Category Archives: food death

Outbreak Investigation of Listeria monocytogenes: Ice Cream (July 2022)

FDA

The FDA, along with CDC, is assisting the Florida Department of Health (FL DOH) and Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (FDACS) in investigating an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections linked to ice cream supplied by Big Olaf Creamery of Sarasota, Florida. As of August 2, 2022, CDC reports 25 illnesses in 11 states.

This is an ongoing investigation, and the FDA is continuing to work with the FL DOH and FDACS to investigate. FDA will update this advisory should additional consumer safety information become available.

Recommendation

Consumers, restaurants, and retailers should not eat, sell, or serve any recalled Big Olaf ice cream products and should throw the product away, regardless of the “Best By” or expiration date.

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 these symptoms after eating Big Olaf ice cream products:

  • Pregnant people typically experience only fever, fatigue, and muscle aches. However, Listeria infection 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.

Consumers, restaurants, and retailers who purchased or received any recalled Big Olaf ice cream products should throw the products away, follow FDA’s safe handling and cleaning advice and use extra vigilance in cleaning and sanitizing any surfaces and containers that may have come in contact with these products to reduce the risk of cross-contamination. Listeria can survive in refrigerated temperatures and can easily spread to other foods and surfaces.

Product Images

Big Olaf Ice Cream Product Image

The Big Olaf brand ice cream was sold to consumers in plastic pint size containers, plastic ½ gallon containers, and plastic 2.5-gallon tubs, scoopable are sold to the independent retail stores. All flavors, lots, codes, and all expiration dates through 6/30/2022 are included in this recall.

Case Count Map Provided by CDC

Outbreak Investigation of Listeria Monocytogenes in Florida-Based Big Olaf Ice Cream (July 2022) - CDC Case Count Map as of August 4, 2022

Map of U.S. Distribution of Recalled Big Olaf’s Ice Cream Products

Outbreak Investigation of Listeria Monocytogenes from Florida-Based Ice Cream - Map of U.S. Distribution of Recalled Ice Cream (July 13, 2022)

Case Counts

Total Illnesses: 25
Hospitalizations: 24
Deaths: 1
Fetal Loss: 1
Last illness onset: 6/24/2022
States with Cases: CO (1), FL (13), GA (1), IL (1), KS (1), NE (1), MA (2), MN (1), NJ (1), NY (2), PA (1)
Product Distribution*: FL, OH
*Distribution has been confirmed for states listed, but product could have been distributed further, reaching additional states

USA – Florida officials order Big Olaf Creamery to stop all activities as part of outbreak investigation – Listeria monocytogenes

Food Safety News

State officials have ordered Big Olaf Creamery to stop use of processing equipment in a plant associated with a deadly outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections.

The Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (FDACS) is still waiting for results of product sampling, but the evidence of Listeria in the production plant is enough for the state to take action.

Twenty-three people have been infected with Listeria and one has died. One pregnant women suffered a miscarriage.

A spokesman with the Florida Department of Health told Food Safety News today that the agency has been investigating the outbreak for a year.

The agriculture and consumers services department took more than 100 samples at the manufacturing plant of Big Olaf Creamery and nine came back positive, including one from a transfer pipe from pre mix to an ice cream machine.

“FDACS has issued a stop use order of the processing equipment where the Listeria monocytogenes was found. This will effectively shut down all operations at this processing facility, which had already been done voluntarily by the company,” according to a statement today from the department.

USA – Outbreak Investigation of Listeria monocytogenes: Ice Cream (July 2022)

Outbreak Investigation of Listeria Monocytogenes in Florida-Based Big Olaf Ice Cream (July 2022) - CDC Case Count Map as of July 11, 2022

FDA

The FDA, along with CDC, is assisting the Florida Department of Health (FL DOH) and Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (FDACS) in investigating an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections linked to ice cream supplied by Big Olaf Creamery of Sarasota, Florida.

Based on epidemiological information collected by CDC and the FL DOH, Big Olaf ice cream products are a likely source of illness in this outbreak. A total of 23 people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported from 10 states. Of the 18 people interviewed, all (100%) reported eating ice cream. Among 18 people who remembered details about the type of ice cream they ate, 10 reported eating Big Olaf Creamery brand ice cream or eating ice cream at locations that might have been supplied by Big Olaf Creamery. Twelve sick people are residents of Florida and nine reported traveling to Florida before getting sick.

