Foodborne Illness Outbreaks

Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on the current romaine lettuce E. coli O157:H7 outbreak investigation

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state authorities, continues to investigate a multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections associated with consumption of romaine lettuce in the U.S. As of Nov. 26, 2018, this outbreak has resulted in 43 people becoming ill in 12 states, with the last reported illness onset date being Oct. 31, 2018. An additional 22 people in Canada have become ill, and the FDA and our partners are also coordinating the investigation with Canadian health and food safety authorities.

As we continue to investigate this outbreak, today the FDA is announcing new steps to help consumers better identify where their romaine is grown through voluntary labeling.

To prevent additional cases of E. coli O157:H7, on Nov. 20, 2018 the CDC advised the public not to consume romaine lettuce and to destroy any romaine lettuce in their homes. At the same time, the FDA requested that all romaine lettuce on the market, including in restaurants and other commercial establishments, should be withdrawn and destroyed. The FDA made this request because initial information available at that time had not identified a likely source for the outbreak that would allow a targeted request, it was likely romaine lettuce contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 that could cause illness was still available on the market, and a market withdrawal was the fastest way to remove potentially contaminated product. The romaine lettuce industry agreed to comply with the FDA’s request to withdraw any romaine lettuce on the market on that date, and available information suggests this action was effective in removing potentially contaminated romaine lettuce from retail establishments.

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, the FDA continued to investigate the outbreak. Our investigation at this point suggests that romaine lettuce associated with the outbreak comes from areas of California that grow romaine lettuce over the summer months, and that the outbreak appears to be related to “end of season” romaine lettuce harvested from these areas. The involved areas include the Central Coast growing regions of central and northern California.

The FDA is continuing tracebacks of romaine lettuce from locations where impacted consumers purchased or consumed romaine lettuce before they became ill in order to identify specific locations that are the likely source of the outbreak and to determine the factors that resulted in contamination. Through laboratory studies we have identified that the E. coliO157:H7 strain causing the outbreak is similar to one that produced an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 in the fall of 2017 that also occurred in the U.S. and Canada, which was associated with consumption of leafy greens in the U.S. and specifically romaine lettuce in Canada.

Based on further discussions with the leafy greens industry and with agricultural authorities, we have begun to narrow the location in which we believe the contaminated romaine in the current outbreak was grown. At the time of the outbreak, the vast majority of the romaine on the market was being grown in the Central Coast region of California. Since, then harvesting of romaine lettuce from this region has ended for the year. Growing and harvesting of romaine lettuce is now shifting to the winter growing regions of the U.S., which include mainly the California desert region of the Imperial Valley, the desert region of Arizona in and around Yuma, and Florida. Romaine lettuce grown in Mexico is exported to the U.S. during the winter months. Smaller quantities of romaine lettuce are grown in other states. At this time, the FDA has no information to suggest any of these growing areas are involved in the current outbreak, which began well before any romaine lettuce from these winter growing locations was available for harvest. In addition, hydroponic romaine lettuce and romaine lettuce grown in green-houses is also marketed in the U.S., but there is no information to suggest these products are implicated in any identified E. coli O157:H7 outbreak.

The FDA believes it was critically important to have a “clean break” in the romaine supply available to consumers in the U.S. in order to purge the market of potentially contaminated romaine lettuce related to the current outbreak. This appears to have been accomplished through the market withdrawal request of Nov. 20, 2018.

Knowing the growing origin of produce will continue to play an important role in allowing consumers to avoid contaminated products and facilitating market withdrawals and tracebacks. That’s why we previously called on the romaine lettuce industry to provide unambiguous and clear information to consumers regarding where their lettuce was grown and when it was harvested.

To this end, the FDA recently participated in discussions with the major producers and distributors of romaine lettuce in the U.S. and with the major trade associations representing the produce industry regarding product labeling and dating to assure consumers that any romaine lettuce that will come onto the market is not associated with the current outbreak of E. coli O157:H7. The labeling will identify the origin of the romaine based on harvest region, along with the date of harvest. This can improve the ability of the FDA to provide more targeted information to consumers in the event of a future outbreak of illness. The FDA also has commitments from the romaine lettuce industry that such labeling will continue into the future and become the standard for their products.

