Patient counts in several ongoing outbreaks of foodborne illnesses continue to increase, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
The agency is currently investigating 10 outbreaks. The investigations are at various stages, with traceback, on-site inspection and sample collection and analysis ongoing in several of them.
New this week is the announcement that traceback has begun in a Listeria monocytogenes outbreak, but the FDA is not saying what food or foods are being traced. The cause of the outbreak remains unknown. As of Sept. 21 there are six confirmed patients in the outbreak, but the FDA has not revealed where the patients live.
As with the Listeria monocytogenes outbreak, the FDA has not revealed any patient information such as ages or where they live for any of the other outbreaks under investigation.
Ongoing outbreak investigations
- The patient count in an outbreak caused by Salmonella Mississippi has increased to 103 from the 102 patients reported a week ago. The agency has not made public where the patients live or their ages. The FDA has not identified a source of the pathogen but has initiated traceback efforts. The agency has not reported what food or foods are being traced.
- For a Salmonella Senftenberg outbreak from a not yet identified food, the patient count has increased to 30, up from 27 reported a week ago. Traceback has begun but FDA has not reported what is being traced.
- For a Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak from a not yet identified food, the patient count has increased to 84, up from 78 reported a week ago. Traceback, on-site inspection and sample analysis has been initiated, but the FDA has not reported what is being traced or tested or where the inspection is taking place.
- For a Cyclospora outbreak the patient count has increased to 81, up from 79 a week ago. Traceback has begun but the FDA has not reported what is being traced.
- For another Cyclospora outbreak the patient count has remained steady at 42. Traceback has begun but the FDA has not reported what is being traced. Similarily, sample testing has begun but the agency has not reported what is being tested.
- An investigation related to adverse effects associated with Daily Harvest brand frozen Leeks & Lentils Crumbles is ongoing. The company has received more than 470 complaints of illnesses and as of its most recent report on Sept, 15 the FDA had received 386 complaints. Some of the patients have gone into liver failure and at least 25 have had to have their gallbladders removed. The FDA is working on traceback efforts and has begun on-site inspection and product testing. Some testing has revealed that tara flour is an ingredient unique to the Daily Harvest crumbles product and could be related to the illnesses.
- In an ongoing outbreak of infections caused by E. coli O157:H7 the FDA has initiated sample collection and analysis. The outbreak, reported by the CDC as being linked to lettuce on Wendy’s sandwiches, has sickened at least 84 people. The four-state outbreak has sickened more people according to the state counts, but all of the reports have not reached the CDC. Wendy’s has stopped serving the romaine-iceberg lettuce hybrid on sandwiches in several states, according to a statement from the company.
- The FDA is conducting an on-site inspection at Big Olaf Creamery in Florida, which has been deemed to be behind an 11-state outbreak of Listeria infections. The state of Florida closed the business several weeks ago after tests found multiple places of contamination with Listeria monocytogenes in the plant. Testing also showed Listeria in 16 of 17 flavors of the company’s ice cream. At last count the outbreak had sickened 25 patients with one having died. A pregnant woman also miscarried. Twenty-four of the patients have required hospitalization.
- An outbreak of infections from Cronobacter in four infants, two of whom died. The outbreak has been determined to be over by the CDC but is it still under investigation. The babies consumed infant formula made by Abbott Nutrition’s plant in Sturgis, MI.
Click here to go to the FDA page with links to specific outbreak details. The investigations are in a variety of stages. Some outbreaks have limited information with active investigations ongoing, others may be near completion.
A public health advisory will be issued for investigations that have resulted in specific, actionable steps for consumers to take to protect themselves, according to the FDA. Please direct your attention to those pages for the most up-to-date information on the investigation and for consumer protection information.
Outbreak and adverse event investigations that do not result in specific, actionable steps for consumers may or may not conclusively identify a source or reveal any contributing factors. Adverse event investigations rely on self-reported data. Although these reports may name a particular product, FDA will only indicate a product category in the table and will not publicly name a specific product until there is sufficient evidence to implicate that product as a cause of illnesses or adverse events. If a cause and/or contributing factors are identified that could inform future prevention, FDA commits to providing a summary of those findings.
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