‘Safest food in the world E. coli in sprouts; just want to be misunderstood

Just days before his sister’s wedding, Alumnus Wilson Criscione was lying on a hospital bed, his body seemingly withering away and his arm impaled by an IV needle.

santa.barf.sprout.raw.milk“I didn’t really think it was food poisoning,” Criscione  told of Aaron Bocook of The Eastener in Washington State.

E. coli was eventually traced back to Evergreen Sprouts LLC of Moyie Springs, Idaho, who ships their product to both Pita Pit and Jimmy John’s, two places where he ate in the days leading up to his food poisoning. According to Criscione’s lawyer, Evergreen has been involved in lawsuits over food poisoning in the past, including a suit over salmonella in 2010. – See more at: http://easterneronline.com/33975/news/foodborne-illnesses-misunderstood/#sthash.2KTH3ifi.dpuf. “With food poisoning, you would think you’d be throwing up a lot, but I didn’t throw up once.”

He said he thought he had mild food poisoning earlier in the year: he threw up a few times, but was only sick for about one day.

“This was different,” he said.

After feeling sick to his stomach, Criscione said he started seeing blood coming from places it should not.

He went to the emergency room, where he was tested and given pain killers for severe abdominal cramping. “It felt like someone was strangling my stomach,” he said.

After a total of four days and three nights in the hospital, he lost 15 pounds. Along with a nearly $5,000 bill, he was given his diagnosis. Food poisoning from a rare strain of E. coli bacteria.

Dave McKay, Eastern’s director of Dining Services, said most people do not realize just how serious food borne illness can be, and it is his job to address any claims that these illnesses could be linked to an on-campus food supply.

“As the American public, our mothers taught us, ‘Was it something you ate?’” McKay said. “The truth is though, we have the safest food supply in the world in the United States. Just for Eastern, for our standards, and what we monitor, we have had in the last five years, over 5 million sales or transactions through our operations. We have not one confirmed case of food poisoning.”

Didn’t happen yesterday so  probably won’t happen tomorrow.

5 sickened: kids’ E. coli came from raw milk, Kentucky says

Five children sickened by E. coli infections last month drank unpasteurized milk, an investigation has found.

colbert.raw.milkThe state Department for Public Health worked with local health departments, hospitals and health care providers to find the cause of the outbreak, which affected children in Hardin, Oldham and Boone counties.

Four of the five children developed hemolytic uremic syndrome.

Dr. Stephanie Mayfield, commissioner of the state health department. “Unpasteurized milk is dangerous and has not undergone a process to kill bacteria before it is consumed …  raw milk, no matter how carefully it is produced, may contain pathogens.”

Cargill wins suit v. Greater Omaha Packing

A U.S. District Court jury in Omaha found for Cargill Meat Solutions Corp. in its lawsuit against Greater Omaha Packing Co. for supplying E. coli O157:H7-tainted beef, and awarded Cargill a $9 million judgment plus court costs, according to meat industry publications, quoting court documents.

e.coli.vaccine.beefCargill sued Greater Omaha in 2011, for supplying beef contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 that sickened dozens of people in 2007. 

Food porn idiocy: WSJ steak tartare for kids edition

Earlier this month, a columnist in New York’s Wall Street Journal proclaimed that steak tartare (raw beef and raw egg) was fine for kids.

rowan.atkinson.steak.tartare“Go ahead and get them started early. Don’t take ‘no’ for an answer.”

A week later the paper published a Corrections & Amplifications that said, “The FDA recommends cooking beef to 145 degrees and avoiding food that contains raw eggs. An earlier version of this article omitted this information.”

People smoke, they drink, OK, but we generally don’t sit down with our 5-year-olds to share a shot and a smoke.

Darin Detwiler of STOP Foodborne Illness wrote on Sept. 15 that, “the message of feeding raw meat and eggs to children undermines the hard work of many in the effort to protect consumers from foodborne illness.”

Just cook it doesn’t cut it, Italian tragic version

After an 18-month child died of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) in Italy, an Italian doctor blamed the eating habits of his family.

e.coli.spain.aug.14“You do not understand” – write the family – as such a finding may have relevance in search of responsibility borne by those who, by profession and vocation, would have to give little David the care he needed. Evidently, Dr. Colasanto is not well clear what are institutional functions.

That responsibility will be investigated and ascertained by prosecutors in Bari who received the complaint of the parents and has already entered in the register of suspects four people, including two doctors Giovanni XXIII Hospital of Bari, where the baby died, a doctor of ‘Ospedale della Murgia and a nurse. 

UK holidaymaker’s payout after contracting E. coli

A holidaymaker has won just under £3,000 in compensation from a travel company after contracting E. coli on one of their holidays.

