Foodborne Illness Outbreaks

Since the last update on June 1, 2017, 418 more ill people have been reported. The most recent illness began on June 20, 2017.

CDC, multiple states, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) are investigating 10 separate multistate outbreaks of Salmonella infections in people who had contact with live poultry in backyard flocks.

These outbreaks are caused by several DNA fingerprints of different Salmonella bacteria: Salmonella Braenderup, Salmonella Enteritidis, Salmonella Hadar, Salmonella I 4,[5],12:I , Salmonella Indiana, Salmonella Infantis, Salmonella Litchfield, Salmonella Mbandaka, Salmonella Muenchen, Salmonella Typhimurium.

The outbreak strains of Salmonella have infected a reported 790 people in 48 states and the District of Columbia.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from January 4, 2017 to June 20, 2017.

Of 580 people with available information, 174 ill people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Epidemiologic, traceback, and laboratory findings link the 10 outbreaks to contact with live poultry, such as chicks and ducklings, from multiple hatcheries.

In interviews, 409 (74%) of 553 ill people reported contact with live poultry in the week before illness started.

Contact with live poultry or their environment can make people sick with Salmonella infections. Live poultry can be carrying Salmonella bacteria but appear healthy and clean, with no sign of illness.

As of July 21, 2017, 47 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Kiambu have been reported from 12 states. Illnesses in Iowa, 1, Kentucky, 1, Louisiana, 1, Maryland, 5, Massachusetts, 1, Minnesota, 1, New Jersey, 12, New York, 13, Pennsylvania, 4, Texas, 1, Utah, 1 and Virginia, 6.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from May 17, 2017 to June 28, 2017. Ill people range in age from less than 1 year to 95, with a median age of 27. Among ill people, 67% are female. Among 31 people with available information, 18 (58%) are of Hispanic ethnicity. Among 33 people with available information, 12 (36%) report being hospitalized. One death was reported from New York City.

Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence collected to date indicate that yellow Maradol papayas are a likely source of this multistate outbreak. This investigation is ongoing.  The FDA, CDC, MDH and other state and local officials are investigating Salmonella Kiambu and Salmonella Thompson illnesses linked to Caribeña brand Maradol papayas from Mexico distributed by Grande Produce in San Juan, TX.

The FDA is warning consumers to avoid all Caribeña brand Maradol papayas. Grande Produce has informed the FDA that the company initiated a limited recall of their Caribeña brand Maradol papayas distributed nationwide from July 7 – July 18, 2017. As of July 25, 2017, Grande Produce has not issued a press release to notify consumers of their recall. Therefore, FDA is advising consumers to avoid all Caribeña brand Maradol papayas. The FDA also noted that there are illnesses in states where Grande Produce did not distribute papayas and is continuing its investigation.

The FDA is advising consumers not to eat Caribeña brand Maradol papayas because they are linked to an outbreak of salmonellosis. Maradol papayas are green before they ripen and turn yellow, so consumers should not eat Caribeña brand regardless of the color. If anyone has these papayas in their home, they should dispose of them immediately. These can be identified by a red, green and yellow sticker shown here.

Papaya samples taken by MDH from a Baltimore retail location tested positive for the strains of Salmonella Kiambu and Thompson found in ill people.

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.

Seattle-King County Public Health Friday announced it is investigating a salmonellosis outbreak caused by Salmonella Stanley, an uncommon strain of Salmonella bacteria.

Six persons infected with Salmonella Stanley were reported to Public Health during July 17–July 24.

On July 26-27, genetic fingerprinting results for four of the six cases became available, and all had the same genetic fingerprint, suggesting that they have some common source of infection; genetic fingerprinting for the other two cases is pending.

This fingerprint has only been seen twice before in King County where two to six cases of Salmonella Stanley have been reported annually over the past several years. Public Health is attempting to interview each case to gather information about possible risk factors for infection.

The source of the outbreak is still under investigation.

The median age of the cases is 21 years; three cases are female and three are male. None of the cases are known to have been hospitalized. Additional details on the investigation will be posted as they are available.

Salmonellosis is a bacterial infection that is often spread through the fecal-oral route, through contaminated food and water, or through contact with animals and their environments. Symptoms of salmonellosis include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, fever, chills, and abdominal cramping. Illness typically lasts several days and people can spread infection to others even after symptoms resolve.

