Fresno-Based Company Recalls Cantaloupe for Salmonella Contamination

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DFI Marketing of Fresno is recalling cantaloupe due to food poisoning concerns. According to a news report in The Newport Beach Patch, salmonella was found on a single sample of cantaloupe during routine testing conducted at a wholesale produce distribution center, which is part of a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) testing program. So far, no illnesses have been reported. The recalled products include about 28,000 cartons of bulk-packed product. The fruit was packed on August 26, 2012 and distributed primarily to retail customers in 21 states including California. Some of the fruit was also exported to Mexico. Anyone who has these defective products at home would be well advised to not consume them.

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Ricotta Cheese Recalled for Listeria Contamination

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Forever Cheese has issued a product defect recall for its Ricotta Salata Frescolina brand due to possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. According to a news report in Consumeraffairs.com, the cheese was initially sold to distributors for retailers and restaurants in 19 states including California, between June 20 and August 9, 2012. The products were sold to supermarkets, restaurants and wholesale distributors. So far, there have been 14 reported illnesses in 11 states that may be linked to these products. The company is trying to contact all distributors and retailers in an attempt to pull the products off the shelves. Consumers who have purchased this brand of cheese are asked to refrain from eating the product and contact their distributor or retailer for a full refund.

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FDA Traces Salmonella Outbreak to Cantaloupe

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Hundreds of people have suffered from food poisoning because of a salmonella outbreak that the US. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has traced to contaminated cantaloupe. According to an alert put out by the FDA, the contaminated cantaloupe was collected at the Chamberlain Farms of Owensville, Indiana. The salmonella found in the cantaloupe is linked to a multi-state outbreak of salmonellosis that has already resulted in 178 reported illnesses.

Consumers who have recently purchased cantaloupe should ask their retailers where the cantaloupes were grown and whether it is safe to eat. Washing the potentially contaminated fruit will not help as the bacteria is inside the cantaloupe. Cutting into the contaminated food can also be dangerous as it could allow harmful bacteria to surface. FDA officials have one piece of advise for consumers: When in doubt, throw it out.

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Mexican Mangoes Linked to Salmonella Outbreak in California

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Daniella brand mangoes that are imported from Mexico are being recalled due to food poisoning concerns. According to a USA Today news report, Splendid Products of Burlingame, California, which distributes the fruit, issued a voluntary recall because they have been linked to a salmonella outbreak. Canada’s Food Inspection Agency reports that the mangoes are linked to 22 salmonella infections while California has had 73 cases of the strain known as salmonella Braenderup. About 67 percent of those who were sickened in California said they ate mangoes, California Department of Public Health officials say. Washington State has also reported six cases.

My thoughts and prayers are with those who have been affected by this salmonella outbreak. I wish them the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.

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Romaine Lettuce Recalled for E. Coli Contamination

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A California produce supplier has issued a safety recall for romaine lettuce due to food poisoning concerns. According to The Associated Press, the Salinas-based company Tanimura & Antle issued the recall on August 19, 2012 for Field Fresh Wrapped Single Head Romaine because of potential E. coli contamination. Representatives for the company say there are 2,095 cases of lettuce that are potentially contaminated. The recalled lettuce has a UPC number of 0-27918-20314-9 and likely a “best by” date of August 19, 2012. There have been no illnesses reported yet due to of these defective food products.

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Beef Products Recalled for E. Coli Contamination

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A Utah-based meat packing company is recalling about 38,200 pounds of beef products due to food poisoning concerns. According to a news report in Consumer Affairs, the food safety recall involves beef products packaged by Dale T. Smith and Songs Meat Packing. Officials with the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed positive results for E. coli in the company’s beef products that were produced on August 7, 2012. The recalled products were distributed to wholesale and retail establishments in California and Salt Lake City, Utah.

Officials believe that this bacterial contamination may have occurred as the result of a refrigeration malfunction. All of the beef products manufactured on that day are being recalled because of possible cross-contamination. There have not, however, been any reported injuries or illnesses association with these defective products.

