Category Archives: CDC

USA – CDC Investigation Notice – Listeria Outbreak Linked to Enoki Mushrooms

CDC

Listeria is especially harmful if you are pregnant, aged 65 or older, or have a weakened immune system. If you are in any of these groups, do not eat raw enoki mushrooms. Cook enoki mushrooms thoroughly to kill any foodborne germs.

Investigators are working to identify specific brands of enoki mushrooms that may be contaminated with the outbreak strain of Listeria. However, many brands of enoki mushrooms have been recalled since the 2020 Listeria outbreak linked to enoki mushrooms.

Fast Facts
  • Illnesses: 2
  • Hospitalizations: 2
  • Deaths: 0
  • States: 2
  • Recall: No
  • Investigation status: Active
Enoki mushrooms on a white background
Listeria in Enoki Mushrooms

Enoki mushrooms are white and have long, thin stems. They are often sold in a bunch with roots in sealed plastic packaging. They are popular in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean food, and they are almost always eaten cooked in soups, hot pots, and stir-fried dishes.

In 2020, CDC investigated the first known Listeria outbreak in the United States linked to enoki mushrooms. This outbreak resulted in three recalls of enoki mushrooms that were imported from Korea. Since then, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and public health officials from several states have been collecting samples of enoki mushrooms and found Listeria in many samples, resulting in more than 20 recalls of enoki mushrooms.

Source of the Outbreak

Information collected so far shows that enoki mushrooms are the likely source of these illnesses.

Both sick people reported eating enoki mushrooms or eating at restaurants with menu items containing enoki mushrooms. The outbreak strain was previously found in one sample of enoki mushrooms that FDA collected at import. However, to date, the firm associated with this sample has not been identified as a potential source of enoki mushrooms in this outbreak.

Investigators are working to identify specific brands of enoki mushrooms linked to these illnesses.

USA – E. coli O157 Outbreak Linked to Ground Beef is over.

CDC

October 28, 2022

CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) investigated a multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections.

Epidemiologic and traceback data showed that ground beef sold in some HelloFresh meal kits made people sick.

As of October 28, 2022, this outbreak is over.

Epidemiologic and Traceback Data

A total of seven people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 were reported from six states (see map). Illnesses started on dates ranging from June 8, 2022, to August 17, 2022 (see timeline).

Sick people ranged in age from 17 to 69 years, with a median age of 25, and 43% were female. Six people were hospitalized and none developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a serious condition that can cause kidney failure. No deaths were reported.

The true number of sick people in this outbreak is likely much higher than the number reported, and this outbreak may not have been limited to the states with known illnesses. This is because many people recover without medical care and are not tested for E. coli.

State and local public health officials interviewed people about the foods they ate in the week before they got sick. Of the six people interviewed, all six (100%) reported eating ground beef from HelloFresh meal kits.

Traceback conducted by USDA-FSIS identified that multiple sick people received ground beef in HelloFresh meal kits that was produced at establishment M46841.

Laboratory Data

Public health investigators used the PulseNet system to identify illnesses that were part of this outbreak. CDC PulseNet manages a national database of DNA fingerprints of bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses. DNA fingerprinting is performed on bacteria using a method called whole genome sequencing (WGS).

WGS showed that bacteria from sick people’s samples were closely related genetically. This suggests that people in this outbreak got sick from the same food.

WGS analysis of bacteria from seven people’s samples did not predict resistance to any antibiotics. Standard antimicrobial resistance testing by CDC’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) laboratory is currently underway. These findings do not affect treatment guidance since antibiotics are not recommended for patients with E. coli O157:H7 infections.

Public Health Actions

CDC is advising people to check their freezer if they froze any of the ground beef in HelloFresh meal kits shipped from July 2 to July 21, 2022. Do not eat the ground beef if it has “EST.46841” inside the USDA inspection mark and “EST#46841 L1 22 155” or “EST#46841 L5 22 155” on the side of the packaging.

