The FDA is continuing to investigate several foodborne illness outbreaks and has added a new one to its list.

As of Oct. 26, there had been 10 patients confirmed in the new outbreak of infections from E. coli O157:H7. The Food and Drug Administration has initiated traceback but has not reported what food or foods are being traced.

In other outbreak news, the FDA has issued an outbreak advisory for an outbreak of infections from Salmonella Litchfield in seafood. As of this past week, there were 33 confirmed patients in the outbreak. The FDA has been investigating the outbreak since late September and has traced the implicated fish to Mariscos Bahia Inc.

For two multistate outbreaks from the Cyclospora cayetanensis parasite, one with 84 patients and the other with 43, the FDA is reporting that sick people said they ate a variety of leafy greens before becoming ill. The FDA has closed both investigations. 

“For both investigations, CDC, FDA, and state and local partners conducted epidemiologic and traceback investigations and collected and analyzed the product and environmental samples. All samples collected were reported as negative for Cyclospora. Due to the lack of additional detail in the epidemiological data and the absence of supporting evidence collected from traceback and sample collection, FDA could not identify a specific product as the source of either outbreak,” according to an FDA update on the two outbreaks.

The FDA has closed investigations on two other outbreaks.

One of the outbreaks, from Salmonella Senftenberg, sickened 36 people. The FDA did not identify a source for Salmonella and the outbreak is considered over.

The other outbreak investigation has closely involved frozen crumbles sold under the Daily Harvest brand. The leek and lentil crumbles were associated with 393 consumer complaints of various illnesses including liver, bile duct, and gallbladder issues. At least 133 people were hospitalized and at least 25 patients reported they had to have their gallbladders removed. One possible source of the illnesses was tara flour used in the crumbles, but the FDA did not find a definitive link. The most recent person to become sick had symptoms begin on Sept. 4. 

Ongoing outbreak investigations

  • For a Listeria monocytogenes outbreak from Brie and Camembert cheese an Outbreak Advisory was issued on Sept. 30. It reported that six patients from six different states have been confirmed ill. Five have been hospitalized, according to the CDC.
  • The FDA has begun traceback and sample collection in an outbreak of E. coli O121:H19 linked to frozen falafel sold at Aldi stores in 36 states. At least 20 people had been confirmed sick as of Oct. 7. Sick people have been confirmed in Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The most recent illness onset was Sept. 13.
  • 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.
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