King Soopers said today it has recalled its chicken salad sandwiches that are sold in King Soopers and City Market stores, located in Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Wyoming. The product may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

Listeria monocytogenes is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

No confirmed reports of illness or injury have been reported to date.  Anyone concerned about an illness should contact a healthcare provider.

The chicken salad sandwich is the prepackaged 6.8 oz item sold in the deli department at King Soopers.  King Soopers has removed this item from store shelves and initiated its customer recall notification system that alerts customers who may have purchased recalled products through register receipt tape messages and phone calls.

The Smokehouse of NY, Mamaroneck, NY 10543 is recalling all of the Smoked fish listed below, because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weaken immune systems. Although Healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and still births among pregnant women.

Norwegian 4oz & 8oz and whole sides Irish 4oz & 8oz Scottish 4oz & 8oz
Pastrami 4oz & 8oz Gravlax 4oz & 8oz Trimmings 8oz
Sturgeon 4oz Kippered Salmon 8oz Sable 8oz
Whitefish Salad Trout Fillet 8oz
These products were distributed through New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Alabama, Minnesota, and Montana. Product was distributed to markets, restaurants, and hotels. To identify our products there is our logo on every package with our name The Smokehouse of NY in black cryovaced bags. The expiration dates will be from April 5th to April 19th.

The recall was a result of a routine inspection sampling program by the company which revealed there was listeria present in the warehouse. The company had ceased all production, manufacturing and distributing, until the company meets all guidelines implemented by FDA before resuming production and rectifying all issues.

Bakkavor Foods USA, Inc. is voluntarily recalling Trader Joe’s Mediterranean Hummus (SKU #90642) and Trader Joe’s White Bean & Basil Hummus (SKU #91107) with “USE BY” date codes up through and including 12/15/2016, because these products have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

Listeria monocytogenes is an organism, which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headaches, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

The products come in 16 ounce plastic tubs with SKU numbers printed on the top labels and “USE BY” date codes stamped on the bottom of the tubs, along with the plant identification code “C”. To clarify, products with plant identification code “J” were produced in a different facility and are NOT affected by this recall. In addition, Trader Joe’s Mediterranean Hummus Snack Pack with Pita Chips (SKU #97136) is NOT part of this recall.

To date there have been no confirmed illnesses.

States Affected Product Code Date
IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MI, MN, MO, NE, OH and WI Trader Joe’s White Bean & Basil Hummus ONLY (SKU 91107) USE BY dates up through and including “12/15/16” and plant identification code “C”
AL, AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, ID, LA, NC, NM, NV, OK, OR, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA and WA Trader Joe’s White Bean & Basil Hummus (SKU 91107) AND Trader Joe’s Mediterranean Hummus (SKU 90642) USE BY dates up through and including “12/15/16” and plant identification code “C”

The potential for contamination was noted after testing by the company revealed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in product manufactured on the same equipment. The company subsequently identified the source of the issue and has corrected the matter. All potentially affected products have been removed from store shelves and destroyed.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration advises consumers not to eat goat cheese products manufactured by Apple Tree Goat Dairy of Richfield, Penn. (Apple Tree), because the products have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

Apple Tree manufactures pasteurized and 60-day aged, semi-soft, and hard goat cheeses under the Apple Tree Goat Dairy brand. The products were sold in Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, and New Jersey through Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative, West End Farmers Market in Alexandria, Va., Ambler (Penn.) Farmers Market, and Doylestown (Penn.) Farmers Market.

Apple Tree recalled four lots of products manufactured in March and July 2016 on September 20, 2016, after samples of these lots collected by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes. Later in September, Apple Tree expanded its recall to include all of its goat cheeses, but FDA is not aware of any public notification to consumers announcing the expanded recall.

FDA has concerns about Apple Tree’s goat cheese based on a recent inspection of the Apple Tree manufacturing facility, which identified a potentially deadly pathogen, Listeria monocytogenes, in the firm’s finished products and its production environment.

Although no illnesses have been reported to date in association with Apple Tree’s goat cheeses, Listeria monocytogenes can cause a serious, potentially life-threatening infection called listeriosis.

