Federal officials continue to investigate nine foodborne illness outbreaks even though three of the outbreaks have been declared over.
Also, the Food and Drug Administration says there will be more information released on an outbreak traced to cantaloupe that is no longer being investigated. The outbreak has been determined to be over, according to the agency.
“The vehicle of the outbreak was confirmed after the outbreak ended. Given the product(s) were no longer on the market, there was no ongoing risk to public health and no need to avoid eating cantaloupe. Additional information on this outbreak will be forthcoming,” according to the FDA.
The FDA did not report when the implicated cantaloupe was no longer available to the public. For more details on the outbreak, click here.
The agency has not reported the age range of patients or their states of residence in any of the outbreaks it has been investigating.
Three outbreaks that have been declared over but are still under investigation by the FDA include two outbreaks from the parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis.
One of those outbreaks was originally posted July 27 and has 42 confirmed patients. The FDA initiated traceback and testing efforts but has not reported what food is the subject of those efforts. The investigation remains open even though the outbreak is over.
The other Cyclospora cayetanensis outbreak that has ended with the investigation remaining open was originally posted by FDA on Aug. 3. There are 84 confirmed patients. Traceback, sample collection and onsite inspection was conducted but the FDA has not reported what is being traced or sampled or what location is being inspected.
Another outbreak is over but the investigation remains open. It involved E. coli from an unknown source and sickened 109 people. Of them 52 required hospitalization, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Both the CDC and FDA reported that the outbreak was linked to food from Wendy’s restaurants, specifically romaine lettuce used on sandwiches. However, both agencies continue to list the cause of the outbreak as unknown.
Ongoing outbreak investigations:
- For a Salmonella Senftenberg outbreak from a not yet identified food, the patient count is steady at 30. Traceback has begun but FDA has not reported what is being traced.
- A Salmonella Litchfield outbreak has sickened at least 28 patients. The source of the pathogen has not yet been identified. The FDA has initiated traceback efforts but has not reported what food or foods are being traced.
- For a Listeria monocytogenes outbreak from Brie and Camembert cheese an Outbreak Advisory was issued on Sept. 30. It reportied that six patients from six different states have been confirmed. Five have been hospitalized, according to the CDC.
- 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.
- 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 at least 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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