Norovirus Found At Subway

Tue, 01/17/2012 - 3:50pm -- Anonymous

By Rick Yencer

HARTFORD CITY, IN - That Subway Eat Fresh jingle did not prevent the outbreak of Norovirus that caused diarrhea and vomitting by people who ate at the local fast food franchise this week.
The Blackford County Health Department got Subway to close this week after many people complained of flu-like symptoms that even hospitalized some. More than 90 people were affected, according to Linda Briles, the local environmental health officer.
The confirmation of Norovirus came after testing of stool samples and interviews with people who dined there. Both the Blackford County Board of Health and the Indiana Board of Health participated in the investigation.
Briles said the contamination was traced to a human, but she could not be more specific until the state offered its report. She re-inspected the restaurant and Subway reopened Friday. That was after a week of investigation.
Subway, like other local food establishments are routinely inspected by the health department, and Briles would not say direct how many previous violations Subway had. They she said she did not know any food establishment that had not had a violation.
Norovirus is highly contagious and common symptoms are diarrhea, vomit ting and stomach pain, according the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. It can spread quickly by drinking liquid and eating food that is contaminated. Even touching surfaces can spread the virus.
That Subway sandwich giveaway at the Super Bowl in Indianapolis now takes new meaning after the outbreak of Norovirus at the franchise just 70 miles away.

This article taken from:

Update on Beef Recall

Mon, 01/09/2012 - 2:26pm -- Anonymous

A total of 19 people from seven states have become sick from salmonella linked to ground beef sold by Hannaford supermarket.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday most of the victims indicated they bought the beef between Oct. 12 and Dec. 10.
The Scarborough, Maine-based Hannaford supermarket chain announced on Dec. 15 that it was recalling ground beef with a sell-by date of Dec. 17 or earlier.
The CDC says the recalled beef may still be in consumers' homes. The company says customers should return or dispose of ground beef with the Dec. 17 or earlier sell-by dates.
In addition to Maine, Hannaford has stores in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont.
So far 19 people in those states and Kentucky and Hawaii have become sick.

This article taken from:

19 Now Sick From Antibiotic-Resistant Salmonella in Ground Beef

Fri, 01/06/2012 - 1:36pm -- Anonymous

Outbreak Overview
A total of 19 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium have been reported from 7 states
The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: HI (1), KY (1), MA (1), ME (4), NH (6), NY (5), and VT (1).
Collaborative investigative efforts of state, local, and federal public health and regulatory agencies indicated that this outbreak is linked to eating ground beef purchased from Hannaford Supermarkets.
Contaminated ground beef was recalled from grocery stores but may still be in consumers' homes.
Consumers should check their homes for recalled products and not eat them; restaurant and food service operators should not serve them.
Case Count Map

CDC is collaborating with public health officials in several states and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) to investigate a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium infections linked to eating ground beef purchased from Hannaford Supermarkets. Representatives from Hannaford have been cooperating with public health officials throughout the investigation. Public health investigators are using DNA "fingerprints" of Salmonella bacteria obtained through diagnostic testing with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) to identify cases of illness that may be part of this outbreak. Investigators are using data from PulseNet, the national subtyping network made up of state and local public health laboratories and federal food regulatory laboratories that performs molecular surveillance of foodborne infections. The outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium is resistant to several commonly prescribed antibiotics. This antibiotic resistance may be associated with an increase in the risk of hospitalization or possible treatment failure in infected individuals.

