draggonlaady: (Default)
E coli in beef from Town and Country Foods.

Salmonella in lettuce from Dole.

Salmonella Sushi outbreak is up to 141 sick. Moon Marine is recalling their yellowfin tuna in response.

The Oregon raw milk associated E. coli outbreak is up to 18 ill, with 4 children hospitalized. Doesn't sound like much, but turns out to be all from a 4 cow dairy... which makes the proportion of exposed to ill to hospitalized pretty harsh.

And 4 people have been charged with trimming, repackaging, and selling moldy cheese.
draggonlaady: (Grinding Bones)
Raw Milk E. coli Outbreak in Missouri: 2 with HUS
Missouri public health officials announced in early April, 2012 that raw milk was the source of an E. coli outbreak among central and western Missouri residents. E. coli cases have been reported in Boone, Cooper, Camden, Howard and Jackson counties.

And across the country, The Oregon Public Health Division, Department of Agriculture and several local health departments are investigating an outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections that have left three Portland-area children hospitalized, two with kidney failure. A fourth child has lab-confirmed E.coli but has not been hospitalized. All of the children consumed raw unpasteurized milk obtained from Foundation Farm in Clackamas County. The farm has voluntarily ceased its milk distribution.
draggonlaady: (Default)
A sushi related outbreak of Salmonella across 19 states, with pushing 100 reported illnesses. Ingredient hasn't been pegged yet, but ... raw food=riskier. On that note, Bruce and I had ahi poke last night. Heh. Whatwhat? follow my own advice?

And speaking of raw=risky, yet another raw milk recall. This one due to salmonella in Pennsylvania.

We're 3-for-3 here, with the Salmonella today. Castellini is recalling jalapeno peppers sold in full case, 1/2 case, 20lb, 10lb, 5lb, 2lb, and 1lb package sizes and distributed during the period March 8, 2012 through March 20, 2012 to military commissaries, retailers and foodservice distributors within ten states: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Finally some other contenders! 1100 pounds of stuffed, layered beef products with Listeria are being recalled by Mosul Kubba in Chicago.

Hmm. Nope. Guess that was ust a single gap in an otherwise solid wall of Salmonella. Salmonella Salsa, anyone? Club Chef LLC is recalling its 12 oz., 16 oz. and 5 lb. salsa products.

Not even the fish are safe! (Heh. Just realized after typing it that this could as easily refer to the first one up there as this one...) Wardley's Tropical Flake Fish Food is also being recalled due to Salmonella.
draggonlaady: (Grinding Bones)
Campylobacter outbreak from raw milk dairy is up to 78 illnesses now.

Updates

Feb. 14th, 2012 04:36 pm
draggonlaady: (Default)
Campylobacter from raw milk outbreak still ongoing, count of ill is now up at 65.

A couple more companies have recalled products using Michael Foods' listeria contaminated eggs:
Grand Strand Sandwich Company of Longs, SC is recalling its 4.5oz and 5 oz Chicken Salad Sandwiches, with the following labels: Grand Strand Sandwich, Lunch Box Sandwiches, and Country Harvest Sandwiches.
Spartan Central Kitchen is requesting that the listed items be pulled and destroyed:#357 Egg Spread (5 pound bag), #741 Sandwich – Egg Spread, #763 Salad – Small Chef, #764 Salad – Large Chef, #765 Salad – Seven Layer, # 801 Salad – No Meat Small Chef, #802 Salad – No Meat Large Chef, #803 Salad – No Meat 7 layer.

Retraction

Feb. 4th, 2012 09:55 am
draggonlaady: (Grinding Bones)
On further testing, the brucellosis case has been rediagnosed as not brucellosis. Which is good for both the sick individual and the farm.

Lest you all think that means raw milk is suddenly the safer option though... there's a growing outbreak of Campylobacter jejuni affecting several states, traced to raw milk sales from a single farm.
draggonlaady: (Default)
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health issued a consumer alert on Friday after learning that a local farm’s raw milk could be contaminated with Brucella. Brucellosis, also called Bang's disease, Crimean fever, Gibraltar fever, Malta fever, Maltese fever, Mediterranean fever, rock fever, or undulant fever, is a highly contagious zoonosis caused by ingestion of unpasteurized milk or meat from infected animals or close contact with their secretions.

Twin River Farm in Ashley Falls is the subject of a DPH investigation after a suspected human case was reported by an individual who had contact with the farm.

According to the DPH, Brucellosis is a bacterial infection that can cause flu-like symptoms including sweats, headache, fever, swollen lymph nodes, and back pains. In some cases, the infection can cause long-lasting and chronic symptoms. Adults are more likely to fall seriously ill than children.

Twin Rivers Farm milk is not sold in retail stores and the advisory does not apply to pasteurized milk. Anyone who has purchased raw milk from the farm is advised to discard it. Those who have consumed it are told to seek medical attention and contact their local board of health.

Raw milk containers from Twin River will have the following information on them:

Twin Rivers Farm 
PO Box 408 Ashley Falls, MA


--------------------------------

So...Brucellosis is NOT a fun thing. Possible consequences not listed above include: encephalitis, meningitis, endocarditis, and chronic/recurrent bone and joint issues. In cattle it can also cause orchitis (that'd be infection and inflammation of the testicles, doesn't that sound fun?) though I don't find that in the CDC or NCBI's info.

Brucellosis is preventable, and thankfully rare--the vast majority of female cattle in the US are vaccinated. (Males aren't vaccinated, because steers are a common source of spread, lacking placental fluid and such, and bulls aren't vaccinated because of the risk of sterility inducing orchitis, making them useless as a bull.) The old vaccine against Brucellosis was almost as nasty as the disease itself, for humans anyway--stick yourself with THAT needle and end up hositalized or dead. Whee. Also, the old vaccine is where the risk of orchitis in bulls came from. Thankfully, there's a newer, better, safer vaccine, and I have no idea why anyone anywhere would use the old one.
Now, I don't know that the dairy involved here is not following vaccination protocols. But I do know the vaccine is effective (which is why this is a rare disease you may never have heard of), so I have suspicions. The vaccine is required for shipping cattle across state lines, but if they are breeding their own replacement heifers and not vaccinating, or getting replacements from other locals who are not vaccinating, the risks go up.
So: VACCINATIONS GOOD.

Brucella in food sources is ALSO preventable, by the simple expedient of FIRE! Heat the foot, brucella dies. Is simple. And FIRE! is fun.
So: PASTEURIZATION GOOD.

Further info on Brucellosis:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001623/
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/brucellosis_g.htm
draggonlaady: (Grinding Bones)
Frisia Dairy and Creamery, located in Tenino, Washington, is recalling its raw milk products after routine sampling turned up shiga toxin-producing E. coli bacteria in its skim raw milk product. The products being recalled include whole, skim, and cream milk sold in various sizes. The raw milk products are distributed and sold directly at the dairy and through 8 stores in Lewis, Thurston, and Pierce counties.

ZIP International Group, LLC is recalling Sliced herring fillet (Forelka) due to Listeria contamination. The recalled sliced herring fillet comes in both 330 gram and 600 gram plastic containers with a code date of best before 03/06/2012. They were sold in the New York Metropolitan Area.
draggonlaady: (Default)
Raw milk products produced by Organic Pastures of Fresno County are the subject of a statewide recall and quarantine order announced by California State Veterinarian Dr. Annette Whiteford. Under the recall, all Organic Pastures raw dairy products with the exception of cheese aged a minimum of 60 days are to be pulled immediately from retail shelves and consumers are strongly urged to dispose of any products remaining in their refrigerators. Until further notice, Organic Pastures may not produce raw milk products for the retail market. The order also affects Organic Pastures raw butter, raw cream, raw colostrum, and a raw product labeled “Qephor.” The quarantine order came following a notification from the California Department of Public Health of a cluster of five children who were infected, from August through October, with the same strain of E. coli O157:H7.

The J.M. Smucker Company announced a limited voluntary recall on two specific Best-If-Used-By dates of 16 oz. Smucker’s® Natural Peanut Butter Chunky because it may be contaminated with Salmonella. UPC: 5150001701, Production Codes: 1307004 and 1308004, Best-If-Used-By dates: August 3, 2012 and August 4, 2012, Chunky product only (not creamy), impacted product would have been purchased between November 8 - 17, 2011.

Ready Pac Foods, Inc. is recalling a total of 5,379 cases of bagged salad products containing Romaine lettuce, with the Use-by Date of November 18, 2011 because they may be contaminated with E. coli (E.coli O157:H7).

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is warning the public not to consume the Richardson’s Farm Market brand Pasteurized Apple Cider, because the product may be contaminated with Salmonella.
draggonlaady: (Nice Girl)
The Deseret News reports that a long investigation by Utah public health officials has identified queso fresco, a soft Mexican cheese, as the cause of a Salmonella outbreak that has sickened as many as 2,000 people over 3 years.
Officials with the Salt Lake Valley Health Department have tracked the source of a three-year outbreak of salmonella to an unauthorized food producer in Salt Lake City.

A man referred to as "Mr. Cheese" was apparently producing queso fresco in his home using raw milk.

Since 2009, health department officials noticed an increase in the number of salmonella Newport cases and believe as many as 2,000 Utahns in six counties — Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Morgan, Tooele and Utah — may have been affected, said Dr. Royal DeLegge, director of Salt Lake Valley Health Department's Environmental Health Division.


Of course, Mr. Cheese should face more than just civil lawsuits. The sale of raw milk in Utah is only allowed from farms directly to consumers. Plus, the environmental contamination that has to occur for a single producer to persist as a source of infection for 3 straight years is more than a little frightening to think about.
draggonlaady: (Default)
The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services is investigating four cases of people who became sick after drinking bacteria-contaminated raw milk from a Mat-Su Valley farm. The four people infected with Campylobacter jejuni bacteria were Southcentral Alaska residents ranging in age from 1 to 81 years old. All four experienced severe gastrointestinal illness after drinking raw milk from the same farm, the only common exposure to a single food item they shared. Two of the four said family members also experienced symptoms but did not seek medical attention.
draggonlaady: (Grinding Bones)
Raw milk sickened two Washtenaw County women with the first locally reported cases of Q fever in at least 20 years, according to the Washtenaw County Public Health Department.

The women, as well as a female Monroe County resident, became ill with the bacterial infection after consuming milk from a Livingston County farm, a Michigan Department of Community Health release states.


Less common than e. coli, salmonella, campylobacter, or listeria, but since some unknown (but estimated high) number of cattle and goats carry Coxiella burneti, the bacteria that causes Q fever, it's bound to happen. Approximately 30% of people who handle cattle or goats (even if they don't eat them or drink the milk) have antibodies indicating exposure to the bacteria. It typically causes "flu-like symptoms" (oh, how I hate that phrase) that resolve in a few days - 2 weeks without progressing to anything life-threatening, so is massively under-diagnosed at the time of illness. It can, however, sometimes lead to severe issues like fatal pneumonia, or that most fun of fun experiences, central nervous system inflammation.
draggonlaady: (Grinding Bones)
this is not. Giving raw milk to a bunch of little kids. In this case, it resulted in 16 cases of diarrhea. Luckily, no deaths. There is a REASON for pasteurization; it saves lives. Use it.
draggonlaady: (Grinding Bones)
It's not just unpasteurized milk, it's any unpasteurized drink that presents health risks. This pasteurization thing, it has a purpose.

In other news, why the bejeezus are journalists not taught the very very basic basics of evaluating scientific studies before reporting on them?!? UGA study finds salmonella less prevalent in organic chicken: Organic chicken isn't just healthier for you - it's also safer, according to a new University of Georgia study.
Great! Yay! indisputable proof that organic is better in all ways! Except that if you read the article, you may notice that this grand study looked at only seven farms. We are not provided any information on how many chickens were involved. Already I have skepticism--not that small studies are useless, mind you, and this one may provide the impetus for a larger, more comprehensive look at some issues raised, but really? Seven farms, an unknown number of chickens, and you're trumpeting about health and safety differences?

Perhaps it would be pertinent to look at something said by Assistant Professor Walid Alali, who performed this study: "Because chickens spread salmonella horizontally, when there are fewer birds, it spreads less." I would infer from this that the organic farms had fewer hens, though that's not explicitly stated. Perhaps, then, the difference is not whether the hens are allowed to be treated with antibiotics, but instead has to do with population density? Sadly "MORE STUDY NEEDED!" is not once printed in this article.

"The organic feed rarely contains salmonella, while conventional feed is full of it, Alali said." That's interesting, and probably quite pertinent to the topic, so why aren't we given ANY more information about it at any point? What, exactly, does "full of it" mean here? I want numbers! Quantitative and qualitative analyses of feed used on all 7 farms, and the actual difference in rates and degree of salmonella contamination would be sterling, but given that this is just a small article, I'd settle for x% of organic and y% of non-organic feeds cultured positive for salmonella". I am denied even this cursory summary, however, and left to take Alali's word for it that non-organic chicken feed is "full of it".

Well. Okay, how about the title claim that organically raised birds are healthier? Not a single tidbit of information is offered in this article as to any nutritional difference in the meat or eggs of chickens raised in different situations. Not a single word, let alone a phrase or complete sentence. I begin to doubt the accuracy of the "Organic chicken isn't just healthier for you - it's also safer, according to a new University of Georgia study" statement. Did this study even frelling look at potential health effects of eating chicken from different sources? Ah, here we go: "Alali collected the chickens' feces, feed and water samples from each of the seven farms." Nope. No study whatsoever of nutritional value of meat or eggs. This headline has no bloody relevance to the study the article is supposed to be reporting! Son, I am disappoint.
I am especially disappointed as this totally unsupported claim is reinforced by the article illustration, which shows chicken legs in a frying pan, with the caption "UGA study finds salmonella less prevalent in chicken". Could you get more misleading about what the study actually studied if you tried?

But maybe I'm just being nitpicky and mean. Maybe what they really meant was that the chickens themselves are healthier, and it was just really (really) poor sentence structure? "Chickens themselves don't suffer from the infection - they're just carriers, Alali said." Oh. Well. Guess not then.

Speaking of misleading and meaningless statements, try this on for size: "The organic chickens also are fed organically grown food like corn and soybeans that is free of animal byproduct."
Are we to take from this statement that animal products are not organic? Boy, is Dr S gonna be confused by that when he goes to sell his organically raised calves this year! Then again, what does that mean in an article touting the benefits of organic chicken? Is chicken not an animal? Does this author even know what "organically grown food" means? Or what chickens are normally fed?
From the USDA's information page: "Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides..." Well, I guess that means that "organic" and "animal byproduct" are not mutually exclusive. So how about those soybeans, then? Oh, the main difference is that they don't use "most conventional pesticides". Right. Right. Because one would absolutely expect the use of insecticides and/or herbicides to make a significant difference in potential bacterial content of food. Very logical. If these chicken farmers choose not to use animal products in their feed, that is their choice and may have points in its favor on several levels, but being "organic" ain't one of them, honey.

In summary: A small study of potential interest, which raises questions for further study. Follow-ups may include whether these findings are consistent across a larger population of farms and/or farms in different areas. Whether size of farm/chicken population density is strongly correlated with incidence of salmonella. Whether a meat-free diet would be better for chickens. Whether there is a significant difference in bacterial contamination of chicken feeds from different sources, and whether organically grown ingredients processed into chicken food do or do not produce a chicken feed with lower bacterial contamination than chicken feed made from "conventional" ingredients. And whether journalists can be trained to write articles which actually pertain to and accurately relate the findings of scientific studies.

ETA: And why the bloody bejeezus is there no link to source material?! Yeah, the majority of readers are not going to bother reading the actual study results, but some of us would, and if you're reporting accurately, it can only help prove your point.

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