Cargill Ground Beef 2018 – 17 Ill, 1 Death – E. coli O26

On Aug. 16, 2018, FSIS was notified of an investigation of E. coli O26 illnesses. FSIS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state public health and agriculture partners determined that raw ground beef was the probable source of the reported illnesses. The epidemiological investigation identified 17 illnesses and one death with illness onset dates ranging from July 5 to July 25, 2018.  On August 30thPublix Super Markets Inc., a Lakeland, Fla., retail grocery store chain recalled an undetermined amount of ground beef products made from chuck that may be contaminated with Escherichia coli O26.  On September 19th, Cargill Meat Solutions, a Fort Morgan, Colorado establishment, recalled approximately 132,606 pounds of ground beef products made from the chuck portion of the carcass that may be contaminated with Escherichia coli O26,

A bit of History:

Cargill Ground Beef 2012 – 40 Ill – Salmonella

On July 22, 2012 Cargill Meat Solutions announced a recall of 29,339 pounds of fresh ground beef products due to possible contamination with Salmonella Enteritidis. Using epidemiologic and traceback data public health investigators in 8 states (MA, ME, NH, NY, RI, VA, VT, and WV) and the CDC linked 40 patients diagnosed with S. Enteritidis to consumption of Cargill ground beef sold at Hannaford grocery stores in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont. Among 40 persons for whom information is available, illness onset dates ranged from June 6, 2012 to July 9, 2012. Eleven patients were hospitalized. The Vermont Department of Health isolated the outbreak strain in leftover product.

Cargill Meat Solutions Ground Turkey 2011 – 181 Ill – Salmonella

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service(FSIS) issued a public health alert, on July 29, due to concerns about illnesses caused by Salmonella Heidelberg that associated with the use and the consumption of ground turkey. The alert was initiated after continuous medical reports, ongoing investigations and testing conducted by various departments of health across the nation determined an association between consumption of ground turkey products and illness. On August 3, Cargill Meat Solutions issued a recall of ground turkey products. The products subject to recall bear the establishment number “P-963” inside the USDA mark of inspection. On August 4, the Centers for Disease Control published their first outbreak summary. The Salmonella Heidelberg was multi-drug resistant, resistant to ampicillin, streptomycin, tetracycline, and gentamycin. The CDC began their investigation on May 23, after recognizing an “unusual clustering” of Salmonella Heidelberg cases. About the same time, routine surveillance by a federal food monitoring system found the same strain of Salmonella Heidelberg in ground turkey in stores. On July 29, the initial outbreak strain and a second, closely related, strain of Salmonella Heidelberg was isolated from a sample of leftover unlabeled frozen ground turkey from the home of an outbreak case in Ohio. Since February 27, 2011, a total of 23 ill persons were reported to Pulse Net with this second, closely related, strain. Eighty-four ill persons were infected with the initial strain. The consumer product sample originated from the Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation establishment in Springdale, Arkansas. On September 11, Cargill Meat Solutions recalled an additional, approximately 185,000 pounds, of ground turkey contaminated with an identical strain of Salmonella Heidelberg that had led to the earlier recall on August 3. As of September 27, no illnesses had been linked to the additionally recalled, ground turkey products.

Cargill Meat Solutions/BJ’s Wholesale Club Ground Beef 2010 – 3 Ill – E. coli O26

A recall of ground beef was issued on August 28 when three people developed illnesses caused by rare strain of E. coli O26 after they had eaten the product. The ground beef produced by Cargill Meat Solutions, of Pennsylvania and was distributed to BJ’s Wholesale Clubs in New York, Maine, Connecticut, Virginia, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Maryland.

Beef Packers, Inc., Cargill, Ground Beef 2009 – 2 Ill – Salmonella

In December, Beef Packers, Inc., owned by Cargill, recalled over 20,000 pounds of ground beef contaminated with a drug-resistant strain of Salmonella Newport. The company issued an earlier recall in August 2009, due to contamination of ground beef with the same strain of Salmonella Newport. This contaminated ground beef was produced in September and was distributed to Safeway grocery stores in Arizona and New Mexico. The Arizona Department of Health linked two illnesses to the ground beef.