FDA is concerned that retailers may still be selling Big Olaf ice cream products. Retailers should not sell or serve Big Olaf ice cream products and should throw them away. Consumers who may still have these products in their freezers should not eat or serve any Big Olaf ice cream products and should also throw the product away.

This is an ongoing investigation, and the firm has initiated a voluntary recall of its ice cream products. The FDA is continuing to work with the FL DOH and FDACS to investigate and will update this advisory should additional consumer safety information become available.

Recommendation

Consumers, restaurants, and retailers should not eat, sell, or serve any Big Olaf ice cream products and should throw the product away, regardless of the “Best By” or expiration date.

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have these symptoms after eating Big Olaf ice cream products:

  • Pregnant people typically experience only fever, fatigue, and muscle aches. However, Listeria infection 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.

Consumers, restaurants, and retailers who purchased or received any Big Olaf ice cream products should throw the products away, follow FDA’s safe handling and cleaning advice and use extra vigilance in cleaning and sanitizing any surfaces and containers that may have come in contact with these products to reduce the risk of cross-contamination. Listeria can survive in refrigerated temperatures and can easily spread to other foods and surfaces.

Case Counts

Total Illnesses: 23
Hospitalizations: 22
Deaths: 1
Fetal Loss: 1
Last illness onset: 6/12/2022
States with Cases: CO (1), FL (12), GA (1), IL (1), KS (1), MA (2), MN (1), NJ (1), NY (2), PA (1)
Product Distribution*: FL
*Distribution has been confirmed for states listed, but product could have been distributed further, reaching additional states

Spain – Seven face charges in deadly Listeria outbreak in Spain

Food Safety News

Seven people are set to stand trial as part of Spain’s largest ever Listeria outbreak, which occurred in 2019.

A judge in a court in Seville this week decided to continue proceedings against seven defendants for offences including alleged crimes against public health and injury to a fetus resulting in abortion. At the conclusion of an investigation into the outbreak, Pilar Ordóñez also considered that Seville Council could be held civilly liable, this means it would have to pay compensation if convicted.

The outbreak from “La Mecha” brand chilled roasted pork produced by Magrudis affected almost 250 people. During the health alert between mid-August and mid-October 2019, four people died and there were six abortions.

Those investigated are José Antonio Marín Ponce, administrator of Magrudis; his wife, Encarnación Rodríguez Jiménez, responsible for production and the company’s self-control system; their children Sandro José and Mario Marín Rodríguez as well as a local veterinary inspector and two other people. Action against another four people has been stopped.

UK – Three dead in UK fish Listeria outbreak

Food Safety News

Three people have died in an ongoing Listeria outbreak linked to fish in the United Kingdom.

The UK Health Security Agency, Food Standards Agency (FSA), Public Health Scotland and Food Standards Scotland (FSS) are investigating the Listeria monocytogenes outbreak that was first made public in April.

Twelve patients across the UK have been identified, including three in Scotland, with onset dates of illness between October 2020 to March 2022.

Ten sick people are over the age of 65, and one is a pregnant woman. Three of those affected who are older than 65 have died.

Six people have fallen ill since January 2022. The majority of patients reported eating smoked fish.

The FSA and FSS are doing food chain and microbiological investigations including whole genome sequencing (WGS) but the cause is yet to be confirmed.

Canada – Two dead in Listeria outbreak at Ottawa retirement home

Ottawa Citizen

Two residents of a west-end Ottawa retirement home are dead after a Listeria outbreak, the source of which has not been identified.

Catherine Clausi, a spokesperson for the home on Meadowlands Drive, said it has worked with Ottawa Public Health and the regional infection prevention and control team to determine the source of listeria, but has been unable to do so.

“Despite a month of investigating the outbreak with Ottawa Public Health, no known source was identified,” she said.

She added that the home purchases all of its food “through reliable suppliers and requires staff to follow all food storage and handling procedures.

France – Foodwatch complaint targets Nestlé and Ferrero

LEX

A consumer watchdog has filed a complaint against Nestlé and Ferrero in relation to recent E. coli and Salmonella outbreaks involving the companies.

In the action, Foodwatch France lists seven offences including placing on the market products harmful to health and failure to implement procedures to withdraw or recall such a product, endangering the lives of others and export to a non-EU country of food potentially harmful to health.