USA – Outbreak Investigation of Salmonella: Seafood (October 2022)

FDA

The FDA, along with CDC and state and local partners, is investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Litchfield infections linked to fresh, raw salmon supplied to restaurants in California and Arizona by Mariscos Bahia, Inc.

Based on epidemiologic information provided by CDC and interviews conducted by state and local public health officials, of 16 people interviewed, 12 reported eating sushi, sashimi, or poke. Of those interviewed, 11 people remembered details about the type of fish consumed and 9 report eating raw salmon before getting sick. The FDA’s investigation traced the distribution of fresh, raw salmon back to Mariscos Bahia, Inc.

In addition, the FDA collected an environmental sample that included multiple swabs at Mariscos Bahia, Inc. (Pico Rivera, CA). Multiple environmental swabs collected at the facility are positive for Salmonella and subsequent  Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) analysis is ongoing. The WGS completed to date indicates the Salmonella detected in at least one of the swabs from the facility matches the outbreak strain. While epidemiological evidence indicates that ill people consumed fresh, raw salmon processed at this firm, the presence of Salmonella in the processing environment indicates that additional types of fish processed in the same area of the facility could also be contaminated which includes fresh, raw halibut, Chilean seabass, tuna, and swordfish. Salmon, halibut, Chilean seabass, tuna, and swordfish processed in Marisco Bahia Inc.’s Pico Rivera, CA, facility could have also been sent to the Mariscos Bahia, Inc. facilities in Phoenix, AZ and then sent to restaurants.

The firm is cooperating with the FDA investigation and has agreed to initiate a voluntary recall. As a part of the firm’s voluntary recall, the firm will contact its direct customers who received recalled product.

The FDA’s investigation is ongoing. Updates to this advisory will be provided as they become available.

Recommendation

According to Mariscos Bahia, Inc., seafood was only sold directly to restaurants in California and Arizona and would not be available for purchase by consumers in stores.

Restaurants should check with their suppliers and not sell or serve salmon, halibut, Chilean seabass, tuna, and swordfish received fresh, not frozen from Mariscos Bahia, Inc. (Pico Rivera, CA and Phoenix, AZ) on or after June 14, 2022. If restaurants received these fish and then froze it, they should not sell or serve it. Restaurants should also be sure to wash and sanitize locations where these fish from Mariscos Bahia, Inc. were stored or prepared.

Consumers eating salmon, halibut, Chilean seabass, tuna, and swordfish at a restaurant in California or Arizona should ask whether the fish is from Mariscos Bahia, Inc and was received fresh, not frozen.


Map of U.S. Distribution

Map of U.S. Distribution

Case Count Map Provided by CDC

Salmon Outbreak of Salmonella - CDC Case Count Map as of October 19, 2022

Case Counts

Total Illnesses: 33
Hospitalizations: 13
Deaths: 0
Last illness onset: September 18, 2022
States with Cases: AZ (11), CA (21), IL (1)
Product Distribution*:  AZ, CA
*Distribution has been confirmed for states listed, but product could have been distributed further, reaching additional states

CDC issues Salmonella alert for people traveling to Mexico

Food Safety News

Public health officials in the United States are warning travellers who have spent time in Mexico to be aware of multidrug-resistant strains of Salmonella Newport.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that some travellers have been infected with the strains, which have developed the ability to defeat drugs designed to kill them. Salmonella infections from the strains can be difficult to treat and result in very serious illnesses.

“Many travelers with MDR (multidrug-resistant) Salmonella Newport infections reported eating beef, cheese — including queso fresco and Oaxaca— beef jerky, or dried beef — carne seca — before they got sick,” according to the alert from the CDC.

Research – Outbreak Investigation of E. coli O157:H7: Unknown Food (Fall 2020)

Food Poisoning News

The FDA and CDC, in collaboration with state and local partners, have completed the investigation on two of three multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections in the U.S. this fall.

One of these investigations, Outbreak Unknown Source 3, identified 18 reported illnesses in nine states: California, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington.

