More Than 272 Sickened in California Salmonella Outbreak

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More than 270 people have been confirmed to have been sickened by a California salmonella outbreak that has been linked to contaminated chicken.

Salmonella-related food poisoning has once again reared its ugly head in California. This time around, more than 270 people have been confirmed to have been sickened by a California salmonella outbreak. This time, the salmonella infection is being linked to contaminated chicken.

The chicken is believed to have been sourced from Foster Farms in California, and at least 278 people across 17 states have been infected. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 42% of the persons who have been infected as a result of this contamination, have been hospitalized. Fortunately, no fatalities have been linked to this outbreak so far. Most of the victims, or 77% are from California.

In this particular case, the strain of salmonella that caused the infection is the Heidelberg strain. Unfortunately this happens to be one of the most antibiotic-resistant strains of salmonella, and this particular pathogen is resistant to most commonly used antibiotics for the treatment of salmonella. This means that patients who contract these infections are at a much higher risk of complications, and possibly much more likely to require hospitalization, because general antibiotic therapy will not help.

However, this particular outbreak is not likely to result in any recall of the contaminated chicken. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is quite usual for raw poultry to contain salmonella bacteria, and therefore, the only ways to prevent salmonella infection is to follow storing, handling and cooking practices, to remove all traces of the pathogens from the chicken.

What that means is that you must protect yourselves from the risk of infection, by making sure that chicken is refrigerated properly, washed in separate utensils and thawed and cooked thoroughly.

One of our Meeting Locations: The Reeves Law Group 198 N Arrowhead Ave, San Bernardino, CA 92408 (909) 657-0576

Food Safety Tips for School Lunches to Prevent Food Poisoning

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Harmful bacteria can grow in places that you least expect, like the school lunch bag that you have so carefully and lovingly packed for your child.

Harmful bacteria can grow in places that you least expect, like the school lunch bag that you have so carefully and lovingly packed for your child. According to experts, unsanitary and unhygienic conditions in a school lunch bag can contribute to the growth of harmful bacteria that can even lead to food poisoning.

Experts recommend that the safest way to carry food hygienically to school is to place the lunchbox in an insulated vinyl lunch bag. Any bacteria that accumulate in a child’s lunch bag for a very long time can transfer to the lunchbox and the food inside.

According to experts, while packing a school lunch, you must also take into account the perishability of the food that you’re packing. Some foods can remain at room temperature for a maximum of two hours. In the summer, the maximum amount of time that food can be kept out reduces to one hour, because of the heat.

In order to make sure that your child’s lunch is packed hygienically, consider using disposable sandwich bags. You can also use reusable plastic bags that are dishwasher- safe.

As much as possible, try to pack foods that are nonperishable, and do not have a high contamination risk. For instance, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a very good option for children, because they do not spoil, even when they are kept in a child’s lunch box for a few hours. Single- serve fruit that is packaged well is a very safe option.

If the child is taking meat sandwiches to school, consider packing the ingredients separately, so that he can make his own sandwich in school. This would work for an older child. For instance you can keep meats and cheese in one container, and keep another container for the breads.

One of our Meeting Locations: The Reeves Law Group 1 World Trade Center #800, Long Beach, CA 90831 (562) 528-3135

FDA Proposes New Strengthened Rules for Imported Food Safety

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Over the past couple of years, there has been an increase in the number of food poisoning outbreaks in the United States linked to contaminated produce imported into the country.

Over the past couple of years, there has been an increase in the number of food poisoning outbreaks in the United States linked to contaminated produce imported into the country. The Food and Drug Administration recently unveiled plans to strengthen imported food safety.

It is estimated that as much as 15% of the total American food supply is imported from foreign countries. Approximately 50% of all fresh fruit consumed in this country and 20% of fresh vegetables are also sourced from foreign countries.

With the increase in amount of imported produce from foreign countries, there has also been an increase in the number of foodborne infections linked to for foreign produce. There have been foodborne outbreaks that have been linked to contaminated cattle, pomegranate seeds, and a number of other types of produce.

Over the summer, a hepatitis A outbreak across the country hospitalized 153 Americans. The outbreak was finally linked to frozen pomegranate seeds that had been imported into this country from Turkey. Also over the summer, there was the epidemic of cyclosporiasis that was ultimately linked to contaminated lettuce imported from Mexico. This outbreak, a parasite infection that results severe diarrhea and gastrointestinal problems, sickened 642.