Beef Packers, Inc., Cargill, Ground Beef 2009 – 68 Ill – Salmonella

A Beef Packers, Inc. plant in California owned by Cargill, distributed approximately 830,000 pounds of ground beef that was likely contaminated with Salmonella Newport. The beef was shipped to distribution centers in Arizona, California, Colorado, and Utah where it was repackaged into consumer-sized packages and sold under different retail brand names. The contaminated beef contained a strain of Salmonella resistant to several commonly used antibiotics (called MDR-AmpC resistance). Sixty-eight outbreak associated cases were reported by 15 states. Most of the ill in Colorado had purchased the ground beef at Safeway grocery stores.

Cargill Ground Beef Sold at Sam’s Club Stores 2007 – 46 Ill – E. coli O157:H7

A multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 began in August and led to the eventual recall of 845,000 pounds of Cargill ground beef. Forty-six cases were reported by 15 states. Interviews with the case-patients found a common exposure of Cargill hamburger.

Emmpak/Cargill Ground Beef 2002 – 57 Ill – E. coli O157:H7

Wisconsin epidemiologists noted a cluster of E. coli O157:H7 cases. The health department interviewed case-patients and found a common exposure. All victims had eaten ground beef from Emmpak, a meat producer. The same strain of E.coli O157:H7 was isolated from the ground beef. The case investigation resulted in a 2.8-million-pound recall of Emmpak meat and resulted in related illnesses in at least six states. The responsible Emmpak plant was closed for inadequate sampling and testing procedures.

Cargill Deli Turkey 2000  – 29 Ill – Listeria

A case-control study implicated sliced, processed, turkey deli meat in a multistate (11 state) outbreak. A traceback investigation identified a single processing plant in Texas as the likely source of the outbreak. The company recalled 16 million pounds of processed meat. The same plant had been implicated in a Listeria contamination involving the same strain of Listeria more than a decade previously.

Marler Clark, The Nation’s 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.

According to the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District (Metro Health):

As has been reported by local media, the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District (Metro Health) is investigating a potential foodborne illness cluster following numerous, independent complaints of foodborne illness reported by individuals who have dined at Pasha’s Mediterranean Grill on Wurzbach Road during the past Labor Day weekend.

As of Sept. 5, more than 60 individuals reported foodborne illness symptoms after eating at this food establishment. Common symptoms of foodborne diseases include nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. However, symptoms may differ among the different types of foodborne diseases.  Health officials encourage anyone who recently ate at the restaurant and is experiencing symptoms to seek medical attention.

The restaurant is cooperating fully in the investigation and Metro Health staff is working with the restaurant to ensure all precautions are being taken to prevent any further illnesses.

According to press reports:

A total of 184 people have reported symptoms of foodborne illness, seven of whom have been hospitalized, after eating at a Northwest Side restaurant over the weekend, according to the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District.

The people had eaten at Pasha Mediterranean Grill on Wurzbach Road between Friday and Sunday, health officials said.

The New York State Department of Health, working collaboratively with the Chautauqua County Health Department, is investigating reports of multiple illnesses potentially associated with the McDonald’s at 2803 N. Main Street Extension in Jamestown, Chautauqua County.

“We are working diligently with the State Health Department and McDonald’s representatives to conduct a thorough epidemiological investigation into these illnesses,” said Christine Schuyler, County Public Health Director. “There is currently no identified source of these illnesses and there is no evidence that the illness can be spread from person to person.”

Twenty-two (22) individuals reported common symptoms of nausea, vomiting or diarrhea from August 4-21. Through interviews conducted with 15 case patients, all individuals indicated they had eaten various breakfast sandwiches at the establishment. Additionally, patient samples as well as breakfast sandwiches prepared at the McDonald’s were sent to the Wadsworth Center, New York State’s Public Health Laboratory in Albany, for testing. While many tests are pending, preliminary testing has come back negative.

McDonalds is fully cooperating with this investigation and is readily following all recommendations of the State and County Health Departments while this investigation continues. The franchise owner is voluntarily implementing the following precautionary action items: temporarily closing the establishment to conduct a thorough cleaning of the food preparation area and all equipment, reviewing the food preparation and distribution process in conjunction with County staff, obtaining a fresh supply of ingredients prior to restarting food production, and conducting a follow up meeting with the Chautauqua County Health Department to ensure all recommendations were appropriately met.

