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Food Poison Journal

Food Poisoning Outbreaks and Litigation: Surveillance and Analysis

A History of Berry – Especially Strawberry – Foodborne Outbreaks – Especially Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A Linked to Townsend Farms Frozen Berries, March-July 2013

On May 31, 2013 the CDC announced that public health investigators had identified an outbreak of acute hepatitis A attributed to consumption of frozen mixed berries produced by Townsend Farms. As of September 20, 2013 162 patients had been identified…Read More »

Pomeberry Blend Frozen Berries 2012

On April 5, 2012, the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control warned the public not to consume Pomeberry Blend frozen berries, manufactured by Western Family, because they may be linked to an outbreak of hepatitis A. Eight cases of hepatitis A o…Read More »

Jaquith Strawberry Farm Strawberries 2011

An outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 was linked to eating fresh strawberries produced by Jaquith Strawberry Farm, in Oregon. The farm sold berries to buyers who in turn distributed them to roadside stands and farmers’ markets in Multnomah, Washington, Cla…Read More »

Connecticut Private Home Blackberries, Raspberries 2009

A confirmed outbreak of Cyclosporiasis occurred among people who had eaten blackberries or raspberries in a private home.…Read More »

Multistate Blueberries 2009

A confirmed outbreak of Salmonella Muenchen was associated with eating blueberries. The involved states were not described.…Read More »

Tennessee Banquet Facility Berries 2008

A confirmed outbreak of Cyclosporiasis occurred among people who had eaten berries while at a banquet facility in Tennessee. The type of berries was not described.…Read More »

California Workplace or Banquet Facility Mixed Berries 2008

A confirmed outbreak of Cyclosporiasis occurred among people who had eaten mixed berries at a workplace, or at a banquet facility, in California. The types of berries were not described.…Read More »

California Restaurant Ice Cream with Fresh Berries 2007

A confirmed outbreak of Norovirus occurred among people who had eaten ice cream with fresh berries while at a restaurant in California.…Read More »

Georgia Private Home Strawberries 2007

A confirmed outbreak of Norovirus occurred at a private home in Georgia. Strawberries were named as the vehicle of infection.…Read More »

Florida Restaurant Acai, Bananas, Strawberries, Sugar Cane Juice 2007

A confirmed outbreak of hepatitis A occurred among people who had consumed acai, bananas, strawberries, and sugar cane juice while at a restaurant in Florida.…Read More »

New York Private Home Susumber Berries 2006

Three people became ill after consuming Susumber berries at a private home. Susumber berries, members of the Nightshade family, were federally listed on the U.S. noxious weed list in 1995. The berries are commonly found in the tropics, and have been …Read More »

Strawberries or Blueberries 2006

An outbreak of E. coli O26 occurred in Massachusetts. The vehicles were strawberries or blueberries.…Read More »

Guatemalan Fresh Raspberries 1998

Outbreaks of cyclosporiasis were detected in Ontario, Canada. The related illnesses were associated with events held in May, in Ontario. They were also associated with the consumption of fresh raspberries. Traceback of the raspberries served at th…Read More »

Fresh Raspberries 1997

Beginning in April, the Centers for Disease Control was notified of 21 outbreaks of cyclosporiasis in the United States and Ontario, Canada. These clusters were associated with events such as receptions, banquets, or restaurants. In addition an out…Read More »

A&W Frozen Strawberries 1997

A large outbreak of hepatitis A was associated with the consumption of strawberries served at school. The strawberries had been imported from Mexico and processed/packaged in California by A&W. They were frozen and sold for commercial use in schoo…Read More »

Guatemalan Raspberries 1996

In May and June, laboratory confirmed cases of Cyclospora cayetanensis were reported in persons residing in the United States and Ontario,Canada. Eventually cases were found in twenty U.S. states and the District of Columbia and in the Canadian Prov…Read More »

Guatemalan Raspberries 1995

Raspberries served at two social events were linked to an outbreak of cyclosporiasis in Florida. The raspberries were purchased from separate sources and likely originated in Guatemala.…Read More »

Frozen Strawberries 1990

Frozen strawberries that had been processed at a single plant were linked to outbreaks of hepatitis A. In Geogia, illnesses occurred among students and teachers of an elementary school. Three months, later, in Montana, an outbreak involving the str…Read More »

Tropical Smoothie Cafes causing Hepatitis A Illnesses since May

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is investigating an outbreak of hepatitis A cases and has identified a potential association with smoothies from Tropical Smoothie Café restaurants in Virginia. On August 12, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notified VDH that genetic testing of multiple ill persons showed the illnesses were caused by a strain of hepatitis A that had been associated with past outbreaks due to frozen strawberries from Egypt. Frozen Egyptian strawberries used at Tropical Smoothie Café are thought to be the source of this outbreak. This product has been removed from use at all Tropical Smoothie locations in Virginia.

As of 12:00 pm on *August 29, 2016, 40 Virginia residents who had tested positive for hepatitis A reported consuming a smoothie at Tropical Smoothie Café prior to becoming ill. Approximately 55% of the residents, for whom information is available, have been hospitalized for their illness. The 40 ill residents range in age from 15-68. Onsets of illness for the 40 cases range from early May through mid-August. The common exposure shared by ill persons was not hypothesized until August, at which time VDH re-interviewed persons reported earlier in the year to confirm the link with smoothie consumption.

The investigation into this outbreak is ongoing.

More information:

*Updated daily

Hepatitis A:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Hepatitis A outbreaks. The Hepatitis A lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Hepatitis A 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 Hepatitis A lawyers have litigated Hepatitis A cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of sources, such as green onions, lettuce and restaurant food.  The law firm has brought Hepatitis A lawsuits against such companies as Subway, McDonald’s, Chipotle, Quiznos and Carl’s Jr.

If you or a family member became ill with a Hepatitis A infection after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Hepatitis A attorneys for a free case evaluation.

As many as Two Dozen Sick with Salmonella from Big G Potato Salad

The Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA) and the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) today jointly issued a consumer advisory for potato salads made in and sold by Big G Food Store in Marengo, Iowa.  Big G’s “Zesty Potato Salad” and “Traditional Potato Salad” have been implicated in several cases of foodborne illness reported in Iowa County.  Presumptive test results from the State Hygienic Laboratory at the University of Iowa indicate the presence of salmonella in these products.

Big G Food Store has voluntarily pulled the potato salads from its shelves, and is working with the state departments in the investigation of the reported illnesses.  The suspect salads were prepared in the store during the month of July.  Neither potato salad has been sold to the consuming public since last Friday evening, DIA Food & Consumer Safety Bureau Chief Steven Mandernach said.

IDPH is investigating several cases of possible illness associated with the potato salad. “The bottom line is that no one should eat this product,” said IDPH Medical Director, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk. “If you have it in your refrigerator, you should throw it away.”

Salmonella infection is a common bacterial disease that can cause illness and rarely, it can be severe.  Usually, people who get salmonella infection develop symptoms within 12 to 36 hours after ingesting the bacteria, but symptoms can appear as early as six hours and as late as three days after ingestion.

Symptoms of salmonella infection generally last four to seven days and include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dehydration
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle pains
  • Bloody stools

Most people get better without treatment, but in some cases, the diarrhea associated with a salmonella infection can cause dehydration, which can sometimes result in hospitalization. It is important whenever you have diarrhea to make sure you drink plenty of fluids. If you are ill, you should contact your health care provider.

Consumers who have purchased the Zesty or Traditional potato salad should throw it out and not return the product to the store.

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.

If you or a family member became ill with a Salmonella infection, including Reactive Arthritis or Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Salmonella attorneys for a free case evaluation.

14 in New Hampshire tied to E. coli Outbreak tied to Hamburger

The U.S. Department of Agriculture conducted an investigation into the Escherichia coli O157:H7 (E. coli) outbreak related to ground beef that the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) announced last week. As a result of their findings the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has issued a recall of approximately 8,800 pounds of raw ground beef products produced by PT Farm, LLC, of North Haverhill, NH, between June 6 and June 16, 2016.

There have now been 14 cases of illness associated with tainted ground beef in this outbreak investigation. These individuals became ill between June 17 and July 16, 2016 after consuming ground beef at a number of different locations. Among the 14 cases, 5 hospitalizations and no deaths have been reported.

“We are grateful that the USDA quickly investigated this situation and took swift action to help us protect the health of the people who may have purchased this ground beef,” said Marcella Bobinsky, Acting Director of Public Health at DHHS. “While the source of this outbreak has been identified, it is still important that consumers always avoid eating under-cooked ground beef whether at home or at a restaurant. E. coli can be a very serious illness especially for young children and people with compromised immune systems. We will continue to monitor for cases related to this recall.”

The specific retail locations where the beef was distributed are expected to be posted in the coming days: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/recalls-and-public-health-alerts/current-recalls-and-alerts. The recall includes the following items:

  • Various weights and various sizes of raw intact and raw non-intact “Chestnut Farms” beef products packed in cardboard boxes.
  • Various weights and various sizes of raw intact and raw non-intact “PT Farm” beef products packed in cardboard boxes.
  • Various weights and various sizes of raw intact and raw non-intact “Miles Smith Farm” beef products packed in cardboard boxes.
  • Various weights and various sizes of raw intact and raw non-intact “Robie Farm” beef products packed in cardboard boxes.

Due to the potential for this ground beef to be frozen for later use, it is important for consumers to check their freezers for any recalled product. Ground beef should be cooked to a temperature of at least 160°F or 70°C. It is best to use a thermometer, since color is not a very reliable indicator of ‘doneness.’ People should also prevent cross contamination in food preparation areas by thoroughly washing hands, counters, cutting boards, and utensils after they touch raw meat.

Although most strains of E. coli are harmless, others can cause illness. Escherichia coli O157:H7 is bacteria that causes severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting. If there is fever, it usually is not very high. Most people get better within 5–7 days. Some infections are very mild, but others are severe or even life-threatening. Very young children and the elderly are more likely to develop a potentially life-threatening complication known as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Antibiotics should not be used to treat this infection because they may increase the risk of HUS.

Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of E. coli outbreaks and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The E. coli lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of E. coli and other foodborne illness infections 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 E. coli lawyers have litigated E. coli and HUS cases stemming from outbreaks traced to ground beef, raw milk, lettuce, spinach, sprouts, and other food products.  The law firm has brought E. coli lawsuits against such companies as Jack in the Box, Dole, ConAgra, Cargill, and Jimmy John’s.  We have proudly represented such victims as Brianne Kiner, Stephanie Smith and Linda Rivera.

If you or a family member became ill with an E. coli infection or HUS after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark E. coli attorneys for a free case evaluation.