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Salmonella cases down, but watch out for other foodborne bacteria
Foodborne illnesses often found in raw or undercooked shellfish have increased by 75% since 2006-2008, the CDC says.
April 17th, 2014
03:33 PM ET

Salmonella cases down, but watch out for other foodborne bacteria

You might want to think twice before heading out to your favorite oyster bar.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's annual report card on foodborne illnesses, vibrio infections - most frequently found in raw or undercooked shellfish - have increased by 75% since the CDC's previous analysis period, 2006-2008.

That's about 6,600 cases for every 100,000 people - and for every case that is reported, the CDC estimates there 142 more that aren't diagnosed.

The microbe that causes vibrio is found naturally in coastal saltwater. It only represents 1% of foodborne illness in the United States, according to the CDC, but that's still 35,000 cases of food poisoning each year. Vibrio infections are at their highest rate since the CDC started tracking nine foodborne illness-related microorganisms in 1996, according to the new report. FULL POST


Pet frogs carrying Salmonella make kids sick
Investigators traced the salmonella outbreak to contact with African dwarf frogs.
March 11th, 2013
12:01 AM ET

Pet frogs carrying Salmonella make kids sick

Raw meat is a notorious Salmonella carrier. It can also be found on unclean kitchen counters. An investigation published this week in the journal of Pediatrics suggests we should also look for the deadly bacteria in pet frogs.

Investigators from public health agencies across the United States found that African dwarf frogs are causing a nationwide outbreak of a specific Salmonella strain in children.

A group of health professionals make up the Salmonella Typhimurium Outbreak Investigation Team, which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Recently, the team has been examining the effects of African dwarf frogs on people’s health.

“Amphibians and reptiles should never be kept in homes with children less than 5 years old or with people who have immune deficiencies,” said lead author and CDC public health advisor Shauna Mettee Zarecki. This includes day care settings and nursing homes, she said.
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FDA: Several violations uncovered at Sunland's peanut plant
November 16th, 2012
01:00 PM ET

FDA: Several violations uncovered at Sunland's peanut plant

Health officials have found more clues about the nut product contamination that lead to at least 41 people getting sick this summer.

Conditions at the Sunland, Inc. facility in Portales, New Mexico, may have contributed to the contamination of peanut butter and almond butter products with salmonella bredeney, according to new observations posted on the Food and Drug Administration website Thursday. These conditions were observed during inspections of the facility that took place between September 17 and October 16.

Federal investigators determined that between June 2009 and August 2012, Sunland cleared - and in some cases distributed - peanut or almond butter products from 11 different lots, even though internal testing showed the presence of the salmonella bacteria.
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Peanut, nut butter recall expanded
October 5th, 2012
01:39 PM ET

Peanut, nut butter recall expanded

If you were checking the peanut butter in your pantry after a large recall was announced a couple of weeks ago, you may want to take another peek. More products are being recalled.

On September 24, Sunland, Inc. recalled all products manufactured at their Portales, New Mexico, processing plant with a "best if used by" date between May 1, 2012, and September 24, 2012. Now all products made at this peanut butter and nut manufacturing facility going back as far as March 2010 and September 24, when the plant was shut, are being recalled. 

The CDC is reporting that the number of people sickened by these products has risen to 35, up from 30 last week.
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Voluntary recall expanded due to possible Salmonella contamination
Sunland, Inc., has expanded a voluntary recall to include all products made at its peanut butter and nut manufacturing plant.
September 26th, 2012
04:59 PM ET

Voluntary recall expanded due to possible Salmonella contamination

Sunland, Inc., has expanded its voluntary recall to include all of the products manufactured at its peanut butter and nut manufacturing plant in Portales, New Mexico.

The plant was shut down on Saturday, after Trader Joe's recalled its Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter because it was linked to potential contamination with Salmonella, according to Katalin Coburn, Sunland's vice president for media relations.

Two days ago, the company expanded its voluntary recall to include all the peanut and almond butter products it makes. Now the remaining Cashew Butter, Tahini and Roasted Blanched Peanut Products, which are also manufactured at this plant, are being recalled too. FULL POST


Up to 1 million mangoes recalled in Salmonella outbreak
Officials are investigating "a multistate cluster" of Salmonella infections, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said.
August 30th, 2012
08:30 PM ET

Up to 1 million mangoes recalled in Salmonella outbreak

Up to 1 million mangoes are being recalled voluntarily because they may be contaminated with Salmonella, as a preventive measure in the wake of 103 infections nationwide, a food distributor announced Thursday.

The mangoes bear the Daniella brand sticker with one of the following PLU numbers: 3114, 4051, 4311, 4584 or 4959, said Splendid Products of Burlingame, California.

