Articles Posted in Foodborne Illness

Issaquah-Costco Corporation has contacted 240,000 customers who purchased Organic Antioxidant Blend frozen berries from Townsend Farms after 87 people in eight states were sickened with hepatitis A.

Costco has been able to contact customers who bought the berries because all purchases made at Costco stores are linked to a membership card which provides a means to contact customers in the case of a recall.

Costco is providing hepatitis A vaccines at their stores as well as reimbursing those who have already been vaccinated in the wake of the Hep-A outbreak. Vaccinations within two weeks of coming into contact with the hepatitis A virus can prevent a person from becoming ill.

Children have not been affected very much in this latest outbreak of foodborne illness because childhood immunizations protect most children. There was one 2-year-old who was sickened, but that child had not been vaccinated. Pediatricians usually vaccinate a child twice before their first birthday.

Costco is in the forefront of food safety in agreeing to pay more for some produce in agreement with the farmer that the farm workers receive a higher base pay and training to prevent and recognize conditions that could lead to food contamination. Costco’s belief that prevention of foodborne illness is easier than the alternatives such as recalls and ill customers.

Costco has a Quality Assurance and Food Safety Mission Statement that reads:

“Promote continuous improvement in product quality, and food safety systems, for the benefit of our members and suppliers”

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Washington-based Costco corporation has pulled frozen Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend berries after 30 people in five states have contracted Hepatitis A infections linked to the berries.

So far, people in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico have become ill. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 11 of 17 patients who became ill with Hep-A can recall consuming the berries.

The berries contain a mixture of blueberries, cherries, pomegranate seeds, strawberries and raspberries and are sourced from Townsend Farms in Oregon.

Hepatitis A is a serious disease of the liver and is transmitted by consuming food or water contaminated with fecal matter. Symptoms for Hep-A can be mistaken for the flu and include fever, fatigue, nausea, appetite loss, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes), discoloration of the urine and clay-colored feces.

In Los Angeles, the health department has offered preventative treatment at special clinics after one person in LA County, two in San Bernardino County and one in Riverside, San Diego and Humboldt counties became ill.

People who have eaten the berries within the past two weeks are advised to contact their health care provider to get vaccinated.

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have become seriously ill due to foodborne illness. With more than 30 years experience in personal injury law, we are here to assist you.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.
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food poisoning lawyerConsumer Reports will post the results of a study in June that reveals that testing of 257 samples of ground turkey in markets across the United States revealed that the 90% of the turkey samples showed contamination with a disease-causing organisms and more than 50% of the turkey samples were contaminated with fecal bacteria.

Bacteria such as e-coli and staph aureas found in the turkey have the potential to caused food poisoning and infections in humans.

According to Consumer Reports:

“Some bacteria that end up on ground turkey, including E. coli and staph aureus, can cause not only food poisoning but also urinary, bloodstream, and other infection.”

A most worrying finding of the study is that many of the organisms that researchers found were resistant to antibiotics.

Turkey, like livestock, are often given antibiotics to promote animal health and growth. This practice can result in antibiotic-resistant bacteria and is a serious threat to human health.

Tips for Cooking or Preparing Food

To avoid food borne illness when cooking at home one should use the following precautions:

  • Wash hands thoroughly before preparing food and after going to the bathroom
  • Thoroughly cook eggs and meat and poultry
  • Cook all foods to recommended internal temperatures, beef-160 degrees; poultry-180 degrees; fish 140-degrees
  • Refrigerate unconsumed portions immediately in clean containers
  • Consume only pasteurized dairy products and fruit juices

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Products sold in Washington stores are being affected by two recalls.

Bread Recall

Fred Meyer and QFC stores in Washington state are recalling several bread products with a sell-by-date of March 8 after customers reported finding plastic pieces in the bread that they have purchased. The bread was made in Kroger’s bakery in Clackamas, Oregon. The recalled breads are:

seattle food poisoning lawyerQFC Tender Twist Wheat Bread, 20 oz Kroger Value Wheat Bread, 22.5 oz Fred Meyer Tender Twist 100% Whole Wheat Bread, 24 oz Fred Meyer Tender Twist Honey Cracked Wheat Bread, 24 oz Fred Meyer Tender Twist Wheat Bread, 22.5 oz
While no reports of injury have been lodged, swallowing plastic could potentially damage the

Raw Milk Products Recall

Milk products from the Dungeness Valley Creamery with best-by dates of March 2 or later have been recalled due to potential e-coli contamination. Raw milk products including Jersey cream, raw Jersey whole milk or raw Jersey skim milk from the dairy should not be consumed because of the risk of illness.

The e-coli was found when the Department of Agriculture tested some raw cream at the Sequim processing facility. There are no reports of illness due the product.

e-coli illness lawyerDungeness Valley Creamery distributes the milk products in Seattle at Madison Market; My Asia’s Essentials and Pike Place Market Creamery. On Bainbridge Island, the products are distributed at Real Foods; Pan D’Amore; and Walt’s Lynwood Center Market. In Bothell, the products are distributed at Tru Health. In Federal Way and Tacoma, the products are distributed at Marlene’s Market & Deli.

Pregnant women, children and people with compromised immune systems including the elderly are at risk for serious illness due to food contamination. According to government estimates, there are approximately 47.8 million food-borne illnesses annually with more than 127 thousand people requiring hospitalization and approximately 3,037 succumbing to the illness or related cause.

The most common symptoms of e-coli illness is diarrhea and stomach cramps. In rare cases, e-coli can cause severe or bloody diarrhea, urinary tract infections, respiratory illness and even death.
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At the same time that Americans are being urged to eat healthier and to consume more fruits and vegetables, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) just came out with a study covering a decade of food poisoning cases and looked at the role that certain foods played in spreading illness.

The CDC study found that, in 20% of cases where a person contracted a foodborne illness, leafy green vegetables were the source of the illness.

Every year, 1 out of every 6 Americans contracts a foodborne illness. Of those who become ill, 128,000 require a stay in the hospital and another 3,000 die from the illness or related conditions.

Norovirus

1219974_lettuce_on_a_field.jpgMany of the people who got sick from eating leafy green vegetables contracted the norovirus.

Norovirus is a virus that causes what most people think of as the “stomach flu”. Symptoms usually include vomiting and diarrhea.

Norovirus is a pretty faced moving illness and symptoms usually occur in only 10 hours after first being exposed. Generally, the illness is short-lived, lasting between 1 and 3 days.

Produce can get contaminated with norovirus in the fields if they come into contact with dirty water or water that has had contact with animal waste.

Another way that produce can get contaminated with norovirus is by food handlers and cleanliness in the kitchen.

Norovirus can be prevented by frequent hand washing, disinfecting contaminated surfaces with chlorine-based cleaners, washing linens and avoiding contamination by dirty water or feces.

How Restaurants and Cruise Ships can Avoid Norovirus Contamination

Many consumers assume that produce contamination occurs at the farm or in the packing plant. In fact, food handlers at restaurants can play a large role in food contamination.

It is important that restaurants and food workers be properly trained in handling of leafy green vegetables. Kitchen managers should receive instruction on how to handle leafy greens and then insure that proper policies are in effect and are being followed.

Restaurants should have polices in effect so that employees who are ill report the illness to their manager along with symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea, fever, cough, yellow eyes or skin, etc. Restaurants should have procedures in place which tells ill employees to stay at home.

Employees should also be trained to have use soap and water and to wash often and have procedures for food handling and sanitation of food handling areas.
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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has introduced two new rules as part of the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act in hopes they will increase food safety and prevent foodborne illness.

Every year, the Centers for Disease Controls estimates that one out of every six Americans — 48 million — becomes ill due to a foodborne illness. 128,000 Americans become so ill that they have to be hospitalized and approximately 3,000 die from ultimately preventable food contamination. Foodborne illness is tragic to the families who have lost a loved one due to a preventable illness and those who have had their health permanently impaired.

With the two new rules, the FDA estimates that 1.25 million illness caused by food contamination can be prevented.

Foodborne illness includes pathogens such as e-Coli, Salmonella and Listeria.

The new rules include:food poisoning personal injury attorney

  1. Preventive Controls for Human Food – these rules concern facilities that process and store food and the cleanliness of packaging facilities. The preventive control rules include evaluating potential hazards, minimizing hazards, setting up controls, monitoring as well as what actions should be taken if contamination is found.
  2. Produce Safety – these rules address contamination by manure-based fertilizer, water sprayed on crops, farm worker hygiene, animals in the growing fields and sanitation of equipment, building and tools. Rules

The FDA has published the rules and the public has 120 days to comment before they go into effect and then, suppliers and producers have a window of up to four years to phase in all of the rules.
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Ocean Beauty Seafoods, a Seattle-based seafood company, has issued a recall of 371 cases of ready-to-eat 3-ounce Nathan’s Brand Cold Smoked Atlantic Salmon and 4-ounce Lascco Cold Smoked Nova Atlantic Salmon product after testing at the company revealed possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination in some product samples.

