TORONTO – Using crowdsourced data for foodborne outbreak investigations can work but poses a number of challenges, according to a session at the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) conference.

Jennifer Beal, from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Laura Gieraltowski, from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and

Continue Reading Experts discuss use of crowdsourced data in outbreak investigations

The FDA is reporting that the number of reports of illnesses linked to a dry cereal have almost doubled in the past week, reaching 446.

In a weekly update the Food and Drug Administration indicated that the number had increased from the 231 cases of “adverse events” reported on April
Continue Reading FDA says reports nearing 450 in outbreak associated with Lucky Charms cereal

The website iwaspoisoned.com, credited with helping to identify several high-profile foodborne illness outbreaks in recent years, has possibly done it again.

During the past several days, hundreds of people have complained about stomach aches, vomiting and diarrhea after eating Lucky Charms, one of General Mills’ most popular cereals.

The complaints
Continue Reading Consumers on iwaspoisoned.com complain of illnesses linked to Lucky Charms

Researchers are using text mining technology to analyze comments and reviews to improve the traceability of and communication about risky food products.

In a new study published by the journal “Risk Analysis”  the research team proposes a new Food Safety Monitoring System (FSMS) that uses consumer comments posted
Continue Reading Researchers use iwaspoisoned.com and Amazon reviews to improve food safety

Researchers are using text mining and supervised machine learning to try and identify unique words and phrases in online posts that identify consumers’ interactions with hazardous food products.

The team of scientists from San Diego State University, Virginia Tech, Loyola Marymount University and Radford University, say they hope this will
Continue Reading Study attempts food safety surveillance through text mining

Pita Hot, the Fullerton, CA restaurant with illnesses that were identified by the crowd-sourcing site iwaspoisoned.com was closed for a second time on June 25.

The Orange County Health Agency reported ongoing foodborne illness as the reason for the second closure. The agency suspended the restaurant’s operating permit. Pita
Continue Reading Fullerton, CA restaurant with illnesses reported by crowd-sourcing closed again

Editor’s note: The Orange County Health Care Agency provided the following statement to Food Safety News on June 24.

There are no regulatory requirements for length of closure period in relation to an ongoing foodborne illness outbreak investigation. The Orange County Health Care Agency Environmental Health Division conducted a thorough

Continue Reading Pita Hot allowed to reopen following reports of hundreds of customer illnesses

The crowd-sourcing site iwaspoisoned.com has again identified a restaurant that apparently has been making people sick, but there is not yet any official confirmation by local health authorities. 

In the past seven days, almost 200 people have named Pita Hot on East Chapman Avenue in Fullerton, CA, as the suspected
Continue Reading Potentially hundreds sickened by Orange County restaurant’s food

The website iwaspoisoned.com, credited with helping to identify several high-profile foodborne illness outbreaks in recent years, has released an app designed to help people decide where to go when dining away from home.

The app identifies restaurants with recent reports of food poisoning. Another feature allows users to easily
Continue Reading iwaspoisoned.com app gives the public and public health officials new tools