Tuesday, November 21, 2017

FDA Warns About Giving Bones and Bone Treats to Dogs

FDA issued a consumer warning about giving bones including commercially-sold bones and bone treats to dogs. Also included of course are chicken and turkey bones.

As dog owners know, some dogs can handle a bone, while others want to swallow it whole. If your dog is one that can't resist knocking back the whole bone, then even a commercially-sold bone can be a problem.  The hard part for owners is overcoming 'the stare'.

FDA Warning to Consumers
No Bones (or Bone Treats) About It: Reasons Not to Give Your Dog Bones

Bone Treats Pose Risks for Dogs 
Bone treats are real bones that have been processed, sometimes flavored, and packaged for dogs. Giving your dog a “bone treat” might lead to an unexpected trip to your veterinarian, a possible emergency surgery, or even death for your pet.

Many dog owners know not to toss a turkey or chicken bone to their dog; those bones are just too brittle. But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says the risk goes beyond that, especially when it comes to the “bone treats” you may see at the store.

Catered Thanksgiving Event Results in Numerous Cases of Foodborne Illness

A catered Thanksgiving event in northern GA resulted in numerous cases of foodborne illness. At least two have been hospitalized, and the total number of cases may be as high as 1800. Reported symptoms of foodborne illness includes upset stomach, stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, and fever.

No specific pathogen or suspect food has been identified at this point.

We can add this to our Thanksgivings past and foodborne illnesses outbreak list – something to consider for your holiday celebrations – warning to our late shift employees on being served food from earlier in the day.
  • 2016 - C. perfrigens Identified as Cause of Thanksgiving Foodborne Illness Outbreak - Shortly after Thanksgiving, an outbreak of foodborne illness was reported in California that was linked to a Thanksgiving charity event. There were 3 deaths and another 22 others who were ill. The causative agent was found to be Clostridium perfringens, a sporeforming pathogen that can grow rapidly when food is temperature abused.
  • A 2015 Thanksgiving Luncheon Becomes Scene for C. perfringens Outbreak - A CDC Report - With Thanksgiving leftovers still in the fridge, it is a good time to review a 2015 outbreak that occurred during a Thanksgiving luncheon. About 40 people who attended a catered company Thanksgiving lunch became ill with diarrhea and abdominal pain the following day (roughly 13 hours later). C. perfrignes entrotoxin was found in the patient stool samples and C. perfrigens was isolated from the turkey as well as the patients. According to the CDC report "The caterer had previously maintained a permitted facility, but reported having prepared the lunch food served at this event in an uninspected, residential kitchen. Turkeys were cooked approximately 10 hours before lunch, placed in warming pans, and plated in individual servings. Food was then delivered by automobile, which required multiple trips. After cooking and during transport, food sat either in warming pans or at ambient temperature for up to 8 hours. No temperature monitoring was conducted after cooking."
  • 2012 Martha Stewart, celebrity chef and author, contracts Salmonella - Martha Stewart contracted Salmonella over Thanksgiving from mishandling food in the form of raw turkey. While we hate to see anyone become ill, having a celebrity chef come down with Salmonella can have a positive outcome. Too often we see these celebrity chefs demonstrating poor practices, whether it is inadequate hand washing, cooking to the incorrect temperatures, or canning foods using the oven technique. But my hope is that Martha will use this experience as motivator to endorse good safety practices.
  • 2015 Fifteen Postal Workers Ill from Potluck Leftovers - Potlucks are one thing, but leftovers from potlucks..... In this case, 15 postal workers become ill after consuming leftovers from a potluck dinner held for 200 to honor veterans. Officials at the facility said nearly 200 employees participated in a potluck dinner Tuesday evening to honor co-workers who are veterans. Some of the food was refrigerated overnight Tuesday. Employees and managers returning to work Wednesday night helped themselves to the leftovers and after consuming them, some complained of stomach pains, officials said.
  • 2014 Catered Office Party Is the Site of Staph Aureus Intoxication - Approximately 60 people became ill after attending an office party in Florida. About 25 were taken to the hospital. The catered event served turkey, ham, stuffing and green bean to some 700 people. The caterer was identified as Kitchen Divas, which from the website, appears to be a legitimate operation. It sucks when staff parties turn into 'staph' parties
  • Advice on handling leftovers.

Rome News Tribune
Health department investigating likely foodborne-illness outbreak at Toyo Tire event
Press release

Monday, November 20, 2017

Store Caramel Apples At Refrigeration Temperatures

Unfortunately, we are still seeing caramel apples at retail being displayed at room temperature.  Less than two years ago, a Listeria outbreak was linked to caramel apples.  It was later determined that if those apples had been stored at refrigeration temperatures, there would not likely have been an issue.

