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Brain Eating Amoeba Found in Louisiana Drinking Water

Naegleria+fowleriLate Wednesday, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) confirmed the presence of the Naegleria fowleri amoeba in the St. Bernard Parish Water System at the site of a leaking sampling station. The water system, which serves 44,000 residents in St. Bernard Parish, was tested by DHH as part of the State’s new public drinking water surveillance program. DHH notified the water system and local officials Wednesday evening. The Department asked the water system to conduct a 60-day chlorine burn to ensure that any remaining amoeba in the system are eliminated. Parish President Dave Peralta confirmed that the system would conduct the burn out of an abundance of caution.

Based on current monthly chloramine residual compliance reports, the water system has met the requirements with Louisiana rules for chloramine disinfectant levels set forth by the 2013 by emergency rule and additional requirements in 2014 by the Louisiana Legislature. Five other sites on the system tested negative for the amoeba and one site did not meet the required level of disinfectant.

Tap water in St. Bernard Parish is safe for residents to drink, but the Department urges residents to avoid getting water in their noses. Naegleria fowleri is an amoeba that occurs naturally in freshwater.

As Naegleria fowleri infections are extremely rare, testing for this amoeba in public drinking water is still relatively new and evolving. Fewer than 10 deaths in the United States have been traced back to the amoeba, with three occurring in Louisiana over the last several years. The amoeba was identified in St. Bernard Parish Water System in the summer of 2013; the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed that the system no longer tested positive for the presence of the amoeba in February 2014.

DHH conducts sampling of public drinking water systems for Naegleria fowleri each summer when temperatures rise. So far, DHH has tested 12 other systems for the amoeba and still awaiting lab results for each.

Naegleria fowleri causes a disease called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), which is a brain infection that leads to the destruction of brain tissue. In its early stages, symptoms of PAM may be similar to bacterial meningitis.

DHH Safe Drinking Water Program staff sampled seven sites along the St. Bernard Parish Water System. Two of the seven sites tested positive for the amoeba. One positive test was at a site at the water treatment plant before the water was treated. The second positive test occurred at 948 Angela Street, which may have been contaminated by ground water due to a leak at the sampling station. Chlorine levels at the site of the positive sample did meet the 0.5 mg/l requirement. The Department will continue to consult with the water system and the CDC. The Department requested that the water system conduct a 60-day free chlorine burn in the water system. The chlorine burn will help reduce biofilm, or organic buildup, throughout the water system and will kill the amoeba. The parish has agreed to conduct this precautionary measure.

Precautionary Measures for Families:

According to the CDC, every resident can take simple steps to help reduce their risk of Naegleria fowleri infection. Individuals should focus on limiting the amount of water going up their nose. Preventative measures recommended by the CDC include the following:

  • DO NOT allow water to go up your nose or sniff water into your nose when bathing, showering, washing your face, or swimming in small hard plastic/blow-up pools.
  • DO NOT jump into or put your head under bathing water (bathtubs, small hard plastic/blow-up pools); walk or lower yourself in.
  • DO NOT allow children to play unsupervised with hoses or sprinklers, as they may accidentally squirt water up their nose. Avoid slip-n-slides or other activities where it is difficult to prevent water going up the nose.
  • DO run bath and shower taps and hoses for five minutes before use to flush out the pipes. This is most important the first time you use the tap after the water utility raises the disinfectant level.
  • DO keep small hard plastic/blow-up pools clean by emptying, scrubbing and allowing them to dry after each use.
  • DO use only boiled and cooled, distilled or sterile water for making sinus rinse solutions for neti pots or performing ritual ablutions.
  • DO keep your swimming pool adequately disinfected before and during use. Adequate disinfection means:

Residents should continue these precautions until testing no longer confirms the presence of the amoeba in the water system. Residents will be made aware when that occurs. For further information on preventative measures, please visit the CDC website here: http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/naegleria/prevention.html.