To prevent Salmonella infection:

  • Wash hands with soap and water after going to the bathroom, changing diapers, touching animals, and before eating or preparing food.
  • Cook all meats thoroughly, especially poultry.
  • Wash cutting boards and counters used for meat or poultry preparation immediately after use to avoid cross contaminating other foods.

The FDA, CDC, MDH and other state and local officials are investigating Salmonella Kiambu and Salmonella Thompson illnesses linked to Caribeña brand Maradol papayas from Mexico distributed by Grande Produce in San Juan, TX.

FDA and state partners continue to investigate the distribution of the papayas involved in this outbreak. It appears the distribution pattern of Caribeña brand Maradol papayas does not explain all of the illnesses, meaning other firms likely have distributed contaminated Maradol papayas as well. At this time, the farm(s) producing these papayas appear to only be in Mexico.

CDC reports 47 cases, 12 hospitalizations and one death from 12 states in the Salmonella Kiambu outbreak. The states involved are IA, KY, LA, MA, MD, MN, NJ, NY, PA, TX, UT and VA. CDC is working to collect additional information to determine whether the recent Salmonella Thompson illness in Maryland is part of this multistate outbreak.

On June 26, 2017, the CDC notified the FDA about a Salmonella Kiambu cluster detected by PulseNet. All 47 cases have the same pattern by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) analysis was conducted on ten patient samples in the outbreak cluster and all were highly related. This indicates that the patients were likely sickened by the same type of food.

MDH informed the FDA, CDC and state partners that several ill people shopped at the same Baltimore retail location and purchased papayas. Records and samples of green and yellow papaya were collected. On July 17, 2017, Maryland reported that three of ten samples had preliminarily tested positive for Salmonella. All positive samples were Caribeña brand yellow Maradol papayas from Mexico; none of the green papayas were positive. However, as noted above, Maradol papayas are green before they ripen and turn yellow, so consumers should not eat Caribeña brand papayas regardless of the color.

On July 19, 2017, MDH issued an advisory warning consumers not to eat Caribeña brand yellow Maradol papayas. Further WGS testing linked one of the papaya samples to the Salmonella Kiambu outbreak and another to Salmonella Thompson.  . Grande Produce has informed the FDA that the company initiated a limited recall of their Caribeña brand Maradol papayas distributed nationwide from July 7 – July 18, 2017. As of July 25, 2017, Grande Produce has not issued a press release to notify consumers of their recall. Therefore, FDA is advising consumers to avoid all Caribeña brand Maradol papayas. The FDA also noted that there are illnesses in states where Grande Produce did not distribute papayas and is continuing its investigation.

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.

Public Health — Seattle & King County received a report on July 24th of a King County resident with a rare wound infection caused by the bacteria Vibrio vulnificus. The likely source of infection was fish purchased from a live fish tank at the Seattle Supermarket, located at 4801 Beacon Ave S, Seattle 98108.

Vibrio vulnificus can cause life-threatening illness when ingested or if it enters a skin wound. Health officials advise that anyone who has eaten or prepared fish from this location before July 25 should watch for symptoms of infection for 7 days. People who purchased fish from this location should discard the fish.

“This is the second case of this illness in the past year and both cases came from preparing and consuming fish purchased from a live fish tank. If you prepared or consumed fish of any kind, contact your healthcare provider if you develop signs of skin infection, fever, chills, or diarrhea in the seven days after contact with the fish,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health — Seattle & King County. “At this time, there is no known risk for people who have not been in contact with fish from this location, but people should always take precautions when handling raw seafood.”

The person who developed the infection, a man in his forties, is currently hospitalized. His infection likely resulted while he was preparing the fish and cut his hand, which allowed the bacteria from the fish to enter and infect the wound. He and his wife also ate the cooked fish. His wife became ill, but she was not hospitalized.

Public Health — Seattle & King County is testing samples of the fish and fish tanks at the Seattle Supermarket. The investigation focuses on fish from the live fish tanks, but they are also looking into the possibility that other seafood may have been contaminated. All fish processed at the Seattle Supermarket were thrown away and the tanks and other equipment were decommissioned until they can be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected

Public Health — Seattle & King County is working with the Washington State Department of Health to gather information about the distributors of any contaminated product.