No other McDonald’s locations are involved in this investigation.

Anyone who may have visited the McDonalds at 2803 N. Main Street Extension in Jamestown and experienced vomiting and/or diarrhea shortly after eating there between August 4 to today can contact the Chautauqua County Health Department at 716-753-4483 or email CCHEALTH@co.chautauqua.ny.us.

SEATTLE, WA – Marler Clark, the Nation’s Food Safety Law Firm, has hired two new attorneys over the past year. Jenny Schell and Josh Fensterbush both graduated from Seattle University School of Law, the alma mater of managing partner, Bill Marler. Unfortunately, 2018 has been one of the busiest years for Marler Clark representing victims of foodborne illness. The firm has 100 clients from the romaine E. colioutbreak alone as well as clients from:

  • Cyclosporaoutbreak linked to Fresh Express salads
  • Cyclosporaoutbreak linked to Del Monte vegetable trays
  • Salmonellaoutbreak linked to Jimmy John’s sprouts
  • Salmonellaoutbreak linked to Fareway chicken salad
  • Salmonella outbreak linked to Rose Acre Farms
  • Salmonellaoutbreak linked to Caito cut melons
  • Salmonella outbreak linked to Kellog’s Honey Smacks
  • Salmonellaoutbreak linked to Hy-Vee pasta salad

Jenny joined Marler Clark in August 2018. Before joining us, she served as a judicial clerk for Associate Chief Justice Charles W. Johnson of the Washington State Supreme Court. While in law school, Jenny was a legal extern for Judge Beth Andrus in King County Superior Court and worked with organizations such as the ACLU of Washington and the Washington Appellate Project. She speaks fluent Spanish and worked in immigration defense before law school.

Jenny graduated from Seattle University School of Law, magna cum laude, in 2017. She also has a B.A. with honors in history from Lewis & Clark College. Outside of work, she enjoys playing music and doing anything outdoors, especially if she can take her dog with her.

Josh joined Marler Clark in March 2017, after graduating from Seattle University School of Law, Cum Laude. During law school, Josh served as a legal extern to Commissioner Kanazawa at Division 1 of the Washington State Court of Appeals, as a local Casework Coordinator for the International Refugee Assistance Project and was also appointed Research & Technical Editor of the Seattle University Law Review.

At Marler Clark, Josh serves in multiple capacities to bring about effective results for claimants of foodborne injuries. He has worked on a variety of cases involving E. coli, hepatitis A, Salmonella, and Listeriaoutbreaks, and his work regularly involves conducting discovery matters, researching critical litigatory issues, drafting pleadings and motions, and participating in mediations and trial preparation.

Josh is also proud alumnus of Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Relations and Philosophy. His activities during that time not only influenced him to pursue a legal education, but also fostered in him a deep love for the outdoors, biking, rugby, and beer.

Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, has represented thousands of individuals in claims against food companies whose contaminated products have caused life altering injury and even death. Marler Clark formed after managing partner, Bill Marler, began litigating foodborne illness cases in 1993, when he represented Brianne Kiner, the most seriously injured survivor of the historic Jack in the Box E. coliO157:H7 outbreak, in her landmark $15.6 million settlement with the company.  The 2011 book, Poisoned: The True Story of the Deadly E. coli Outbreak that Changed the Way Americans Eat, by best-selling author Jeff Benedict, chronicles the Jack in the Box outbreak and the rise of Bill Marler as a food safety attorney.  A new edition of the book is coming out later this year.

SEATTLE, Washington – Marler Blog has been selected by the ABA Journal as one of the 100 best digital media for a legal audience. Additionally, Marler Blog along with Food Poison Journal were recognized as two of the Top 30 Food Safety Blogs, Websites & Newsletters to Follow in 2018 by Feedspot.com. Both websites are run by Bill Marler, the managing partner at Marler Clark, the food safety law firm. Mr. Marler uses the sites to raise awareness about foodborne illness outbreaks and recalls and to call for food safety policy reform.

An accomplished attorney and national expert in food safety, William (Bill) Marler has become the most prominent foodborne illness lawyer in America and a major force in food policy in the U.S. and around the world.  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, has represented thousands of individuals in claims against food companies whose contaminated products have caused life altering injury and even death.