Symptoms of listeriosis include fever and muscle aches, sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. These symptoms can appear from a few days up to a few weeks after eating contaminated food. Listeriosis primarily affects older adults, pregnant women, newborns, and adults with weakened immune systems.

Consumers who have Apple Tree goat cheeses should throw them away. In addition, the agency advises consumers to thoroughly disinfect the areas where they had the products, such as the refrigerator, plates, and utensils used to serve the cheese.

UCM531564Royal Seafood Baza, Inc. of Staten, Island, New York is recalling various refrigerated ready to eat herring products because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

The affected ready to eat herring products were distributed to customers located New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, and North Carolina. Wholesale customers of bulk containers must discontinue sales of existing stock of these items immediately and destroy any returned product as soon as possible.

This recall action is specific to the following products:

  • Refrigerated, Ready to Eat Herring in Brine with no brand name, packaged in bulk 25 lb. white plastic bucket and labeled in part “** 204250 ** HERRING ISLANDSKAYA JUMBO BY PC **” (label on the metal handle of bucket);
  • Refrigerated, Ready to Eat Herring in Brine with no brand name, packaged in bulk 25 lb. white plastic bucket and labeled in part “** 204311 ** HERRING SUPER DUNAYSKAYA BY PC **” (label on the metal handle of bucket);
  • Refrigerated, Ready to Eat Herring in Brine with no brand name, packaged in bulk 25 lb. white plastic bucket and labeled in part “** 204857 ** HERRING NORWAY SUPER JUMBO BY PC **” (label on the metal handle of bucket);
  • Refrigerated, Ready to Eat Herring in Brine with no brand name, packaged in bulk 25 lb. white plastic bucket and labeled in part “ ** 204744 ** HERRING MALOSOLNAYA (20 in barrel) **” (label on the metal handle of bucket);
  • Refrigerated, Ready to Eat Herring in Brine with no brand name, packaged in bulk 25 lb. white plastic bucket and labeled in part “** 204883 ** HERRING DUNAYSKAYA BY PC **” (label on the metal handle of bucket);
  • Refrigerated, Ready to Eat Herring in Brine sold under ROYAL Baza label, vacuum packaged in a clear bag and labeled in part “** ROYAL baza ** HERRING SUPER DUNAYSKAYA IN VACUUM BY PC * UPC 204450 000263”;
  • Refrigerated, Ready to Eat Herring in Brine sold under the ROYAL Baza label, vacuum packaged in a clear bag and labeled in part “** ROYAL baza ** HERRING MALOSOLNAYA IN VACUUM BY PC ** UPC 204874 000269”;
  • Refrigerated, Ready to Eat Herring in Oil sold under the FRESH SEAFOOD label, packaged in a 10.9 oz. (310g) plastic retail container labeled in part ** FRESH SEAFOOD ** Herring Fillet in Oil “Forelka Style” ** Net Wt. 10.9 oz. (310g)** UPC 825512 004915”;
  • Refrigerated, Ready to Eat Herring in Oil sold under the FRESH SEAFOOD label, packaged in a 16.2 oz. (460g) plastic retail container labeled in part “** FRESH SEAFOOD ** Herring Fillet in Oil “Forelka Style” ** Net Wt. 16.2 oz. (460g)** UPC 825512 004922”;
