Articles Posted in FoodBorne Illness

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Shigella boydii

Shigella boydii (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Six people experienced the symptoms of food poisoning after eating at Newport Beach restaurant True Food Kitchen, reported the Orange County Register. After eating at the Fashion Island restaurant, which offers plant-based and other health-oriented options, on August 21, 23, 24, and 25, the diners came down with severe diarrhea and tested positive for the intestinal bacteria shigella. Investigators suspect the bacteria was passed from ‘person to person,’ as none of the victims ate the same dish. The county shut down True Food Kitchen on August 28, allowing it to reopen last Saturday after it sanitized the restaurant and disposed of all ready-to-eat foods. Replacement staff will be serving diners until all regular employees are tested and cleared to return to work.

Shigellosis as a Cause of Food Poisoning

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Peanut butter is a semi-solid and can therefor...

Peanut butter is a semi-solid and can therefore hold peaks. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Whether you buy your peanut or almond butter at Whole Foods, Trader Joes, or Ralphs, you should throw it out and contact the producer, nSpired Natural Foods Inc., for a refund. After routine testing of nSpired’s nut butters revealed the risk of Salmonella contamination, the Food and Drug Administration announced yesterday that the company would be voluntarily recalling several lots of its products.

The recall affects peanut, almond, and nut butters sold under the following brands: Arrowhead Mills, MaraNatha, Kroger, Safeway, Trader Joes, and Whole Foods’ 365 label. Four illnesses that may be related to the use of these products have been reported. For a complete listing of recalled items, visit the FDA’s website.

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Yummy peach!

Yummy peach! (Photo credit: skyseeker)

Summer barbecues and picnics are often made sweeter with stone fruits like peaches, nectarines, and plums. This year, eating these fruits may leave you feeling pretty awful unless you’re certain they didn’t come from Wawona Packing Co. A supplier to Costco, Trader Joe’s, Kroger, and Walmart, which also operates Sam’s Club stores, Ralphs, and Food 4 Less, Wawona is voluntarily recalling these fruits nationwide, as well as pluots, that were packed at its Cutler, California, warehouses between June 1 and July 12 due to potential Listeria contamination discovered during internal testing. Consumers should avoid fruit with a sticker that says, ‘SWEET 2 EAT,’ reported CNN.

Listeria was last the focus of media attention in 2011, when infected cantaloupes from Colorado caused 147 people to become ill and claimed the lives of nearly 36 others. Caused by food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, Listeriosis presents with flu-like symptoms, such as fever, muscle aches, and diarrhea. Those with weakened immune systems, the elderly, infants, and pregnant women are susceptible to acute infections. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that listeriosis causes 260 fatalities and 1600 illnesses each year in the United States.

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Further investigations at the two Iowa farms to which the nationwide salmonella outbreak has been linked have revealed safety violations of regulations implemented by the Food and Drug Administration, FDA, in July. FDA officials found live mice, salmonella-infested water, and leaking manure. Contaminated chicken feed was initially found to be the source of the over 1,500 cases of salmonella poisoning recorded throughout the United States over the past few months, explains a California injury attorney.

Both farms have been sited on numerous occasions in the past for safety violations. Austin “Jack” DeCoster, the owner of Wright County Egg, the farm responsible for the recall of 380 million eggs earlier this month, paid $2 million in fines in 1997 for health and safety violations, including unguarded machinery, electrical hazards, and unsanitary conditions, such as bacteria infestation; in 2000, the state of Iowa prohibited him from building additional farms for violating environmental regulations, including allowing hog manure to leak into waterways; and, as recently as last June, he paid out $125,000 in fines for animal cruelty violations. Contaminated chicken feed found at Hillandale Farms-a major source of California’s eggs-was also linked to DeCoster’s farm.

“The fact that this individual has repeatedly jeopardized the public’s health and is still permitted to continue producing food for the population suggests a disturbing degree of inefficacy on the part of our country’s food and drug regulation system,” remarked a California injury attorney.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control, CDC, hundreds of Americans have become ill in the last 2 months due to salmonella-contaminated eggs sold throughout California and other states. The CDC has received reports for approximately 200 cases per week since early July, explains Orange County injury lawyer, James Ballidis. At this time, over 380 million eggs are affected.

The tainted eggs come from Wright County Farms in Galt, Iowa. This farm has had several violations and has spent millions in fines for past contamination issues, explains Orange County injury lawyer, James Ballidis. This is said to be the largest outbreak in the U.S. in 20 years. The following brands are unsafe to eat and should be returned to the store for a full refund. Albertsons, Farm Fresh, Glenview, Mountain Dairy, Ralphs, Boomsma, Lund, Pacific Coast and Kemp all are recalled with the specific plant numbers “P-1720” and “P-1942”. The plant number will be stamped under the best buy date on the side of the egg carton flap. Other tainted plant numbers are “P-1026”, “P-1413” and “P-1946”

The staggering impact of food borne disease in the United States is unacceptable and causes 76 million illnesses each year. Moreover, of those illnesses, 325,000 are hospitalized and 5,000 die. The Food and Drug Administration, FDA had installed new egg safety procedures in early July.

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