E. coli outbreak linked to sprouts; hummus, dips, walnuts recalled – CNN

(CNN) — This has been a big week for food product recalls and the risk of food borne illness.

Seven confirmed and three likely cases of E. coli infection linked to raw clover sprouts have been reported, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.

The patients are all in either Idaho or Washington. Half the people who have fallen ill have been hospitalized.

Preliminary investigations indicate the likely source of this outbreak are raw clover sprouts produced by Evergreen Fresh Sprouts LLC of Idaho, the CDC said. The state departments of health in Washington and Idaho are telling consumers not to eat raw clover sprouts produced by Evergreen Fresh Sprouts.

Meanwhile, hummus and dip products totaling about 14,860 pounds are being voluntarily recalled by Lansal Inc. amid concerns about possible bacterial contamination.

Each year one out of every six Americans is sickened by a food borne illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Here are some of the biggest food borne illness outbreaks since 2001. Click here for tips on how to keep your food safe.Each year one out of every six Americans is sickened by a food borne illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Here are some of the biggest food borne illness outbreaks since 2001. Click here for tips on how to keep your food safe.
Cantaloupes tainted with salmonella infected more than 260 people across 24 states in October 2012. Three people in Kentucky died and 94 were hospitalized. Investigators determined Chamberlain Farms Produce Inc. of Owensville, Indiana, was the source of this outbreak. Cantaloupes tainted with salmonella infected more than 260 people across 24 states in October 2012. Three people in Kentucky died and 94 were hospitalized. Investigators determined Chamberlain Farms Produce Inc. of Owensville, Indiana, was the source of this outbreak.
Salmonella in a frozen raw yellowfin tuna product, known as Nakaochi Scrape, sickened 425 people and hospitalized 55 in the spring and summer of 2012. The product was used most often to make "spicy tuna" sushi, according to the CDC. Salmonella in a frozen raw yellowfin tuna product, known as Nakaochi Scrape, sickened 425 people and hospitalized 55 in the spring and summer of 2012. The product was used most often to make “spicy tuna” sushi, according to the CDC.
In September 2011, listeria in cantaloupes left 30 people dead in what was the deadliest U.S. outbreak of a food borne illness since the CDC started keeping track of listeria cases in 1973, according to the agency. In September 2011, listeria in cantaloupes left 30 people dead in what was the deadliest U.S. outbreak of a food borne illness since the CDC started keeping track of listeria cases in 1973, according to the agency.
Between February and August 2011, the Cargill Meat Solutions Corp. recalled more than 36 million pounds of ground turkey after tests revealed a strain of salmonella. The outbreak killed one person and sickened more than 130. Between February and August 2011, the Cargill Meat Solutions Corp. recalled more than 36 million pounds of ground turkey after tests revealed a strain of salmonella. The outbreak killed one person and sickened more than 130.
In summer 2010, more than 1,900 people were reportedly sickened by salmonella found in eggs produced by Iowa's Hillandale Farms, which voluntarily recalled about a half-billion eggs nationwide.In summer 2010, more than 1,900 people were reportedly sickened by salmonella found in eggs produced by Iowa’s Hillandale Farms, which voluntarily recalled about a half-billion eggs nationwide.
Authorities shut down a processing plant in Texas in October 2010 after four deaths were tied to listeria-infected celery produced at the site. The Texas Department of State Health Services ordered SanGar Fresh Cut Produce to recall all products shipped from its San Antonio plant. Authorities shut down a processing plant in Texas in October 2010 after four deaths were tied to listeria-infected celery produced at the site. The Texas Department of State Health Services ordered SanGar Fresh Cut Produce to recall all products shipped from its San Antonio plant.
Between April and August 2008, 1,442 people in 43 states were infected with salmonella from Mexico-grown jalapeño and serrano peppers. At least 300 people were hospitalized, and the infection may have contributed to two deaths, according to the CDC. Walmart stores in four states recalled jars of serrano peppers as a result. Between April and August 2008, 1,442 people in 43 states were infected with salmonella from Mexico-grown jalapeƱo and serrano peppers. At least 300 people were hospitalized, and the infection may have contributed to two deaths, according to the CDC. Walmart stores in four states recalled jars of serrano peppers as a result.
Nine people died from salmonella-infected peanut butter between September 2008 and April 2009. The Peanut Corp. of America had sold the tainted peanut butter in bulk to King Nut, which recalled its products. More than 700 people were infected and 166 hospitalized. Nine people died from salmonella-infected peanut butter between September 2008 and April 2009. The Peanut Corp. of America had sold the tainted peanut butter in bulk to King Nut, which recalled its products. More than 700 people were infected and 166 hospitalized.
In the summer of 2006, more than 200 people became infected with E. coli from spinach grown on a single California field. Investigators traced the prepackaged spinach back to Natural Selection Foods and baby spinach sold under the Dole brand name. Five deaths were linked to the outbreak. In the summer of 2006, more than 200 people became infected with E. coli from spinach grown on a single California field. Investigators traced the prepackaged spinach back to Natural Selection Foods and baby spinach sold under the Dole brand name. Five deaths were linked to the outbreak.
During 2005 and 2006, four large outbreaks of salmonella infections hit 21 states in the United States. Tainted tomatoes being served in restaurants were found to be the cause. Investigators linked the produce to fields in Florida, Ohio and Virginia.During 2005 and 2006, four large outbreaks of salmonella infections hit 21 states in the United States. Tainted tomatoes being served in restaurants were found to be the cause. Investigators linked the produce to fields in Florida, Ohio and Virginia.
Pre-sliced Roma tomatoes purchased at deli counters in Sheetz gas stations infected more than 400 people in the summer of 2004. Two other smaller outbreaks in the United States and Canada also occurred that summer and were linked back to a tomato-packing house in Florida. Pre-sliced Roma tomatoes purchased at deli counters in Sheetz gas stations infected more than 400 people in the summer of 2004. Two other smaller outbreaks in the United States and Canada also occurred that summer and were linked back to a tomato-packing house in Florida.
Listeria-infected sliced turkey killed eight and infected 46 others in 2002. Three pregnant women had fetal deaths. Two processing plants recalled 30 million pounds of meat following the outbreak. Listeria-infected sliced turkey killed eight and infected 46 others in 2002. Three pregnant women had fetal deaths. Two processing plants recalled 30 million pounds of meat following the outbreak.
In 2001, cantaloupe was again the culprit. Salmonella tainted the fruit that killed two, hospitalized nine and infected 50 in an outbreak that started in Mexico. In 2001, cantaloupe was again the culprit. Salmonella tainted the fruit that killed two, hospitalized nine and infected 50 in an outbreak that started in Mexico.