  • Refrigerated, Ready to Eat Herring in Oil sold under the FRESH SEAFOOD label, packaged in a 10.9 oz. (310g) plastic retail container labeled in part “** FRESH SEAFOOD ** Pacific Herring Fillet in Oil ** Net Wt. 10.9 oz. (310g) ** UPC 825512 004939;
  • Refrigerated, Ready to Eat Herring in Oil sold under the FRESH SEAFOOD label, packaged in a 16.2 oz. (460g) plastic retail container labeled in part “** FRESH SEAFOOD ** Pacific Herring Fillet in Oil ** Net Wt. 16.2 oz. (460g)** UPC 825512 004946”;
  • Refrigerated, Ready to Eat Herring in Brine sold under the FRESH SEAFOOD label, packaged in a 10.9 oz. (310g) plastic retail container labeled in part “** FRESH SEAFOOD ** Herring Fillet “Matjes” ** Net Wt. 10.9 oz. (310g) ** UPC 825512 004953”;
  • Refrigerated, Ready to Eat Herring in Brine sold under the FRESH SEAFOOD label, packaged in a 16.2 oz. (460g) plastic retail container labeled in part “** FRESH SEAFOOD ** Herring Fillet “Matjes” ** Net Wt. 16.2 oz. (460g) ** UPC 825512 004960”;
  • Refrigerated, Ready to Eat Herring in Oil sold under the FRESH SEAFOOD label, packaged in a 10.9 oz. (310g) plastic retail container labeled in part “** FRESH SEAFOOD ** Herring Fillet in Oil ** Net Wt. 10.9 oz. (310g)** UPC 825512 004977”;
  • Refrigerated, Ready to Eat Herring in Oil sold under the FRESH SEAFOOD label, packaged in a 16.2 oz. (460g) plastic retail container labeled in part “** FRESH SEAFOOD ** Herring Fillet in Oil ** Net Wt. 16.2 oz. (460g)** UPC 825512 004984”;
  • Refrigerated, Ready to Eat Herring in Oil sold under the FRESH SEAFOOD label, packaged in a 24 oz. (680g) plastic retail container labeled in part “** FRESH SEAFOOD ** Holland Herring in Oil ** Net Wt. 24 oz. (680g)** UPC 825512 008128”;
  • Refrigerated, Ready to Eat Herring in Brine sold under the  FRESH SEAFOOD label, packaged in a 46 oz. (1275g) plastic retail container labeled in part “** FRESH SEAFOOD ** Herring in Spicy Brine ** Net Wt. 46 oz. (1275g)** UPC 825512 008166”;
  • Refrigerated, Ready to Eat Herring in Brine sold under the  FRESH SEAFOOD label, packaged in a 46 oz. (1275g) plastic retail container labeled in part “** FRESH SEAFOOD ** Herring in Brine ** Net Wt. 46 oz. (1275g) ** ** UPC 825512 008173”;
  • Refrigerated, Ready to Eat Herring in Oil sold under the  FRESH SEAFOOD label, packaged in a 16 oz. (454g) plastic retail container labeled in part “** FRESH SEAFOOD ** Herring Fillets in Oil ** Lightly Salted ** Net Wt. 16 oz. (454g) ** UPC 825512 014044”;
  • Refrigerated, Ready to Eat Herring in Oil sold under the FRESH SEAFOOD label, packaged in a 28.2 oz. (800g) plastic retail container labeled in part “** FRESH SEAFOOD ** SUPER DUNAYSKAYA ** Herring Fillets in Oil ** Net Weight 28.2 OZ./800 g”;
  • Refrigerated, Ready to Eat Herring in Oil sold under the FRESH SEAFOOD label, packaged in a 9.3 oz. (265g) plastic retail container labeled in part “** FRESH SEAFOOD ** Pacific Herring Fillet in Oil ** Net Wt. 9.3 oz. (265g) ** UPC 825512 110258”;
  • Refrigerated, Ready to Eat Herring in Oil sold under the  FRESH SEAFOOD packaged in a 16.2 oz. (460g) in plastic retail container labeled in part “** FRESH SEAFOOD ** Pacific Herring Fillet in Oil ** Net Wt. 16.2 oz. (460g) ** UPC 825512 110265”.