In addition, the leafy greens industry has agreed to establish a task force to find solutions for long term labeling of romaine lettuce and other leafy greens for helping to identify products and to put in place standards for traceability of product. The task force will also examine information from this outbreak to identify measures that led to its occurrence and how to prevent ongoing safety problems with romaine lettuce. One outcome could be to extend the commitment for labeling for origin and date of harvest to other leafy greens.

Therefore, the FDA is issuing the following updated advice as part of our investigation and public warning:

Based on discussions with major producers and distributors, romaine lettuce entering the market will now be labeled with a harvest location and a harvest date. Romaine lettuce entering the market can also be labeled as being hydroponically or greenhouse grown. If it does not have this information, you should not eat or use it.

If consumers, retailers, and food service facilities are unable to identify that romaine lettuce products are not affected – which means determining that the products were grown outside the California regions that appear to be implicated in the current outbreak investigation — we urge that these products not be purchased, or if purchased, be discarded or returned to the place of purchase.

Romaine lettuce that was harvested outside of the Central Coast growing regions of northern and central California does not appear to be related to the current outbreak. Hydroponically- and greenhouse-grown romaine also does not appear to be related to the current outbreak. There is no recommendation for consumers or retailers to avoid using romaine harvested from these sources.

The FDA has urged growers, processors, distributors and retailers to:
• clearly and prominently label all individually packaged romaine products to identify growing region and harvest date for romaine; and
• clearly and prominently label at the point of sale the growing region when it is not possible for romaine lettuce suppliers to label the package (e.g. individual unwrapped whole heads of romaine lettuce available in retail stores).

We hope that growers, processors, distributors and retailers will join us in our effort to protect consumers by applying these labeling recommendations to their products. We remain committed to identifying ways to decrease the incidence and impact of food borne illness outbreaks, and will continue to provide updates on our investigation and changes to our advice on romaine lettuce as more information becomes available.

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 $650 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.

Sorry Canada

As of November 23, 2018, there have been 22 confirmed cases of E. coli illness investigated in Ontario (4), Quebec (17), and New Brunswick (1). Individuals became sick between mid-October and early November 2018. Eight individuals have been hospitalized, and one individual suffered from hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a severe complication that can result from an E. coli infection. No deaths have been reported. Individuals who became ill are between 5 and 93 years of age. The cases are evenly distributed among male and female individuals.

Most of the individuals who became sick reported eating romaine lettuce before their illnesses occurred. Individuals reported eating romaine lettuce at home, as well as in prepared salads purchased at grocery stores, or from menu items ordered at restaurants and fast food chains.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is working with public health officials and the U.S. FDA to determine the source of the romaine lettuce that ill individuals were exposed to. As part of the food safety investigation, romaine lettuce is being sampled and tested. To date, all products that have been tested have been negative for E. coli. As no contaminated product has been found in the marketplace and the source of the contamination has not been identified, there have been no product recalls in Canada or the U.S associated with this outbreak. If a specific brand or source of romaine lettuce is identified in Canada the CFIA will take the necessary steps to protect the public, including recalling the product as required.

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 $650 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 KinerStephanie 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.

Since the outbreak was announced we have fielded dozens of phone calls and emails from the US and Canada from victims of this recent E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce likely grown in California.  Two families – one in British Columbia (who had been in California the week before) and one in New York (woman developed HUS and was in ICU for weeks) – reported romaine consumption and a positive test for Escherichia coli O157:H7 (E. coli O157:H7).

The CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, Canada, and the FDA are investigating a multistate outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 (E. coli O157:H7) infections.

As of November 20, 2018, 32 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported from 11 states.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from October 8, 2018 to October 31, 2018. Ill people range in age from 7 to 84 years, with a median age of 24. Sixty-six percent of ill people are female. Of 26 people with information available, 13 (50%) were hospitalized, including one person who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure. No deaths have been reported.

In Canada, as of November 20, 2018, there have been 19 confirmed cases of E. coli illness investigated in Ontario (3), Quebec (15) and (1) in the Maritimes. Individuals became sick between mid-October and early November 2018. Six individuals have been hospitalized, and one individual suffered from hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a severe complication that can result from an E. coli infection. No deaths have been reported. Individuals who became ill are between 5 and 93 years of age. The majority of cases (56%) are female.

