Category Archives: Food Toxin

USA – Investigation of E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak Linked to Romaine from Salinas, California, November 2019

FDA

kswfoodworld E.coli O157

Image CDC

 

Recommendation

FDA, CDC, and state health authorities are investigating an outbreak of illnesses caused by E. coli O157:H7 in the United States. Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback evidence indicates that romaine lettuce from the Salinas, California growing region is a likely source of this outbreak. According to CDC, there have been 102 cases reported in 23 states.  The latest date that one of these patients reports becoming ill was on November 18, 2019.

Romaine from Salinas, California Label Enjoy By December 2, 2019

 

Romaine from Salinas, California Label Use By November 29, 2019

Consumers: Consumers should not eat romaine lettuce harvested from Salinas, California. Additionally, consumers should not eat products identified in the recall announced by the USDA on November 21, 2019.

Romaine lettuce may be voluntarily labeled with a harvest region. If this voluntary label indicates that the romaine lettuce was grown in “Salinas” (whether alone or with the name of another location) do not eat it. Throw it away or return it to the place of purchase.  If romaine lettuce does not have information about harvest region or does not indicate that it has been grown indoors (i.e., hydroponically- and greenhouse-grown), throw it away or return it to the place of purchase. Consumers ordering salad containing romaine at a restaurant or at a salad bar should ask the staff whether the romaine came from Salinas.  If it did, or they do not know, do not eat it.

At this time, romaine lettuce that was harvested outside of the Salinas region has not been implicated in this outbreak investigation. Hydroponically- and greenhouse-grown romaine, which is voluntarily labeled as “indoor grown,” from any region does not appear to be related to the current outbreak. There is no recommendation for consumers to avoid using romaine harvested from these other sources.

Restaurants and Retailers: Restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell romaine harvested from Salinas, California.  If you do not know the source of your romaine lettuce, and if you cannot obtain that information from your supplier, you should not serve, nor sell it.

Suppliers and Distributors: Suppliers, distributors and others in the supply chain should not ship or sell romaine harvested in Salinas, California. If the source of the romaine lettuce is unknown, you should not ship, nor sell the product.

For Restaurants, Retailers, Suppliers and Distributors: Currently, the FDA does not have enough traceback information to identify the specific source of the contamination that would allow us to request a targeted recall from specific growers.

FDA requested that industry voluntarily withdraw romaine grown in Salinas from the market and is requesting that industry withhold distribution of Salinas romaine for the remainder of the growing season in Salinas. Without more specific traceback information, this was the most efficient way to ensure that contaminated romaine was off the market.

At this time, romaine lettuce that was harvested outside of the Salinas region has not been implicated in this outbreak investigation. Hydroponically- and greenhouse-grown romaine, which is voluntarily labeled as “indoor grown,” from any region does not appear to be related to the current outbreak. There is no recommendation for consumers or retailers to avoid using romaine harvested from these other sources.

Update

According to the CDC, as of December 2, 2019, 102 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported from 23 states. The case patients report that illnesses started on dates ranging from September 24, 2019 to November 18, 2019. Illness onset dates reported to date are prior to the public warning issued on November 22.

Based on available traceback data, FDA requested that industry voluntarily withdraw romaine grown in Salinas from the market and is requesting that industry  withhold distribution of Salinas romaine for the remainder of the growing season in Salinas. This was the most efficient way to ensure that contaminated romaine was off the market.

Products that were part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced recall related to this outbreak investigation had a “Best By” of Nov. 1 or earlier, more than one month ago, and should no longer be on the market.

FDA continues to actively investigate the cause of this outbreak. FDA, with the assistance of staff from the California Department of Public Health and the California Department of Food and Agriculture, immediately deployed investigators to three farms in the Salinas area that were identified based on the traceback investigation. On the farms, investigators sampled soil and animal droppings, compost, water, and other potential environmental sources. The samples and information collected during the farm investigations are currently being analyzed. Investigators are attempting to identify any factors that could have led to contamination. Additionally, state partners are testing romaine lettuce samples for E. coli that they have collected from stores and from case patients’ homes.

The FDA and state partners are conducting a traceback investigation to determine whether a common supplier or source of contamination can be identified.  This investigation involves collecting and analyzing potentially hundreds of distribution records to trace the romaine that may have been available at points of exposure reported by ill people to their source. We are continuing to collect these records.

This remains an evolving and fluid situation. Information about our findings will be forthcoming as the investigation proceeds.

The Salinas region as defined by the United Fresh Produce Association and the Produce Marketing Association Romaine Taskforce ReportExternal Link Disclaimer includes: Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, San Benito, and Monterey counties in California.

Case Counts

Total Illnesses: 102
Hospitalizations: 58
Deaths: 0
Last illness onset: November 18, 2019
States with Cases:  AZ (3), CA (4), CO (6), FL (1), IA (1), ID (3), IL (1), MD (4), MI (1), MN (3), MT (1), NE (1), NJ (7), NC (1), NM (2), OH (12), OR (1), PA (8), SD (1), TX (4), VA (4), WA (2), WI (31)

USA -Hodgson Mill Issues Voluntary Recall of Unbleached All-Purpose White Wheat Flour Due to Potential Presence of Pathogenic E.coli

FDA

Hodgson Mill of Effingham, IL, announced today a voluntary national recall of specific lots of its Unbleached All-Purpose White Wheat Flour (5 lb.)

We are taking this voluntary precautionary step because of the potential presence of pathogenic E. coli which was discovered through sampling raw uncooked flour. Hodgson Mill has not received any confirmed reports of illnesses related to this product.

The only product affected by this voluntary recall is:

Unbleached All-Purpose White Wheat Flour (5 lb.) UPC 0-71518-05009-2
Best By Date 10-01-2020 and 10-02-2020 with lot codes listed Lot# 001042 & 005517

Use By and Lot Code information can be found on the bottom back panel of the 5 lb. Bag. Used By date and Lot Code, along with their location on the bag, must all match in order to represent flour affected by this recall.

Consumer safety is our top priority. Hodgson Mill package states “do not eat raw flour, dough or batter”. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warns consumers to not consume raw flour or uncooked raw dough.

E. coli is killed by heat through baking, frying, sautéing, or boiling products made with flour. For more information, refer to the following: https://www.cdc.gov/features/no-raw-dough/index.html. Symptoms of pathogenic E. coli illness include acute, often bloody diarrheal illness and abdominal cramps. Most people recover within a week. However, children, the elderly, and immunosuppressed individuals may develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a severe illness which may cause the kidneys to fail.

Consumers are reminded to wash their hands, work surfaces, and utensils thoroughly after contact with raw dough products or flour, and to never eat raw dough or batter.

This lot of flour was milled at an ADM Milling Facility in St Louis, MO and repacked at Hodgson Mill, Inc. facility in Effingham, IL and was distributed by Hodgson Mill through retailers and distribution nationwide and sold through our website www.hodgsonmill.comExternal Link Disclaimer.

Consumers who have purchased 5 lb packages of Unbleached All-Purpose White Wheat Flour with specific lot codes are urged to stop using the product immediately and return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company customer service M-F 9am to 3pm at 1-888-417-9343 x 1.

Any consumers concerned about an illness should contact a physician.

Bakers have trusted Hodgson Mill flour products in their kitchens for many years and because of that trust we have issued this voluntary recall. We remain committed to providing our consumers safe and superior products.


Company Contact Information

Consumers:
 888-417-9343

Product Photos

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