The earlier case of Vibrio vulnificus occurred in a King County woman who prepared tilapia purchased from a live tank at a different store and contracted the infection in November of 2016. She has since recovered.

Who is at risk

It is important to seek medical care right away if you’ve handled or eaten fish, particularly raw fish from the Seattle Supermarket, AND within seven days develop:

  • a new skin infection (signs of skin infection are redness, tenderness, swelling, streaking and skin blisters)
  • fever and chills
  • diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting
  • any unexplained serious illness

If you develop signs of infection, contact your doctor and tell them if you have been in handled raw seafood or eaten raw or undercooked seafood. If you ate or handled fish from this location and have no illness after seven days, your risk of infection is low.
Certain people are at higher risk for Vibrio vulnificus infection. These include:

  • people with weakened immune systems
  • people with liver disease, including from alcoholism
  • diabetics
  • people with HIV
  • people who take medications to lower stomach acid or who take immune-suppressing medications

Prevent infection

To reduce your chances of getting infected with Vibrio vulnificus and other bacteria:

  • Use gloves when handling raw seafood.
  • Do not handle raw seafood if you have wounds on your hands or fingers.
  • Wash your hands after handling raw shellfish and other types of seafood.
  • Wash cuts or other wounds thoroughly with soap and water if you have handled raw seafood or come in contact with seawater.
  • Don’t eat raw or undercooked shellfish. Cooking shellfish and other seafood kills Vibrio bacteria.

For more information, visit: www.cdc.gov/vibrio

About Vibrio

Vibrio are a type of bacteria that are normally in seawater. There are many types of Vibrio that cause illness in humans. Vibrio vulnificus is very rare in the Pacific Northwest. It is more common in areas with warmer seawater, like the Gulf of Mexico.

Public Health regularly issues warnings about different types of Vibrio bacteria associated with shellfish. Vibrio vulnificus is a different and potentially more deadly species.

Public health officials have ruled out ground beef as the likely source of an E. coli outbreak in southwest Utah, but they have not been able to pinpoint the source of the bacteria, which has already killed two children.

“While the investigation continues into a source for this E. coli outbreak, we’ve determined ground beef is not a likely cause,” according to the latest update from the Southwest Utah Public Health Department. “The advisory not to consume previously purchased ground beef is discontinued.”

Unpasteurized, raw milk is still being considered as a possible source for the E. coli and the health department’s recommendation to avoid consuming it remains in place. One additional person has been confirmed in the outbreak, bringing the total to 12 victims.

Mohave County epidemiologist Anna Scherzer said this past week that confirmed cases in the outbreak are mostly children, including two who died. The first victim was a 3-year-old boy who died in June. He and the other fatality, a 6-year-old girl, were not related but they lived in the same multi-family dwelling in Hildale, UT.

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.

Illnesses in Iowa, 1, Kentucky, 1, Louisiana, 1, Maryland, 5, Massachusetts, 1, Minnesota, 1, New Jersey, 12, New York, 13, Pennsylvania, 4, Texas, 1, Utah, 1 and Virginia, 6.

The CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Kiambu infections.

As of July 21, 2017, 47 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Kiambu have been reported from 12 states. A list of the states and the number of cases in each can be found on the Case Count Map page. WGS showed that isolates from people infected with Salmonella Kiambu are closely related genetically. This close genetic relationship means that people in this outbreak are more likely to share a common source of infection.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from May 17, 2017 to June 28, 2017. Ill people range in age from less than 1 year to 95, with a median age of 27. Among ill people, 67% are female. Among 31 people with available information, 18 (58%) are of Hispanic ethnicity. Among 33 people with available information, 12 (36%) report being hospitalized. One death was reported from New York City.

Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence collected to date indicate that yellow Maradol papayas are a likely source of this multistate outbreak. This investigation is ongoing.

An illness cluster in Maryland was identified. An illness cluster is defined as two or more people who do not live in the same household who report eating at the same restaurant location, attending a common event, or shopping at the same location of a grocery store in the week before becoming ill. In Maryland, several ill people reported eating papayas purchased from the same location of a grocery store. Salmonella Kiambu and Salmonella Thompson were isolated from samples collected from ill people. Investigating illness clusters provides critical clues about the source of an outbreak. If several unrelated ill people ate or shopped at the same location of a restaurant or store within several days of each other, it suggests that the contaminated food item was served or sold there.

