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Multiple Ice Creams Recalled Due to Listeria

AC Creamery Inc. of Anaheim, CA, is recalling its 16 ounce packages of “Manila Sky Purple Yumm Ice Cream” because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, 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.

The recalled “Manila Sky Purple Yumm Ice Cream” were distributed nationwide in retail stores and events such as; Florida Food & Lodging Show, Festival of Philippine Arts & Culture and California State University Pilipino American Student Association (CSUF PASA) Friendship Games

The product comes in a 16 ounce, paper cup marked with an expiration date of Mar 06, 2018 stamped on the bottom.

No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found samples positive for Listeria monocytogenes in the contract manufacturer’s, Dr. Bob’s of Upland, LLC, facility, and in finished product of another company’s brand, leading the contract manufacturer to recall all ice cream products produced this year.

Out of an abundance of caution, McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams is undertaking a voluntary recall of selected, 16 oz. (pint size) packages of ice cream produced by a contract manufacturer because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

The seven affected flavors, available only in pints, accounts for approximately 15% of the pint-packaged ice cream products carrying the McConnell’s brand label. All of the recalled products were manufactured and packaged in a facility owned by a contract manufacturer, Dr. Bob’s of Upland, LLC. No other products were affected. Ice cream produced at McConnell’s Santa Barbara facility are not included in the recall. No illnesses have been reported.

Listeria monocytogenes is an organism that 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 infections can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found samples positive for Listeria monocytogenes in the contract manufacturer’s facility and in finished product of another company’s brand, leading the contract manufacturer to recall all ice cream products it produced for McConnell’s and other ice cream companies this year.

Because this recall affects only McConnell’s products manufactured by the contract manufacturer facility, it is important that consumers carefully check the following flavor/code date combinations to be certain the correct products are removed.

The following flavors and “Best By” code dates are being recalled:

Dutchman’s Chocolate JUL 27 2017, OCT 01 2017 and OCT 05 2017
Mint Chip SEP 08 2017, SEP 30 2017, OCT 07 2017, DEC 01, 2017, DEC 30, 2017, JAN 04, 2018, JAN 05, 2018
Peppermint Stick JUL 25, 2017, JUL 26, 2017, SEP 30, 2017

 

Salted Caramel Chip OCT 07, 2017, OCT 20, 2017, DEC 22, 2017, JAN 06, 2018, JAN 07, 2018
Sweet Cream JUL 27, 2017, SEP 08, 2017, OCT 01, 2017, OCT 21, 2017, DEC 08, 2017, DEC 21, 2017, DEC 24, 2017
Turkish Coffee JUL 28, 2017, SEP 22, 2017, OCT 07, 2017, Dec 06, 2017
Vanilla Bean JUL 13, 2017, JUL 25, 2017, JUL 27, 2017, OCT 01, 2017, OCT 15, 2017, DEC 07, 2017, DEC 25, 2017, JAN 03, 2018, JAN 06, 2018

The recalled ice cream was distributed in AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MN, MS, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA and WI to retail stores.

The product comes in a 16-ounce (pint size) paper package marked with “Best By” lot numbers listed above and printed in black on the bottom of the carton.

Consumers who have purchased any of the seven 16-ounce (pint size) packages of McConnell’s ice cream should not eat these products and are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.

ISB Food Group, LLC of Los Angeles, California is recalling Nancy’s Fancy Butterscotch Budino Gelato and Nancy’s Fancy Peanut Butter with Crunchy Peanuts Gelato with expiration dates of March 18, 2017, because they were produced in a co-packing facility that has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, 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.

Nancy’s Fancy Butterscotch Budino Gelato and Nancy’s Fancy Peanut Butter with Crunchy Peanuts Gelato with expiration dates of March 18, 2017, were distributed from March to October 2016 in California, Oregon and Texas.

The product is in plastic pint-sized containers with the Nancy’s Fancy brand name, Butterscotch Budino flavor and Peanut Butter with Crunchy Peanuts flavor, specifically stamped on the bottom with the expiration date of March 18, 2017.

No illnesses have been reported to date, and no Nancy’s Fancy product has been found to be contaminated.