FDA completed a traceback investigation of several potential food vehicles identified in patient interviews and although no single farm was identified as a common source of the outbreak, FDA and state partners also conducted on-site investigations on farms of interest. However, information and samples collected in these inspections did not link these farms to the outbreak. The investigation of a farm does not mean that the farm is linked to an outbreak. The results of an investigation into a farm may well lead to that firm being ruled out of the investigation. On 12/18/2020, the CDC announced that this outbreak had ended.

The other completed outbreak investigation, Outbreak Unknown Source 1, identified 32 reported illnesses in 12 states: California, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin. This strain of E. coli is genetically similar to a strain linked to a romaine outbreak that occurred in the spring of 2018, though a food was not linked to the current outbreak. FDA completed a traceback investigation and was unable to determine a common source of the outbreak. FDA and state partners also conducted on-site inspections on farms of interest, though information collected in these inspections did not link these farms to the outbreak. On 12/18/2020, the CDC announced that this outbreak had ended.

Investigations of a third E. coli outbreak of Unknown Source 2 continue.

USA – Listeria Outbreak Connected to Big Olaf Creamery Allegedly Causes Death of One Woman

Food Poisoning News

A recent outbreak of Listeria infections is believed to be linked to an ice cream producer in Sarasota, Florida, called Big Olaf Creamery. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that there have been 23 people affected by the outbreak with 22 of these people seeking hospitalization due to the severity of their symptoms. One woman, Mary Billman, has passed away, allegedly due to the consumption of Big Olaf ice cream. Ms. Billman’s estate is pursuing legal action in response to her death.

USA – Listeria Outbreak Linked to Ice Cream

CDC

Listeria Outbreak Linked to Ice Cream

Illustration with a triangle and exclamation mark and text reading Food Safety Alert

Posted July 8, 2022

CDC is concerned that Big Olaf Creamery ice cream could still be in people’s homes or available for sale in stores. Big Olaf Creamery ice cream is sold in Florida in Big Olaf Creamery stores and stores with different company names.

Fast Facts
  • Illnesses: 23
  • Hospitalizations: 22
  • Deaths: 1
  • States: 10
  • Recall: No
  • Investigation status: Active
Representative image for this outbreak
What Everyone Should Do

Do not eat Big Olaf Creamery ice cream.

  • If you have any Big Olaf Creamery ice cream at home, throw it away.
  • If you are in Florida and don’t know if the ice cream being sold is Big Olaf Creamery brand, ask the store before you buy or eat it.

Clean any areas, containers, and serving utensils that may have touched the ice cream.

What Businesses Should Do

Do not serve or sell any Big Olaf Creamery ice cream products.

  • Clean and disinfect any areas and equipment that may have touched Big Olaf Creamery ice cream products, including ice cream scoops and other serving utensils.
What People at Higher Risk Should Do

Listeria is most likely to sicken pregnant people and their newborns, adults aged 65 or older, and people with weakened immune systems. Other people can be infected with Listeria, but they rarely become seriously ill.

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these Listeria symptoms:

  • Pregnant people typically experience only fever, fatigue, and muscle aches. However, Listeria infections during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or life-threatening infection of the newborn.
  • People who are not pregnant may experience headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions, in addition to fever and muscle aches.

USA – Domestically Acquired Cases of Cyclosporiasis — United States, May–June 2022

CDC

LAST UPDATED JUNE 30, 2022 4:00 PM EDT

Cyclosporiasis illnesses are reported year-round in the United States. However, during the spring and summer months there is often an increase in cyclosporiasis acquired in the United States (i.e., “domestically acquired”). The exact timing and duration of these seasonal increases in domestically acquired cyclosporiasis can vary, but reports tend to increase starting in May. In previous years the reported number of cases peaked between June and July, although activity can last as late as September. The overall health impact (e.g., number of infections or hospitalizations) and the number of identified clusters of cases (i.e., cases that can be linked to a common exposure) also vary from season to season. Previous U.S. outbreaks of cyclosporiasis have been linked to various types of fresh produce, including basil, cilantro, mesclun lettuce, raspberries, and snow peas.

