Hazelnuts sold nationwide have been determined to be the source of an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that has resulted in at least 7 illnesses. Residents of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan fell ill with E. coli infections after eating the unshelled hazelnuts, which were sold in bulk bins at grocery stores, packaged individually, and with mixed nuts.

Identification of the outbreak prompted a recall by DeFranco and Sons, Inc. of Los Angeles, California, who sold the contaminated hazelnuts under the brand names Sunripe, George Packing, Firestorm Farms and Northwest Hazelnut.  A sample of the recalled nuts from a case patient’s home in Minnesota tested positive for the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7.

Shaun George, a representative of George Packing Co., based in Newberg, Ore., told the Capital Press the company declined to share the grower names with the FDA, because the information is proprietary and the hazelnuts had not been definitively linked to the E coli illnesses.  See George Packing tells the FDA to Go Packing

See also, Nut Recalls Unrelated to Foodborne Illness Outbreaks Since 2004.


Skippy Peanut Butter

Unilever United States, Inc. recently announced a limited recall of Skippy® Reduced Fat Creamy Peanut Butter Spread and Skippy® Reduced Fat Super Chunk Peanut Butter Spread, because the products may be contaminated with Salmonella.  According to Mary Clare Jelonick from the Washington Post, “fewer than 3,000 jars possibly contaminated with salmonella made it to store shelves.” 

Also, in what seems to be a developing trend of refusals to comply with the requests of federal investigators. according to Ms. Jalonick, a spokeswoman for Unilever “declined to name the states where the peanut butter ended up on shelves. The recalled jars were distributed to – but not necessarily sold in – 16 states.”

Kansas Ground Beef E. coli Recall:

Creekstone Farms Premium Beef, from Arkansas City, Kansas, has recalled approximately 14,158 pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.

Bologna Recall

Earlier today, the Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS) of USDA announced that Zwiegle’s Inc., located in Rochester, New York, is issuing a recall of approximately 2,997 pounds of bologna products that may be contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxin. FSIS has classified this as a Class I recall, which the agency describes as presenting “a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.”

Jelly Recall due to Botulism

Yesterday, March 8, 2011, The British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority, warned the public to avoid consuming watermelon jelly prepared by Jamnation Fine Foods due to a potential contamination with toxins produced from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Those toxins may cause botulism, a rare but potentially life-threatening bacterial illness. The company has also issued a recall of the product.

Tea Recall due to Salmonella:

On March 3, 2011, FDA announced that Teavana, an Atlanta-based corporation, was issuing a voluntary, nationwide recall of 2,659 pounds of Peppermint Organic Herbal Tea produced by Aromatics Inc., located in Basin City, Washington.

The recall of the tea, which was distributed nationwide in Teavana retail stores and through mail and Internet orders, was due to a potential Salmonella contamination.

McCormick Product Recall due to Salmonella in HVP:

Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black alerted consumers to a recall of McCormick & Company products manufactured with hydrolyzed vegetable protein because they could be contaminated with bacteria.

The products are supplied by Basic Food Flavors of Las Vegas and were distributed nationwide and sold in retail stores, including two products that were distributed internationally. The products have the potential for Salmonella contamination.

Other News:

Finally, Marler Clark as begun another informative system aimed to assist regulators, consumers, and industry alike in achieving better food safety.  See Restaurant Inspection Report Score Cards – State by State, City by City Portal

See also, www.outbreakdatabase.com, www.foodsafetynews.com, www.realrawmilkfacts.com, and www.about-ecoli.com, www.about-salmonella.com, www.about-campylobacter.com, www.about-hepatitis.com, www.about-listeria.com, www.about-irritablebowelsyndrome.com, and www.about-reactive-arthritis.com,