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Food Poison Journal

Food Poisoning Outbreaks and Litigation: Surveillance and Analysis

Staphylococcal Enterotoxin Prompts Chicken Recall

Murry’s Inc. of Lebanon, PA, is recalling approximately 31,689 pounds of gluten-free breaded chicken products that may be contaminated with Staphylococcal enterotoxin, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Saturday.

The products have a best-by date of Aug. 9, 2015. The following products are subject to recall:

  • 12-oz. boxes of “Bell & Evans Gluten Free Breaded Chicken Breast Nuggets.”
  • 10.5-oz. boxes of “Bell & Evans Gluten Free Breaded Chicken Breast.”

The products subject to recall bear the establishment number “P-516” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These products were shipped to retail locations nationwide.

The problem was discovered by the Colorado Department of Agriculture during a retail surveillance and sampling program funded by USDA at a Federal Emergency Response Network lab. After being notified of the positive test result, FSIS conducted traceback activities.

FSIS and the company have received no reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about a reaction should contact a healthcare provider.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.

Consumers and media with questions about the recall can contact Murry’s customer service, at (717) 273-9361.

Staphylococcal food poisoning is a gastrointestinal illness. It is caused by eating foods contaminated with toxin-producing Staphylococcus aureus.

Staphylococcus aureus is a common bacterium found on the skin and in the noses of healthy people and animals. Staphylococcus aureus can produce seven different toxins that are frequently responsible for food poisoning.

Staphylococcal enterotoxins are fast-acting, sometimes causing illness in as little as 30 minutes. Symptoms usually develop within one to six hours after eating contaminated food. Patients typically experience several of the following: nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. The illness is usually mild, and most patients recover after one to three days.

To prevent Staphylococcal contamination, keep kitchens and food-serving areas clean and sanitized. Keep hot foods hot (more than 140 degrees F) and cold foods cold (40 degrees F or less). Make sure to wash hands and under fingernails vigorously with soap and water before handling and preparing food. Do not prepare food if you have an open sore or wound on your hands or if you have a nose or eye infection.

Aspen Foods Recalls 28 Tons of Chicken Following Salmonella Outbreak

Aspen Foods Division of Koch Meats, a Chicago, Il., based establishment, is recalling 28,980 pounds of chicken products that may be contaminated with a particular strain of Salmonella Enteritidis, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today. FSIS requested Aspen Foods conduct this recall because this product is known to be associated with a specific illness cluster.

The recalled product includes partially prepared chicken products sold by retailers under the Antioch Farms brand name, with “sell by” dates of October 1, 2015 and October 7, 2015. The products subject to recall bear the establishment number “P-1358” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The chicken products were produced on July 2, 2014 and July 8, 2014. These products were shipped to retail stores and distribution centers in Minnesota.

The product is identified as:

• Single 5 once plastic packets of Raw Stuffed Chicken Breast Breaded, Boneless Breast of Chicken with Rib Meat “A La Kiev”

FSIS was notified of an investigation of Salmonella Enteritidis illnesses on October 9, 2014. Working in conjunction with Minnesota Department of Health, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, FSIS determined that there is a link between the Chicken Kiev from Aspen Foods Division of Koch Foods and this illness cluster. Based on epidemiologic investigation, 6 case-patients have been identified in Minnesota with illness onset dates ranging from August, 17, 2014 to September, 27, 2014. Among the 6 case-patients with available information, 1 case-patient was hospitalized; 0 deaths have been reported. All 6 case-patients reported chicken Kiev consumption prior to illness onset. Samples of product collected during the course of this investigation by Minnesota Department of Agriculture tested positive for Salmonella Enteritidis with the outbreak strain. It is not known at this time if this outbreak strain has any drug resistance. On October 17, 2014 FSIS received evidence that linked the illnesses associated with this outbreak to a specific product or production lot. Evidence that is required for a recall includes obtaining case-patient product that tests positive for the same particular strain of Salmonella that caused the illness, and packaging on product that clearly links the product to a specific facility and a specific production date, which were all met. FSIS is continuing to work with our public health partners on this investigation and will provide updated information as it becomes available.

Consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses. The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating the contaminated product. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days. Most people recover without treatment. In some persons, however, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Older adults, infants, and persons with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop a severe illness. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact their health care provider.