The two complaints include the case of Louna, a 6-year-old, who was hospitalized because of a Salmonella infection after eating Kinder chocolate, said Foodwatch. The multi-country outbreak has sickened hundreds.

The Nestlé E. coli outbreak involves 56 cases and two deaths from Buitoni brand Fraîch’Up pizzas in France. Production at the factory in Caudry was stopped in April. The Paris prosecutor’s office has opened a criminal inquiry into the incident.

The Ferrero monophasic Salmonella typhimurium chocolate outbreak has affected at least 324 people in 16 countries. Belgian authorities halted production at the Arlon facility in April, and an investigation has been launched by the Luxembourg Public Prosecutor’s Office.

The two Foodwatch complaints against Nestlé and Ferrero were filed in Paris this week by the law firm Teissonniere Topaloff Lafforgue Andreu et Associés (TTLA) on behalf of the group and several victims. They are seeking sanctions against the companies and compensation for the victims.

Guatemala – Four deaths in Guatemala linked to contaminated shellfish – Saitoxin – PSP

Food Safety News

More than 30 people have fallen sick and four have died in Guatemala after eating shellfish.

The National Commission for the Surveillance and Control of Red Tide in Guatemala has extended an alert because of the presence of saxitoxins above the limits on the coasts of Tiquisate, Escuintla, Retalhuleu and San Marcos.

Public health officials said that since the end of April, 34 people had been affected and three children and one adult had died.

Authorities urged the public not to eat bivalve mollusks such as mussels, clams and oysters.

A warning was issued earlier this month after monitoring and analysis detected high concentrations of saxitoxins above the limits.

Saxitoxin is a toxin responsible for paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP). Harmful algal blooms are often called red tides.

USA – FDA Investigation of Cronobacter Infections: Powdered Infant Formula (February 2022)

FDA

Content current as of:
05/11/2022

If you want to check if your powdered formula is part of the recall, you can enter the product lot code on the bottom of your package on the company’s websiteExternal Link Disclaimer.

If you have questions or need information about the recall, you can Submit Questions/Get Assistance.

If your infant is experiencing symptoms related to Cronobacter infection, such as poor feeding, irritability, temperature changes, jaundice, grunting breaths, or abnormal body movements; contact your health care provider to report their symptoms and receive immediate care.

To report an illness or adverse event, you can

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local partners are investigating consumer complaints and/or reports, received from 9/20/2021 to 1/11/2022, of infant illness related to products from Abbott Nutrition’s Sturgis, MI, facility. The four ill patients are reported to have consumed powdered infant formula produced from Abbott Nutrition’s Sturgis, MI, facility.

On May 10, 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration provided an update on its work to increase the availability of infant and specialty formula products. This update was announced with a separate press release.

Following the voluntary recall and hold of certain powdered infant formula products produced at the Abbott Nutrition facility in Sturgis, MI, Abbott has committed to completing enhanced testing of stored product batches prior to making release determinations. While the FDA recognizes that Abbott has conducted standard product testing, there were a limited number of samples tested. Additionally, although finished product testing does not eliminate the risk of contamination, the enhanced testing will provide for a greater chance to detect Cronobacter sakazakii, if present; however, this enhanced level of testing will take additional time.

In the meantime, the FDA has informed Abbott Nutrition that the agency has no objection to the company immediately releasing product to individuals needing urgent, life-sustaining supplies of the specialty and metabolic formulas listed below on a case-by-case basis. The FDA is concerned that the risk of not having certain specialty and metabolic products available could significantly worsen underlying medical conditions and in some cases pose life-threatening risks for infants and individuals who rely on these products. In these circumstances, the benefit of allowing parents, in consultation with their healthcare providers, to access these products may outweigh the potential risk of bacterial infection.

Abbott has confirmed with the FDA that the company will consider release of these products on a case-by-case basis, depending on product availability and the severity of the individual’s need. Patients and caregivers seeking access to these products should contact Abbott directly to request that a product be made available to them by calling 1-800-881-0876.

It is important for parents and caregivers to understand that any products released on a case-by-case basis at this time were made at Abbott Nutrition’s Sturgis, MI, facility, and that the processes, procedures, and conditions that the FDA observed during its inspection of the Sturgis MI production facility from January 31 – March 18, 2022, raise concerns that powdered infant formula produced at this facility prior to the FDA’s inspection carry a risk of contamination. Therefore, those seeking access should consult with their healthcare provider in considering whether the benefit of consuming such product outweighs the potential risk of bacterial infection in the user’s particular circumstances. Parents and caregivers should continue to work with their medical provider to consider whether comparable alternative products may be appropriate.