At a Glance
  • Illnesses: 61
  • Hospitalizations: 6
  • Deaths: 0
  • States reporting cases: 13

CDC, along with state and federal health and regulatory officials, monitor cases of cyclosporiasis in the United States in the spring and summer months to detect outbreaks linked to a common food source. However, many cases of cyclosporiasis cannot be directly linked to an outbreak, in part because of the lack of validated laboratory “fingerprinting” methods needed to link cases of Cyclospora infection. Officials use questionnaires to interview sick people to determine what they ate in the 14-day period before illness onset. If a commonality is found, CDC and partners work quickly to determine if a contaminated food product is still available in stores or in peoples’ homes and issue advisories.

Latest Information

  • This is the first monthly report on the number of domestically acquired cyclosporiasis illnesses with onset on or after May 1, 2022. Cases continue to be reported.
  • As of June 28, 2022, 61 laboratory-confirmed cases of cyclosporiasis in people who had no history of international travel during the 14-day period before illness onset have been reported to CDC by 13 states since May 1, 2022.
    • The median illness onset date is May 31, 2022 (range: May 3–June 20, 2022).
    • At least 6 people have been hospitalized; no deaths have been reported.

Research – Cronobacter Infection and Infants

CDC

Getting sick from Cronobacter does not happen often, but infections in infants can be deadly. Cronobacter infections in infants less than 12 months old are often linked to powdered infant formula. If your baby is fed with powdered infant formula, you can take steps to protect your baby from sickness.

Cronobacter sakazakii is a germ found naturally in the environment.

These germs can live in dry foods, such as:

  • Powdered infant formula
  • Powdered milk
  • Herbal teas
  • Starches

Rare but Serious Illness in Infants

Cronobacter infections are rare, but they can be deadly in newborns. Infections in infants usually occur in the first days or weeks of life. About two to four cases are reported to CDC every year, but this figure may not reflect the true number of illnesses. That’s because most hospitals and laboratories are not required to report Cronobacter infections to health departments.

Cronobacter germs can cause a dangerous blood infection (sepsis). They can also make the linings surrounding the brain and spinal cord swell (meningitis).

Infants who are more likely to get sick include:

  • Infants 2 months and younger. These infants are most likely to develop meningitis if they get sick from Cronobacter.
  • Infants born prematurely.
  • Infants with weakened immune systems. Babies with this condition can’t fight germs as well because of illness or medical treatment, such as chemotherapy for cancer.

Cronobacter illness in infants will usually start with a fever and poor feeding, excessive crying, or very low energy.  Some infants may also have seizures. You should take an infant with these symptoms to a medical provider as soon as possible.

Cronobacter infection can also be serious for:

  • People 65 years and older.
  • People who have immune systems weakened due to illnesses or conditions, such as HIV, organ transplants, or cancer.
Powdered formula is not sterile and might have germs in it.

Powdered infant formula can be contaminated in homes or in processing facilities that make it.

In the home:

You can accidentally get Cronobacter in powdered formula after you open the container. Cronobacter can live on surfaces in your home, such as a kitchen counter or sinks, and in water. Cronobacter could get into powdered formula if you place formula lids or scoops on contaminated surfaces and later touch the formula. It can also get into formula if you mix the formula with contaminated water or in a contaminated bottle.

In a processing facility:

Cronobacter can also get into powdered infant formula in a processing facility in these ways:

  • If the manufacturer uses contaminated ingredients to make the formula.
  • If the formula powder touches a contaminated surface.

USA – Norovirus implicated in Carnival Splendor outbreak

Outbreak News Today

In a follow-up on the gastrointestinal outbreak that affected 93 people (passengers and crew) onboard a recent voyage of Carnival Cruise Line’s, Carnival Splendor, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now states that norovirus was the causative agent of the outbreak.

Seventy-seven passengers and 16 crew members suffered with symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea during the May 24–31, 2022 voyage.