Bill began litigating foodborne illness cases in 1993, when he represented Brianne Kiner, the most seriously injured survivor of the historic Jack in the Box E. coli O157:H7 outbreak, in her landmark $15.6 million settlement with the company.  The 2011 book, Poisoned: The True Story of the Deadly E. coli Outbreak that Changed the Way Americans Eat, by best-selling author Jeff Benedict, chronicles the Jack in the Box outbreak and the rise of Bill Marler as a food safety attorney.

For the last 25 years, Bill has represented victims of nearly every large foodborne illness outbreak in the United States, filing lawsuits against such companies as Cargill, Chili’s, Chi-Chi’s, Chipotle, ConAgra, Dole, Excel, Golden Corral, KFC, McDonald’s, Odwalla, Peanut Corporation of America, Sheetz, Sizzler, Supervalu, Taco Bell and Wendy’s. Through his work, he has secured over $650,000,000 for victims of E. coli, Salmonella, and other foodborne illnesses.

Among the most notable cases he has litigated, Bill counts those of nineteen-year-old dancer Stephanie Smith, who was sickened by an E. coli-contaminated hamburger that left her brain damaged and paralyzed, and Linda Rivera, a fifty-seven-year-old mother of six from Nevada, who was hospitalized for over 2 years after she was stricken with what her doctor described as “the most severe multi-organ [bowel, kidney, brain, lung, gall bladder, and pancreas] case of E. coli mediated HUS I have seen in my extensive experience.”

Fast Facts of CDC: Surveillance for Foodborne Disease Outbreaks — United States, 2009–2015 Surveillance Summaries / July 27, 2018 / 67(10);1–11:

2009–2015: 5,760 outbreaks that resulted in 100,939 illnesses, 5,699 hospitalizations, and 145 deaths.

Among 2,953 outbreaks with a single confirmed etiology:

  1. Norovirus was the most common cause of outbreaks (1,130 outbreaks [38%]) and outbreak-associated illnesses (27,623 illnesses [41%]).
  2. Salmonella with 896 outbreaks (30%) and 23,662 illnesses (35%).
  3. Outbreaks caused by ListeriaSalmonella, and Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) were responsible for 82% of all hospitalizations and 82% of deaths reported.

Among 1,281 outbreaks in which the food reported could be classified into a single food category:

  1. Fish were the most commonly implicated category (222 outbreaks [17%]).
  2. Dairy (136 [11%]).
  3. Chicken (123 [10%]).

The food categories responsible for the most outbreak-associated illnesses were:

  1. Chicken (3,114 illnesses [12%]).
  2. Pork (2,670 [10%]).
  3. Seeded vegetables (2,572 [10%]).

Multistate outbreaks comprised only 3% of all outbreaks reported but accounted for 11% of illnesses, 34% of hospitalizations, and 54% of deaths.

Problem/Condition: Known foodborne disease agents are estimated to cause approximately 9.4 million illnesses each year in the United States. Although only a small subset of illnesses are associated with recognized outbreaks, data from outbreak investigations provide insight into the foods and pathogens that cause illnesses and the settings and conditions in which they occur.

Description of System: The Foodborne Disease Outbreak Surveillance System (FDOSS) collects data on foodborne disease outbreaks, which are defined as the occurrence of two or more cases of a similar illness resulting from the ingestion of a common food. Since the early 1960s, foodborne outbreaks have been reported voluntarily to CDC by state, local, and territorial health departments using a standard form. Beginning in 2009, FDOSS reporting was made through the National Outbreak Reporting System, a web-based platform launched that year.

Results: During 2009–2015, FDOSS received reports of 5,760 outbreaks that resulted in 100,939 illnesses, 5,699 hospitalizations, and 145 deaths. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and CDC reported outbreaks. Among 2,953 outbreaks with a single confirmed etiology, norovirus was the most common cause of outbreaks (1,130 outbreaks [38%]) and outbreak-associated illnesses (27,623 illnesses [41%]), followed by Salmonella with 896 outbreaks (30%) and 23,662 illnesses (35%). Outbreaks caused by ListeriaSalmonella, and Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) were responsible for 82% of all hospitalizations and 82% of deaths reported. Among 1,281 outbreaks in which the food reported could be classified into a single food category, fish were the most commonly implicated category (222 outbreaks [17%]), followed by dairy (136 [11%]) and chicken (123 [10%]). The food categories responsible for the most outbreak-associated illnesses were chicken (3,114 illnesses [12%]), pork (2,670 [10%]), and seeded vegetables (2,572 [10%]). Multistate outbreaks comprised only 3% of all outbreaks reported but accounted for 11% of illnesses, 34% of hospitalizations, and 54% of deaths.