Don’t Eat Salmonella Sushi

mapAs of July 14, 2015, 60 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Paratyphi B variant L(+) tartrate(+) have been reported from 11 states. Eleven ill people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

This outbreak is caused by Salmonella Paratyphi B variant L(+) tartrate(+) bacteria, formerly known as Salmonella Java.

The illness caused by this bacteria typically includes diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12-72 hours after an exposure. Salmonella Paratyphi B variant L(+) tartrate(+) does not cause paratyphoid fever, enteric fever, or typhoid fever.

Epidemiologic and laboratory findings indicate that frozen raw tuna is the likely source of the infections.

Most ill people in the outbreak reported eating sushi made with raw tuna in the week before becoming sick.

The Minnesota Department of Health and Department of Agriculture isolated the outbreak strain from samples of unopened frozen raw tuna collected from a Minnesota grocery store where an ill person in this outbreak reported eating tuna sushi. The contaminated frozen raw tuna collected from the store was imported from Indonesia.

Restaurants and retailers should not sell or serve any tuna from the contaminated lot of frozen raw tuna tested by Minnesota imported from Indonesia by Osamu Corporation, or the previously recalled[PDF – 1 page] ground frozen yellowfin tuna also imported from Indonesia by Osamu Corporation.

People at higher risk for serious foodborne illness should not eat any raw fish or raw shellfish, regardless of an ongoing outbreak. These groups include:

  • Children younger than 5 years
  • Adults older than 65
  • Pregnant women
  • People with weakened immune systems.

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.

Beef Lips Denied Entry to USA

89723Bassett & Walker International, Inc., a Toronto, Canada, establishment, is recalling approximately 1,540 pounds of beef lip products produced in Australia that were not presented at the U.S. point of entry for inspection, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today. Without the benefit of full inspection, a possibility of adverse health consequences exists.

The product was produced and shipped on various dates between March 2, 2015, and April 7, 2015, and was distributed to retail outlets and restaurants in the San Diego, Calif., area. The following products are subject to recall:

55 pound boxes containing “Beef Lips” Manufactured by Australian Est. 4, JBS PTY Limited
55 pound boxes containing “Beef Lips” Manufactured by Australian Est. 170, JBS PTY Limited
55 pound boxes containing “Beef Lips” Manufactured by Australian Est. 235, JBS PTY Limited
55 pound boxes containing “Beef Lips” Manufactured by Australian Est. 517, JBS PTY Limited
The problem was discovered during routine FSIS surveillance activities of imported products.

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

Cyclospora parasite sickens 90 in Texas

A recent surge in reports of illnesses due to the parasite Cyclospora has prompted DSHS to investigate the infections in hopes of determining a common source. DSHS has received reports of 90 Cyclosporiasis cases from around Texas this year, including 78 in the last two weeks.

Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal illness caused by consuming food or water contaminated with the Cyclospora parasite. The major symptom is watery diarrhea lasting a few days to a few months. Additional symptoms may include loss of appetite, fatigue, weight loss, abdominal cramps, bloating, increased gas, nausea, vomiting and a low fever. People who think they may have a Cyclospora infection should contact their health care provider.

DSHS recommends thoroughly washing fresh produce, but that may not entirely eliminate the risk because Cyclospora can be difficult to wash off. Cooking will kill the parasite.

Last year, Texas had 200 cases, some of which were associated with cilantro from the Puebla region in Mexico.

New Yorker – A Bug in the System – Why last night’s chicken made you sick and Lucky Peach – Profile in Obsession: Bill Marler

150202_r26079-320New Yorker – A Bug in the System – Why last night’s chicken made you sick.

Lucky Peach – Profile in Obsession: Bill Marler

E. coli: 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.

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.

marlerListeria: 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 caramel apples, cantaloupe, cheese, celery and milk.

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

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.

If you or a family member became ill with a Campylobacter infection, including Guillain-Barré Syndrome, or GBS, after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Campylobacter attorneys for a free case evaluation.

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.

