Bacteria in refried beans sold at a regional taco chain has been blamed for gastrointestinal illness in around 150 customers, and now state officials have confirmed the pathogen to blame and the food that it was in. It’s Bacillus cereus, bacteria that builds up in food that has sat out for too long at room temperature. It causes diarrhea or vomiting, and has a short incubation period: you can start barfing within half an hour. [More]
You might remember the General Mills flour recall from earlier this year, where a massive amount of flour was recalled because it was potentially contaminated with E. coli, bacteria found in feces and in soil that can cause bloody diarrhea and life-threatening complications. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that its investigation of the outbreak is over, but that people will keep getting sick. [More]
Have you gone through all of the frozen vegetables and packaged food in your house to ensure that they aren’t on the list of items potentially contaminated by Listeria in an outbreak dating back to 2013? Yeah, me either, and I don’t even have a lot of frozen vegetables. That’s what public health officials are worried about: that people won’t check their freezers and could get sick years from now, with Listeria monocytogenes, a foodborne illness that is especially dangerous. [More]
What’s the best way to prove to the American public that your food won’t make them sick? Convince them to try your food again, and don’t make them sick. That’s been Chipotle’s recovery plan, and it’s working pretty well. In addition to serving up raincheck burritos (in exchange for capturing your phone number) the company also sent out coupons offering free entrées, free sides, and free beverages to lure customers back. According to one firm’s research, this plan worked. [More]
Are people heading somewhere other than Chipotle when a burrito craving strikes them? Stock analysts think so: while the company won’t release their fourth-quarter sales results for another few months, the after-effects of what is now a six-state E. coli outbreak will keep at least some customers out of restaurants for the immediate future. Especially if the chain and public health officials aren’t able to figure out what caused the outbreak. [More]
No one expects to add more fresh fruit and vegetables to their diet and end up with a stomach bug, a serious illness, or dead. Yet that’s beginning to happen, with multi-state outbreaks of food-borne illness, especially in items like fruit and salad greens that are generally eaten without cooking, and apparently not washed sufficiently. The Food and Drug Administration wants to change that. [More]
There’s a promotion at Chipotle tonight where people who wear costumes that include something extra, or a scary “unnecessary additive,” get burritos for $3. Yet restaurants in two states have closed today “out of an abundance of caution” because of something even scarier: an apparent outbreak of Shiga toxin E. coli in recent weeks at six restaurants in Oregon and Washington. [More]
The question of who is in charge of a given foodborne outbreak can become complicated in the United States: responsibility for testing and recalling different food types and for tracing infectious diseases is split between three federal government and numerous state and local government agencies. Yet there is one great tool that the infectious disease experts over at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have given us: The FOOD database. [More]
Salad is supposed to be beneficial to your health, but hundreds of people across the country have become sick due to their taste for fresh cucumbers. While the veggies’ supplier and one distributor have recalled affected batches of vegetables, and reports of new infections have slowed down, the outbreak has still made 558 people sick, sent 112 to the hospital, and now three people have died. [More]
Listeria-contaminated food has been in the news lately due to massive ice cream recalls from regional companies Blue Bell and Jeni’s. Ice cream isn’t usually where you find listeria, but it’s possible to contract listeriosis from frozen treats because the bacteria can survive below-freezing temperatures, and you don’t cook ice cream. How can you avoid illness from listeria? There are no guaranteed ways to eradicate it from the food supply, but there are precautions that you can take. [More]
Contracting food poisoning after consuming a meal is never a pleasant experience. While many consumers recover after a few days of being ill, some aren’t so lucky. Such is the case, a new lawsuit claims, for a West Virginia couple who died after allegedly becoming ill following a meal at a Bob Evans restaurant. [More]
While some of our nation’s brightest food minds were gathered at a Food Safety Summit in Maryland earlier this month, the very thing they came together to discuss seems to have wreaked havoc on more than 100 people attending. In what can only be a prank from the food gods, it appears food poisoning is one of the suspected culprits, officials say. [More]
There’s now another compelling reason to eat at home rather than going out. And if you’re preparing a meal at home make sure you wash your produce. A new report from the Center for Science in the Public Interest finds that consumers are twice as likely to get food poisoning from food prepared at a restaurant than food prepared at home, and illnesses at home are most often linked to our love of all things produce. [More]
Hundreds of people in the Midwest got very sick from a bagged salad mix contaminated with a nasty little parasite called cyclospora. That’s how many cases authorities were able to confirm: there are probably many more who didn’t see a doctor or let the health department know they were sick. What no one will tell the public is where the fateful poo-contaminated salads were served. [More]
Despite all your loved ones’ best efforts to eat everything in sight, there’s still a bunch of food remaining. Now is the time to strategically pack the food away for a lust-filled reunion at a date yet to be determined. (Probably 9 p.m. or so tonight).
If seeing your food cooked and handled by someone sporting a pair of latex gloves gives you a sense of security, the results of a new study in the Journal of Food Protection might give you pause.
In the last few months, at least 155 people in several states have become ill from a pair of rare strains of salmonella. And according to authorities, the source of the salmonella is food served at Taco Bell.
This list of the 10 riskiest foods might surprise you at first, because there’s no mention of any sort of meat or poultry. But that’s because it’s from the FDA, which doesn’t regulate those two food categories. When it comes to produce, dairy, eggs and seafood, here’s what to watch out for, listed in order from most outbreaks to least.