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FDA Warns Consumers of Wood Pulp in Many Brands of Grated Parmesan Cheese

Filed February 22nd, 2016 F.A. Kelley

According to a warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), many brands of grated cheese labeled “100 percent Parmesan” contain cheese substitutes and fillers—like wood pulp.

Castle Cheese, for example, has produced Parmesan cheese containing no actual Parmesan for almost 30 years, Bloomberg Business reports. The president of the company, which sold its products to store chains like Target, is scheduled to plead guilty this month to charges that carry a sentence of up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine. Continue Reading »

Salmonella Contamination Prompts Recall of Garden of Life Shake Mixes

Filed February 18th, 2016 F.A. Kelley

A multistate outbreak of Salmonella Virchow has been linked to Raw Meal brand powdered organic shake mixes distributed by Garden of Life LLC, and the company has issued a recall for the products.

Garden of Life LLC is expanding its January 29, 2016 recall to include additional lots of its Raw Meal Organic Shake & Meal Chocolate, Original, Vanilla and Vanilla Chai products because an ingredient used in certain lots of the product may be contaminated with Salmonella Virchow. A listing of the affected products and their lot numbers and expiration dates can be found in the recall notice on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) web site. Continue Reading »

Recall of Fresh Express Chopped Romaine Due to Undisclosed Allergens

Filed February 10th, 2016 M. Lepmanis

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that 32-ounce Fresh Express Chopped Romaine packages with the product code G034A06A and a Use-by Date of February 19, have been recalled. The packages contain condiment packs with individual packets of parmesan cheese, croutons, and dressing for Fresh Express’ Caesar salad. The ingredients in the products in these packets include milk, eggs, wheat, and fish and, may, inadvertently expose Fresh Express Chopped Romaine consumers to undisclosed allergens.

Representatives from Fresh Express are working with retailers for the removal of the affected product. The lettuce packages were mostly sold in the East and Southeastern states. No other Fresh Express products were involved in this recall. Continue Reading »

Presence of Listeria Confirmed in Dole Packaged Salad

Filed February 3rd, 2016 M. Lepmanis

State tests have linked an ongoing seven-month Listeria outbreak to the Dole Fresh Vegetable Inc. plant in Springfield, Ohio. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in leafy greens packaged in that facility.

To date, 15 people have been sickened across eight U.S. states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). All had to be hospitalized and one has died. In Canada, health officials reported that, across five provinces, seven people had been infected and one had died. It has not yet been confirmed if the fatality was caused by Listeriosis, according to Food Safety News. Continue Reading »

Salads from Dole Fresh Vegetables Ohio Production Plant Appear to be Source of Listeria Outbreak

Filed January 26th, 2016 F.A. Kelley

Dole Fresh Vegetables, Inc., has announced the temporary suspension of operations at its Springfield, Ohio production facility and has withdrawn all Dole-brand and private label packaged salads processed at that location because salads from the facility have been identified as the likely source of a multistate listeria outbreak that began in summer 2015.

The suspension and withdrawal actions are being undertaken in collaboration with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Continue Reading »

Chipotle Hit with More Problems, Seattle Location Shut Down

Filed December 14th, 2015 Lillian

Chipotle has been hit with more bad news, as health inspectors suspended a Seattle restaurant’s license. The restaurant chain is already dealing with issues over its food safety reputation due to an outbreak of E. coli and norovirus. More than 52 people have become ill due to an E. coli outbreak across nine states, with 27 in Washington alone. A Chipotle location near Boston College has also been linked to a norovirus outbreak in which 141 became ill.

CNBC reports that the Chipotle location in Seattle was closed due to repeated food safety violations. Health inspectors found that several ingredients, including chicken, brown rice, shredded beef, cooked beef and fajita vegetables, were not maintained at high enough temperatures. It was the restaurant’s third critical violation in 12 months. Continue Reading »

E. Coli Infections in 7 States Traced to Costco Chicken Salad

Filed December 1st, 2015 F.A. Kelley

Preliminary lab testing results link at least 19 E. coli infections in seven states to rotisserie chicken salad sold at Costco stores in the U.S.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says infections have been reported in Montana, Utah, Colorado, California, Missouri, Virginia and Washington. Five of the infected people have been hospitalized, Reuters reports, but thus far, no deaths have been reported in the outbreak. Two people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure that can lead to permanent organ damage. Continue Reading »

E.coli Outbreak Linked to Chipotle Restaurants in Washington, Oregon

Filed November 4th, 2015 Lillian

An E.coli outbreak has been linked to Chipotle restaurants in Washington state and Oregon. The number of infections related to the outbreak is expected to grow, according to health officials. NBC News reports that 22 people have become sick from E coli as of Friday: three in the Portland area and 19 in western Washington. Seventeen of these individuals had eaten at Chipotle in recent weeks. There have been no deaths thus far, but eight people have been hospitalized.

Marisa D’Angeli, medical epidemiologist with the Washington State Department of Health, says the number of sick people will probably increase because more individuals will go see their doctors as the outbreak becomes more publicized. “We actually would expect there might be a jump in cases on Monday,” she said, according to NBC News. Any individual who has eaten at Chipotle since mid-October and experiences intestinal symptoms should see their doctor, D’Angeli advised. She also said bloody diarrhea warrants a doctor’s visit regardless of whether a person has eaten Chipotle. Continue Reading »

Salmonella-Tainted Cucumbers Linked to 4 Deaths, 732 Illnesses

Filed October 12th, 2015 Lillian

Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned of a salmonella outbreak linked to tainted cucumbers imported from Mexico. At the time, the agency reported that the outbreak was associated with three deaths and 445 illnesses across 35 states. A recent update from the agency indicates that 732 people have become ill and four have died as of October 5th. The most illnesses occurred in California (192) and Arizona (112).

Companies have voluntarily recalled garden cucumbers in light of the salmonella risk. Custom Produce Sales recalled cucumbers sold under the “Fat Boy” label on September 11th. The cucumbers were grown in Baja California and distributed in California, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Texas. On September 4th, Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce voluntarily recalled cucumbers grown and packed by Rancho Don Juanito in Mexico. The cucumbers were sold under the label “Limited Edition” and were distributed between Aug. 1 and Sept. 3. Continue Reading »

Potential Listeria Contamination Prompts Whole Foods to Recall Organic Cheese

Filed October 9th, 2015 Lillian

Due to the risk of listeria contamination, Whole Foods Market is recalling all cut, wrapped and weighed Papillon Organic Roquefort cheeses sold nationwide. The scale label on the recalled cheeses begins with PLU 029536. The recall includes all sell by dates, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said. There have been no reports of illness or injury so far.

The listeria was identified when the FDA tested a whole, uncut wheel of cheese. The product has been removed from store shelves. Exposure to the bacteria listeria monocytogenes can lead to listeriosis, which can be life-threatening in the elderly, young children and individuals with a compromised immune system. Continue Reading »

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