Shigella: Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Shigella outbreaks. The Shigella lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Shigella 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 Shigella lawyers have litigated Shigella cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of sources, such as tomatoes, airplane and restaurant food.

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

Botulism: Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Botulism outbreaks. The Botulism lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Botulism 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 Botulism lawyers have litigated Botulism cases stemming from outbreaks traced to carrot juice and chili.

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

E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in Whatcom County, Washington Final Investigation Summary

The Whatcom County Health Department (WCHD) in Bellingham investigated an outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7 infections. The Washington State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention assisted with the investigation.

Environmental contamination with E. coli O157:H7 of the Dairy Barn at the Northwest Washington Fairgrounds was the likely source of this outbreak. All of the ill people either attended the Milk Makers Fest between April 21 and 23 at the Northwest Fairgrounds; helped with the event between April 20 and 24; or were close contacts of people associated with the event. Most of the ill people were children, including older children who helped with the event. More than 1,000 children from primary schools in Whatcom County attended the event on these days.

The investigation team greatly appreciates the time and support of many community stakeholders who made this work possible, including Whatcom County schools, teachers, parents, students, Whatcom County Dairy Women, Northwest Washington Fair, and clinical and lab providers.

Final Case Counts

Disease investigators calculated case counts based only on lab-confirmed infection with E. coli 0157:H7 or physician-diagnosed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure.

•          25 people were confirmed cases.

–          9 of these cases were considered secondary cases (the ill person didn’t attend the event but had close contact with someone who did attend).

•          No one died.

•          10 people were hospitalized.

•          6 people developed HUS.

Final Environmental Sampling Results

Multiple samples from the environment where the event was held were collected on two different days (April 30 and May 13) and submitted for laboratory testing. The samples indicated that several areas of the north end of the Dairy Barn at the Northwest Washington Fairgrounds were contaminated with the same strain of E. coli that made people ill. Negative results do not rule out contamination in other parts of the barn.

The outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 was identified in the following areas of the Dairy Barn:

•          Manure bunker

•          Hay maze area

•          Bleachers by east wall

•          Bleachers by west wall

Contamination of the environment most likely occurred before the Milk Makers Fest. Any environment where animals have been kept, such as barns, should be considered contaminated. E.coli 0157 can survive in the environment up to 42 weeks (Varma, 2003 JAMA).

Epidemiologic Investigation Findings

As part of the investigation, officials interviewed many of the confirmed cases to find out what they did during the event before they got ill. Officials also interviewed “controls,” meaning people who attended the Milk Makers Fest but did not get ill to find out what they might have done differently.

The results of analyzing the data collected during the interviews are not final, but a few preliminary findings stand out:

•          Event attendees who reported washing or sanitizing their hands before eating lunch were less likely to become ill.

•          Children who reported always biting their nails were more likely to become ill.

•          Leaving animal areas without washing hands might have contributed to an increased risk of transmission.

•          Eating in animal areas might have contributed to an increased risk of transmission.

Recommendations for Event Organizers:

•          Evaluate and update plans for cleaning and disinfection before, during, and after events, particularly surfaces with high levels of hand contact (such as seats, door or fence handles, and hand railings).

•          Evaluate and update measures to restrict access to areas more likely to be contaminated with animal manure.

–          This is especially important for people at higher risk for severe illness. These people include young children, pregnant women, adults older than 65, and people with weakened immune systems.

•          Ensure access to hand washing facilities with soap, running water, and disposable towels.

•          Display signs and use other reminders to attendees to wash hands when leaving animal areas.

•          Store, prepare, or serve food and beverages only in non-animal areas.

Recommendations for the Public:

•          Consider any environment where animals have been kept, such as barns, to be contaminated with bacteria or viruses that can make people ill.

•          Hands should always be washed immediately when exiting animal areas, after removing dirty clothing or shoes, and before eating or drinking.

–         Hand washing with soap, running water, and disposable towels is the most effective method.

–         Adults should always supervise young children while they wash their hands.

•          Food and beverages should be consumed in non-animal areas and only after washing hands first.

