The Marler Clark network of food poisoning informational Web sites, which first appeared online in 1998, recently received a makeover. The sites, which were originally put online to provide Internet users with basic information about the illnesses caused by such foodborne pathogens as E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella, and Hepatitis A, have increased in breadth over the

CDCThe CDC today released its preliminary 2006 food-borne illness data from 10 states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Tennessee. A total of 17,252 confirmed cases (actual cases may be anywhere between 20 and 30 times the confirmed cases) of food-borne illness were reported in those states in 2006, according to the CDC.

Continue Reading 17,252 confirmed cases of food poisoning in 2006 in US

E. posted an article about ten foodborne pathogens.  The list, which was compiled by author Terry Nicholls. He goes on to describe pathogens, or bacteria and viruses that cause human illness, and different foods that pathogens have been found in, including raw milk and other dairy products, meat, and fresh produce.  He also mentions measures that can aid in reducing foodborne illness, such as hand washing, temperature control, and using separate cutting boards for potentially dangerous foods and foods that will not be cooked again, such as fresh produce.Continue Reading Ten foodborne pathogens

The Medical Microbiology blog has a post on general diagnosis of urinary tract infection, enterocolitis, and foodborne illness. What they have to say about food poisoning is:

Food is an important mode of transmission of infectious diarrhea. Bacterial enters the food chain from animal infections, from poor hygiene during butchering, improper cleaning of storage and

norovirusDoctors call it "acute gastroenteritis." To many other people, it’s "stomach flu" (though real influenza is a respiratory, not digestive, illness). Whatever you call it, a sudden illness involving diarrhea, vomiting or both is a miserable thing. And occasionally — as demonstrated by the recent deaths linked to E. coli-tainted spinach — it can

shopping cartThe an article in today’s Star Tribune reports the grocery cart you’re putting your food, handbag and toddler into is full of germs.

Consider the handle. It’s been touched by untold numbers of hands that have changed diapers, mopped up runny noses, picked up packages of raw chicken and meat, and been coughed on, sneezed

Foxy lettuceThe Monterey Herald reports that Mexico is banning U.S. imports. More countries to follow?

Mexico’s Department of Health announced Monday that the country’s 105 ports of entry would block all U.S. lettuce from coming through the border as a result of Nunes Co.’s precautionary recall.

The family-run company recalled the lettuce after water from a

CDCMarilynn Marchione, a medical writer for the Associated Press, reports that despite the recent E. coli spinach outbreak, food may be safer now than at any other time in the last decade, with illness occurring at record-low rates, new federal statistics show.

Consumers get part of the credit, for handling food more safely at home, but experts say the biggest improvement came from better industry controls and inspections.

However, the trend could reverse in coming years if fruit and vegetable growers do not address problems like those that led to the spinach scare.

On Friday, the Food and Drug Administration lifted its warning on spinach except for specific brands packaged on certain dates. Consumers should continue to avoid spinach recalled by Natural Selection Foods LLC of San Juan Bautista and four companies that it supplied.

The recall covered 34 brands bearing "Best if Used By" dates of Aug. 17 through Oct. 1, so most of it is thought to be out of the food supply now.

The spinach sickened 187 people in 26 states, hospitalized 97 of them and killed one. Outbreaks typically are far larger than the number of lab-confirmed cases reported to federal officials.

Germs in food make 76 million Americans sick, send 323,000 to hospitals and kill 5,000 each year, the CDC estimates.Continue Reading Food illnesses decline, CDC reports