There were no reported illness due to the recall though Listeria is a foodborne illness which can sometimes cause serious or even fatal illness.

The affected products codes are:

  • Lascco – 4 oz Nova Salmon – UPC 0 72840 01751 7 285
  • Nathan’s 3oz Nova Salmon – UPC 0 73030 80368 2 285

The recalled products were imported and then distributed thru retailers on Washington and Oregon as well as other states.

See the FDA website for Ocean Beauty’s press release.

This information is provided by Washingotn Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have become seriously ill due to foodborne illnes and the families of those who have died.

Ocean Beauty is one of the largest seafood companies in the U.S. and it was founded in 1910 as a store front on the waterfront.
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I must admit that my son was a Nesquik addict. He had to have his fix of Nesquik upon waking every morning or else he would have a meltdown. With this daily habit of chocolate milk in the morning, and sometimes at bed time, we often joked that we should buy stock in Nestlé because we practically bought Nesquik in bulk. It was like toilet paper in our house, a product we would never let ourselves run out of.

salmonella lawyerSo, it was a concern this morning when we saw that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration along with Nestlé corporation has issued a recall for Nesquik chocolate milk powder for possible salmonella contamination.

Nestlé says that products being recalled are packaged in a 40.7 oz, 21.8 oz or 10.9 oz size with an expiration date of October 2014.

The concern is that the calcium carbonate, one ingredient in the product, has been recalled by it’s supplier, Omya Inc.

Nestlé says that no salmonella illnesses have been linked to the powder but consumers should dispose of the product or return it to the distributor for a refund.

Salmonella infection can cause severe diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever which can develop from eight to 72 hours of consuming a contaminated food. The illness can can be life threatening to infants, small children, older people and those with weakened immune symptoms.
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Sunland Inc., along with the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control have issued a recall for 76 peanut butter and almond butter products after 29 cases of salmonella illness in 18 states, including Washington State, were linked to Trader Joe’s Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter.

Sunland is recalling 76 products peanut butter and almond butter products that were manufactured on the same product line as the Trader Joe’s Valencia Creamy. The list of products can be found on the company web-site.

All 29 people who became ill had the Salmonella Bredeney strain of the virus. The FDA says the outbreak appears to be fast-moving and they, in coordination with the CDC, are investigating.

Symptoms of Salmonellosis

People who become ill with Salmonella, suffer from diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps within 12 to 72 hours after being infected. The illness lasts between 4 to 7 days.

Some cases of the illness require hospitalization if the diarrhea is severe. In rare cases, the infection can infect the blood stream and other parts of the body which can lead to death. According to the CDC, nearly 400 people die every year due to acute salmonellosis.

For more information, see the FDA web-site.

When Should You Hire a Food Poisoning Lawyer?

If you or loved one has suffered serious illness requiring hospitalization due to a foodborne illness linked to a product recall, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact The Farber Law Group, a Bellevue injury law practice with more than 30 years representing people with foodborne illness.

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The Food and Drug Administration is recommending that consumers not eat Daniella mangoes distributed by Splendid Products of California due to possible salmonella contamination.

1086028_mangoes.jpgReportedly, 105 illnesses, including six in Washington state have been linked to the mangoes sold at popular super markets including Costco, Save Mart Supermarkets, Food 4 Less, Ralph’s, Topco stores, El Super, Kroger, Giant-Eagle, Stop & Shop, Aldi and Whole Foods. Last week, a Canadian importer also issued a recall after 22 cases of illness linked to the fruit in Canada.

The mangoes were grown in Mexico by Agricola Daniela.

The Centers for Disease Control warns consumers to not eat fruits with the brand name “Daniella” with one of the following codes: 4051, 4959, 4311, 4584 or 3114.

The bacteria salmonella can cause the salmonellosis which can cause severe diarrhea, abdominal crams and fever that can last up to three days as well as vomiting, nausea and headache which can last up to a week.

Salmonella illness can be life-threatening to the elderly, young children and people with weakened immune systems.

The CDC says that in a small number of cases, salmonella can infect the blood causing Reiter’s syndrome which includes joint pain, eye irritation and pain when urinating. This syndrome can last for months or even years and can result in chronic arthritis.
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