The Food and Drug Administration is currently the process of conducting a public meeting in Washington DC that focuses on two programs that the agency has proposed to strengthen the new rules. Under the new rules, the Foreign Supplier Verification Program would hold companies that are importing foods liable for tracking and evaluating the safety of the food that they bring into this country. Under the second rule, the Accredited Third-Party Audits and Certification Program would accredit inspectors in other countries, who would be given the task of inspecting farms that export produce into this country.

One of our Meeting Locations: The Reeves Law Group 131 Stony Circle Suite 500 Santa Rosa, CA 95401 (707) 595-8684

Feds Propose New Food Safety Rules for Imported Food

Food-Safety

A number of recent food poisoning outbreaks across the country have been linked to imported food,

A number of recent food poisoning outbreaks across the country have been linked to imported food, and the federal administration has now decided that it is time to introduce new rules that are specifically geared at making sure that food that is imported into the country is safe for all consumers.

The outbreak that has had the federal administration officials concerned has been linked to the organism cyclospora.  Several illnesses have been reported from at least 26 states, and more than 200 people are believed to have fallen sick from poisoning.

Federal administration officials have been scrambling to source the origin of the contamination, and believe that the source was most likely contaminated fresh produce that was imported into the country.  That has not been confirmed yet, but typically cyclospora food poisoning outbreaks are linked to contaminated fresh fruits and vegetables.

This is one of the more rare food infection outbreaks food poisoning lawyers have seen in this country, and usually, cyclospora food poisoning outbreaks are confined to parts of Southeast Asia and Latin America.  The fact that there is such a widespread outbreak in this country should definitely give the federal administration enough impetus to kick start higher food safety standards that will help protect American consumers from contaminated imported foods.

The cyclospora outbreak is not the only one this year linked to imported produce and foods.  At least 153 people fell sick in a hepatitis A outbreak which was linked to contaminated pomegranate seeds earlier this year.   The contaminated pomegranate seeds had been imported from Turkey.

The Food and Drug Administration is now proposing new rules that would strengthen the existing accreditation standards for foreign food safety auditors that are used by food companies to ensure that imported food is safe.

One of our Meeting Locations: The Reeves Law Group 198 N Arrowhead Ave, San Bernardino, CA 92408 (909) 657-0576

Prevent Salmonella Poisoning Involving Eggs This Summer

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Eggs are some of the most frequent carriers of the Salmonella, and contribute to a large number of salmonella poisoning-related outbreaks every year.

Eggs are an integral part of every summer table, making it to your plate in the form of potato salad and ice cream, among other treats.  However, eggs are also some of the most frequent carriers of the Salmonella, and contribute to a large number of salmonella poisoning-related outbreaks every year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning American consumers about the need to stay safe while consuming eggs this summer.  The Salmonella organism thrives in warm conditions, and those conditions are simply perfect during summer.  Moreover, many Americans tend to eat unrefrigerated eggs, uncooked eggs, or semi–cooked eggs, in their salads and other foods, and these eggs typically have a much higher risk of being contaminated with salmonella.

It isn’t easy to tell if your eggs have been contaminated with salmonella.  Food poisoning lawyers find that even normal-looking eggs can be contaminated with salmonella, and it isn’t possible to tell simply by looking at an egg, whether it has been contaminated by the dangerous pathogen or not.

The Centers for of Disease Control and Prevention recently tracked salmonella-related food poisoning outbreaks across the country, and found that there has been a significant decrease in the number of outbreaks treated to eggs over the past few years.  In a recent Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Report that specifically tracked food-borne outbreaks between 1998 and 2008, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found a significant drop in outbreaks related to eggs.

This summer, make sure that your eggs are refrigerated at or below 40°F at all times, and buy your eggs only from suppliers that keep them refrigerated.  Discard eggs that are cracked or dirty, and refrigerate unused or leftover foods immediately.  Avoid keeping eggs outside at room temperature for more than a few hours.

One of our Meeting Locations: The Reeves Law Group 1 World Trade Center, Suite 800 Long Beach, CA 90831 (562) 528-3135

Farmers Markets Chickens More Likely to Cause Food Poisoning

Food poisoning - Famers Market Chickens

Recent study confirms that Farmers Market Chickens are more likely to cause food poisoning.

A recent study found that whole chickens that were purchased from farmers markets had much higher concentrations of pathogenic bacteria that contribute to foodborne illnesses, compared to chickens purchased from local grocery stores.

