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Foodborne Illness Outbreaks

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RAW Meal Organic Shake & Meal Salmonella Outbreak is Over

big-map-4-21-16A total of 33 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Virchow were reported from 23 states. Among people for whom information was available, illnesses started on dates ranging from December 5, 2015 to March 18, 2016. Ill people ranged in age from less than 1 year to 84, with a median age of 35. Fifty-three percent of ill people were female. Among 27 ill people with available information, 6 (22%) were hospitalized, and no deaths were reported.

Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicated that RAW Meal Organic Shake & Meal products made by Garden of Life, LLC were the likely source of this outbreak.

State and local public health officials interviewed ill people to obtain information about foods they might have eaten and other exposures in the week before they became ill. Of the 30 ill people who were interviewed, 28 (93%) reported consuming powdered supplements or meal replacement powders in the week before illness onset; 27 of these 28 (96%) ill people specifically reported consuming RAW Meal products made by Garden of Life, LLC.

On January 29, 2016, Garden of Life, LLC voluntarily recalled a limited quantity of its RAW Meal Organic Shake & Meal products available in chocolate, original, vanilla, and vanilla chai because they had the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella Virchow. The recalled products were available for purchase nationwide in many retail stores and online.

The Utah Public Health Laboratory and Oklahoma Public Health Laboratory isolated the outbreak strain of Salmonella Virchow from open containers of Garden of Life RAW Meal collected from ill people’s homes in Utah and Oklahoma.  Both products that were tested were from lots covered under the recalls announced by Garden of Life, LLC.

FDA sampling confirmed the presence of the outbreak strain of Salmonella Virchow in Organic Moringa Leaf powder used in RAW Meal Organic Shake & Meal Replacement products. On February 12, 2016, Garden of Life, LLC issued an expanded recall of its RAW Meal Organic Shake & Meal products available in chocolate, original, vanilla, and vanilla chai to include additional lots that contained the contaminated Organic Moringa Leaf powder.

This outbreak investigation is over. However, the recalled products have a long shelf life and may still be in people’s homes. Consumers unaware of the recalls could continue to eat the products and get sick.

Costco Berries with Hepatitis Again – 12 Sick in Canada

20160415a_1460738325415_eng_thumb_The Public Health Agency of Canada is collaborating with federal and provincial public health partners to investigate an outbreak of Hepatitis A infections in three provinces linked to the frozen fruit product: Nature’s Touch Organic Berry Cherry Blend. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has issued a food recall warning advising Canadians of the recall of the frozen fruit product that has been distributed in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Public Health Agency of Canada advises Canadians not to consume the frozen fruit product Nature’s Touch Organic Berry Cherry Blend sold exclusively at Costco warehouse locations in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

The overall risk to Canadians is low. Hepatitis A is a disease that can cause inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis A can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months. You can get the Hepatitis A virus by eating contaminated food or water or through contact with an infected person’s stool. Adequate vaccination can protect against the Hepatitis A virus.

Currently, there are 12 cases of Hepatitis A in three provinces related to this outbreak: Ontario (9), Quebec (2), and Newfoundland and Labrador (1). Individuals became sick in February and March of this year. Some of the individuals who became ill have reported eating the recalled product. The majority of cases (58%) are male, with an average age of 37 years. Three cases have been hospitalized.

Hmmm,  where have I heard this before – http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/Outbreaks/2013/A1b-03-31/index.html

Shigella Reported in Dubuque County Iowa

The Dubuque County Health Department, the Dubuque County Board of Health, and the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) are investigating an outbreak of Shigellosis cases. Shigellosis is a disease caused by the bacterium, Shigella, which causes watery and sometimes bloody diarrhea. Symptoms of Shigellosis usually begin one to three days after infection and include diarrhea, fever, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal cramps.Shigella is spread:

Person-to-Person. Any infected person can infect others by failing to properly wash their hands before

handling food or coming into close contact with another person. Infections in households, pre-schools, child care facilities, and elderly and developmentally disabled living facilities are commonly spread in this manner.

Shigellosis is an extremely contagious disease. Because of this, measures should be taken to prevent its spread. These measures include:

Thoroughly wash hands with soap and running warm water for no less than 15 seconds. This should be done after using the toilet, changing diapers, or before eating or preparing any food.

Infants and children should have their hands washed as above after a diaper change, after using the toilet, or before eating.

Infected people should stay away from school, child care, food preparation or work while they have diarrhea. Food handlers, health care workers, and those working in child care who have shigellosis should have two consecutive negative stool cultures before returning to work or child care. Children who have had shigellosis and are returning to child care should have one negative stool culture.