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Onions Recalled for Listeria Contamination

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California-based Gill’s Onions has expanded a voluntary recall because of food poisoning issues. According to a KTLA news article, the food safety recall began after listeria monocytogenes bacteria was found in a production facility where these products are manufactured. The contamination resulted in the facility being shut down on July 17, 2012 and in the recall of over 2,300 pounds of diced red onions with a “use by” date of May 14, 15 and 17.

The food recall has been expanded to include diced, slivered and whole peeled onions and diced onion/celery mix with use-by dates of on or before August 3. The Oxnard-based produce company has said that none of the products have tested positive for the bacteria and no illnesses have been reported. The voluntary recall of these potentially defective products is a preventive measure to minimize risk to public health.

Dangers of Listeria Poisoning

When listeria bacteria get into a food-processing factory, it can survive there for years contaminating food products. It has been found in raw foods such as meats and vegetables as well as in cooked or processed foods such as soft cheeses, meats and seafood. Listeria monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, which is a rare and potentially fatally disease. It is particularly dangerous for individuals with a weak immune system. In some cases, victims of listeriosis suffer from a high fever, neck stiffness, nausea and a severe headache. It has also been linked to miscarriages and fatal infections. More

California Romaine Lettuce Recalled for Salmonella Contamination

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A California company is recalling certain batches of romaine lettuce due to food poisoning concerns. According to a report in Food Safety News, Pacific International Marketing is recalling 19 cases of bulk Romaine Lettuce in California and Nevada. The lettuce, potentially contaminated with salmonella bacteria, was sold at Vons and Pavilions stores from July 2, 2012 through July 4, 2012. Each lettuce head is banded with a red twist tie marked “Safeway.” Anyone who has these products at home should either throw them out or return them for a full refund.

So far no illnesses or hospitalizations have been reported. The food recall resulted from a positive test for salmonella taken at the field level. Pacific International Marketing officials say that only the lettuce sold in bulk is potentially contaminated. The carton and bagged Romaine products are not part of the recall. It is not clear how many of these defective food products were actually consumed. More

Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Hatchery in Missouri

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Estes Hatchery in Springfield, Missouri, has been linked to a Salmonella Montevideo outbreak that led to 66 food poisoning cases in 20 states, including California. According to a KOLR 10 news report, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that the illnesses were reported between February 28, 2012 and June 6, 2012. The victims ranged in age from 1 to 83 years. About 35 percent of those who were sickened were 10 years old or younger. Findings of multiple traceback investigations of live baby poultry from homes of those who became ill helped link the contamination to Estes Hatchery, officials said.

Food Poisoning Statistics

According to the most recent statistics available from CDC, 1,034 foodborne illnesses were reported in 2008 sickening more than 23,000 people and killing 22. Almost half of the outbreaks had a single cause or food source. More than 1,200 people were hospitalized because of these outbreaks, which accounts for 6 percent of those who got sick. This was the largest number of hospitalizations for foodborne illnesses reported since the outbreak surveillance system began in 1973. The top three causes of hospitalization in 2008 were salmonella (62 percent); E. coli (17 percent); and Norvirus (7 percent).

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Egg Producer Knew about Salmonella Contamination Months Prior to Recall

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The egg producer whose products were linked to nearly 2,000 food poisoning cases nationwide knew that their eggs were contaminated with salmonella four months before the outbreak occurred. According to an ABC news report, documents unearthed in a lawsuit by California food cooperative, NuCal Foods, show that in May 2010, Iowa State University’s Veterinary Diagnostics Lab had told Iowa egg companies owned by Jack DeCoster that salmonella had been found in dead chickens and in manure at DeCoster plants. In September 2010, the company recalled 550 million eggs nationwide, after the salmonella-tainted products sickened 1,939 people. There were no reported fatalities in connection with that outbreak.

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