Posts Tagged “E. coli”

CDC Warns ‘Do Not Buy or Eat Romaine Lettuce from Yuma’ Due to E. Coli

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A2by Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

Based on new information, CDC is expanding its warning to consumers to cover all types of romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region due to E. coli. This warning now includes whole heads and hearts of romaine lettuce, in addition to chopped romaine and salads and salad mixes containing romaine.

Do not buy or eat romaine lettuce at a grocery store or restaurant unless you can confirm it is not from the Yuma, Arizona, growing region.

Unless the source of the product is known, consumers anywhere in the United States who have any store-bought romaine lettuce at home should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick. Product labels often do not identify growing regions; so, throw out any romaine lettuce if you’re uncertain about where it was grown. This includes whole heads and hearts of romaine, chopped romaine, and salads and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce. If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine, do not eat it and throw it away.

Restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell any romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region.

The expanded warning is based on information from newly reported illnesses in Alaska. Ill people in Alaska reported eating lettuce from whole heads of romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region.

Highlights

  • Information collected to date indicates that romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region could be contaminated with E. coliO157:H7 and could make people sick.
    • At this time, no common grower, supplier, distributor, or brand has been identified.
  • Advice to Consumers:
    • Do not buy or eat romaine lettuce at a grocery store or restaurant unless you can confirm it is not from the Yuma growing region.
    • Unless the source of the product is known, consumers anywhere in the United States who have any store-bought romaine lettuce at home should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick. Product labels often do not identify growing regions; so, throw out any romaine lettuce if you’re uncertain about where it was grown. This includes whole heads and hearts of romaine, chopped romaine, and salads and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce. If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine, do not eat it and throw it away.
  • Advice to Restaurants and Retailers:
    • Restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell any romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region. This includes whole heads and hearts of romaine, chopped romaine, and salads and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce.
    • Restaurants and retailers should ask their suppliers about the source of their romaine lettuce.
  • CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are investigating a multistate outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 (E. coliO157:H7) infections.
  • 53 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported from 16 states.
    • 31 people have been hospitalized, including five people who have developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome.
    • No deaths have been reported.
  • This investigation is ongoing, and CDC will provide updates when more information is available.

April 20, 2018

Investigation Update

State and local health officials in Alaska interviewed ill people at a correctional facility in that state to ask about the foods they ate and other exposures before they became ill. Ill people reported eating romaine lettuce. Traceback investigations show that the lettuce ill people ate came from whole heads of romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region.

The new information from the investigation in Alaska along with other information collected to date indicates that romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region could be contaminated with E. coliO157:H7 and could make people sick. Read CDC’s advice to consumers, restaurants, and retailers.

This investigation is ongoing, and CDC will provide more information as it becomes available. The new Alaska cases will be included in the next case count update; they are not reflected on the epi curve and map for this posting.

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Salmonella Can Grow on Bruised Blueberries

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DSCN3762+1Salmonella can grow on bruised blueberries kept at shipping or retail display temperatures, according to a new study in the  Journal of Food Protection.  The study was conducted by researchers at the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Citrus Research and Education Center at the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida,

Strawberries and blueberries harvested at or near full-ripe maturity and softer than those that are not as ripe and therefore more susceptible to bruising during harvest and transport. The researchers wanted to see how E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella behaved on bruised fruit and intact fruit at shipping temperature, 35.6˚ F, and retail display 59.9˚ F. So they The bruised the berries inoculated them with bacteria and observed.

They found that the E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella did not grow on strawberries at shipping or retail display temperatures. But that  Salmonella did grow on bruised fully ripe blueberries at  retail display temperatures.

Salmonella causes an infection called salmonellosis.  Symptoms include abdominal cramps, fever, vomiting and diarrhea that can be bloody.

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Study Details Importance of Proper Temperatures in-Transit of Bagged Salads

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HPbaggedSaladA new study in the Journal of Food Protection’s February issue details that temperature abuse during commercial transport and retail sale of leafy greens negatively impacts both microbial safety and product quality. Consequently, the effect of fluctuating temperatures on Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Listeria monocytogenes growth in commercially-bagged salad greens was assessed during transport, retail storage, and display.

Thus, proper tempertures in-transit of bagged salads is very important.

Over a 16-month period, a series of time-temperature profiles for bagged salads were obtained from five transportation routes covering four geographic regions (432 profiles), as well as during retail storage (4,867 profiles) and display (3,799 profiles). Five different time-temperature profiles collected during 2 to 3 days of transport, 1 and 3 days of retail storage, and 3 days of retail display were then duplicated in a programmable incubator to assess E. coli O157:H7 and L. monocytogenes growth in commercial bags of romaine lettuce mix.

Microbial growth predictions  were validated by comparing the root mean square error (RMSE), bias, and the acceptable prediction zone between the laboratory growth data and model predictions. Simulations were performed to calculate the probability distribution of microbial growth from 8,122,127,472 scenarios during transport, cold room storage, and retail display.

Using inoculated bags of retail salad, E. coli O157:H7 and L. monocytogenes populations increased a maximum of 3.1 and 3.0 at retail storage. Both models yielded acceptable  and biases within the acceptable prediction zone for E. coli O157:H7.

Based on the simulation, both pathogens generally increased <2 log CFU/g during transport, storage, and display. However, retail storage duration can significantly impact pathogen growth. This large-scale U.S. study—the first using commercial time/temperature profiles to assess the microbial risk of leafy greens—should be useful in filling some of the data gaps in current risk assessments for leafy greens.

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