The study was conducted in Pennsylvania, where researchers found that chickens that were purchased from farmers markets throughout Pennsylvania had significantly greater levels of bacteria that could potentially cause food poisoning illnesses, compared to chickens purchased at local grocery stores.

The study was conducted by the Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences and the researchers analyzed more than 100 whole chickens that were purchased from farmers markets.  Out of these whole chickens, they found that a staggering 90% tested positive for dangerous bacteria like Campylobacter, while more than 28% were found to contain dangerous salmonella bacteria.

However, when they compared the bacteria content in the whole chickens that were purchased at farmers markets with chickens that are procured from local grocery stores, they found that 20% of raw, organic chickens contained the Campylobacter bacteria, while approximately 20% tested positive for salmonella.

When it came to raw, whole, non-organic chickens that were purchased at local grocery stores, the researchers found that just about 8% contained Campylobacter, while 58% of the chickens contained salmonella.

Overall, the chickens that were purchased at the farmer’s markets had substantially higher concentrations of bacteria, than the chickens that were purchased at local grocery stores.

The results of the study were published recently in the Journal of Food Safety, and are likely to ignite debate about the safety of chickens bought at local farmers markets.  For a long time now, local poultry has been promoted as being much safer, and the study indicates to food poisoning lawyers that this is not necessarily true.

One of our Meeting Locations: The Reeves Law Group 3890 11th St, PMB 17, Riverside, CA 92501 (951) 324-5174

CDC Report Points to Risks of Food Poisoning from Unpasteurized Milk Products

Unpasteurized Milk Products

Even when great precautions are taken to reduce the risk of contamination in unpasteurized milk products, the risk of contamination continues to be high.

Even when great precautions are taken to reduce the risk of contamination in unpasteurized milk products, the risk of contamination continues to be high.  According to a report by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention scientists, a number of recent raw milk-related outbreaks involved plants that were known for their high levels of cleanliness and hygiene.

This plain simple fact is that raw milk is a very risky food, and has a much higher risk of being linked to food poisoning compared to most other types of food.  However, food poisoning attorneys find that milk as a source of food contamination in this country is vastly underestimated.  The fact is that more people are sickened from eating contaminated poultry, meats and fruits and vegetables, compared to raw milk.  That however could be due to the fact, that more people eat fruits and vegetables, than drink unpasteurized milk.

The source of contamination of unpasteurized milk is easy to understand.  Very often, the bacteria from the digestive tracts of farm animals can be transmitted into milk that is derived from these animals.  In many cases, these dangerous disease-causing organisms include E. coli as well as campylobacter.

In January 2012, federal food safety authorities tracked an outbreak of Campylobacter involving unpasteurized milk that was sourced from a Pennsylvania dairy farm.  However, when the authorities began their investigation, they found that this particular farm was among the largest sellers of unpasteurized milk products in the state of Pennsylvania, and also had a permit for selling unpasteurized products.  The plant had a good safety record, and had actually tested its own milk for E. coli more frequently than was required.  Even with all these protocols in place, the plant was the source of contamination of these raw milk products.

 

One of our Meeting Locations: The Reeves Law Group 1055 W 7th St #3333, Los Angeles, CA 90017 (213) 271-9318

Cheese Tortellini Sold in California Recalled Due to Undeclared Allergens

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A Los Angeles-based company is recalling 2.5 pounds of cheese tortellini, because the product contains undeclared allergens which may pose a serious health risk for people who have allergies to these ingredients.

A Los Angeles-based company is recalling 2.5 pounds of cheese tortellini, because the product contains undeclared allergens which may pose a serious health risk for people who have allergies to these ingredients.

The recall has been announced by Smart and Final of Los Angeles, which is recalling 2.5 pounds of La Romanella Tri-Color Cheese Tortellini because it contains possibly undeclared allergens.  These undeclared allergens include wheat, eggs and milk.  Millions of Americans have allergies to eggs, wheat and milk, and when people who have these kinds of allegories unknowingly consume products that contain these ingredients there may be a serious risk of an allergic reaction, that could even be fatal.

The products were sold across California, and were also distributed in Washington, Idaho, Arizona, Nevada and Oregon.  The products were sold exclusively at Smart and Final stores across the state as well as Cash and Carry stores.  As of now, there have been no reports of any allergic reactions from consuming these products.