The recall is the result of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finding samples positive for Listeria monocytogenes in the facility of the contract manufacturer, Dr. Bob’s of Upland, LLC, and in finished product of an unrelated company’s brand that was manufactured at the Dr. Bob’s facility, leading the contract manufacturer to recall all ice cream products produced this year at its facility.   The continuous production line at Dr. Bob’s that tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes was used to produce Nancy’s Fancy Butterscotch Budino and Peanut Butter with Crunchy Peanuts flavors in March of 2016.  ISB Food Group has only used the Dr. Bob’s facility for co-packing once in 2016, in March, and will not produce in the Dr. Bob’s facility going forward.

ISB Food Group, LLC is recalling L.A. Creamery Honeycomb ice cream and L.A. Creamery Salted Caramel ice cream with expiration dates of March 18, 2017, because they were produced in a co-packing facility that has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, 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.

L.A. Creamery Honeycomb and L.A. Creamery Salted Caramel with expiration dates of March 18, 2017, were distributed from March to October 2016 in California, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Massachusetts.

The product is in paper 14 oz. ice cream containers with the L.A. Creamery brand name, Salted Caramel flavor and Honeycomb flavors, specifically stamped on the bottom of the container with the expiration date of March 18, 2017.

No illnesses have been reported to date, and no L.A. Creamery product has been found to be contaminated.

The recall is the result of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finding samples positive for Listeria monocytogenes in the facility of the contract manufacturer, Dr. Bob’s of Upland, LLC, and in finished product of an unrelated company’s brand that was manufactured at the Dr. Bob’s facility, leading the contract manufacturer to recall all ice cream products produced this year at its facility. The continuous production line at Dr. Bob’s that tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes was used to produce L.A. Creamery Salted Caramel and L.A. Creamery Honeycomb flavors in March of 2016.  ISB Food Group has only used the Dr. Bob’s facility for co-packing once in 2016, in March, and will not produce in the Dr. Bob’s facility going forward.

Colorado’s Weld County Adds to the Hepatitis A Warning

Several states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating a multistate outbreak of foodborne hepatitis A. Evidence indicates frozen strawberries imported from Egypt are the likely source of this outbreak. The recall affects all frozen strawberries and frozen strawberry products imported into the United States by the International Company for Agricultural Production & Processing (ICAPP) since January 1, 2016. The products were NOT offered for sale in retail stores such as grocery stores or food warehouses (e.g. Costco or Sam’s Club). The frozen strawberries were distributed to restaurants. Most of the outbreak-related human infections have occurred on the East coast. There are currently no hepatitis A cases in Colorado associated with this outbreak.

At this time, two establishments in Weld County served affected frozen strawberry products within the past 14 days:

  •  Fat Alberts restaurant (Greeley) served strawberries on top of dessert items, last served October 24, 2016.
  •  Red Rooster restaurant (Longmont) served strawberries on top of breakfast items, last served by October 28, 2016.

Hepatitis A is a contagious liver infection that results from exposure to the hepatitis A virus. Illness from hepatitis A generally begins around 28 days after exposure (a range of 15–50 days) and symptoms include:

  •  Fatigue
  •  Stomach pain
  •  Yellowing of the skin and eye (jaundice)
  •  Dark urine
  •  Clay-colored stool

Hepatitis A can range from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious illness lasting several months. In rare cases, the infection can lead to liver failure, particularly in individuals who have a pre-existing liver disease or weakened immune systems.

“If you have been exposed to hepatitis A, you can prevent infection by having a hepatitis A vaccine or immunoglobulin therapy within two weeks of exposure,” said Mark E. Wallace, MD, MPH, Executive Director of the Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment. “If it has been more than 14 days since you have eaten these berries, the vaccine won’t be effective in preventing infection.”

If you ate items containing strawberries from the above listed locations, contact your health care provider to discuss your options. Certain pharmacies also may offer hepatitis A vaccine. Visit vaccinefinder.org for locations near you. If you have been vaccinated for hepatitis A, you do not need to be vaccinated again, even if you ate the affected strawberries.

Vaccinations are also available at the Weld County Health Department main office (1555 North 17th Avenue, Greeley) and the Southwest Weld County Health Department satellite office (4209 County Road 241⁄2 Road, Longmont— I-25 and Hwy 119) during normal business hours. Call 970-400-2703 for an appointment.