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Photos: Worst foodborne illness outbreaksPhotos: Worst foodborne illness outbreaks

At the same time, Sherman Produce is recalling some bulk and packaged walnuts sold to retailers in Missouri and Illinois.

These two recalls are precautionary measures against possible Listeria monocytogenes, which may cause serious and even fatal infections in people with weakened immune systems, such as the elderly.

No illnesses have been reported in connection with either recall, the respective companies said.

Both companies advise consumers who bought the recalled products to throw them out or return them for a full refund. The products should not be eaten.

Also this week, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said 1.8 million pounds of ground beef products were being recalled because they could be contaminated with a strain of E.coli.

Consequences of food-borne bacteria

Escherichia coli is a large group of bacteria; most are harmless, while some can cause serious illness. The strain involved in the sprout-linked outbreak is Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O121.

E. coli infection can lead to severe diarrhea, abdominal pain and vomiting, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Most people recover within seven days, but some have severe complications, the CDC said. A type of kidney failure called hemolytic-uremic syndrome may result; the elderly and children under 5 are most at risk.

Most Listeria infections may not be noticed because the symptoms are mild, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Symptoms of a Listeria infection in an otherwise healthy person include fever, muscle aches, stiff neck, headache, loss of balance and convulsions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Diarrhea or other gastrointestinal problems may occur before these symptoms.

Pregnant women infected with Listeria may suffer miscarriages, premature delivery or stillbirths. The newborn may have a serious infection if the mother has been sick with it.

Why sprouts?

Evergreen Fresh Sprouts was also involved in a 2011 salmonella outbreak. Consumers then were discouraged from eating the brand’s alfalfa sprouts and spicy sprouts.

Sprouts have a history of being involved in bacterial infection outbreaks.

According to a study commissioned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the warm, moist conditions that are conducive to growing bumper crops of sprouts are also an ideal breeding ground for bacteria.

In the study, Kevin Allen, a microbiology professor at the University of British Columbia, tested 44 samples of prepackaged sprouts (as well as 48 samples of leafy greens and 58 samples of various herbs) and found, “Over 78% of sprouts had levels of microorganisms too numerous to count.”

Why sprouts make you sick

Hummus and dips

In the case of Lansal, the Texas Department of Health identified the potential for Listeria contamination while routinely testing a Target Archer Farms Traditional Hummus product.

“Lansal Inc. is voluntarily recalling all products manufactured at the same facility and distributed to both wholesalers and retailers during the same time,” the company said.

See a list of recalled products

Included in this recall are some Target Archer Farms hummus products nationwide. Certain Giant Eagle hummus products in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and Maryland are also affected.

Trader Joe’s 5 Layered Dip, both large and small, with a use-by date of April 15 is being recalled in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio and Wisconsin.

The 8-ounce container of Trader Joe’s Edamame Hummus is recalled in 17 states with use-by dates of April 28, April 29 and May 9.

Some plastic containers of Tryst Yellow Lentil Hummus with Sunflower Seeds & Apricots are also affected.

“Lansal Inc. has contacted all impacted retail customers and distributors instructing them to remove all affected product from sale and is working with the appropriate agencies including state departments of health, the Food and Drug Administration and local authorities,” the company said.

The Lansal consumer question line is 877-550-0694.

Walnuts

Sherman Produce said it was recalling “241 cases of bulk walnuts packaged in 25 lb bulk cardboard boxes and Schnucks brand 10 oz trays with UPC 00338390032 with best by dates 03/15 and 04/15.”

An FDA sampling detected Listeria monocytogenes in walnuts at the facility.

Sherman Produce can be reached for questions at 314-231-2896.

More: Stores may have received tainted beef

More: Food safety tips from a pro

CNN’s Kat Kinsman contributed to this report


E. coli outbreak linked to sprouts; hummus, dips, walnuts recalled – CNN

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