The Bulk Herring products have pack dates of “11/2/16” – “11/30/16”.  The Herring products packaged in retail containers have Best Before dates of: 11.30.2016 through 02.28.2017. Herring products packaged in vacuum packaged bags include Pack Dates of 11.09.16 – 11.30.16.

Sabra Dipping Co., LLC is voluntarily recalling certain hummus products made prior to November 8, 2016 due to concerns over Listeria monocytogenes, which was identified at the manufacturing facility but not in tested finished product. The recall includes the products listed below; these were distributed to retail outlets, including food service accounts and supermarkets, in the U.S. and Canada.

Listeria monocytogenes is an organism, which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headaches, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea.  Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.  The company is issuing this recall out of an abundance of caution.

Consumers with any product with a “Best Before” date up through January 23, 2017 are urged to discard it. Consumers can find code and “Best Before” date on the lid of each package.

See complete list of recalled products.

And, it happened in 2015 too.

In the United Sates, eighteen people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria have been reported from nine states since July 5, 2015. The number of ill people reported from each state is as follows: Connecticut (1), Indiana (1), Massachusetts (1), Michigan (4), Missouri (2), New Jersey (1), New York (5), Ohio (2), and Pennsylvania (1). Whole genome sequencing has been performed on clinical isolates from all ill people and has shown that the isolates are highly related genetically. Listeria specimens were collected from ill people between July 5, 2015 and January 31, 2016. Ill people range in age from 3 years to 83, and the median age is 66. Seventy-two percent of ill people are female. All 18 (100%) ill people were hospitalized, including one person from Michigan who died as a result of listeriosis. One of the illnesses reported was in a pregnant woman.

In Canada, there are currently 11 cases of Listeria in five provinces related to this outbreak: Ontario (7), Quebec (1), New Brunswick (1), Prince Edward Island (1), and Newfoundland and Labrador (1). Individuals became sick between May 2015 and early January 2016. Some of the individuals who became ill have reported eating packaged salads. It is suspected that these salads were produced at the Dole facility in Ohio. The majority of Canadians cases (55%) are female, with an average age of 79 years. All cases have been hospitalized, and three people have died.

On January 27, 2016, Dole voluntarily recalled all salad mixes produced in the Springfield, Ohio processing facility. At this time, there is no evidence to suggest that any products produced at other Dole processing facilities in the United States are linked to illness. The type of salad mixes produced at this facility was packaged in bags and plastic clamshell containers and can be identified by the letter “A” at the beginning of the manufacturing code on the package.

Prior Dole Outbreaks Linked to Lettuce and Other Leafy Greens

October 13, 2015 – Dole Fresh Vegetables voluntarily recalled a limited number of cases of bagged salad. The product recalled was Dole Spinach coded A27409B & A27409A, with an Enjoy By date of October 15 and UPC 7143000976 due to a possible health risk from Salmonella. No illnesses had been reported in association with the recall. The product code and Enjoy By date are in the upper right-hand corner of the package; the UPC code is on the back of the package, below the barcode. The salads were distributed in 13 U.S. states (Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Wisconsin). This precautionary recall notification is being issued due to an isolated instance in which a sample of Dole Spinach salad yielded a positive result for Salmonella in a random sample test conducted by the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development; Laboratory Division.

March 13, 2014 – Dole Fresh Vegetables voluntarily recalled a limited number of cases of bagged salad. The products being recalled are Dole Italian Blend (UPC 7143000819), Fresh Selections Italian Style Blend (UPC 1111091045), Little Salad Bar Italian Salad (UPC 4149811014) and Marketside Italian Style Salad (UPC 8113102780) coded A058201A or B, with Use-by date of March 12, 2014 due to a possible health risk from Listeria monocytogenes. No illnesses had been reported in association with the recall. The product code and Use-by date are in the upper right-hand corner of the package; the UPC code is on the back of the package, below the barcode. The salads were distributed in 15 U.S. states (Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia) and 3 Canadian provinces (New Brunswick, Ontario & Quebec). No illnesses have been reported in association with the recall. This precautionary recall notification is being issued due one sample of Dole Italian salad which yielded a positive result for Listeria monocytogenes in a random sample test conducted by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

August 22, 2012 – Dole Fresh Vegetables voluntarily recalled 1,039 cases of bagged salad. The product being recalled was 10 oz. Dole Italian Blend coded 0049N2202008, with a Use-By date of August 20 and UPC 7143000819 due to a possible health risk from Listeria monocytogenes. No illnesses had been reported in association with the recall. The product code and Use-By date are in the upper right-hand corner of the package; the UPC code is on the back of the package, below the barcode. The salads were distributed in eight U.S. states (Florida, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Mississippi and Virginia). No illnesses have been reported in association with the recall. This recall notification is being issued due to an isolated instance in which a sample of Dole Italian Blend salad yielded a positive result for Listeria monocytogenes in a random sample test conducted by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture.