Contact the Dubuque County Infection Control Specialists at the VNA (563-556-6200) or IDPH 515-242- 5935) for questions about clearing persons for work or child care.

Shigellosis typically goes away without treatment after four to seven days; however, if the infection is severe or the infected person has a poor immune system, antibiotic treatment may be needed. In some cases, the diarrhea associated with shigellosis can be dangerously dehydrating, especially in the very young and very old. In that event, see a doctor immediately. If you have symptoms of shigellosis, or have had contact with someone diagnosed with the infection, you should contact your health care provider.

Not April Fools – E. coli in Oak Leaf Farm

ct-dphThe State Department of Public Health (DPH) today issued the following update on the E. coli outbreak linked to the Oak Leaf Farm in Lebanon, CT:

DPH is investigating 34 confirmed cases of E. coli O157 infection linked to the farm.  The patients range in age from 10 months to 45 years, with a median age of five years.  The patients include six adults and 28 children 14 years old and under; 18 of the children are age five years or under.  In total, nine patients have been hospitalized with four still in the hospital.  Three of the hospitalized patients have been diagnosed with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a rare but serious illness that affects the kidneys and blood clotting system.

DPH is aware of three patients who did not visit Oak Leaf Farm but became ill with E. coli after having contact with someone with an E. coli infection who did visit the farm. These people are referred to as secondary cases. DPH continues to monitor for additional reports of secondary cases.

The investigation by DPH, Department of Agriculture, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is continuing and expected to last several weeks.  DPH, in collaboration with CDC, is planning additional studies to better understand the scope of the outbreak and specific risk factors for illness among persons who visited the farm.

Oak Leaf Farm remains closed to the public and its owners are cooperating with the investigation.  The CT Department of Agriculture advises anyone who recently purchased goats from Oak Leaf Farm to consult with their livestock veterinarian.

The outbreak was first identified on Thursday, March 24th when six of seven individuals sickened with E. coli were confirmed by DPH to have recently visited Oak Leaf Farm and come into contact with goats on the farm.  DPH has been able to determine that the exposures happened between March 6th and March 20th, with onset of symptoms occurring between March 7th and March 24th.

For more information, on E.coli and HUS: http://www.ct.gov/dph/cwp/view.asp?a=3136&q=388334 (HUS) http://www.ct.gov/dph/cwp/view.asp?a=3136&q=388280 (E. coli)

Oak Leaf Dairy E. coli Outbreak Jumps to 34

The Connecticut State Department of Public Health is investigating an E. coli outbreak linked to a farm in Lebanon and the cases keep growing.

As of noon Friday, DPH is investigating 34 confirmed cases of E. coli linked to the Oak Leaf Dairy Farm in Lebanon. As of Monday, there were 15 cases.

The patients range in age from 10 months to 45 years, officials said in a statement.  The patients include six adults and 28 children 14 years old and under; 18 of the children are age five years or under.  In total, nine patients have been hospitalized with four still in the hospital.  Three of the hospitalized patients have been diagnosed with hemolytic uremic syndrome, a rare but serious illness that affects the kidneys and blood clotting system.

The outbreak was first reported on March 24 when six out of seven E. coli cases were confirmed in patients who had visited the Oak Leaf Farm and come into contact with goats there.

Three patients who did not visit Oak Leaf Farm but became ill with E. coli after having contact with someone with an E. coli infection who did visit the farm. These people are referred to as secondary cases.

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.

23 Years of E. coli Lawsuits

080204-marler-hmed-1p.grid-6x2The E. coli lawyers of Marler Clark have many years of experience working with clients on E. coli outbreak lawsuits.

E. coli are bacteria that can cause serious, sometimes fatal, infections in humans.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that E. coli causes 2,000 hospitalizations in the United States each year.

Ten percent of E. coli victims develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which can cause kidney failure, damage to the central nervous system, and ultimately death.

The Marler Clark E. coli lawyers have unmatched experience representing victims of E. coli and HUS.  We have represented hundreds of victims of E. coli outbreaks traced to foods such as hamburgers, spinach, raw milk, water, and food served at restaurants.  The Marler Clark E. coli lawyers are the only lawyers in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on plaintiff foodborne illness litigation.

Our E. coli lawyers have represented victims of notable E. coli outbreaks such as the 2006 Dole Spinach E. coli outbreak, the 2007 Cargill beef E. coli outbreak, and the landmark 1993 Jack in the Box E. coli outbreak. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

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.

Kenosha Supermercado Los Corrales Salmonella News Coverage

CBS58: “There’s no question that these people had salmonella, no question where they got it,” said Food Safety Attorney Bill Marler.

Marler said lab tests show that carnitas from Supermercado Los Corrales were the source of a Mother’s Day salmonella outbreak last year.