•          Be aware that objects such as clothing, shoes, and stroller wheels can become soiled and serve as a source of germs after leaving an animal area.

•          Nine secondary cases were reported during this outbreak. It’s important for people infected with E. coli or those with a family member infected with E. coli to follow these precautions to prevent secondary infection:

–          Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water immediately after using the restroom or changing a child’s diaper.

–          Wash your hands before and after preparing food for yourself and others.

–          Stay home from school or work while diarrhea persists; most people can return to work or school when they no longer have diarrhea. Special precautions are needed for food handlers, health care workers, and child care providers and attendees. Check with your employer before returning to work, and check with your child’s child care center before resuming child care.

Greenwood South Carolina Child Dies of E. coli Induced Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome

Two South Carolina schools are taking precautions after a toddler died from complications associated with E. coli, and officials have confirmed that a sibling of one of the toddler attends one of the schools.

Myles Mayfield, 2, of Greenwood, died Sunday night at Greenville Memorial Hospital from medical complications associated with E.coli, coroner Sonny Cox said. Myles died from hemolytic uremic syndrome, a condition associated with E. coli that can lead to kidney failure.

On Monday, Greenwood District 50 officials informed parents and guardians of Springfield Elementary School students in Greenwood that DHEC was investigating a possible Shiga toxin-producing E. coli infection at the school, according to the district website. The school posted information on its website and social media and made robocalls to parents. Springfield officials learned of the possible infection on Monday after dismissal, so the letter could not be sent out until Tuesday.

Investigators have not yet said how Learning Vine Child Development Center is connected to the toddler’s death, but it appears Myles attended the development center.

CDC FoodNet: Mixed “Grocery Bag” On Foodborne Illness Infections

CDC-FoodNet2014According to the Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet), there were a total of 19,542 infections, 4,445 hospitalizations and 71 deaths reported in 2014. Some types of infections declined, some increased, and some stayed the same. FoodNet is a collaboration between CDC, 10 state health departments, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the Food and Drug Administration that tracks incidents of Campylobacter, Listeria, Salmonella, Shigella, Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) O157, STEC non-O157, Vibrio, Yersinia, Cryptosporidium and Cyclospora.

The number of laboratory-confirmed illnesses falls far below the actual number of people sickened by foodborne pathogens each year. CDC estimates that 48 million illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths are linked to foodborne illness annually.

Looking at the 2014 data, Salmonella was the most frequent cause of infection, accounting for 38 percent of them. Campylobacter was second with 33 percent, and E. coli caused 6 percent.

The good news is that the frequency of E. coli O157 infections have decreased, compared with both the baseline years of 2006-2008 and the previous three years.

CDC highlighted that the number of infections from the second most common strain of Salmonella — Typhimurium — continues to decrease, while there have been statistically significant increases over the baseline in two other serotypes. Javiana, the fourth most common serotype, was 131 percent higher, and Salmonella Infantis, the sixth most common, increased 160 percent compared to the baseline and was also “significantly higher” than in 2011-2013.

CDC also notes an increasing incidence of non-O157 STEC infections is attributable, in part, to an increase in the number of laboratories testing for Shiga toxin. The top non-O157 serogroups isolated from patients were O26, O103 and O111.

And compared with 2006-2008, FoodNet’s 2014 data showed a 52-percent increase for Vibrio and 13-percent increase for Campylobacter, trends also observed in 2013. Last year, it was noted that although Vibrio accounted for only 1.3 percent of the reported infections in 2013, its incidence increased 32 percent from 2010-2012.

E. coli Outbreak Update: 36 Linked to Milk Makers Fest

ecoli-bacteria-300x208The Whatcom County Health Department (WCHD) is investigating an outbreak of shiga toxin – producing E. coli O157 associated with the Milk Makers Fest that was held at the Northwest Fairgrounds in Lynden on 4/21 –4/23/15.

WCHD is continuing to interview cases to determine if there was a common food or water source or activity, such as the petting zoo or other contact with livestock.