A total of 19 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium have been reported from 7 states. The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: HI (1), KY (1), MA (1), ME (4), NH (6), NY (5), and VT (1). Among persons for whom information is available, illnesses began on or after October 8, 2011. Ill persons range in age from 1 year to 79 years old, with a median age of 44 years old. Fifty-three percent are male. Among the 15 ill persons with available information, 7 (47%) have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

The outbreak can be visually described with a chart showing the number of people who became ill each day or week. This chart is called an epi curve. The PFGE pattern associated with illness in this outbreak has been seen before in PulseNet, and in the past typically caused 0-3 cases per month. Illnesses that occurred after December 4, 2011, might not be reported yet due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of 2 to 3 weeks. Please see the Timeline for Reporting of Salmonella Cases for more details

Investigation of the Outbreak
Epidemiologic, traceback, and laboratory investigations conducted by officials in local, state, and federal public health, agriculture, and regulatory agencies linked this outbreak to eating ground beef purchased from Hannaford stores. Among 18 ill persons for whom information is available, 14 (78%) reported consuming ground beef in the week before their illness began. This proportion is significantly higher than results from a survey of healthy persons in which 40% of persons interviewed reported consuming any ground beef at home in the 7 days before they were interviewed. Among the 14 ill persons who reported consuming ground beef, 12 (86%) reported purchasing ground beef from Hannaford stores. For ill persons for whom information is available, reported purchase dates range from October 12, 2011 to December 10, 2011. Product information (such as date and location of purchase of ground beef) is being collected from ill persons and is being used by local, state, and federal public health, agriculture, and regulatory agencies to further the investigation.

Laboratory testing conducted by the State of Maine Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory and the New York State Department of Health, Wadsworth Center Laboratories isolated the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium from 2 separate samples of leftover ground beef purchased from Hannaford stores and collected from unrelated ill persons' homes in Maine and New York.

This is a multi-drug resistant strain of Salmonella Typhimurium. As of January 5, 2012, investigators collected antibiotic resistance information on isolates from 5 ill persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium. Isolates are resistant to multiple antibiotics, including amoxicillin/clavulanic acid, ampicillin, ceftriaxone, cefoxitin, kanamycin, streptomycin, and sulfisoxazole; some are also resistant to tetracycline. Isolates are sensitive to several common antibiotics used in clinical practice such as ciprofloxacin, gentamicin, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. Antimicrobial resistance may increase the risk of hospitalization or possible treatment failure in infected individuals. Treatment decisions for individual patients should be guided by the results of antibiotic sensitivity testing performed on the specific Salmonella isolate from that individual.

CDC and state and local public health partners are continuing laboratory surveillance through PulseNet to identify additional ill persons and to interview ill persons about foods eaten before becoming ill. FSIS is continuing to work closely with CDC and state partners during this investigation.

Clinical Features/Signs and Symptoms
Most persons infected with Salmonella bacteria develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most persons recover without treatment. However, in some persons, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics. Older adults, infants, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness from Salmonella infection. More general information about Salmonella can be found here.

On December 15, 2011, Hannaford, a Scarborough, Maine-based grocery chain, recalled an undetermined amount of fresh ground beef products that bear sell-by dates of December 17, 2011 or earlier. More information on this recall, including the products subject to recall, can be found on the FSIS website.

Advice to Consumers, Retailers, and Others
Consumers should check their homes, including their freezers, for recalled ground beef productsand not eat them; restaurant and food service operators should not serve it. Consumers with questions about recalled ground beef products may contact Hannaford's Customer Information Center, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at telephone number (800) 213-9040, and choose option 6.
Wash hands, kitchen work surfaces, and utensils with soap and water immediately after they have been in contact with raw meat or poultry, including frozen and fresh ground beef. Then, disinfect the food contact surfaces using a freshly prepared solution of 1 tablespoon unscented liquid chlorine bleach to 1 gallon of water.
Cook ground beef thoroughly. Ground beef dishes should always be cooked to 160°F internal temperature as measured with a food thermometer; leftovers also should be reheated to 160°F. The color of cooked ground beef is not an indicator that product has been safely cooked. Only by using a food thermometer can one accurately determine that ground beef has reached a safe minimum internal temperature of 160°F throughout the product. Ground beef can remain pink even after cooking to a safe minimum internal temperature of 160°F. Be particularly careful with foods prepared for infants, older adults, and persons with impaired immune systems. For more information, please visit
If served undercooked ground beef in a restaurant, send it back to the kitchen for further cooking.
Avoid cross-contaminating other foods. Uncooked meats and ground beef should be kept separate from produce, cooked foods, and ready-to-eat foods. Do not wash raw meat or poultry before cooking because splashing water can spread any pathogens present on raw meat surfaces to other kitchen surfaces. Hands, cutting boards, counters, knives, and other utensils should be washed thoroughly after touching uncooked foods. Hands should be washed before handling food, and between handling different food items.
Refrigerate raw and cooked meat and poultry within 2 hours after purchase (1 hour if temperatures exceed 90°F). Refrigerate cooked meat and poultry within 2 hours after cooking. Refrigerators should be set to maintain a temperature of 40°F or below.
Persons who think they might have become ill from eating possibly contaminated ground beef should consult their health care providers. Infants, older adults, and persons with impaired immune systems are more likely than others to develop severe illness.