Parents and caregivers who obtain these products should carefully follow Abbott’s preparation instructions as indicated on the product container. Should product released on a case-by-case basis be used, parents and caregiver should pay close attention to the user’s health status and alert a healthcare provider immediately of any change in health status. In the meantime, the FDA is continuing to work diligently to ensure the safe resumption of production of infant formula at Abbott Nutrition’s Sturgis, Michigan facility.

Specialty and Metabolic Formulas that may be Released on a Case-By-Case Basis:

  • Glutarex-1
  • Glutarex-2
  • Cyclinex-1
  • Cyclinex-2
  • Hominex-1
  • Hominex-2
  • I-Valex-1
  • I-Valex-2
  • Ketonex-1
  • Ketonex-2
  • Phenex-1
  • Phenex-2
  • Phenex-2 Vanilla
  • Pro-Phree
  • Propimex-1
  • Propimex-2
  • ProViMin
  • Calcilo XD
  • Tyrex-1
  • Tyrex-2
  • Similac PM 60/40

Recommendation

The FDA is advising consumers not to use recalled Similac, Alimentum, or EleCare powdered infant formulas. Recalled products can be identified by the 7 to 9 digit code and expiration date on the bottom of the package (see image below). Products are included in the recall if they have all three items below:

  • the first two digits of the code are 22 through 37 and
  • the code on the container contains K8, SH, or Z2, and
  • the expiration date is 4-1-2022 (APR 2022) or later.

In addition to products described above, Abbott Nutrition has recalled Similac PM 60/40 with a lot code 27032K80 (can) / 27032K800 (case). At this time, Similac PM 60/40 with lot code 27032K80 (can) / 27032K800 (case) is the only type and lot of this specialty formula being recalled. Additional recall information for the initial recall is available on the FDA website. Parents can also enter their product lot code on the company’s websiteExternal Link Disclaimer to check if it is part of the recall.

Additional information for parents and caregivers of infants receiving medical specialty infant formulas and individuals using certain medical foods is available below.

Additional Information for Parents and Caregivers:

The recalls do not include liquid formula products.

Parents and caregivers should never dilute infant formula and should not make or feed homemade infant formula to infants. Consumers should also avoid purchasing imported formula through online sales, as it has the potential to be counterfeit.

If your regular formula is not available, contact your child’s healthcare provider for recommendations on changing feeding practices.

If you get infant formula through WIC, do not throw the formula out. Instead, you should take it to the store for a refund and exchange or call the company at 1-800-986-8540 to help you. WIC recipients should be able to obtain a different brand of similar formula. Call your local WIC clinic for more guidance. Also see:

More information on Cronobacter and infant formula is available on CDC’s website.

Recalled powdered infant formulas have the potential to be contaminated with Cronobacter, a bacterium that can cause severe foodborne illness primarily in infants. Cronobacter infections are rare but are especially high risk for newborn infants (see symptoms below).

Cronobacter bacteria can cause severe, life-threatening infections (sepsis) or meningitis (an inflammation of the membranes that protect the brain and spine). Symptoms of sepsis and meningitis may include poor feeding, irritability, temperature changes, jaundice (yellow skin and whites of the eyes), grunting breaths, and abnormal body movements. Cronobacter infection may also cause bowel damage and may spread through the blood to other parts of the body.

If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, you should notify your child’s healthcare provider and seek medical care for your child immediately. Healthcare providers and health departments are encouraged to report any confirmed cases of Cronobacter sakazakii to CDC.

India – 200 hotels shut in crackdown on stale food after food poisoning death in Kerala

Hindustan Times

A week after a 16-year-old girl died in north Kerala after consuming stale shawarma, the government launched a crackdown on the eateries during which over 200 hotels were shut and large quantity of stale meat and fish was seized in a week-long operation across the state.

“During the drive, over 500 kg stale meat and 6,000 kg fish laced with chemicals was seized in the state,”said a food safety official said, adding, “the checking drive will be intensified.” Last week, the high court had registered a case suo motu and asked the government and food safety officials to conduct regular examinations instead of acting only after a tragedy.