Epidemiologic evidence indicates that romaine lettuce from California is a likely source of this outbreak.

Whole genome sequencing (WGS) results showed that the E. coli O157:H7 strain isolated from ill people in this outbreak is closely related genetically to the E. coli strain isolated from ill people in a 2017 outbreak linked to leafy greens in the United States and to romaine lettuce in Canada. The current outbreak is not related to a recent multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections linked to romaine lettuce. People in the spring outbreak were infected with E. coli O157:H7 bacteria with a different DNA fingerprint.

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 $650 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.

Jennie-O Turkey Store Sales, LLC, a Barron, Wis. establishment, is recalling approximately 147,276 pounds of raw ground turkey products that may be associated with an illness outbreak of Salmonella Reading, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The raw ground turkey products items were produced on September 11, 2018. The following products are subject to recall:

  • 1-lb. packages of “Jennie-O GROUND TURKEY 93% LEAN | 7% FAT” with “Use by” dates of 10/01/2018 and 10/02/2018.
  • 1-lb. packages of “Jennie-O TACO SEASONED GROUND TURKEY” with a “Use by” date of 10/02/2018.
  • 1-lb. packages of “Jennie-O GROUND TURKEY 85% LEAN | 15% FAT” with a “Use by” date of 10/02/2018.
  • 1-lb. packages of “Jennie-O ITALIAN SEASONED GROUND TURKEY” with a “Use by” date of 10/02/2018.
  • 1-lb. packages of “GROUND TURKEY 90% LEAN | 10% FAT” with a “Use by” date of 10/02/20

The products subject to recall bear establishment number “P-190” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to retail locations nationwide.

States where the affected product was shipped: AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, MI, MN, NC, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, TX, UT, WA, WI

FSIS, and its public health partners, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Arizona Department of Health Services, have been conducting traceback activities for a sample of Jennie-O brand ground turkey in an intact, unopened package from a case-patient’s home. The patient tested positive for Salmonella Reading and the sample from the ground turkey matches the outbreak strain.

FSIS, the CDC, and state public health and agriculture partners, have been working together on an illness cluster involving 164 case-patients in 35 states. Patients have reported eating different types and brands of turkey products purchased from many different stores, handling raw turkey pet food and/or raw turkey, or working with live turkeys or living with someone who handled live turkeys. FSIS continues to work with the CDC and state health departments on this investigation and will provide updated information as it becomes available. Based on the continuing investigation, additional product from other companies may also be recalled.

Consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses. The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating the contaminated product. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days. Most people recover without treatment. In some persons, however, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Older adults, infants, and persons with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop a severe illness. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact their health care provider.

FSIS is concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers’ freezers. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them.

According to the CDC:

  • As of November 5, 2018, 164 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Reading have been reported from 35 states.
    • 63 people have been hospitalized, and one death has been reported from California.
  • Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates that raw turkey products from a variety of sources are contaminated with Salmonella Reading and are making people sick.
  • In interviews, ill people report eating different types and brands of turkey products purchased from many different locations. Three ill people lived in households where raw turkey pet food was fed to pets.
  • The outbreak strain has been identified in samples taken from raw turkey pet food, raw turkey products, and live turkeys.
    • On November 15, 2018, Jennie-O Turkey Store Sales in Barron, Wisconsin recalled approximately 91,388 pounds of raw ground turkey products.
    • A single, common supplier of raw turkey products or of live turkeys has not been identified that could account for the whole outbreak.
  • The outbreak strain of Salmonella Reading is present in live turkeys and in many types of raw turkey products, indicating it might be widespread in the turkey industry. CDC and USDA-FSIS have shared this information with representatives from the turkey industry and asked about steps that they may be taking to reduce Salmonella contamination.

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 $650 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.

Thirty-two people infected with the outbreak strain of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7 have been reported from 11 states – California 10, Connecticut 1, Illinois 2, Massachusetts 2, Maryland 1, Michigan 7, New Hampshire 2, New Jersey 3, New York 2, Ohio 1, Wisconsin 1.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from October 8, 2018 to October 31, 2018.

Thirteen people were hospitalized, including one person who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure. No deaths have been reported.

