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Food Poison Journal

Food Poisoning Outbreaks and Litigation: Surveillance and Analysis

SunBurst Recalls Listeria Tainted Products From Four States

SunBurst Foods of Goldsboro is voluntarily recalling all of its SunBurst, Fresh Bites and Private labeled products because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

The products being recalled were sold in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Georgia.

This recall was initiated as a result of sampling and testing performed by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services.

Listeria cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. To date, SunBurst is unaware of any illnesses related to these products.

Products not manufactured but distributed by SunBurst such as cakes, burritos, and chips are not part of this recall.

All codes, all sell-by dates and sizes of SunBurst and Fresh Bites brands are being recalled.

Private label products are identified by the following brand names: River Edge Farms, CFW, Southern Zest, CJ’s Vending, Binford Street Deli, Middle Georgia Vendors, Roanoke Foods, Select Foods, and Jesse Jones (Double Chili Dogs).

Botulism Risk Recall: Pumpkin Seed Pesto

California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director and State Health Officer Dr. Ron Chapman warned consumers today not to eat Williams-Sonoma Pumpkin Seed Pesto sauce because it may have been improperly produced, making it susceptible to contamination with Clostridium botulinum.

Ingestion of botulism toxin from improperly processed jarred and canned foods may lead to serious illness and death.

The manufacturer of the product, California Olive and Vine, LLC, of Sutter, California, initiated the voluntary recall after CDPH determined that the product had been improperly processed. The product was packaged in eight ounce glass jars with screw-on metal lids. The recalled product can be identified by the following stock keeping unit (SKU) numbers: 6404305 and 6389043. Photographs of the affected product package are located on the Recalled Product Photo Page. The Williams-Sonoma Pumpkin Seed Pesto has been sold nationwide at Williams-Sonoma retail stores since September 2014.

California Shellfish Warning

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is warning consumers not to eat certain types of seafood from the Ventura county coastline due to dangerous levels of a naturally occurring toxin that can cause illness or death.

Consumers are advised not to eat:

• recreationally harvested bivalve shellfish (such as mussels, clams or whole scallops), or

• the internal organs of lobster or rock crab

Dangerous levels of domoic acid have been detected in the internal organs of lobster (also called lobster tomalley) from this region. This toxin, also known as Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning (ASP), can cause illness or death in humans. No cases of human poisoning from domoic acid are known to have occurred in California. Rock crab are also capable of accumulating this toxin in the internal organs (also called crab butter). 

This warning does not apply to commercially sold clams, mussels, scallops or oysters from approved sources. State law permits only state-certified commercial shellfish harvesters or dealers to sell these products. Shellfish sold by certified harvesters and dealers are subject to frequent mandatory testing to monitor for toxins. 

Symptoms of domoic acid poisoning can occur within 30 minutes to 24 hours after eating toxic seafood. In mild cases, symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache and dizziness. These symptoms disappear within several days. In severe cases, the victim may experience trouble breathing, confusion, disorientation, cardiovascular instability, seizures, excessive bronchial secretions, permanent loss of short term memory, coma or death. 

The annual quarantine on recreationally harvested mussels remains in effect along the entire California coastline. This quarantine applies to all species of mussels harvested along the California coast, including all bays and estuaries.

 

Zov’s Shigella Outbreak Update

Zov’s restaurant in Irvine was forced to shut down briefly Wednesday in the wake of a foodborne illness probe tied to four sick customers, health department officials said Thursday.

The sickened guests ate at Zov’s on Portola on three different dates between Sept. 16-22, said Deanne Thompson, a spokeswoman for the county’s Health Care Agency. All four people tested positive for shigella, an intestinal disease that triggers severe diarrhea.

Health investigators cleared Zov’s to reopen the same day after the restaurant’s owners took quick action to sanitize the restaurant and discard all ready-to-eat foods including fresh produce.

Employees, who cannot return to work until they are medically cleared by the health agency, were also given training on proper hand-washing, Thompson said.

Here is a little online history:

REASON FOR PERMIT SUSPENSION/CLOSURE ONGOING FOODBORNE ILLNESS INVESTIGATION 10/01/2014

HEALTH PERMIT REINSTATEMENT 10/01/2014

ROUTINE INSPECTION 09/30/2014

Eating/Drinking/Smoking in Food Storage/Prep Areas

Lack of/Improper Handwashing

Unsanitary Equipment/Utensil/Linen/Plumbing

Lack of/Unsanitary/Condition Walls/Floors/Ceilings

Improper Food Storage/Receiving

Water Temp (100F-119F)/Wash Temp <100F/Cross Con

Inoperable/Lack of Food Thermometer

Lack of/Improper Handwashing/Handwashing Sup.

ROUTINE INSPECTION 04/29/2014

Water Temp (100F-119F)/Wash Temp <100F/Cross Con

Unsanitary Equipment/Utensil/Linen/Plumbing

Inappropriate Sanitizer Level/ Lack of Test Strips

Lack of/Unsanitary/Condition Walls/Floors/Ceilings

Improper Food Storage/Receiving

ROUTINE INSPECTION 10/21/2013

Improper Holding Temp of PHF (60F-120F), (50F-59F)

Improper Food Storage/Receiving

Improper Thawing

Change Room Improper Use/Lack of Inadequate Hygiene (Hair/Clothing/Eating/Drinking)

Lack of/Improper Handwashing/Handwashing Sup.

Inappropriate Sanitizer Level/ Lack of Test Strips

Unapproved Pesticides/Chemicals/Labeling

Unsanitary Equipment/Utensil/Linen/Plumbing

Water Temp (100F-119F)/Wash Temp <100F/Cross Con

ROUTINE INSPECTION 04/22/2013

Improper Holding Temp of PHF (60F-120F), (50F-59F)

Improper Food Storage/Receiving

Inappropriate Sanitizer Level/ Lack of Test Strips

Lack of/Unsanitary/Condition Walls/Floors/Ceilings

ROUTINE INSPECTION 12/21/2012

Improper Warewashing/Inoperable Dishmachine

Unapproved Pesticides/Chemicals/Labeling

Water Temp (100F-119F)/Wash Temp <100F/Cross Con

Unsanitary Equipment/Utensil/Linen/PlumbingChange Room Improper Use/Lack of Lack of/Unsanitary/Condition Walls/Floors/Ceilings

Lack of/Improper Handwashing/Handwashing Sup.

Improper Food Storage/Receiving

Lack of Food Protection Manager Certificate

Major Violations pose the highest risk of causing food poisoning (or foodborne illness. Major violations are sometimes resolved during the inspection or a reinspection may be scheduled to verify compliance.

Minor Violations pose less risk of causing food poisoning (or foodborne illness), and do not warrant immediate verification of compliance.

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.