No new cases to report in the Illinois Subway salmonella outbreak. The official count of confirmed illnesses remains at 80. Subway did step up to the plate though and apologized to sickened customers. In a statement released today, Subway said:
We sincerely apologize to all Subway customers, those who have fallen ill, and those who now may hesitate to come back for a while," spokesman Kevin Kane noted. "We are truly sorry for the difficulty this situation has caused you, our customer, and are working diligently to solve this mystery and to regain your trust.
Also, Shannon Dininny wrote a great AP article today on the fight to regulate other strains of shiga-toxin producing e. coli than O157:H7 as adulterants in the meat supply. Shannon highlighted the sad case of Shiloh Johnson, one of our clients sickened in E. coli O111 linked to the Country Cottage outbreak in Locust, Oklahoma in 2008.
They’re motivated by what has happened to people such as Shiloh Johnson, who two years ago picked at a roll, fried chicken, sunflower seeds and olives from a restaurant buffet. Within days, the 10-year-old was hooked to a ventilator in an Oklahoma hospital, one of 341 victims of an E. coli outbreak. She remained hospitalized for six weeks.
Investigators tied the outbreak to one of the six less common E. coli strains, and her mother, Belinda Johnson, has endorsed a petition that includes their story in urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture to test for additional E. coli strains.
The agency is reviewing the petition, filed by a Seattle law firm that represents Shiloh Johnson and is known for food-illness lawsuits.
"I was so shocked then. I thought that everything was tested for," Belinda Johnson said. "I want there to be a safe food supply. I don’t want any other kids or anyone to have to go through this."
Traditional Foods Minnesota has halted operations while the Minnesota Department of Agriculture investigates potential violations of state law. One would naturally think of the potential link to the Hartmann Dairy raw milk E. coli O157:H7 outbreak when Minnesota and the state’s natural foods movement appear in the same sentence. But Mike Hughlett, frequent food safety contributor for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, wrote today that, although raw milk appears to be a mainstay at Traditional Foods Minnesota, the Department of Agriculture says "there’s no indication at this time of a link between the Agriculture Department’s investigation of Traditional Foods and its investigation of Hartmann Dairy." Traditional Foods’ alleged violations relate to licensing issues.
And finally, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture today suspended the liscense of Alvin J. Stoltzfus, who operates a farm in Paradise, Lancaster County, to sell raw milk. The suspension occurred due to tests by the Department of Ag that found Listeria monocytogenes bacteria in raw milk from the farm, prompting the Department of Ag to also issue an advisory to the public to discard any milk purchased from Stoltzfus’s farm:
The Department of Agriculture today advised consumers who purchased raw milk from Alvin J. Stoltzfus, of Paradise, Lancaster County, to discard the product immediately because of potential bacterial contamination.
Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurized.
A Department of Agriculture lab found Listeria monocytogenese in a milk sample taken from the dairy on June 7. The bacteria’s presence violates the Milk Sanitation Law.
Mr. Stoltzfus agreed with the department’s request to stop selling raw milk for human consumption.
Officials said Stoltzfus agreed to stop selling raw milk for human consumption. The department is moving to suspend his raw milk permit until additional samples are tested and found to be safe.
Also, the AP ran a great article today on the ongoing fight to . . .