The Public Health Agency of Canada has identified 18 ill people infected with the same DNA fingerprint of E. coli O157:H7 bacteria in two Canadian provinces: Ontario and Quebec.

Epidemiologic evidence from the United States and Canada indicates that romaine lettuce is a likely source of the outbreak.

Ill people in this outbreak were infected with E. coli bacteria with the same DNA fingerprint as the E. coli strain isolated from ill people in a 2017 outbreak linked to leafy greens in the United States and to romaine lettuce in Canada.The current outbreak is not related to a recent multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections linked to romaine lettuce.

CDC is advising that consumers do not eat any romaine lettuce because no common grower, supplier, distributor, or brand of romaine lettuce has been identified.

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 $650 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.

In Canada, as of November 20, 2018, there have been 18 confirmed cases of E. coli illness investigated in Ontario (3) and Quebec (15). Individuals became sick between mid-October and early November 2018. Six individuals have been hospitalized, and one individual suffered from hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a severe complication that can result from an E. coli infection. No deaths have been reported. Individuals who became ill are between 5 and 93 years of age. The majority of cases (56%) are female.

Most of the individuals who became sick in Ontario and Quebec reported eating romaine lettuce before their illnesses occurred. Individuals reported eating romaine lettuce at home, as well as in prepared salads purchased at grocery stores, or from menu items ordered at restaurants and fast food chains.

In Canada, based on the investigation findings to date, exposure to romaine lettuce has been identified as a source of the outbreak, but the cause of contamination has not been identified. Laboratory analysis indicates that the illnesses reported in this outbreak are genetically related to illnesses reported in a previous E. coli outbreak from December 2017 that affected consumers in both Canada and the U.S. This tells us that the same strain of E. coli is causing illness in Canada and the US as was seen in 2017 and it suggests there may be a reoccurring source of contamination. Investigators are using evidence collected in both outbreaks to help identify the possible cause of the contamination in these events.

The current outbreak appears to be ongoing as illnesses linked to romaine lettuce continue to be reported. These recent illnesses indicate that contaminated romaine lettuce may still be on the market, including in restaurants, grocery stores and any establishments that serve food. At this time, the investigation evidence in Ontario and Quebec suggests that there is a risk of E. coli infections associated with eating romaine lettuce.

In 2017 there were 42 cases of E. coli O157 illness reported in five eastern provinces: Ontario (8), Quebec (15), New Brunswick (5), Nova Scotia (1), and Newfoundland and Labrador (13). Individuals became sick in November and early December 2017. Seventeen individuals were hospitalized. One individual died. Individuals who became ill were between the ages of 3 and 85 years of age. The majority of cases (74%) were female.

Most of the individuals who became sick reported eating romaine lettuce before their illnesses occurred. Individuals reported eating romaine lettuce at home, as well as in prepared salads purchased at grocery stores, restaurants and fast food chains. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency worked with public health officials to determine the source of the romaine lettuce that ill individuals were exposed to. As part of the food safety investigation into the source of contamination, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency tested various romaine lettuce samples for the presence of E. coli. All food samples tested negative and no source of contamination was identified.

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 $650 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.

165368 C. Corporation, doing business as Long Phung Food Products, a Houston, Texas establishment, is recalling an undetermined amount of ready-to-eat pork products that may be adulterated with Listeria monocytogenes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The ready-to-eat pork patty rolls were produced on various dates from May 21, 2018 through Nov. 16, 2018. The following products are subject to recall:

  • 16-oz. plastic vacuum packed packages containing a single marinated roll of “Long Phung 1988 GIO LUA” VIETNAMESE BRAND COOKED PORK PATTY ROLL ANCHOVY FLAVORED FISH SAUCE ADDED.
  • 32-oz. plastic vacuum packed packages containing a single marinated roll of “Long Phung 1988 GIO LUA” VIETNAMESE STYLE COOKED PORK PATTY ROLL ANCHOVY FLAVORED FISH SAUCE ADDED.
  • 14-oz. plastic vacuum packed packages containing a single marinated roll of “Long Phung 1988 CHA QUE” VIETNAMESE STYLE FRIED CINNAMON PORK PATTY ROLL ANCHOVY FLAVORED FISH SAUCE ADDED.
  • 16-oz. plastic vacuum packed packages containing a single marinated roll of “Long Phung 1988 GIO HUE” VIETNAMESE BRAND GARLIC & PEPPER PORK PATTY ROLL ANCHOVY FLAVORED FISH SAUCE ADDED.
  • 32-oz. plastic vacuum packed packages containing a single marinated roll of “Long Phung 1988 GIO HUE” VIETNAMESE COOKED PORK PATTY ROLL WITH GARLIC SEASONING ANCHOVY FLAVORED FISH SAUCE ADDED.
  • 16-oz. plastic vacuum packed packages containing a single marinated roll of “Long Phung 1988 CHA CHIEN” VIETNAMESE STYLE FRIED PORK PATTY ANCHOVY FLAVORED FISH SAUCE ADDED.
  • 16-oz. plastic vacuum packed packages containing a single marinated roll of “Long Phung GIO BI” VIETNAMESE BRAND COOKED PORK & PORK SKIN PATTY ROLL FLAVORED WITH ANCHOVY FLAVORED FISH SAUCE.

The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. 13561” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to distributors and retail locations nationwide.

On October 22, 2018, FSIS was notified of a cluster of listeriosis illnesses that were closely related. Working in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state public health partners, FSIS determined that there is a link between the Listeria monocytogenes illnesses and ready-to-eat pork products produced by Long Phung Foods. The epidemiologic investigation identified a total of four listeriosis confirmed illnesses between July 1, 2017 and October 24, 2018. On November 19, 2018, whole genome sequencing of investigative samples collected from Long Phung Foods Establishment M13561 showed that the samples were closely related genetically to Listeria monocytogenes from ill people. FSIS is continuing to work with federal and state public health partners to determine if there are additional illnesses linked to these products and will provide updated information should it become available.

Consumption of food contaminated with L. monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, a serious infection that primarily affects older adults, persons with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women and their newborns. Less commonly, persons outside these risk groups are affected.

Listeriosis can cause fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. An invasive infection spreads beyond the gastrointestinal tract. In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn. In addition, serious and sometimes fatal infections in older adults and persons with weakened immune systems. Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics. Persons in the higher-risk categories who experience flu-like symptoms within two months after eating contaminated food should seek medical care and tell the health care provider about eating the contaminated food.

FSIS is concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers’ freezers. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them.

Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Listeria outbreaks. The Listeria lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Listeria and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $650 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Listeria lawyers have litigated Listeria cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as deli meat, cantaloupe, cheese, celery and milk.

If you or a family member became ill with a Listeria infection after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Listeria attorneys for a free case evaluation.

The CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, Canada, and the FDA are investigating a multistate outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 (E. coli O157:H7) infections.

Public health investigators are using the PulseNet system to identify illnesses that may be part of this outbreak. PulseNet is the national subtyping network of public health and food regulatory agency laboratories coordinated by CDC. DNA fingerprinting is performed on E. coli bacteria isolated from ill people by using techniques called pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and whole genome sequencing (WGS). CDC PulseNet manages a national database of these DNA fingerprints to identify possible outbreaks. WGS gives a more detailed DNA fingerprint than PFGE. WGS performed on E. coli bacteria from ill people in this outbreak showed that the strains were closely related genetically. This means that the ill people were more likely to share a common source of infection.

As of November 20, 2018, 32 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported from 11 states. A list of the states and the number of cases in each can be found on the Map of Reported Cases page.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from October 8, 2018 to October 31, 2018. Ill people range in age from 7 to 84 years, with a median age of 24. Sixty-six percent of ill people are female. Of 26 people with information available, 13 (50%) were hospitalized, including one person who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure. No deaths have been reported.

Illnesses that occurred after October 30, 2018, might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill with E. coliinfection and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of two to three weeks.

Epidemiologic evidence indicates that romaine lettuce is a likely source of this outbreak.

In interviews, ill people answered questions about the foods they ate and other exposures in the week before they became ill. Eleven (79%) of 14 people interviewed reported eating romaine lettuce. This percentage is significantly higher than results from a survey[PDF – 787 KB] of healthy people in which 47% reported eating romaine lettuce in the week before they were interviewed. Ill people reported eating different types of romaine lettuce in several restaurants and at home.