Vincci Taj Sultan hotel in TunisiaCarl Pallant, 29, from Horsham, was staying with his girlfriend at Vincci Taj Sultan hotel in Tunisia when he caught the disease last summer. He contacted Your Holiday Claims direct who helped him win £2,935 in damages from travel operator Thomas Cook, with whom Mr Pallant had booked the holiday.

In a statement, the solicitors said: “Mr Pallant had booked the Tunisian getaway through the tour operator Thomas Cook.

“He reported that breakdowns in hygiene standards were rife within the hotel’s restaurants.

“Food was often served undercooked and birds were seen flying around open buffet restaurants where food was uncovered.

“Due to the severity of the symptoms suffered, Mr Pallant was admitted to hospital in Crawley for treatment.

“After days of tests it was confirmed that he had contracted E. coli during his stay at the Vincci Taj Sultan.”

Going public saves lives: E. coli kills child in Italy

My Italian food safety friend provides the following:

supershedder.e.coliLast summer, Apulia, a region in Italy’s south, was hit by a hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) outbreak with 20 cases; it was eventually linked to dairy products.

When two children came down with HUS in July,2014, authorities insisted that “there was no alarm.”

It is possible there has been no outbreak and no reason to alert the public, but a 18-month child has now died of HUS and it seems that the main reason was that doctors were slow to consider HUS as a possible diagnosis. Perhaps downplaying the issue to the public, including health professionals, has not helped.

E. coli connection in Oregon? 3-year-old girl also gets sick

After seeing reports on KATU TV, the family of a 3-year-old girl who got sick from E. coli is convinced that the case is connected to another case of E. coli that killed 4-year-old Serena Profitt on Monday. Both children were in the same general area just before they got sick.

serena1Serena swam in a section of the South Santiam River in Linn County. Then Aubrie Utter had her birthday at Waterloo Park about 20 minutes away and a few feet from a section of that river. They used a water fountain to fill up water balloons.

Aubrie’s birthday party was Saturday, Aug. 23, and her mother, Katie Hendricks, said her daughter was sick that very night.
“During the middle of the night, she woke up crying (that) her stomach hurt. She had diarrhea,” Katie said.

She brought her daughter to a clinic in Albany and just like with Serena she said they thought it was a minor virus and sent her home. But she just kept getting worse, and her mother brought her back in and demanded they do a blood test.

Two hours later they confirmed Aubrie had E. coli, and she was rushed to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, just two doors down from Serena. Aubrie was hospitalized for a full week and underwent five blood transfusions. She recovered but Serena did not.

Now, Katie has a message for other parents.

“I want the public to know,” she said. “You got to push doctors. If they tell you, ‘No, go home,’ – push it, ask for blood work, because my daughter wouldn’t be here today if I wouldn’t have done that.”
A KATU reporter called the Linn County Health Department to see what it is doing about this possible connection. The reporter was told that this was the first it had heard about it.

5 kids sickened by E. coli-related infection in Kentucky

Five Kentucky children were being treated at Kosair Children’s Hospital on Friday for a potentially life-threatening syndrome usually caused by E. coli infection, and the state health department has launched an investigation into how they got sick.

claudia.e.coli.petting.zoo.may.14“There is a cluster of children with” hemolytic uremic syndrome,” said Beth Fisher, a spokeswoman for the Kentucky Department for Public Health. “We don’t know the source at this point.”

Even though the children in this outbreak are from three different counties, officials said, they could have eaten at the same event or restaurant or eaten food that was distributed across counties.

Farm to table: Preventing foodborne outbreaks

Monitoring pathogens for their infectious capacity in humans may not be the best approach to minimize the risk of foodborne outbreaks, say researchers who spoke during the 2014 ASM General Meeting in Boston last May.

lettuce.tomato.skullOther factors come into play—particularly, the ability of some pathogens to colonize food sources, proliferate, and thus amplify the inoculating dose delivered to consumers is critically important, they say. Colonizing food sources also can alter gene expression, increasing pathogenicity and decreasing the infectious dose. Understanding this “ecology” could prove crucial for predicting and preventing foodborne outbreaks.

Greens and produce are major sources of foodborne pathogens, many of which can thrive when greens are cut and processed during food preparation. Produce is the leading source of foodborne illness commonly caused by Salmonella enterica or Escherichia coli O157:H7 on leafy greens, according to Maria Brandl of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Albany, Calif.

“The continuous rise in the number of outbreaks of foodborne illness linked to fresh fruit and vegetables challenges the notion that enteric pathogens are defined mostly by their ability to colonize the intestinal habitat,” she says. “Enteric pathogens utilize diverse and overlapping strategies to interact with plants and their microflora, and to successfully colonize vertebrate hosts.”