This outbreak update taken from:

59 Sick with Salmonella

Thu, 12/15/2011 - 11:53am -- Anonymous

JACKSON, Miss. - The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reports that salmonella is no longer an ongoing risk to the public in Corinth, Miss.
As of today, a total of 59 patrons and employees of Don Julio Mexican Restaurant, 1901 Virginia Lane in Corinth, have had positive cultures confirming the presence of salmonella.
"Our investigation has shown that the incident does not appear to be a food producer or supplier issue," said Northeast Mississippi District Health Officer Dr. Jessie R. Taylor. "It appears to be an isolated problem with this particular restaurant, and the restaurant is working closely with us to correct the problem."
The restaurant will remain closed until an improvement plan is approved by the MSDH.
Area healthcare providers have been notified of the situation.
For more information on food safety, visit the MSDH website at Follow MSDH by e-mail and social media at

This article taken from:,11845,341.html

Final Toll From Melon Listeria Outbreak: 30 Dead

Fri, 12/09/2011 - 4:24pm -- Anonymous

DENVER (AP) – Federal health authorities say the final death toll from an outbreak of listeria in cantaloupe is 30.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta issued the final update Thursday and said the outbreak is over.
The agency says 30 people died, and a woman pregnant at the time of her illness had a miscarriage. Last month, the CDC put the death toll at 29.

The CDC says a total of 146 people were sickened in 28 states.
The melons came from Jensen Farms in southern Colorado, which recalled the cantaloupes Sept. 14.
Symptoms of listeria can take up to two months to appear.

This recall taken from:

CDC: Romaine Lettuce Likely Cause of E. coli Outbreak

Thu, 12/08/2011 - 11:49am -- Anonymous

St. Louis (KSDK) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released the results of the investigation into the E. coli outbreak that affected St. Louis area residents in October and November 2011.

The CDC says 60 people from 10 states have contracted E. coli serotype O157:H7. Local, state, and federal public health and regulatory agency investigations indicate the source of the outbreak is likely romaine lettuce, and the contamination likely occurred before hitting retail shelves.

The outbreak appears to be over, and consumers are not being advised to avoid eating specific foods.

As of December 4, 2011, the number of people ill in each state is as follows: Arizona, 1; Arkansas, 2; Georgia, 1; Illinois, 9; Indiana, 2; Kansas, 3; Kentucky, 1; Minnesota, 3; Missouri, 37; and Nebraska, 1.

The illnesses began October 10 and continued until November 4. The sick ranged in age from 1-year-old to 94-years-old. No deaths were reported.

The romaine lettuce was sold primarily at several locations of a single grocery store chain, referred to in the report as "Chain A." Many of the ill reported buying salads from salad bars at nine locations of this particular grocery store chain between October 5 and October 24.

The CDC says Chain A was cooperative in the investigation and voluntarily removed suspected food items from the salad bar on October 26.

Romaine lettuce served at salad bars at all of Chain A's locations came from a single lettuce processing facility via a single distributor. This indicates contamination likely happened before it reached the store.

Several of the sick had eaten at university campuses in Minnesota and Missouri, and an analysis determined lettuce harvested from Farm A was used to supply both Chain A locations and the university campus in Minnesota during the time of the illnesses.