Whole genome sequencing (WGS) results showed that the E. coli O157:H7 strain isolated from ill people in this outbreak is closely related genetically to the E. coli strain isolated from ill people in a 2017 outbreak linked to leafy greens in the United States and to romaine lettuce in Canada. The current outbreak is not related to a recent multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections linked to romaine lettuce. People in the spring outbreak were infected with E. coli O157:H7 bacteria with a different DNA fingerprint.

FDA and states are working to trace back romaine lettuce that ill people ate in the current outbreak. At this time, no common grower, supplier, distributor, or brand of romaine lettuce has been identified. CDC is advising that consumers not eat any romaine lettuce, and restaurants and retailers not sell any, until we learn more about this outbreak and the source of the contaminated lettuce.

This investigation is ongoing, and CDC will provide more information as it becomes available.

Thirty-two people infected with the outbreak strain of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7 have been reported from 11 states.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from October 8, 2018 to October 31, 2018.

Thirteen people were hospitalized, including one person who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure. No deaths have been reported.

The Public Health Agency of Canada has identified 18 ill people infected with the same DNA fingerprint of E. coli O157:H7 bacteria in two Canadian provinces: Ontario and Quebec.

Epidemiologic evidence from the United States and Canada indicates that romaine lettuce is a likely source of the outbreak.

Ill people in this outbreak were infected with E. coli bacteria with the same DNA fingerprint as the E. coli strain isolated from ill people in a 2017 outbreak linked to leafy greens in the United States and to romaine lettuce in Canada. The current outbreak is not related to a recent multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections linked to romaine lettuce.

CDC is advising that consumers do not eat any romaine lettuce because no common grower, supplier, distributor, or brand of romaine lettuce has been identified.

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 $650 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.

300 Sickened.

Cabarrus Health Alliance received preliminary test results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) related to food samples from the Poplar Tent Presbyterian Church BBQ held on November 1, 2018.

Samples of the barbecue pork, Brunswick stew, cole slaw and barbecue sauce were all tested to identify potential cause for illness. The Brunswick stew cultures tested positive for C. perfringens. C. perfringensis a common cause for food poisoning and infection often occurs when foods are prepared in large quantities and kept warm for a long time before serving. All other foods tested negative.

People infected with C. perfringens develop diarrhea and abdominal cramps within 6 to 24 hours (typically 8 to 12 hours). The illness usually begins suddenly and lasts for less than 24 hours.

Cabarrus Health Alliance officials are asking individuals to dispose of all leftovers and additional food purchased from the BBQ due to risk of cross-contamination.

Clostridium perfringens are bacteria that produce toxins harmful to humans. Clostridium perfringens and its toxins are found everywhere in the environment, but human infection is most likely to come from eating food with Clostridium perfringens in it. Food poisoning from Clostridium perfringens fairly common, but is typically not too severe, and is often mistaken for the 24-hour flu.

Source of Clostridium perfringens

The majority of outbreaks are associated with undercooked meats, often in large quantities of food prepared for a large group of people and left to sit out for long periods of time. Because of this, it is sometimes referred to as the “food service germ.” Meat products such as stews, casseroles, and gravy are the most common sources of illness from C. perfringens. Most outbreaks come from food whose temperature is poorly controlled. If food is kept between 70 and 140 F, it is likely to grow Clostridium perfringens bacteria.

Symptoms of Clostridium perfringens Infection

People generally experience symptoms of Clostridium perfringens infection 6 to 24 hours after consuming the bacteria or toxins. Clostridium perfringens toxins cause abdominal pain and stomach cramps, followed by diarrhea. Nausea is also a common symptom. Fever and vomiting are not normally symptoms of poisoning by Clostridium perfringens toxins.

Illness from Clostridium perferingens generally lasts around 24 hours, and is rarely fatal.

Complication from Clostridium perfringens

The Type C strain of Clostridium perfringens can cause a more serious condition called Pig-bel Syndrome. This syndrome can cause death of intestinal cells and can often be fatal.

Preventing a Clostridium perfringens Infection

To prevent infection by Clostridium perfringens, follow the these tips:

Cook foods containing meat thoroughly

If keeping foods out, make sure they maintain a temperature of 140 F (60 C)When storing food in the refrigerator, divide it into pieces with a thickness of three inches or less so that it cools fasterReheat foods to at least 165 F (74 C).