Penn State News
Caramel apples stored at room temperature for extended periods can pose risk
October 24, 2017

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Trader Joe's Chicken Salad Products Recalled After Complaints of Glass-like Foreign Material

Green Cusine, a CA establishment, issued a recall for 36,854 pounds of Trader Joe's chicken and turkey salad after the company received consumer complaints of glass shards / silica foreign material.

News Release
Green Cuisine Recalls Poultry Products Due To Possible Foreign Matter Contamination
Class I Recall 
Health Risk: High 
 Nov 18, 2017

Friday, November 17, 2017

Dairy Calves Linked to Outbreak of Antibiotic Resistant Strain of Salmonella

CDC has identified an ongoing Salmonella outbreak associated with dairy calves.  The calves originated in Wisconsin.  The ongoing outbreak has progressed for some time, dating back to January 2015, with now 54 people in 15 states.  It is a multidrug resistant strain of Salmonella Heidelberg.

Dairy Herd Management
CDC Links Salmonella Outbreak to Contact with Dairy Calves
John Maday
November 16, 2017 10:18 AM

CA Firm Recalls Guacamole Product Due to Listeria Positive Sample

A California firm is recalling its 9-ounce containers of "Real Guacamole" because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.  This issue was identified after FDA product sampling identified Listeria monocytogenes in the product.

Initially (11/15), one lot was recalled.  But with many Listeria related recalls, they get expanded.
Two days later (11/17), the company issued an expanded recall.  In the later recall notice, it stated, "The recall was necessitated by positive test results for Listeria monocytogenes on two packages out of many samples collected for the U. S. Food and Drug Administration random sample testing program."

Casa Sanchez Foods Recalls "Real Guacamole" Because Of Possible Health Risk
For Immediate Release
November 15, 2017

This Week in Mislabeled Product - Ending 11/17/17

Chicken Wraps with Undeclared Peanut and Soy - A Swedesboro, N.J. establishment, is recalling approximately 46 pounds of chicken wrap products due to misbranding and undeclared allergens  The product contains peanut and soy, known allergens, which are not declared on the product label  The problem was discovered on Nov. 15, 2017 by the firm’s quality assurance supervisor while performing verification activities. After discovering the issue, the firm immediately notified FSIS.

More Dark Chocolate Products Recalled Due to Undeclared Milk - A Marshfield, WI company is recalling 2 gingersnap products that are related to the GKI FOODS LLC Dark Chocolate Products recall because it may contain undeclared milk allergen.
Lipari Foods, LLC has also issued voluntary recall of specific dark chocolate products packaged by sister company JLM due to an undeclared milk allergen.  Products were distributed under the Weis and All Natural brand names or as generic product without branding.

Chocolates With Almonds Getting in with Non-Almond Product - A Washington firm is recalling 127 cases of Costco item # 2335, Dilettante Chocolates Espresso Blend, Espresso Beans in Semisweet, Milk and White Chocolate, because it may contain undeclared almonds. The recall was initiated after the firm discovered the chocolate covered almonds were mixed and packaged with the Dilettante Espresso Blend.  Product was distributed in packaging that did not reveal the presence of almonds.

Figi’s Issues Recall Alert Due to Undeclared Allergen (Milk) in Dark Chocolate Gingersnaps
For Immediate Release
November 9, 2017

Frozen Corn Recalled Due to the Potential for Listeria Contamination

Two supermarket chains are recalling frozen corn after their supplier, Bonduelle, a French food conglomerate, had discovered a Listeria issue in the frozen corn.

Stop & Shop Alerts Customers to Voluntary Recall of Store Brand Frozen Whole Kernel Sweet Corn
For Immediate Release
November 15, 2017

NH Firm Expands Listeria Related Recall to Include All Products

A NH company is now recalling all of its products due to the potential to be contaminated by Listeria monocytogenes.  Earlier this week, Yorgo's recalled products with the same date code.  But like all Listeria recalls, rarely is one lot involved unless there is substantial evidence that controls were in place and the one day in question represented an event out of the ordinary.  The company also produces product for Trader Joe's (of course).

As we have seen in many past Listeria-related recalls, recalls are expanded after regulators investigate and discover that there is likely a lack of sufficient control.

Yorgo’s Foods Inc Is Recalling All Flavored and Unflavored Food Products (Hommus; Tahini Sauces; Yogurt Dip, Salads, Tzatziki, Grape Leaves; Taboule) Due to Possible Health Risk
For Immediate Release
November 15, 2017