June 22, 2012 – Dole Fresh Vegetables voluntarily recalled 1,077 cases of bagged salads. The products being recalled were Kroger Fresh Selections Greener Supreme coded N158 211B 1613 KR04 with Use-by date of June 19 and UPC 11110 91039, Kroger Fresh Selections Leafy Romaine coded N158 111B KR11 with Use-by date of June 19 and UPC 11110 91046 and WalMart Marketside Leafy Romaine coded N158111B with Use-by date of June19 and UPC code 81131 02781 due to a possible health risk from Listeria monocytogenes. No illnesses have been reported in association with the recall. The Product Code and Use-by date are in the upper right-hand corner of the package; the UPC code is on the back of the package, below the barcode. The salads were distributed in six U.S. states (Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia). This precautionary recall notification is being issued due to an isolated instance in which a sample of Marketside Leafy Romaine salad yielded a positive result for Listeria monocytogenes in a random sample test conducted by the State of North Carolina.

April 14, 2012 – Dole Fresh Vegetables voluntarily recalled 756 cases of DOLE® Seven Lettuces salad with Use-by Date of April 11, 2012, UPC code 71430 01057 and Product Codes 0577N089112A and 0577N089112B, due to a possible health risk from Salmonella. No illnesses had been reported in association with the recall. The Product Code and Use-by Date are in the upper right-hand corner of the package; the UPC code is on the back of the package, below the barcode. The salads were distributed in fifteen U.S. states (Alabama, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin). This precautionary recall notification is being issued due to an isolated instance in which a sample of Seven Lettuces salad yielded a positive result for Salmonella in a random sample test collected and conducted by the State of New York.

Sept. 17, 2007 – Dole Fresh Vegetables, a division of Dole Food Company, Inc., today announced that it voluntarily recalled all salad bearing the label “Dole Hearts Delight” sold in the U.S. and Canada with a “best if used by (BIUB)” date of September 19, 2007, and a production code of “A24924A” or “A24924B” stamped on the package.  The “best if use by (BIUB)” code date can be located in the upper right hand corner of the front of the bag.  The salad was sold in plastic bags of 227 grams in Canada and one-half pound in the U.S., with UPC code 071430-01038. To date, Dole has received no reports that anyone has become sick from eating these products.  The recall is occurring because a sample in a grocery store in Canada was found through random screening to contain E. coli O157:H7.