“Illnesses ranged from people being sick for 5-7 days to people being hospitalized,” he said.

He represents 45 of the 75 people infected and with all the evidence doesn’t understand why Los Corales’ insurance company won’t pay up.

“Medical expenses ranged from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. We tried to sit down with insurance company and weren’t even able to get them to pay the medical bills for these people so we really had no other choice but to file a lawsuit,” Marler said.

A lawsuit against Los Corales but also their insurance company.

Their insurance policy only covers one million dollars in damages and Marler says that’s all they’re fighting for.

“What we’ve been trying to do is get all the people together  to come up w a strategy to  divide up the million dollars based on severity of illness and to not impact the grocery store,” he said.

Marler says his clients believe the supermarket didn’t mean to harm anyone and they would hate to see a local store go out of business.

“It’s a well respected business in town, many of my clients have shopped there for years and want to see the business in operation,” he said.

Marler expects a trial to happen before the end of this year.

Kenosha News: A Kenosha grocery store is facing a sixth lawsuit for the salmonella outbreak that sickened as many as 70 people last year.

Seattle-based attorney Marler Clark, a specialist on litigation involving foodborne illness, filed the lawsuit against Supermercado Los Corrales, 3933 52nd St., Tuesday on behalf of 13 plaintiffs. His firm is now representing 35 people in cases against the store related to the outbreak.

The latest suit involves six families who were sickened after eating pork carnitas purchased from the store between May 8 and 11, 2015.

There are 16 plaintiffs in the four other suits filed against Los Corrales, all related to the salmonella outbreak.

Among the plaintiffs in the latest lawsuit are an 8-year-old girl from Kenosha; a 10-year-old boy from Waukegan, Ill.; a family of five from Kenosha, including 17-, 14- and 10-year-old children; a family from Sturtevant, including an 11-year-old boy; a pregnant woman from Mount Pleasant; and a 25-year-old woman from Waukegan.

Many of the people affected became ill after eating carnitas purchased at the store at family gatherings for Mother’s Day.

The 25-year-old woman, Guadalupe Silva, a day-care worker, missed nearly 20 days of work, none of it covered by sick days, because she was considered by health officials to be a contamination risk at the day-care facility. Once she was able to return to work, her hours were cut.

“I would not wish this situation on anyone, and I know these things don’t just happen. They happen because people are not careful and clean with their food,” Silva said in a statement included in legal documents. “I have no grudge or anger toward the owners of the establishment. I would just like to be compensated for so many days I had to miss from work.”

The outbreak was linked by laboratory testing to carnitas sold in the prepared food area of the grocery. As many as 70 people became ill in the outbreak, with salmonella confirmed in laboratory tests of 35 individuals. A number of people involved needed to be hospitalized.

Salmonella is a bacterial infection of the small intestine, typically spread through food or water contaminated with feces. Although many people with salmonella infection have no symptoms, others develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps for about 72 hours. People with the infection can become severely dehydrated and need hospitalization.

After health department investigators linked the outbreak through testing to Supermercado Los Corrales the food preparation area of the store was closed for about a month.

Mark Melotik, environmental health manager for the Kenosha County Health Department, said the store has been inspected twice since reopening and no further problems have been found.

Dole Listeria Outbreak Over After 33 Sick with 4 Dead

According to the CDC, he number of ill people reported from each state is as follows: Connecticut (1), Indiana (1), Massachusetts (1), Michigan (4), Missouri (2), New Jersey (1), New York (6), Ohio (2), and Pennsylvania (1). All 19 (100%) ill people were hospitalized, including one person from Michigan who died as a result of listeriosis. One of the illnesses reported was in a pregnant woman.

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, ill people in Canada were infected with the same outbreak strain of Listeria.  There were 14 cases of Listeria in five provinces related to this outbreak: Ontario (9), Quebec (2), New Brunswick (1), Prince Edward Island (1), and Newfoundland and Labrador (1).  All cases have been hospitalized, and three people have died, however it has not been determined if Listeria contributed to the cause of these deaths.

Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicated that packaged salads produced at the Dole processing facility in Springfield, Ohio and sold under various brand names were the likely source of this outbreak.

Pizza Ranch E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak Holding Steady at 13 Sick

10298684_10152794480259144_870828925358065408_n.0.0-300x225The Pizza Ranch E. coli O157:H7 outbreak started in December, mainly among people who had eaten at the Iowa-based chain’s restaurants.The CDC reports that 13 people were sickened in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Jersey, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Nine of the people recently had eaten at Pizza Ranches. Two children, in Kansas and Nebraska, suffered kidney failure (hemolytic uremic syndrome – HUS).The investigation has focused on a dry dough mix used to make desserts.