To view the entire CDC report, click here.

This article taken from:

11 Test Positive For Salmonella

Thu, 12/08/2011 - 8:44am -- Anonymous

CORINTH, Miss. — Officials at Magnolia Regional Health Center in Corinth say the hospital has received 11 positive salmonella cultures since Nov. 28.
Hospital CEO Nick Napper tells the Daily Corinthian that some of the cases have been admitted to the hospital.
Napper says the patients who tested positive for salmonella are in stable condition or have been treated and released. He says the Mississippi State Health Department has been notified.
Napper says the patients who tested positive for salmonella are in stable condition or have been treated and released.
Napper says a definitive source is yet to be determined.
Salmonella is bacteria resulting in fever, cramps and diarrhea that lasts for several days and can require hospitalization.
State health officials have interviewed the patients to find out what foods they'd eaten. They also are taking food samples from local restaurants. No restaurants have been closed by the state.

This article taken from:

St. Louis E. coli Outbreak Update

Thu, 11/17/2011 - 11:06am -- Anonymous

St. Louis (KSDK) - The number of people confirmed to have E. coli has grown to 33.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has been leading a team of local, federal, and state public health experts investigating the cause of the outbreak that began October 26.
The investigation includes laboratory analysis, environmental sampling, and interviews.
To date, 55 food samples have been tested, but none of them have been confirmed to have E. coli.
Health officials urge consumers to wash all produce thoroughly with water before eating, cook meat thoroughly, and to wash their hands after using the restroom.
Anyone experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms including severe stomach cramps, diarrhea or nausea should seek medical attention.

This article taken from:

Utah Officials Investigating Source of Raw Milk in 'Mr. Cheese'

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 9:31am -- Anonymous

By Josh Loftin

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah officials continue to search Tuesday for the source of salmonella contamination in homemade queso fresco made by a producer known as "Mr. Cheese" who likely sold it out of his house and car in Salt Lake City and the surrounding suburbs.

Raw milk was initially suspected of contaminating the cheese, but samples from the dairy the cheese-maker claimed supplied his operation have tested negative for Salmonella Newport, said Larry Lewis, spokesman for the Department of Agriculture and Food.

Investigators continue to work with the West Valley City man to determine other possible sources, but Lewis said they suspect the contamination occurred because of unsanitary conditions at the residence where the cheese was made.

Numerous health code violations prompted a cease-and-desist letter to the cheese-maker from the department on Oct. 12, Lewis said. The man's home has also tested positive for the presence of Salmonella Newport.

"There was a lot of contamination in the home," Lewis said.

Utah law allows for people to prepare food for commercial sale in their homes without a commercial kitchen, but they have to be licensed and adhere to sanitation regulations. Consumers should be cautious when buying prepared foods from unlicensed vendors, especially if it's a product such as cheese that should be pasteurized, Lewis said.

Some 73 cases of Salmonella Newport have been confirmed in six Wasatch Front counties since 2009, according to the Salt Lake County Health Department. Eleven cases were confirmed in 2009, followed by another 22 cases in 2010 and 40 cases this year.

Officials estimate as many as 2,100 people may actually have had the infection, which causes nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea and fever. Some may have become ill after consuming the cheese, and others could have contracted the illness by having contact with infected persons.

One restaurant was found using the Mexican soft cheese and was closed down, department spokeswoman Pam Davenport said.

This article taken from:

35 People Sickened After Buffet at UW-Madison

Mon, 11/07/2011 - 7:29am -- Anonymous

MADISON, Wis.— Thirty-five people reported symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea after sharing a buffet line at the Pyle Center at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

A spokeswoman for UW Extension, which runs the conference center, told the Wisconsin State Journal ( ) they fell ill a day after eating lunch Thursday in the Pyle Center's Alumni Lounge. She says the same food was served to four other groups at the center, as well as to employees and visitors in the nearby Lowell Center, and no one from those locations reported symptoms.

Officials from the UW Environment, Health and Safety Department were contacted.

This article taken from:,0,1718088.story