne illness rates are a mixed bag. “The overall outlook is that there is some good news and I think we can learn from that, but that the news is not all good and there’s still a lot of work to do,” said Patricia… Continue Reading

CDC, State Public Health Experts Heading to NW Washington to Help With E. Coli Investigation

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A team of state and federal public health experts is heading to Whatcom County, WA, to help with an ongoing investigation into the recent E. coli outbreak there. The outbreak, with a case count of 45 people (23 lab-confirmed, 22 probable, and 8 who were hospitalized), has been linked to a dairy festival held late last month in… Continue Reading

E. Coli Outbreak Centered on Private School in Louisiana

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When an exclusive private school suddenly extends its Easter break, it might be a good time to check with social media to see if, in fact, an outbreak of foodborne illness has occurred. That appears to be what has happened with Louisiana’s Silliman Institute, where the original schedule for the term shows Easter break not… Continue Reading

Culture-Independent Diagnostics Most Common for Campylobacter, STEC

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According to Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network’s report on foodborne illness in 2013, clinical laboratories used culture-independent diagnostic tests (CIDTs) to detect more than 20,000 infections. Now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has delved deeper into the data collected about these tests. CIDTs are attractive to clinicians because they can be faster… Continue Reading

Swedish Study Finds STEC in 13 Percent of Imported Beef

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Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) has been detected in 13 percent of beef samples tested from meat imported to Sweden between 2010 and 2011. The country’s National Food Agency tested both beef and leafy greens to obtain data that will help assess the public health risk of STEC in food and could help in developing… Continue Reading

FoodNet Report: Pathogen Infection Rates Still ‘Well Above’ Government Targets

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its latest report card on the trends in foodborne illnesses on Thursday, and, in general, not much has changed from previous years. According to the Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet), there were a total of 19,056 infections, 4,200 hospitalizations and 80 deaths reported in 2013…. Continue Reading

Mother Transfers E. coli to Son During Delivery

Newborn's illness was first recorded from this strain

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The first reported case of human illness from E. coli O146:H28 was recorded this year in Switzerland in a two-day-old boy. While this strain of E. coli was known to be pathogenic because it produces Shiga toxins,  it had not previously produced symptoms in infected humans. Researchers speculate that the newborn contracted the bacteria from… Continue Reading

Salad Makings Blamed for 5-State E. coli Outbreak

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The Organic Spinach and Spring Mix Blend salad makings responsible for an outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 (STEC O157:H7) has sickened 28 and put ten people in hospitals. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta on Monday said most of the cases were in New York State. Of those… Continue Reading

Publisher’s Platform: MMWR – Food for Thought

Opinion

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Several years ago I started following the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).  It used to come weekly in the mail (perhaps it still does), but it is a bit easier to see it online and it can be quickly downloaded. Given my profession, I tend to quickly pass over some of the other… Continue Reading