Location: A location of preparation was provided for 5,022 outbreak reports (87%), with 4,696 (94%) indicating a single location. Among outbreaks reporting a single location of preparation, restaurants were the most common location (2,880 outbreaks [61%]), followed by catering or banquet facilities (636 [14%]) and private homes (561 [12%]). Sit-down dining style restaurants (2,239 [48%]) were the most commonly reported type of restaurant. The locations of food preparation with the most outbreak-associated illnesses were restaurants (33,465 illnesses [43%]), catering or banquet facilities (18,141 [24%]), and institutions, such as schools (9,806 [13%]). The preparation location with the largest average number of illnesses per outbreak was institutions (46.5), whereas restaurants had the smallest (11.6).

Outbreaks: Outbreak investigators identified a food in 2,442 outbreaks (42%). These outbreaks resulted in 51,341 illnesses (51%). The food reported belonged to a single food category in 1,281 outbreaks (22%). The food category most commonly implicated was fish (222 outbreaks [17%]), followed by dairy (136 [11%]) and chicken (123 [10%]). The food categories responsible for the most outbreak-associated illnesses were chicken (3,114 illnesses [12%]), pork (2,670 [10%]), and seeded vegetables (2,572 [10%]). Scombroid toxin in fish was the single confirmed etiology and food category pair responsible for the most outbreaks (85), followed by ciguatoxin in fish (72) and Campylobacter in dairy (60). The pathogen-food category pairs that caused the most outbreak-associated illnesses were Salmonella in eggs (2,422 illnesses), Salmonella in seeded vegetables (2,203), and Salmonella in chicken (1,941). In comparison, scombroid toxin and ciguatoxin outbreaks from fish resulted in 519 outbreak-associated illnesses, an average of three illnesses per outbreak. Outbreaks of Salmonella infections from seeded vegetables resulted in an average of 88 illnesses per outbreak, and outbreaks of Salmonella infections from eggs resulted in an average of 78 illnesses per outbreak.

Food Implicated: Several novel food vehicles caused outbreaks during the study period. In 2011, an outbreak of Salmonella serotype Enteritidis infections linked to pine nuts imported from Turkey resulted in 53 illnesses and two hospitalizations. In 2014, an outbreak of Salmonella serotypes Gaminara, Hartford, and Oranienburg in chia seed powder imported from Canada caused 45 illnesses and seven hospitalizations. An outbreak of STEC serogroups O26 and O121 infections that began in 2015 was linked to raw wheat flour produced in the United States; it resulted in 56 illnesses and 16 hospitalizations in 24 states. An outbreak of Salmonella serotype Virchow infections attributable to moringa leaf powder imported from South Africa began in 2015 and caused 35 illnesses and six hospitalizations in 24 states. It was an ingredient of an organic powdered shake mix branded to be used as a meal replacement.

Multistate Outbreaks: Multistate outbreaks comprised only 3% of outbreaks but were responsible for 11% of illnesses, 34% of hospitalizations, and 54% of deaths. Multistate outbreaks involved a median of seven states with a range of two to 45 states in which exposure occurred. The largest of the 177 multistate outbreaks was caused by Salmonella serotype Enteritidis and due to contaminated shell eggs. An estimated 1,939 persons were infected in 10 states beginning in 2010. An outbreak of Salmonella serotype Poona infections attributed to cucumbers in 2015 had the second highest number of illnesses (907 illnesses in 40 states). This outbreak also had the most outbreak-associated hospitalizations (204 [22% of cases]). An outbreak of Salmonella serotype Heidelberg infections attributed to chicken during 2013–2014 had the second most hospitalizations (200 [32% of cases]) and involved persons from 29 states and Puerto Rico. An outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections attributed to cantaloupes in 28 states in 2011 had the most deaths (33 [22% of cases]), followed in 2014 by an outbreak in 12 states of Listeria monocytogenes infections attributed to caramel apples, another novel food vehicle (9), in which seven persons (20% of cases) died.