If you are a consumer who has recently purchased these products, and suffer from an allergy to wheat, milk or eggs, then you must avoid consuming these products.  The product can be returned to the store where it was purchased in exchange for the replacement of a refund.

As food poisoning lawyers know, not all food-related illnesses are related to contamination with dangerous pathogens or bacteria.  Sometimes, a person may become sick because of an allergic reaction to ingredients in the product.  That is why it is so important that manufacturers take care to list out all the ingredients that are used in their product on the product information label.

 

One of our Meeting Locations: The Reeves Law Group 28202 Cabot Rd #300, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677 (949) 614-1142

 

Chicken, Ground Beef Linked to Highest Numbers of Food Poisoning Cases

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California food poisoning lawyers find that the risk of suffering a food poisoning illness or food-borne illness increases dramatically during summer.

California food poisoning lawyers find that the risk of suffering a food poisoning illness or food-borne illness increases dramatically during summer.  A new study finds that food poisoning incidents related to contaminated chicken and ground beef contribute to the highest number of hospitalizations.

The analysis investigated 13,000 cases of food poisoning, and found that ground beef and chicken accounted for the highest numbers of hospital admissions.  The data was analyzed by the Center for Science in Public Interest, and analyzed government of data involving more than 1,700 food-borne illnesses over the last 12 years.  A number of food-borne illnesses including Salmonella, E. coli, listeria as well as food infections related to a number of other pathogens were analyzed as part of the study.  The study was specifically focused on finding out what kinds of meats are the most dangerous to consume.

The study found that ground beef and contaminated chicken accounted for the highest number of hospitalizations, followed by turkey meat and steak, which were also categorized as “high-risk” meats.  Medium-risk meats were pork, roast beef, pork barbecue and deli meat.  The lowest risk of food poisoning was linked to ham, sausage and chicken nuggets.

Most food poisoning incidents linked to ground beef were caused by the E. coli pathogen.  This pathogen lives in the intestinal tracts of cattle, and the organisms can easily transfer to the carcass due to improper handling of the meat during slaughter.  In fact, according to the study, ground beef is much more risky than other kinds of meats, because the pathogens can easily be spread during the grinding process.

The highest number of hospitalizations from ground beef was caused by E. coli, salmonella and listeria.  To prevent such infections, food poisoning lawyers typically recommend cooking meats and ground beef to high temperatures, and separating knives and chopping boards used for meat, from those used for produce.

 

One of our Meeting Locations: The Reeves Law Group 198 N Arrowhead Ave, San Bernardino, CA 92408 (909) 657-0576

CDC Releases National Trends in Food Poisoning Outbreaks

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The Centers For Disease Control And Prevention has released a report card on food poisoning outbreaks across the country.

The Centers For Disease Control And Prevention has released a report card on food poisoning outbreaks across the country.  The report card indicates that the incidence of some types of food poisoning illnesses, including those caused by Campylobacter and Vibrio organisms, actually increased in 2012.

According to the report card, infections related to the Campylobacter organisms increased by 14%, compared to the period between 2006 and 2008.  In 2012, these illnesses were recorded at the rate of 14.3 infections per 100,000 population.

Increases were also reported in the case of infections caused by the Vibrio pathogen.  In these cases, there was a 43% increase in the number of food poisoning illnesses, compared to the period between 2006 and 2008.  In 2012, the rate of infections related to this pathogen was approximately.41 per 100,000 population.

There was virtually no change in the number of infections related to E. coli, listeria, salmonella and Yersinia compared to 2006-2008.  In the case of E. coli, the rate in 2012 was approximately 1.12 infections per 100,000 population.  Listeria infections were recorded at a rate of .25 cases per 100,000 population and salmonella illnesses at a rate of 16.42 illnesses per 100,000 population.  In the case of Yersinia, there were .33 infections per 100,000 population.

However, food poisoning lawyers warn that the data may be very misleading.  For instance, the agency estimates that for every case of Campylobacter infection reported, there are at least 30 cases of illnesses caused by the pathogen that are not diagnosed.

Similarly, for every case of E. coli reported 26 cases of E. coli poisoning caused by the E. coli O H157 pathogen are not diagnosed.  For every case of listeriosis that is reported, at least 2 cases of this deadly food-borne illness go undiagnosed.  In the case of salmonella, as many as 29 cases of salmonella food poisoning go undiagnosed every year.

 

One of our Meeting Locations: The Reeves Law Group 43141 Business Center Pkwy, Suite 200A Lancaster, CA 93535

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