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Food Poison Journal

Food Poisoning Outbreaks and Litigation: Surveillance and Analysis

Clostridium perfringens tied to Rifle Rodeo

The Post Independent reports that Colorado health officials have confirmed that the 80 people who became ill after attending the Rifle Rodeo early this month were stricken with a foodborne illness.

Garfield County Public Health announced the state lab’s findings late Wednesday afternoon. Since the June 5 rodeo, the county and state health departments have had a team investigating the outbreak, using “nurses, licensed food inspectors, regional and state epidemiologists and the laboratory staff,” according to the county.

“Lab samples sent to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment came back positive for Clostridium perfringens – a leading cause of foodborne illness,” according to a county press release. “The illness is contracted from consuming large amounts of the bacteria, creating a toxin in the intestinal tract causing abdominal cramps and diarrhea.”

Several people posted on the Post Independent’s Facebook page or emailed to say they had eaten pulled pork sandwiches at the event.

County public health officials said last week that no food inspections, which are normally required at such public events, occurred because the department was not informed about food being served at the Rifle Rodeo, which was held at the county fairgrounds.

“The Rifle Rodeo is a privately organized event. It should be noted that this particular food vendor has a primary location that has been inspected, is licensed and is regulated. In the case of the Rifle Rodeo, temporary event and coordinator permits were not submitted, therefore Garfield County Public Health was not aware of or able to inspect food at the event prior to the June 5 outbreak,” said Yvonne Long, executive director for Garfield County Public Health.

“One thing that we want the public to know is that for public events it is the coordinator’s responsibility to find out and comply with the rules, regulations, permits, sales tax requirements and licenses required to host an event,” she said.

Clostridium perfringens are bacteria that produce toxins harmful to humans. Clostridium perfringens and its toxins are found everywhere in the environment, but human infection is most likely to come from eating food with Clostridium perfringens in it. Food poisoning from Clostridium perfringens is fairly common, but is typically not too severe, and is often mistaken for the 24-hour flu.

The majority of outbreaks are associated with undercooked meats, often in large quantities of food prepared for a large group of people and left to sit out for long periods of time. Because of this, it is sometimes referred to as the “food service germ.” Meat products such as stews, casseroles, and gravy are the most common sources of illness from C. perfringens. Most outbreaks come from food whose temperature is poorly controlled. If food is kept between 70 and 140 F, it is likely to grow Clostridium perfringens bacteria.

People generally experience symptoms of Clostridium perfringens infection 6 to 24 hours after consuming the bacteria or toxins. Clostridium perfringens toxins cause abdominal pain and stomach cramps, followed by diarrhea. Nausea is also a common symptom. Fever and vomiting are not normally symptoms of poisoning by Clostridium perfringens toxins.

Illness from Clostridium perferingens generally lasts around 24 hours, and is rarely fatal.

The Type C strain of Clostridium perfringens can cause a more serious condition called Pig-bel Syndrome. This syndrome can cause death of intestinal cells and can often be fatal.

To prevent infection by Clostridium perfringens, follow the these tips:

  • Cook foods containing meat thoroughly
  • If keeping foods out, make sure they maintain a temperature of 140 F (60 C)
  • When storing food in the refrigerator, divide it into pieces with a thickness of three inches or less so that it cools faster
  • Reheat foods to at least 165 F (74 C)

Clostridium perfringens.” Illinois Department of Public Health. Available at http://www.idph.state.il.us/Bioterrorism/factsheets/clostridium.htm.
Rohrs, Barbara. “Clostridium perfringens.” Ohio State University Extension Family and Consumer Sciences. Available at http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/5000/5568.html.

More Hummus Recalled over Listeria

ucm563830House of Thaller, a Knoxville Tennessee company, is voluntarily recalling selected 10 ounce packages of Hummus with Pine Nut Topping, because an ingredient supplier notified us that their ingredient has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

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.

These products were distributed nationwide through various grocery retailers from April 18, 2017 to June 13, 2017, and in Canada on April 20, 2017.

To date, no illnesses have been reported in relation to this product or recall.

To check your product for this recall, refer to the lot code printed on the top of the cup. The lot code will begin with a “USE BY” date followed by the letter “W” and a 7 digit code. This is the information to reference when checking your product against the recall list.

Brand Product Name Container UPC Expiration & Lot Code
Fresh Foods Market Artisan Hummus – Pine Nuts 72036027054 USE BY 23 JUN 2017A W1704176
USE BY 07 JUL 2017A W1704383
USE BY 15 JUL 2017A W1705037
USE BY 20 JUL 2017A W1705122
USE BY 02 AUG 2017A W1705296
USE BY 17 AUG 2017A W1706102
Lantana White Bean Hummus with Pine Nut & Herb Topping 896863001434 USE BY 19 JUN 2017A W1704129
USE BY 20 JUN 2017A W1704138
USE BY 22 JUN 2017A W1704161
USE BY 22 JUN 2017A W1704164
USE BY 22 JUN 2017A W1704165
USE BY 29 JUN 2017A W1704253
USE BY 29 JUN 2017A W1704254
USE BY 29 JUN 2017A W1704257
USE BY 30 JUN 2017A W1704274
USE BY 30 JUN 2017A W1704275
USE BY 04 JUL 2017A W1704346
USE BY 06 JUL 2017A W1704365
USE BY 06 JUL 2017A W1704366
USE BY 12 JUL 2017A W1704403
USE BY 12 JUL 2017A W1705004
USE BY 15 JUL 2017A W1705041
USE BY 15 JUL 2017A W1705044
USE BY 15 JUL 2017A W1705045
USE BY 18 JUL 2017A W1705088
USE BY 24 JUL 2017A W1705175
USE BY 24 JUL 2017A W1705176
USE BY 24 JUL 2017A W1705177
USE BY 26 JUL 2017A W1705199
USE BY 26 JUL 2017A W1705200
USE BY 27 JUL 2017A W1705201
USE BY 27 JUL 2017A W1705203
USE BY 27 JUL 2017A W1705207
USE BY 02 AUG 2017A W1705306
USE BY 02 AUG 2017A W1705307
USE BY 03 AUG 2017A W1705315
USE BY 03 AUG 2017A W1705316
USE BY 05 AUG 2017A W1705335
USE BY 05 AUG 2017A W1705336
USE BY 09 AUG 2017A W1705390
USE BY 10 AUG 2017A W1705401
USE BY 10 AUG 2017A W1705402
USE BY 15 AUG 2017A W1706065
Marketside Classic Hummus with Pine Nuts 681131138475 USE BY 28 JUN 2017A W1704194
USE BY 19 JUN 2017A W1704066
USE BY 19 JUN 2017A W1704065

The products come in 10 ounce, clear, round plastic cups with a clear or colored plastic lid:

  • Fresh Foods Market Artisan Hummus, Pine Nuts – clear lid edge
  • Lantana White Bean Hummus with Pine Nut & Herb Topping – white or beige striped lid edge
  • Marketside Classic Hummus with Pine Nuts – solid black lid edge

In June, we were notified by HVF, Inc., an ingredient supplier, of a recall involving Roasted Pine Nuts. HVF, Inc. supplied the Roasted Pine Nuts used to create the Topping/Garnish for selected varieties of Hummus with Pine Nut Topping. Routine sampling of a different item produced by the supplier for a different company revealed positive Listeria Monocytogenes findings. HVF, Inc. is recalling all products made in their facility during the time of the potential contamination.

A Wedding gone bad – Monteverde at Oldstone in Cortlandt Manor

FIOS1 reports that on June 10, 2017 was the day Jay and Jennifer Gorinson had been dreaming of: a wedding that seemed as perfect as can be. But in the days following, the newlyweds faced a nightmare.

“We were notified on the first day of our honeymoon of a potential infection of hepatitis A,” said Jay Gorinson, the groom.

The couple’s nearly 200 guests are at risk for Hepatitis A. The Health Department confirmed that a bartender at their wedding venue, Monteverde at Oldstone in Cortlandt Manor, was infected.

“It’s embarrassing. The first notification that I had to put out about our marriage was warning our guests, family members and loved ones about a potential virus infection,” continued Gorinson.

The viral liver disease is transmitted by ingesting contaminated food, water, or in case, possibly through an infectious person. Gorinson detailed just how many people were at risk of contamination:

“All attendees essentially that may have been inside the mansion, including my 1 and 3-year-old nephew and niece, who just got vaccinated today as well and incurred about $700 worth of charges that I contacted Monteverde about today and they said it was an unfortunate circumstance and they had no further comment after that.”

The newlyweds spent Tuesday at the Health Department getting vaccinated like most of their attendees nationwide have had to do. They say they reached out to the venue for about a week and it wasn’t until today that they heard from them for the first time.

“Why didn’t Monteverde contact us? It’s just sad, embarrassing, and most of all frustrating that we’re not getting any type of communication really,” added Gorinson.

Since then, the county officials have worked to locate Montverde guests, notify them and offer a vaccination option, according to Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino:

“There are now more than 200 people or so that we are trying to contact in 10 states, the District of Columbia, NYC – so it’s a monumental effort by the Health Department to reach everybody just so they are safe.”

Hummus Recalled Due to Listeria

Hummus Recall_1497884824252_9853473_ver1.0Harris Teeter announced on Monday a recall of the Fresh Foods Market Artisan Hummus Pine Nuts for potential listeria contamination.

Harris Teeter immediately removed the product from their shelves once their supplier, Lantana Foods, informed them learned of the recall.

Shoppers who purchased this item should not consume it.