The Maryland Department of Health collected papayas from the grocery store associated with the illness cluster to test for Salmonella. One sample yielded the outbreak strain of Salmonella Kiambu and another sample yielded Salmonella Thompson. Both samples were from yellow Maradol papayas. WGS showed that the Salmonella Kiambu papaya isolate is closely related genetically to the Salmonella Kiambu isolates from ill people. This result provides more evidence that people in this outbreak got sick from eating contaminated yellow Maradol papayas. CDC is working to collect additional information to determine whether the recent Salmonella Thompson illness in Maryland is part of this multistate outbreak.

Based on the available evidence, CDC recommends that consumers not eat, restaurants not serve, and retailers not sell yellow Maradol papayas until we learn more.

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.

Papayas have caused outbreaks before.  In 2011 Agromod Produce recalled papayas purchased prior to July 23 after an outbreak of Salmonella Agona had been linked to the papayas. The outbreak related illnesses began after January 16 and continued to occur over several months. On August 25, the Food and Drug Administration banned imports of papayas grown in Mexico because of widespread and ongoing salmonella contamination. More than 15 percent of fresh papayas entering the U.S. from Mexico were contaminated with Salmonella.  106 were sickened and 10 hospitalized.  See Outbreak Database – http://www.outbreakdatabase.com/details/agromod-produce-papayas-2011/?outbreak=papayas

According to press reports, Plast Camp in Middlefield, Ohio is closed after two confirmed cases of E. coli.

The camp reached out to the Geauga County Health Department on Wednesday to report six kids were feeling sick. That night, one confirmed case of E. coli was confirmed.

Geauga Health suggested the camp close its swimming pool.

On Thursday, the camp reached out to the health department again to report potentially 35 sick children and to ask for guidance on how to proceed. Geauga Health suggested the camp shut down so it could be investigated. A second case of E. coli was confirmed that night.

Plast Camp (The Plast National Scout Organization of Ukraine) has been in the process of sending campers home and closing the camp since Thursday. The camp is expected to be completely closed by Saturday and is being investigated by Geauga Health and the Ohio Department of Health.

The camp will be cleaning the facility while it is closed.

The Loudoun County Health Department (LCHD) continues to investigate the reports of illness at a Chipotle restaurant in Sterling and has identified approximately 60 ill individuals who reported being at the establishment last week. “One ill patron has tested positive for norovirus,” said Dr. David Goodfriend, director of the LCHD. “This provides additional information but is not sufficient to determine the cause of the outbreak. The Health Department is awaiting further test results, which should be available early next week.”

Customers who ate at the restaurant and became ill are encouraged to contact the Health Department at 703-771-5411. Additional questions or concerns can be addressed by contacting the Health Department at health@loudoun.gov.

On Monday, July 17, 2017, LCHD was notified by Chipotle Mexican Grill at 21031 Tripleseven Road, Sterling, VA 20165, and by local medical providers of customers complaining of nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea over the previous two days. The restaurant voluntarily closed that day and has been working closely with the Health Department to help identify the cause of the illnesses and to prevent future illnesses, including having Health Department staff onsite on July 18 and 19.  The restaurant reopened on July 19, 2017.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 6 Americans gets sick from contaminated food each year. Norovirus (sometimes called “stomach flu”) is the most common cause of foodborne illness.  Frequent hand washing and staying home when sick are two of the most important means of preventing the spread of infection.

Investigation of the E. coli outbreak continues with the combined efforts of the Southwest Utah Public Health Department, Mohave County Department of Health, Utah Department of Health, and the Arizona Department of Health Services. These agencies have also been joined by representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

  • Confirmed case count is 12.
  • The source of this outbreak has not been identified.
  • Because E. coli can be passed from several different sources, including person to person, it is always important to follow these practices to prevent infection:
    • Wash hands with warm, soapy water before and after preparing or eating food, after using the bathroom and changing diapers, after contact with animals or environments with exposure to animal feces, and before touching anything that enters an infant’s mouth.
    • Don’t allow raw food to touch cooked food. Carefully clean all surfaces and objects that have touched raw meat.
    • Cook meats thoroughly. Ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Use a meat thermometer.
    • Avoid raw (unpasteurized) milk, dairy products, and juices.
    • Don’t swallow water when swimming.

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.