For more information, Weld County residents may contact COHelp at 1-877-462-2911 or 303-389-1687. COHelp is available 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday – Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.

More ill with Hepatitis A in Virginia

statemap-2Arkansas, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Virginia, Wisconsin, West Virginia and CDC, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are continuing to investigate a multistate outbreak of foodborne hepatitis A. Information available at this time does not indicate an ongoing risk of acquiring hepatitis A virus infection at Tropical Smoothie Café’s, as the contaminated food product has been removed as of August 8. Symptoms of hepatitis A virus infection can take up to 50 days to appear.

As a result, CDC continues to identify cases of hepatitis A related to the initial contaminated product. As of September 14, 2016:

127 people with hepatitis A have been reported from eight states: Arkansas (1), Maryland (12), New York (3), North Carolina (1), Oregon (1), Virginia (102), West Virginia (6), and Wisconsin (1).

47 ill people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Epidemiologic and traceback evidence indicate frozen strawberries imported from Egypt are the likely source of this outbreak.

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 Costco, Subway, McDonald’s, Red Robin, Chipotle, Quiznos and Carl’s Jr.  We proudly represented the family of Donald Rockwell, who died after consuming hepatitis A tainted food and Richard Miller, wo required a liver transplant after eating food at a Chi-Chi’s restaurant.

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.

Waikiki Chart House Latest Link in Hawaii Hepatitis A Outbreak

qfedb-144-1The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed an additional case of hepatitis A in a food service employee on Oahu.

The infected case worked at Chart House Restaurant, located at 1765 Ala Moana Boulevard in Honolulu on Sept. 1–4 and 8–11, 2016.

DOH is providing this information to the public as a precaution in an attempt to prevent any new cases. The likelihood that patrons of this business will become infected is very low. To date, DOH has confirmed a total of 271 cases of hepatitis A as part of this outbreak investigation. Updated case counts and information are provided each Wednesday along with a complete list of food service establishments that have had employees diagnosed with hepatitis infection within the past 50 days at the following link: http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/hepatitis-a-outbreak-2016.

Vaccination provides the best protection from hepatitis A, so any person who consumed food or beverage products prepared or served at this business during the identified periods may want to contact their healthcare providers about receiving a vaccine or immune globulin. This may provide some protection against the disease if administered within two weeks after exposure. A statewide list of vaccinating pharmacies can be found at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/files/2013/07/IMM_Adult_Resource_List.pdf or by calling the Aloha United Way information and referral line at 2-1-1.

Help prevent the spread of hepatitis A by washing your hands often and thoroughly, especially after using the bathroom and before preparing food. For more information on proper handwashing go to: http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/dib/infectious-disease-surveillance/handwashing.

Long Island Restaurant Trento Linked to Hepatitis A Scare

The Suffolk County Department of Health Services is investigating a case of Hepatitis A virus in an individual who worked at the restaurant Trento, located at 1058 Broadhollow Rd., Farmingdale, NY.

Patrons who consumed a beverage at this establishment on the dates of July 19, 23, 26, 29 and 30 may have been exposed to Hepatitis A. Preventive treatment for Hepatitis A virus can help to prevent or lessen the severity of illness when given within two weeks of exposure.

SCDHS will offer free Hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin (IG) to individuals who consumed beverages at this establishment on July 29 or July 30, 2016. Treatment will be offered at the Suffolk County Department of Health Services at 3500 Sunrise Hwy., Bldg. 200, Suite 124, Great River, NY 11739 at the following times:

Friday, August 12, 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Saturday, August 13, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Individuals who were potentially exposed may also receive preventive treatment from their healthcare providers. Preventive treatment is not recommended for individuals potentially exposed before July 29, 2016. Those individuals should be aware of the signs and symptoms of Hepatitis A and contact their health care provider if they become ill.

Hepatitis A is an inflammation of the liver caused by the Hepatitis A virus. The virus may be spread by consuming food or drink that has been handled by an infected person. It may also be spread from person to person by putting in the mouth something that has been contaminated with fecal material of a person with hepatitis A. Casual contact, as in an office or school setting, does not spread the virus.

Social Kitchen and Bar in Birmingham tied to Hepatitis A Scare

Oakland County Health Division and Wayne County Wellness Services Division, in coordination with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, have identified Hepatitis A infection in a food service worker at the Social Kitchen and Bar located at 225 E Maple Road, Birmingham, in Oakland County. The food service worker is a resident of Wayne County.