Salmonella:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Salmonella outbreaks. The Salmonella lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Salmonella and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $600 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Salmonella lawyers have litigated Salmonella cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as cantaloupe, tomatoes, ground turkey, salami, sprouts, cereal, peanut butter, and food served in restaurants.  The law firm has brought Salmonella lawsuits against such companies as Cargill, ConAgra, Peanut Corporation of America, Sheetz, Taco Bell, Subway and Wal-Mart.

 

Raw Milk Cause of Durand High School Campylobacter Outbreak

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), the Wisconsin State Lab of Hygiene (WSLH), the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) and the Pepin County Health Department have been working on an investigation into an outbreak of illnesses that affected some members of the football team and coaching staff at the Durand Jr/Sr High School who attended a team dinner on September 18th, 2014. Testing performed at the Wisconsin State Lab of Hygiene and area labs and clinics confirmed that the outbreak was caused by Campylobactor jejuni bacteria.

As part of the investigation, DHS interviewed all of the football team members (ill and well) and coaching staff to assess illnesses and ask questions about things they may have been exposed to (activities, foods, water sources, etc.) in the days before becoming ill. In a comparison of the interview responses from ill and well team members, consumption of raw milk was the only food item associated with illness.

At the request of DHS, DATCP staff collected cow manure specimens. Wisconsin State Lab of Hygiene test results (genetic fingerprinting) show that the bacteria that caused diarrheal illness among individuals who drank the unpasteurized (raw) milk at the potluck was the same bacteria strain found on the farm that supplied the raw milk.

Campylobacter jejuni bacteria can cause diarrhea, which can be bloody, abdominal cramping, fever, nausea and vomiting. Campylobacter can be transmitted by consuming food contaminated directly or indirectly by animal feces or handled by someone with the infection who has not adequately washed hands after using the bathroom.

Campylobacter:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Campylobacter outbreaks. The Campylobacter lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Campylobacter and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $600 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Campylobacter lawyers have litigated Campylobacter cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of sources, such as raw milk and municipal water.

Crab Legs Recalled Over Listeria

Rome Packing Co., Inc. has issued a voluntary recall of Ocean’s Catch brand All Natural Jonah Crab Leg Meat after routine product sampling by the company determined some of the finished products may have been contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria.

Listeria monocytogenes, is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

No illnesses have been reported to date. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them and return them to the place of purchase for a refund or discard them.

The list of recalled products include fresh and frozen products.

The list of fresh recalled products are packaged in round plastic containers (tub with snap-on lid), sold as refrigerated, includes:

5 ounce Ocean’s Catch All Natural Fresh Jonah Crab Leg Meat: lot number 0104804 with a sell by date before 10/15/14.

6 ounce Ocean’s Catch All Natural Jonah Crab Combo Meat: lot number 0104791 with a sell by date before 10/13/14; lot number 0104666 with a sell by date before 10/15/14;

8 ounce Ocean’s Catch All Natural Fresh Jonah Crab Leg Meat: lot number 0104665 with a sell by date before 10/13/14; lot number 0104665 with a sell by date before 10/14/14; lot number 0104804 with a sell by date before 10/14/14; lot number 0104842 with a sell by date before 10/16/14;

8 ounce Ocean’s Catch All Natural Jonah Crab Combo Meat: lot number 0104787 with a sell by date before 10/14/14;

16 ounce Ocean’s Catch All Natural Fresh Jonah Crab Leg Meat: lot number 0104659 with a sell by date before 10/13/14; lot number 0104665 with a sell by date before 10/14/14; lot number 0104842 with a sell by date before 10/16/14;

16 ounce Ocean’s Catch All Natural Jonah Crab Combo Meat: lot number 0104806 with a sell by date before 10/14/14; lot number 0104845 with a sell by date before 10/16/14;

The list of frozen recalled products are packaged in plastic bags, sold frozen, includes:

5 pound bags of Ocean’s Catch All Natural Frozen Jonah Crab Leg Meat: lot number 0104842 with a sell by date before 4/16/16;

The products are distributed in Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, Illinois and California to retail stores including but not limited to: Shaw’s Supermarkets, Legal Sea Foods, and Harbor Fish Market.

Listeria:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Listeria outbreaks. The Listeria lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Listeria and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $600 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Listeria lawyers have litigated Listeria cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as cantaloupe, cheese, celery and milk.