Daniel Dewey-Mattia, MPH; Karunya Manikonda, MPH; Aron J. Hall, DVM; Matthew E. Wise, PhD; Samuel J. Crowe, PhD.

  1. CDC Annual summaries of foodborne outbreaks. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2018. https://www.cdc.gov/fdoss/annual-reports/index.html
  2. Scallan E, Hoekstra RM, Angulo FJ, et al. Foodborne illness acquired in the United States—major pathogens. Emerg Infect Dis 2011;17:7–15. CrossRefPubMed
  3. National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS). Foodborne disease outbreak 2011 case definition. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2013. http://wwwn.cdc.gov/nndss/conditions/foodborne-disease-outbreak/case-definition/2011
  4. PulseNet. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2017. https://www.cdc.gov/pulsenet/index.html
  5. Guide to confirming an etiology in foodborne disease outbreak. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2015. https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/outbreaks/investigating-outbreaks/confirming_diagnosis.html
  6. Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration (IFSAC) Food Categorization Scheme. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2015. https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/ifsac/projects/food-categorization-scheme.html
  7. Richardson LC, Bazaco MC, Parker CC, et al. An updated scheme for categorizing foods implicated in foodborne disease outbreaks: a tri-agency collaboration. Foodborne Pathog Dis 2017;14:701–10. CrossRefPubMed
  8. US Census Bureau. Population and housing unit estimates. Washington, DC: US Department of Commerce, US Census Bureau; 2016. https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/popest.html
  9. Angelo KM, Conrad AR, Saupe A, et al. Multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenesinfections linked to whole apples used in commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples: United States, 2014–2015. Epidemiol Infect 2017;145:848–56. CrossRef PubMed
  10. Gould LH, Kline J, Monahan C, Vierk K. Outbreaks of disease associated with food imported into the United States, 1996–2014. Emerg Infect Dis 2017;23:525–8. CrossRefPubMed
  11. Gould LH, Walsh KA, Vieira AR, et al. . Surveillance for foodborne disease outbreaks—United States, 1998–2008. MMWR Surveill Summ 2013;62(No. SS-2):1–34. PubMed
  12. Hall AJ, Wikswo ME, Pringle K, Gould LH, Parashar UD. Vital signs: foodborne norovirus outbreaks—United States, 2009–2012. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2014;63:491–5. PubMed
  13. Food and Drug Administration. Food Code 2017. Silver Spring, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration; 2018. https://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/RetailFoodProtection/FoodCode/ucm595139.htm
  14. Tauxe RV. Emerging foodborne diseases: an evolving public health challenge. Emerg Infect Dis 1997;3:425–34. CrossRefPubMed
  15. Food and Drug Administration. Egg safety final rule. Silver Spring, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration; 2017. http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/Eggs/ucm170615.htm
  16. Food and Drug Administration. FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Silver Spring, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration; 2017. https://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/FSMA
  17. Food Safety and Inspection Service. Salmonella action plan. Washington, DC: US Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service; 2015. https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/foodborne-illness-and-disease/salmonella/sap

First off, yes, 2018 seems to be – and we are just 1/2 way into it – a very Big, Bad year for foodborne illnesses.  Second, I am not sure why.  It could be better surveillance by state, local and national health authorities utilizing cutting edge tools such as PFGE and WGS.  It could be a lack of support for inspectors.  It is certainly possible that it is more imports with a greater supply chain with a great chance for contamination or temperature abuse.  It also could be more mass produced fresh, ready to eat foods without a “kill step.”  It also could be none of those things, but it seems to me to be more than just random events.  Here are some of the highlights of 2018:

E. coli

Romaine Lettuce – 218 sick in US and Canada with 96 hospitalizations and 5 deaths.

 

Cyclospora

McDonald’s Salads – 163 sick with 3 hospitalizations.

Del Monte Vegetable Trays – 237 sick with 7 hospitalizations.

 

Salmonella

Jimmy John’s Sprouts – 10 sick.