The mangoes were sold as individual fruit throughout the country, including at Costco, Save Mart Supermarkets, Food 4 Less, Ralph's, Topco stores, El Super, Kroger, Giant-Eagle, Stop & Shop, Aldi, and some Whole Foods stores, the produce firm said.

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Baby spinach recalled over salmonella concerns
May 23rd, 2012
05:16 PM ET

Baby spinach recalled over salmonella concerns

Consumers need to check their refrigerators because some organic baby spinach is being recalled after random testing found possible salmonella contamination in a finished package of spinach, according to a recall alert published on the FDA website on Tuesday. The sample was taken at a distribution center in Terrel, Texas, by the Texas Department of Agriculture on behalf of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  The USDA has a cooperative agreement with states to conduct regular random testing of fruits and vegetables.

"They [Texas Department of Agriculture] shipped the three randomly selected samples to the Ohio Department of Agriculture labratory," Mike Jarvis, a spokesman with the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service said. "The lab in Ohio has confirmed that it's salmonella and now we're waiting for the characterization - what kind of salmonella it is."

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USDA steps up testing for more E.coli strains in food products.
September 13th, 2011
02:51 PM ET

USDA steps up testing for more E.coli strains in food products.

In an effort to provide the American public with safer meat products, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday that it is taking new steps to fight six additional strains or serogroups of E.coli. The bacteria, which can grow in different types of foods, such as ground beef and tenderized steaks, can cause serious illnesses and in some cases, death in those who eat it. The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service will launch the testing program next March, to detect these dangerous pathogens and prevent them from reaching consumers.

“This is another opportunity to build on the work safety group (President's Food Safety Working Group) to make sure we are protecting the public from food borne illnesses,.” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Right now, the USDA allows some meat products to be sold, that have small traces of certain strains of E. coli. Once the new regulations are in place, if raw ground beef or other products contain the E. coli serogroups of O26, O103, O45, O111, O121 and O145 they will not be sold. Like E.coli O157:H7, which is the most recognized and deadliest strain of the bacteria and an E.coli strain that is not allowed on the market, these serogroups can cause severe illnesses, especially in the elderly and young children.

"The impact of food borne illness on a family can be devastating," said Under Secretary Elisabeth Hagen. "Consumers deserve a modernized food safety system that focuses on prevention and protects them and their families from emerging threats. As non-O157 STEC bacteria have emerged and evolved, so too must our regulatory policies to protect the public health and ensure the safety of our food supply."

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a nonprofit health advocacy group based in Washington, DC, backed the USDA’s move today to test for these other E. coli strains According to data collected by CSPI these other forms of E. coli have been linked to 10 outbreaks and nearly 700 illnesses in the U.S. since 1998.

In a statement released by the CSPI, today, the organization stated, “The new testing program will help prevent future outbreaks, as products testing positive for these strains will be diverted to further processing and not placed into commerce.”

CSPI officials also noted they are now asking the USDA to turn its attention to Salmonella; another deadly form of bacteria, traditionally found in raw meat and poultry. Although the USDA does test for high amounts of salmonella, the CSPI petitioned the agency to declare four of salmonella pathogens as unacceptable under the law, hoping to trigger the same testing protocols now being undertaken for deadly E. coli strains.


23-state Salmonella outbreak linked to papaya
July 25th, 2011
01:43 PM ET

23-state Salmonella outbreak linked to papaya

Contaminated papaya appears to be the cause of an outbreak of Salmonella in 23 states the Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers. The FDA says papayas imported from Mexico and distributed by Agromod Produce Inc. of McAllen, Texas, is likely the source of 97 cases of Salmonella agona. To date 10 people have been hospitalized but there have been no reported deaths. As a result, Agromod Produce has voluntarily recalled all papaya sold before July 23.

The cases were reported between January 1 and July 18 in Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio. Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. While ages ranged from 1 year to 91 years old, the average age of those stricken is 20. More than half of the cases are women. Texas had the most cases with 25 people falling ill.

FULL POST


Water frogs linked to illness in young kids
July 20th, 2011
10:53 AM ET

Water frogs linked to illness in young kids

Frogs might be cute to look at but they might be hazardous to your children's health, which is why The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  is warning parents to keep young kids away from water frogs and their habitats.

At least 241 people in the United States were sickened after being infected with Salmonella from African dwarf frogs.  More than two-thirds of the ill were under age 10,  and 30 percent of those infected were hospitalized, according to the CDC.  Health officials say these frogs are not safe pets for children under 5 years old.

"People need to be aware that these water frogs as well as other amphibians and reptiles can carry salmonella that can make people sick," says Dr. Casey Barton Behravesh, an epidemiologist at the CDC. "In this particular outbreak there is a unique strain that has been linked with African frogs associated with a single facility," she adds.

FULL POST


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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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