Persons who consumed any food or drinks at this food establishment between July 16, 2016, and Aug. 6, 2016, may have been exposed to the Hepatitis A virus. Patrons should monitor for symptoms of Hepatitis A infection which include sudden onset of abdominal discomfort, dark urine, fever, diarrhea, and yellow skin and eyes.  Oakland County Health Division is conducting outreach to restaurant employees to recommend prophylaxis treatment.

Hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin (IG) may provide protection against the disease if given within two weeks after exposure. Therefore, those who consumed food or beverage at the restaurant between July 27, 2016, and Aug. 6, 2016, should promptly contact their healthcare provider to receive vaccination. Hepatitis A vaccine may be available at some major pharmacies in Michigan.  People who have had Hepatitis A disease or previously received two doses of the Hepatitis A vaccine do not need to be immunized for Hepatitis A again.

Time from exposure to onset of illness (incubation period) is typically 15 to 50 days. Duration of illness typically lasts several weeks to several months. Treatment of Hepatitis A is supportive, and most people will recover without complications.

While vaccination provides the best protection, frequent handwashing with soap and warm water after using the bathroom and before preparing food can help prevent the spread of Hepatitis A. Appropriately cooking foods can also help prevent infection.

Anyone who develops symptoms of Hepatitis A infection should stay home and contact their healthcare provider.  Please call your local health department if you have any questions or require assistance in locating Hepatitis A vaccine or IG. The Oakland Health Division can be reached at 800-848-5533 from Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Wayne County Wellness Services Division can be reached at 734-727-7078 from Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Another Salmonella “Sproutbreak” – It is Time for a Warning Label

big-map-8-4-16Thirty people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella have been reported from nine states – Colorado 13, Kansas 8, Minnesota 1, Missouri 1, Nebraska 2, New York 1, Oregon 1, Texas 1 and Wyoming 2.

Of those ill people, 24 were infected with Salmonella Reading, 1 was infected with Salmonella Abony, and 5 were infected with both.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from May 21, 2016 to July 20, 2016. Ill people range in age from less than 1 year to 72, with a median age of 30. Fifty-three percent of ill people are female. Five ill people have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported.

Epidemiologic and traceback evidence available at this time indicate that alfalfa sprouts supplied by Sprouts Extraordinaire of Denver, Colorado are the likely source of this outbreak. Ill people in the current outbreak reported eating raw alfalfa sprouts on sandwiches from several different restaurants.

Federal, state, and local health and regulatory officials performed a traceback investigation from five restaurants where ill people reported eating alfalfa sprouts. This investigation indicated that Sprouts Extraordinaire supplied alfalfa sprouts to all five of these locations.

On August 5, 2016, Sprouts Extraordinaire recalled its alfalfa sprout products from the market due to possible Salmonella contamination. These products were sold in 5-pound boxes labeled “Living Alfalfa Sprouts.” CDC recommends that restaurants and other retailers do not sell or serve and consumers do not eat recalled alfalfa sprouts supplied by Sprouts Extraordinaire.

It is time for a sprout warning label.

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According the FDA’s own 1999 advisory, Recommendations on Sprouted Seeds, sprouts have been increasingly implicated in foodborne outbreaks.

As far back as September 1998, the FDA issued a warning against sprouts urging:

children, pregnant women and the elderly should not eat alfalfa sprouts until growers find a way to reduce the risk of a potentially deadly bacteria that infects some sprouts, the Food and Drug Administration said this week. The FDA, which is investigating sprout industry practices, said children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems should avoid eating sprouts.

Here is the CDC warning :

Sprouts Not Healthy Food for Everyone

Children, the elderly, and persons whose immune systems are not functioning well should not eat raw sprouts, because current treatments of seeds and sprouts cannot get rid of all bacteria present. Persons who are at high risk for complications from foodborne illness should probably not eat raw sprouts, according to an article in the current issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases, CDC’s peer-reviewed journal, which tracks new and reemerging infectious diseases worldwide.

Although sprouts are often considered a “health food,” the warm, humid conditions needed for growing sprouts from seeds are also ideal for bacteria to flourish. Salmonella, E. coli, and other bacteria can grow to high levels without affecting the appearance of the sprouts. Researchers have treated both seeds and sprouts with heat or washed them in solutions of chlorine, alcohol, and other chemicals. Some of these disinfectants reduced the levels of bacteria, but a potential hazard remained, especially for persons with weak immune systems. High temperatures that would kill the bacteria on the seeds would also keep them from sprouting. Until an effective way is found to prevent illness from sprouts, they should be eaten with caution, if at all.

Barfblog does a great job of tracking sprout outbreak through 2016.  Outbreak Database carries on too – through 2016.

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.

Oahu Hepatitis A Outbreak Spikes to Nearly 100

doh-largeThe Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) is investigating a cluster of hepatitis A infections on Oahu.  HDOH staff are conducting interviews with the cases in an effort to identify the source of infection.

Identifying the source of infection continues to be a challenge because of the long incubation period of the disease and the difficulty patients have in accurately recalling the foods consumed and locations visited during the period when infection could have taken place.

Healthcare providers have been informed and are asked to notify HDOH immediately if they have a patient they suspect may be infected.

Individuals who are interested in being vaccinated should contact their healthcare providers.

As of July 26, 2016*:Since the last update, HDOH has identified 19 new cases of hepatitis A.  All cases have been in adults, 29 have required hospitalization.

All of the cases were on Oahu during their exposure period. Four individuals now live on the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, and Maui.

CONFIRMED CASES OF HEPATITIS A
93

Onset of illness has ranged between 6/12/16 – 7/19/16.

Unvaccinated contacts of cases should talk to their healthcare providers about the possibility of receiving hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin, which may provide some protection against the disease if administered within the first two weeks after exposure.

A contact is defined as:

  • All unvaccinated household members
  • All unvaccinated sexual contacts
  • Anyone sharing illicit drugs with a case
  • Anyone sharing food or eating or drinking utensils with a case
  • Anyone consuming ready-to-eat foods prepared by an infectious food handler with diarrhea or poor hygiene

Note: A food handler is any person who directly prepares, serves, or handles food.

Unvaccinated food handlers who are contacts of cases must have a negative hepatitis A IgM test before they return to work.

An employee of the following food service business(es) has been diagnosed with hepatitis A. This list does notindicate these businesses are sources of this outbreak; at this time, no infections have been linked to exposure to these businesses. The likelihood that patrons of these businesses will become infected is very low. However, persons who have consumed food or drink products from these businesses during the identified dates of service should contact their healthcare provider for advice and possible preventive care.

Establishment Island Location Dates of Service
Baskin-Robbins Oahu Waikele Center June 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 25, 27, 30, and July 1 and 3, 2016
Sushi Shiono Hawaii Waikoloa Beach Resort, Queen’s MarketPlace (69-201 Waikoloa Beach Drive) July 5-8, 11-15, and 18-21, 2016
Taco Bell Oahu Waipio (94-790 Ukee Street) June 16, 17, 20, 21, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30, and July 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 11, 2016

 

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.

It is Past Time to Vaccinate Restaurant Employees – Hawaii is Latest Example

Pay the $50 to protect your employee and customers – especially in a State that survives in part on tourism.

Last week the Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) reported a confirmed case of Hepatitis A in a food service employee at the ice cream specialty store, Baskin-Robbins, located at the Waikele Center in Waipahu. The department is advising persons who consumed any food or drink products from this store between June 17 and July 3, 2016 (actual dates: June 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 25, 27, 30, and July 1 and 3) they may have been exposed to the disease.

Today DOH has confirmed a new case of hepatitis A infection in a food service employee. The employee worked at the fast food restaurant, Taco Bell, located in Waipio at 94-790 Ukee Street. The department is advising persons who consumed any food or drink products from this store from June 16 through July 11, 2016 (actual dates: June 16, 17, 20, 21, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30, and July 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 11) that they may have been exposed to the disease.

These individuals appear to be two in a growing number of ill reported to DOH. Since the outbreak began, there have been 52 cases of hepatitis A reported to and now confirmed by DOH. All cases have been in adults on Oahu, 16 have required hospitalization.  One man is reported to need a liver transplant.

And, it is not like we have not seen this before:

Hardly a month passes without a warning from a health department somewhere that an infected food handler is the source of yet another potential hepatitis A outbreak. Absent vaccinations of food handlers, combined with an effective and rigorous hand-washing policy, there will continue to be more hepatitis A outbreaks. It is time for health departments across the country to require vaccinations of food-service workers, especially those who serve the very young and the elderly.

Hepatitis A is a communicable disease that spreads from person-to-person. It is spread almost exclusively through fecal-oral contact, generally from person-to-person, or via contaminated food or water. Hepatitis A is the only foodborne illness that is vaccine-preventable. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), since the inception of the vaccine, rates of infection have declined 92 percent.

CDC estimate that 83,000 cases of hepatitis A occur in the United States every year, and that many of these cases are related to food-borne transmission. In 1999, more than 10,000 people were hospitalized due to hepatitis A infections, and 83 people died. In 2003, 650 people became sickened, four died, and nearly 10,000 people got IG (immunoglobulin) shots after eating at a Pennsylvania restaurant. Not only do customers get sick, but also businesses lose customers or some simply go out of business.

Although CDC has not yet called for mandatory vaccination of food-service workers, it has repeatedly pointed out that the consumption of worker-contaminated food is a major cause of foodborne illness in the U.S.

Hepatitis A continues to be one of the most frequently reported, vaccine-preventable diseases in the U.S., despite FDA approval of hepatitis A vaccine in 1995. Widespread vaccination of appropriate susceptible populations would substantially lower disease incidence and potentially eliminate indigenous transmission of hepatitis A infections. Vaccinations cost about $50. The major economic reason that these preventive shots have not been used is because of the high turnover rate of food-service employees. Eating out becomes a whole lot less of a gamble if all food-service workers faced the same requirement.

According to CDC, the costs associated with hepatitis A are substantial. Between 11 percent and 22 percent of persons who have hepatitis A are hospitalized. Adults who become ill lose an average of 27 days of work. Health departments incur substantial costs in providing post-exposure prophylaxis to an average of 11 contacts per case. Average costs (direct and indirect) of hepatitis A range from $1,817 to $2,459 per case for adults and from $433 to $1,492 per case for children younger than 18. In 1989, the estimated annual direct and indirect costs of hepatitis A in the U.S. were more than $200 million, equivalent to more than $300 million in 1997 dollars.  A new CDC report shows that, in 2010, slightly more than 10 percent of people between the ages of 19 and 49 got a hepatitis A shot.

Vaccinating employees make sense.  It is moral to protect customers from an illness that can cause serious illness and death. Vaccines also protect the business from the multi-million-dollar fallout that can come if people become ill or if thousands are forced to stand in line to be vaccinated to prevent a more serious problem.

UK E. coli Outbreak Linked to Salad – 155 sick with 2 dead

On 14 July Public Health England (PHE) is continuing to investigate an outbreak of E. coli O157, which appears to be associated with eating mixed salad leaves.

Following the last update on 5 July, PHE can now confirm that 151 cases of this strain of E. coli have been identified (figure correct as at 13 July 2016). This is 144 in England, 6 in Wales and 1 in Scotland, with the South West of England particularly affected. 62 of the cases are known to have received hospital care and sadly, 2 of the individuals with E.coli O157 infection have died.

Dr Isabel Oliver, director of PHE’s field epidemiology service, said:

PHE has been working to establish the cause of the outbreak and has identified that several of the affected individuals ate mixed salad leaves including rocket leaves prior to becoming unwell. Currently, the source of the outbreak is not confirmed and remains under investigation; we are not ruling out other food items as a potential source.

PHE is using various approaches including whole genome sequencing (WGS) technologies to test samples from those affected. WGStechnologies are at the forefront of improving the diagnosis of infectious diseases and this testing has indicated that the strain involved is likely to be an imported strain, possibly from the Mediterranean area.

PHE is also working closely with the Food Standards Agency to trace, sample and test salad products grown in the UK and other parts of Europe. All food sample results to date have been negative for E.coli O157, but it’s important to be aware that where food has been contaminated with E.coli O157, it is not always possible to identify the bacteria on food testing.

As an additional precautionary measure, we have advised a small number of wholesalers to cease adding some imported rocket leaves to their mixed salad products pending further investigations.