Kratom – 199 sick with 50 hospitalizations.

Fareway/Triple T Chicken Salad – 265 sick with 94 hospitalizations and 1 death.

Go Smile Coconut – 14 sick with 3 hospitalizations.

Rose Acre Shell Eggs – 45 sick with 11 hospitalizations.

Caito Cut Melons – 70 sick with 34 hospitalizations.

Kellogg’s Honey Smacks – 100 sick with 34 hospitalizations.

Hy-Vee Pasta Salad – 21 sick with 5 hospitalizations.

Raw Turkey – 90 sick with 40 hospitalizations.

Vibrio parahaemolyticus

Venezuelan Crab Meat – 12 sick with 4 hospitalizations.

And, we are only 1/2 way through the year.

The food attorneys at Marler Clark are the nation’s leading lawyers representing victims of foodborne illnesses such as E. coli, Salmonella, and Listeria.

Marler Clark was established in 1998 by the top food attorneys for the plaintiffs and defendants in the landmark litigation arising from the 1993 Jack in the Box E. coli outbreak.

The firm has since represented thousands of victims of foodborne illness outbreaks across the country.

The Marler Clark food attorneys focus solely on representing victims of foodborne illness outbreaks, representing victims of E. coli, Hepatitis A, Campylobacter, Listeria, norovirus, Salmonella, and Shigella outbreaks nationwide. Marler Clark has litigated against huge corporations including Cargill, Dole, Wal-Mart, Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Nebraska Beef, Nestle, and Yum! Brands on behalf of clients injured in foodborne illness outbreaks traced back to the companies’ food products. Our food attorneys have won over $650 million dollars in settlements for our clients.

Marler Clark’s attorneys travel widely to speak to environmental health and industry groups, university students, and food safety conference audiences, often on topics related to the intersection of public health and the law and preventing foodborne illness.

The law firm advocates for safer food by working with clients to tell their stories; Bill Marler and several of the firm’s clients have testified before Congress about illnesses from unsafe food. Marler Clark publishes premier sources of online information on food safety: Food Safety NewsFood Poison JournalReal Raw Milk Facts, and the Outbreak Database.

Since June 11, 2018, Public Health has learned of 17 people from a single meal party who became ill after consuming food and beverage from a buffet at Lahori Kabab-n-Grill in Kent on June 10, 2018. Symptoms and timing of their illness onset are suggestive of a bacterial toxin, such as Bacillus cereus or Clostridium perfringens.

The exact food or drink item that caused the illness has not been identified, though this is not uncommon for outbreaks associated with a bacterial toxin.

Ruiz Food Products, Inc., a Denison, Texas establishment, is recalling approximately 50,706 pounds of frozen breakfast burritos that may be contaminated with extraneous material, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The frozen cook and serve breakfast burritos were produced on March 3, 2018. The following products are subject to recall:  [View Label (PDF only)]

  • 3.38-lb. plastic wrapped packages containing 12 Count, 4.5-ounce individually wrapped frozen “EL MONTEREY SIGNATURE BURRITOS, EGG, SAUSAGE, CHEESE & POTATO” with lot code 18062 and 18063, and a best if used date of 3/3/2019 or 3/4/2019.

The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. 17523A” on the back of the packaging. These items were shipped to retail locations nationwide.

The problem was discovered after the company received complaints from consumers who reported finding white, semi-rigid plastic pieces in the product.

There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider.

FSIS is concerned that some product may be in consumers’ freezers. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers.

Eddy Packing Co., Inc., a Yoakum, Texas establishment, is recalling approximately 18,390 pounds of smoked sausage that may be contaminated with extraneous materials, specifically soft plastic, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The frozen, ready-to-eat smoked sausage items were produced on March 14, 2018. The following products are subject to recall:  [View Label (PDF only)]

• 10-lb. case of “CARL’S PORK AND BEEF SMOKED SAUSAGE WITH A STICK” with lot code 8073, case code PS9319 and sell by date of March 14, 2019.

The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST 4800” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to food service businesses in Texas.

The problem was discovered after the company received a customer complaint about soft, green plastic material found in the product.

There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider.

FSIS is concerned that some product may be in consumers’ refrigerators or freezers after having purchased the product from food service businesses. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers.