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A Salmonella Outbreak Causes Yet Another Massive Frozen Chicken Recall

A Salmonella Outbreak Causes Yet Another Massive Frozen Chicken Recall

This week, almost four million pounds of frozen raw chicken have been pulled from grocery store shelves.

A new salmonella outbreak has caused yet another massive frozen raw chicken recall.This time, Aspen Foods, based in Chicago, Illinois, is taking nearly two million pounds of frozen, raw, stuffed, and breaded chicken off grocery store shelves after the USDA reported three cases of salmonella from April to June in people who ate the company’s products.

This is the second nearly identical recall this week. On July 12, Barber Foods announced that they were issuing a recall of their frozen raw chicken products, following four confirmed cases of salmonella. Barber had another frozen raw chicken recall earlier this month.

The products in question this time include cordon bleu, broccoli and cheese, chicken Kiev, chicken parmesan, and buffalo-style chicken varieties. The Aspen products are sold under a variety of labels/brands: Acclaim, Antioch Farms, Buckley Farms, Centrella Signature, Chestnut Farms, Family Favorites, Kirkwood, Koch Foods, Market Day, Oven Cravers, Rose, Rosebud Farm, Roundy’s, Safeway Kitchens, Schwan’s, Shaner’s, Spartan, and Sysco. If you own any of these Aspen products, you should dispose of them now.


7 Foster Farms’ Secrets Worse Than the Salmonella Outbreak

Foster Farms announced a recall of its chicken after a salmonella outbreak sickened more than 600 people, and that number is growing. As a result, two members of Congress are calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to shut down Foster Farms’ chicken slaughterhouses.

But guess what? Meat from this company is labeled “American Humane Certified.” Let us tell you what that actually means, other than almost nothing.

Photographs from Foster Farms are not available. These photos depict typical conditions for chickens raised for food under a “humane” label.


Outbreak of Salmonella Infections Linked to Ground Beef

CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture&rsquos Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) investigated a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Dublin infections linked to ground beef.

Recall

  • On November 15, 2019, Central Valley Meat Co. in Hanford, Calif., recalled external icon 34,222 pounds of ground beef that may be contaminated with Salmonella Dublin.
  • Recalled beef was produced on July 23, 2019, and shipped to retail locations in California.
    • Products were labeled pdf icon [PDF &ndash 5 pages] external icon as Stater Bros Ground Beef brand with the establishment number &ldquoEST. 6063A.&rdquo

    Advice

    • Always handle and cook ground meats safely to avoid foodborne illness. Thoroughly cook ground beef and any food that contains ground beef to an internal temperature of 160°F to kill germs.
    • Wash hands with soap and water after touching raw ground beef. Use hot, soapy water or a bleach solution to wash items that came in contact with raw meat or its juices.
    • Do not eat or try to cook recalled ground beef. Check your home for it, including your freezer. Return it to the store or throw it away.
      • If you don&rsquot know if the ground beef you have at home was recalled, contact the store where it was purchased to find out if it was recalled.
      • Restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell recalled beef and should check food storage and freezers for it.
      • If possible, retailers who received recalled beef should contact their customers to alert them of the recall.

      • As of December 30, 2019, this outbreak appears to be over.
      • Thirteen people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Dublin were reported from eight states.
        • Illnesses started on dates ranging from August 8, 2019, to October 22, 2019.
        • Nine hospitalizations were reported, including one death reported from California.
        • A single, common supplier of ground beef that accounts for all of the illnesses was not identified.

        • Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 6 hours to 6 days after being exposed to the bacteria.
        • The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment.
        • In some people, the illness may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other places in the body.
        • Children younger than 5 years, adults 65 years and older, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.

        December 30, 2019

        CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture&rsquos Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) investigated a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Dublin infections linked to ground beef.

        Since the last update on November 18, 2019, two additional ill people were reported from Colorado and New Mexico. A total of 13 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Dublin were reported from eight states. A list of the states and the number of cases in each can be found on the Map of Reported Cases page.

        Illnesses started on dates ranging from August 8, 2019, to October 22, 2019. Ill people ranged in age from 39 to 74 years, with a median age of 66. Sixty-two percent of ill people were male. Of 11 ill people with information available, 9 (82%) were hospitalized. One death was reported from California. In six (46%) ill people, Salmonella was found in samples of blood, which indicates their illnesses may have been more severe. Salmonella Dublin is known to commonly cause more severe illnesses than other Salmonella strains, particularly in older people.

        Whole genome sequencing analysis did not identify any antibiotic resistance in 20 bacterial isolates from 13 ill people and seven food specimens. Testing of two clinical isolates using standard antibiotic susceptibility testing methods by CDC&rsquos National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) confirmed these results.

        Investigation of the Outbreak

        Epidemiologic, traceback, and laboratory evidence indicated that ground beef was the likely source of this outbreak.

        In interviews, ill people answered questions about the foods they ate and other exposures in the week before they became ill. Of nine people interviewed, eight (89%) reported eating ground beef at home. This percentage was significantly higher than results from a survey pdf icon [PDF &ndash 787 KB] of healthy people in which 40% of respondents reported eating any ground beef at home in the week before they were interviewed. Ill people reported buying ground beef from various stores.

        Laboratory testing identified the outbreak strain of Salmonella Dublin in repackaged leftover ground beef collected from an ill person&rsquos home in California. The outbreak strain of Salmonella Dublin was also identified in six samples of raw beef products from slaughter and processing establishments. Samples from slaughter and processing establishments were collected as part of FSIS&rsquos routine testing under the Salmonella performance standards. WGS showed that the Salmonella strain from these samples was closely related genetically to the Salmonella from ill people. These results provided more evidence that people in this outbreak got sick from eating ground beef.

        USDA-FSIS and state partners traced the source of some of the ground beef eaten by one ill person in this outbreak to Central Valley Meat Co., Inc. On November 15, 2019, Central Valley Meat Co., Inc., recalled external icon 34,222 pounds of ground beef produced that may be contaminated with Salmonella Dublin.

        A single supplier, distributor, or brand of ground beef was not identified that could account for all the illnesses in this outbreak.


        Outbreak of Multidrug-Resistant Salmonella Infections Linked to Raw Chicken Products

        This investigation is over. Illnesses could continue because this Salmonella strain appears to be widespread in the chicken industry. People can get a Salmonella infection from eating undercooked chicken or touching raw chicken, including packaged raw pet food. Always cook chicken thoroughly. Get CDC&rsquos tips to prevent foodborne illness from chicken.

        CDC and public health and regulatory officials in several states investigated a multistate outbreak of multidrug-resistant Salmonella infections linked to raw chicken products. The U.S. Department of Agriculture&rsquos Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) monitored the outbreak.

        • As of February 21, 2019 this investigation is over.
        • A total of 129 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Infantis were reported from 32 states.
          • Twenty-five people were hospitalized. One death was reported from New York.
          • In interviews, ill people reported eating different types and brands of chicken products purchased from many different locations.
          • The outbreak strain was identified in samples taken from raw chicken products, raw chicken pet food, and live chickens.

          Always handle raw chicken carefully and cook it thoroughly to prevent food poisoning. This outbreak is a reminder that raw chicken can have germs that can spread around your kitchen and make you sick. Although the outbreak investigation is over, the outbreak strain appears to be widespread in chicken and people may continue to get sick.

          CDC is not advising that consumers avoid eating properly cooked chicken, or that retailers stop selling raw chicken products.

          Follow these steps to help prevent Salmonella or other foodborne infections from chicken:

          • Wash your hands. Wash hands before and after handling raw chicken products, including packaged raw pet food. Wash hands after contact with animals and after using the bathroom.
          • Cook raw chicken thoroughly to kill harmful germs. Chicken breasts, whole chickens, and ground poultry, including chicken burgers and chicken sausage, should always be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F to kill harmful germs. Leftovers should be reheated to 165°F. Use a food thermometer to check and place it in the thickest part of the meat External . For burgers and sausage, insert the thermometer in the side, with the tip reaching the center of the food.
          • Don&rsquot spread germs from raw chicken around your kitchen. Do not wash raw poultry External . Germs in raw poultry juices can spread to countertops, utensils, and other foods. Use a separate cutting board for raw chicken and other raw meats if possible. Wash cutting boards, utensils, dishes, and countertops with hot soapy water after preparing chicken and before you prepare the next item.
          • CDC does not recommend feedingraw diets to pets. Germs like Salmonella in raw pet food can make your pets sick. Your family also can get sick by handling the raw food or by taking care of your pet.

          • Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria.
          • The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment.
          • In some people, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other places in the body.
          • In rare cases, Salmonella infection can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics.
          • Children younger than 5 years of age, adults older than 65 years of age, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have severe illness.
          • For more information, visit the CDC Salmonella website.

          February 21, 2019

          CDC and public health and regulatory officials in several states investigated a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Infantis infections linked to raw chicken products. The U.S. Department of Agriculture&rsquos Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) monitored the outbreak.

          Public health investigators used the PulseNet system to identify illnesses that may have been part of this outbreak. PulseNet is the national subtyping network of public health and food regulatory agency laboratories coordinated by CDC. DNA fingerprinting was performed on Salmonella bacteria isolated from ill people by using techniques called pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and whole genome sequencing (WGS). CDC PulseNet manages a national database of these DNA fingerprints to identify possible outbreaks. WGS gives a more detailed DNA fingerprint than PFGE. WGS performed on Salmonella bacteria from ill people in this outbreak showed that they were closely related genetically. This means that the ill people were more likely to share a common source of infection.

          As of February 19, 2019, 129 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Infantis were reported from 32 states. A list of the states and the number of cases in each can be found on the Map of Reported Cases page.

          Illnesses started from January 8, 2018, to January 27, 2019. Ill people ranged in age from less than 1 year to 105, with a median age of 42. Sixty-nine percent of ill people were female. Of 85 people with information available, 25 (29%) were hospitalized. One death was reported from New York.

          In interviews, ill people answered questions about the foods they ate and other exposures in the week before they became ill. Of 69 people interviewed, 60 people (87%) reported preparing or eating chicken products that were purchased raw, including ground chicken, chicken pieces, and whole chicken. Ill people reported buying many different brands of raw chicken products from multiple stores. One person got sick after pets in their home ate raw ground chicken pet food External . Two ill people lived with someone who works in a facility that raises or processes chickens.

          The outbreak strain of Salmonella Infantis has been identified in samples from raw chicken products from 76 slaughter and/or processing establishments, from raw chicken pet food, and from live chickens. Samples collected at slaughter and processing establishments were collected as part of FSIS&rsquos routine testing under the Salmonella performance standards. WGS showed that the Salmonella strain from these samples was closely related genetically to the Salmonella from ill people. This result provided more evidence that people in this outbreak got sick from handling or eating raw or undercooked chicken.

          WGS analysis of Salmonella bacteria isolated from 97 ill people and 139 food or environmental samples predicted resistance to some or all of the following antibiotics: ampicillin, ceftriaxone, chloramphenicol, ciprofloxacin, fosfomycin, gentamicin, hygromycin, kanamycin, nalidixic acid, streptomycin, sulfamethoxazole, tetracycline, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. Four non-clinical isolates had no predicted resistance. Testing of seven isolates using standard antibiotic susceptibility testing by CDC&rsquos National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) laboratory confirmed these results (fosfomycin, hygromycin, and kanamycin were not tested by this method). These antibiotic-resistant infections may be difficult to treat with commonly recommended antibiotics, and may require a different antibiotic choice. Advice to clinicians is available.

          Available data indicate that this strain of Salmonella Infantis appears to be present in live chickens and in raw chicken products. A single, common supplier of raw chicken products or of live chickens was not identified.

          CDC and USDA-FSIS are actively engaging with representatives from the chicken industry to explore ways to reduce Salmonella Infantis in chicken products. Because investigation results suggest this strain of Salmonella Infantis is present in both live chickens and in raw chicken products, further investigation and interventions to reduce the prevalence of this strain should target both the live chicken industry and chicken processing facilities. Consumers should be aware that raw chicken may be contaminated with harmful germs. Always follow food safety steps to prevent foodborne infection from these products.


          Ice Cream

          Shutterstock

          The world can be a cold, cold place. Especially when your favorite frozen dessert gets recalled big time for suspected Listeria contamination. A big-name, Texas-based freezer aisle ice cream company, Blue Bell, was forced to recall its products in April 2015 and subsequently lay off many of its employees as a result of Listeria detection in its factory. Listeria hysteria ensued. According to the CDC, 10 people were hospitalized and three were killed in relation to the Blue Bell ice cream scandal. Afterward, other brands came forward confessing their own Listeria crisis. On the mild end of the spectrum, Listeria causes flu-like symptoms, but those more at risk (pregnant women, the elderly, and young children) could suffer from more serious complications. As a result, many reluctantly put the spoon down as they waited out the cone contamination that rocked the ice cream world.

          Bonus: If you're still spooked by the ice cream Listeria recall and want a dairy fix, try one of these greek yogurts!


          Costco/Taylor Farms Pacific Inc.

          Shutterstock

          Costco is a well-known, much-loved brand for packaged foods, but its beloved rotisserie chicken salad was linked to 19 cases of E. coli poisoning in 2015. Most of the affected victims bought their chicken salad across seven states in the western U.S., according to the CDC. Five victims were hospitalized, and two even developed kidney failure, although no deaths were reported.

          The contaminated vegetables in the chicken salad came from Taylor Farms Pacific Inc. In 2018, a lawsuit was filed against the company and its subsidiaries Walmart and Sam's Club due to E. coli-contaminated romaine lettuce.


          Outbreak of Salmonella Newport Infections Linked to Onions

          CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration external icon (FDA), and Canada external icon investigated a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Newport infections linked to onions.

          • Do not eat, sell, or serve any recalled onions or products.
            • Recalled onions and products should no longer be available in grocery stores. However, onions have a long shelf-life and may still be in homes or freezers.
            • Check to see if you have any recalled onions or products. If you have any recalled onions or products or if you can&rsquot tell where your onions are from, don&rsquot eat them. Throw them away.
            • Restaurants and retailers should check storage coolers for recalled products. Do not sell or serve recalled products.
            • These surfaces may include countertops, storage bins, refrigerator drawers, knives, and cutting boards.
            • FDA recommends that food processors, restaurants, and retailers who received recalled onions use extra vigilance in cleaning and sanitizing any surfaces that may have come in contact with these products, to reduce the risk of cross-contamination.
            • Learn more about Salmonella and food safety steps you can take to prevent getting sick.
            • Contact a healthcare provider if you have consumed a recalled product and are experiencing symptoms of Salmonella infection.

            • Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 6 hours to 6 days after being exposed to the bacteria.
            • The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment.
            • In some people, the illness may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other places in the body.
            • Children younger than 5 years, adults 65 years and older, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.
            • For more information, see symptoms of Salmonella infection.

            • As of October 8, 2020, this outbreak appears to be over.
            • A total of 1,127 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Newport were reported from 48 states. There were 167 hospitalizations and no deaths reported. showed that red onions from Thomson International Inc. were the likely source of this outbreak. Other onion types (such as white, yellow, or sweet yellow) were also likely to be contaminated because the onions were grown and harvested together.
            • On August 1, 2020, Thomson International Inc. recalled external icon all red, yellow, white, and sweet yellow onions because they may be contaminated with Salmonella.

            October 8, 2020

            CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, FDA, and Canada investigated a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Newport infections linked to onions.

            Public health investigators used the PulseNet system to identify illnesses that were part of this outbreak. PulseNet is the national subtyping network of public health and food regulatory agency laboratories coordinated by CDC. DNA fingerprinting is performed on Salmonella bacteria isolated from ill people by using a standardized laboratory and data analysis method called whole genome sequencing (WGS). CDC PulseNet manages a national database of these sequences that are used to identify possible outbreaks. WGS gives investigators detailed information about the bacteria causing illness. In this investigation, WGS showed that bacteria isolated from ill people were closely related genetically. This means that people in this outbreak were likely to share a common source of infection.

            A total of 1,127 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Newport were reported from 48 states. A list of the states and the number of cases in each can be found on the Map of Reported Cases page.

            Illnesses started on dates ranging from June 19, 2020, to September 11, 2020 . Ill people ranged in age from less than 1 to 102 years, with a median age of 41. Fifty-eight percent of ill people were female. Of 705 ill people with information available, 167 people were hospitalized. No deaths were reported.

            Whole genome sequencing analysis of 732 bacterial isolates from ill people did not predict any antibiotic resistance in 730 isolates one isolate had predicted resistance to ampicillin, and one isolate had predicted resistance to tetracycline. Standard antibiotic susceptibility testing of eight clinical isolates by CDC&rsquos National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) laboratory showed no resistance. This resistance should not affect the choice of antibiotic used to treat most people.

            Investigation of the Outbreak

            Epidemiologic and traceback evidence showed that red onions from Thomson International Inc. were the likely source of this outbreak. Other onion types (such as white, yellow, or sweet yellow) were also likely to be contaminated because the onions were grown and harvested together.

            In interviews, ill people answered questions about the foods they ate and other exposures in the week before they became ill. Ninety-one percent of people reported eating onions or foods likely containing onions in the week before their illness started. Of the 208 people who were asked what types of onions they ate, 137 (66%) ate red onions, 130 (63%) ate white onions, and 110 (53%) ate yellow onions. Most ill people reported eating more than one type of onion.

            FDA and states reviewed records where ill people purchased or ate onions and foods containing onions. This traceback investigation identified Thomson International Inc. as the likely source of red onions.

            The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) also investigated an outbreak of Salmonella Newport infections in Canada that was related genetically by WGS to the U.S. outbreak. Their investigation external icon identified red onions from Thomson International Inc. as the likely source of their outbreak.

            On August 1, 2020, Thomson International Inc. recalled external icon all red, yellow, white, and sweet yellow onions because they may be contaminated with Salmonella. Other companies also recalled onions or foods made with recalled onions. See the full list of recalled products. Consumers, restaurants, and retailers should not eat, serve, or sell recalled onions and products.

            As of October 8, 2020, this outbreak appears to be over. FDA is continuing their investigation to find the root cause of this outbreak.


            Wegmans Recalls Several Products Over Listeria Outbreak

            After throwing away your onions, get ready to toss your citruses, too. Supermarket chain Wegmans is recalling a number of products due to a potential contamination with Listeria
            Monocytogenes, tiny microorganisms that can cause serious and sometimes life-threatening infections.

            According to a press release issued by the FDA, the items on the recall list are a 4-pound bag of Valencia oranges, 2-pound bag of lemons, bulk lemons, a variety of in-store produced seafood, and any restaurant food items that contain fresh lemon.

            The chain operates 103 locations across seven states. The contaminated products were sold at the New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, and Brooklyn and Harrison, NY locations between July 31 and Aug. 7.

            The origin of the outbreak was traced to a piece of equipment in one of Wegmans' packing facilities. Luckily, no cases of illness have been reported from this contamination.

            Listeriosis, the illness caused by Listeria germs, is characterized by nausea, high fever, stomach upset, and diarrhea. It primarily affects pregnant women, newborns, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems.

            The news comes shortly after a recent massive recall of red onions contaminated with salmonella, which had been sold in grocery stores like Walmart and Trader Joe's across the country.

            Don't forget to sign up for our newsletter to get the latest grocery news delivered straight to your inbox.


            Parents Wished The School Reacted With More Urgency

            Seeing as kids have weaker immune systems at such a young age making salmonella a big cause of concern, parents have spoken to The Straits Times about how they wished the school had reacted with more urgency when announcing the outbreak.

            A parent stated that her 4-year-old had a fever and was vomiting back on Friday while her 2-year-old also showed signs of sickness and diarrhoea the next day. It was reported that she only received the first circular on Monday (7 December), already days after her kids fell sick. She said that if she had known about the outbreak, she would have acted sooner.

            Another parent also expressed their concern on the situation and said his child was hospitalised after symptoms of severe stomach pain and vomiting. When he called the school regarding this, he was informed not to tell the other parents to avoid alarming them. Although, he stated that parents needed to know about cases like these to protect their children.


            Outbreaks

            Recent Outbreaks

            The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posts food safety alerts and investigation notices for multistate foodborne disease outbreaks. Click on the link below for a list of the latest outbreaks.

            What Is an Outbreak?

            A foodborne outbreak occurs when two or more people get the same illness from the same contaminated food or drink. When an outbreak is detected, public health and regulatory officials work quickly to collect as much information as possible to find out what is causing it so they can take action to prevent more people from getting sick. This action includes warning the public when there is clear and convincing information linking illness to a contaminated food. Federal, state and local officials may investigate an outbreak, depending on how widespread it is.