Washington State Department of Health Communicable Disease Epidemiology is assisting with the outbreak investigation. Cumulative total: 18 cases* (5 cases have been hospitalized), 18 probable cases ** Change since last report 4/30/15: +1 case, +3 probable cases, 1 new hospitalization.

*Cases include those with positive labs (preliminary presumptive positive O157 and final confirmed positives), and clinical cases with close contact with a case with positive or presumptive positive labs.

** Probable cases are cases with clinical symptoms and were associated with the event, but lab results are not available or labs were not done.

Clarification from previous reports: the state public health lab is testing confirmed E. coli O157 isolates for serogroup (to determine if O157:H7 or another related serogroup).

Preliminary positive O157 isolates are regrown and have further testing done at a commercial lab to confirm O157. We expect to get the first results of serogroup testing from the state public health lab early next week.

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.

A Bad Combination – Listeria and Ice Cream

blue-bell-300x213I did spend some time this week talking to the media about Listeria and Ice Cream – not a great combination.

  • It’s not unusual to see listeria outbreaks linked to dairy products, including ice cream, said William Marler, an attorney who represented victims of a 2011 listeria outbreak that killed 33 people and was traced to a Colorado cantaloupe farm.
  • Mr. Marler said he thought Blue Bell had responded appropriately once it knew its products were linked to illnesses and deaths.
  • The lack of overt sympathy for the victims, which now includes three in Texas, irks attorney Bill Marler, of Seattle- based Marler Clark, one of the nation’s top food safety attorneys. “The only criticism I really have for Blue Bell is they seemed so focused on themselves and less on the people that had gotten sick,” said Marler, who also publishes the Web site foodsafetynews.com.
  • “Likely what happened is the piece of machinery was contaminated. The liquid form of the ice cream goes through the machine when it’s not yet frozen, but around 40 degrees, and it’s a great place for [listeria] to grow,” speculated food safety lawyer Bill Marler.
  • Listeriosis, a food-borne illness, can be especially fatal for people with weak immune systems. It is carried by the bacteria, listeria, which can thrive even at refrigerator temperatures as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit. “It’s why it’s a problem for cooler foods like ice cream and cheese,” says Bill Marler, a food safety lawyer in Washington state.
  • A lawyer who specializes in representing victims affected by Listeriosis, tells KAKE News there are two reasons to be worried about the spread of the bacteria after a Wichita hospital has been linked to five cases and three deaths. Bill Marler of Seattle has represented dozens of Listeriosis victims, including Kansas residents from the 2011 outbreak caused by cantaloupes that killed 33 people. He says these cases are becoming more common because people are filling their fridges with frozen items.
  • “We’re doing a lot more ready to eat products that are kept in cool temps,” says Marler.
  • He says another reason for concern about the outbreak is it can take up to 70 days from the time you eat the product, to when you get sick. “Listeria is it’s a bug that loves refrigerated, cool environment,” says Marler. “So that’s why you see the outbreaks involving things like cold products like ice cream.”
  • While this outbreak has been traced back to Blue Bell products consumed at Saint Francis, Blue Bell items were also sold at convenience stores. Marler urges everyone clears their freezers of the the contaminated products. “Because this is a frozen product, it’s really important for those who receive this product, and it appears that most of it was institutional, they need to get it off the shelf, out of the freezers because what you don’t want to see happen is something to stay in there and 6 months from now that someone eats it again.”
  • It’s not unusual to see listeria outbreaks linked to dairy products, including ice cream, said William Marler, an attorney who represented victims of a 2011 listeria outbreak that killed 33 people and was traced to a Colorado cantaloupe farm.
  • Attorney Bill Marler is a partner at Seattle-based Marler Clark, also called “The Food Safety Law Firm.” He said it generally does not take a year for a pattern of Listeria-related infections to surface. “The time line seems incredibly long …in my opinion, but could be the fact that the product was frozen,” he said. “Getting the product out of freezers is critical. People who purchased recalled products need to check freezers.”