2006 Spinach E. coli Outbreak – 205 Sick with 5 Death: Official word of the spinach outbreak broke with the FDA’s announcement, on September 14, 2006, that a number of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses across the country “may be associated with the consumption of produce.” “Preliminary epidemiological evidence suggests,” the statement continued, “that bagged fresh spinach may be a possible cause of this outbreak.” By the date of the announcement, fifty cases had been reported to the CDC, including eight cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and one death. States reporting illness included Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Wisconsin. The much-publicized outbreak grew substantially over the next several days. By September 15, the FDA had confirmed 94 cases of illness, including fourteen cases of HUS and, sadly, one death. Recognizing the lethality of the developing outbreak, the FDA’s September 15 release warned people should “not eat fresh spinach or fresh spinach containing products.” Press Releases over the ensuing days announced steady growth in the number of people sickened, hospitalized, and with HUS as a result of the outbreak—109 cases from nineteen states by September 17, and 131 cases from twenty-one states just two days later. The latter statistic included 66 hospitalizations and twenty cases of HUS. Meanwhile, the FDA and CDC, in conjunction with local and state health agencies from across the country, worked feverishly to figure out the brand names associated with illness. Early statistical analysis suggested that many brands were implicated, but the spinach sold under the several brand names had all come from the Natural Selection Foods processing center in San Juan Batista, California. Accordingly, Natural Selection recalled all of its spinach products with “use by” dates from August 17 to October 1, 2006.   The recall, of course, included Dole brand spinach. But further data and study ultimately narrowed the possible sources of the outbreak down to one brand of packaged greens: Dole. Though epidemiological evidence had already strongly linked Dole to the outbreak, the FDA found the proverbial “smoking gun” on September 20. The bag of Dole baby spinach had been purchased and consumed by an Albuquerque, New Mexico woman, and testing by the New Mexico State Health Department had confirmed that the product was contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 bearing the same genetic marker as the outbreak strain. The FDA announced the critical finding on September 21, 2006—also disclosing the “best by” date on the positive Dole bag of August 30—thereby giving a worried public a bit more information on what spinach products to eat, if any, and what to avoid. By the date of the FDA’s September 21 announcement, the number of confirmed cases had swelled to 157 people from twenty-three states. Ultimately, the FDA confirmed 204 outbreak-related cases, with 102 hospitalizations, thirty-one cases of HUS, and three deaths, though the actual number of people affected by the outbreak was certainly much larger. In addition to the elderly Wisconsin resident, the FDA stated that the outbreak had claimed the lives of two-year-old Kyle Algood, from Chubbuck, Idaho, and also 81-year-old Ruby Trautz, from Bellevue, Nebraska. The tragedy of this outbreak can hardly be overstated. Epidemiological and laboratory evidence, which had already proved the link to Natural Selection and Dole, soon revealed that the contaminated spinach had been grown at Paicines Ranch in San Benito County, California. More specifically, investigators had traced the source of the contaminated spinach to one field on the ranch that had been leased by Mission Organics. Once identified as the likely source for the outbreak, Mission Organics became host to health officials looking for the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7. State and federal investigators took hundreds of environmental samples and swabs from the vicinity of the implicated spinach field, which was fifty acres in size, including from a nearby cattle pasture and water source. Investigators also sampled the intestinal lining of feral pigs that had been killed as part of the investigation. Samples from a variety of sources, including the pigs, the water, and cattle feces, tested positive for the same strain of E. coli O157:H7 that had now been isolated in over 205 people nationally. Finally, the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 has been isolated in at least thirteen separate bags of Dole baby spinach. There were five deaths. Once the investigation was completed, a final report on the outbreak was prepared by the California Food Emergency Response Team (CalFERT), a team comprised of members from the FDA and the California Department of Health Services. The Final Report is replete with facts damning of all those involved in the growing, harvesting, processing, distribution, and sale of the implicated spinach products. For example, speaking of the NSF processing facility, it states: During the production week from August 14-19, 2006, the NSF South facility had the highest weekly production volume of the month. Between August 13-20, 2006 production email exchanges revealed a string of personnel shortages, including nine absent employees on Sunday, August 13, the date of the weekly extended sanitation shift. Personnel records reveal that a number of absences were due to illness or illness in the family…NSF did not conduct ATP testing on a daily basis as required by the firm’s SOP. No ATP testing was conducted from August 15-25, 2006. One ATP test collected from a scale vibrator failed on August 10, 2006, and no retest was documented. The Final Report also faulted with NSF’s procedures for monitoring the quality of processing-water, its record-keeping, and its inability to demonstrate that harvesting bins were being washed to prevent cross-contamination. As for the Mission Organics growing operation, the findings were even more disturbing. The Final Report found that the land on the ranch where the spinach was grown “was primarily utilized for cattle grazing.” Moreover: Investigators observed evidence of wild pigs in and around the cattle pastures as well as in the row crop growing regions of the ranch….Potential environmental risk factors for E. coli O157:H7 contamination identified during this investigation included the presence of the wild pigs in and around spinach fields and the proximity of irrigation wells used for ready-to-eat produce to surface waterways exposed to feces from cattle and wildlife.

2005 Lettuce E. coli Outbreak – 32 Sick: On September 22, 2005 the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Public Health Laboratory (PHL) received an E. coli O157:H7 isolate for confirmatory testing and Pulse Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) subtyping. PFGE results were reported on September 26 and uploaded to PulseNet, a national database of PFGE patterns or “fingerprints” maintained at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The pattern derived from digestion with the restriction endonuclease Xba I was assigned Pattern number EXHX01.0238. The isolate was soon tested with a second enzyme, Bln I, and the resulting pattern was assigned pattern number EXHA26.1040. Prior to September 19, the Bln I pattern had not been posted on PulseNet. Isolates obtained from culture of stool submitted by two new ill patients were received at the MDH PHL on September 23, 2005 and subtyped. PFGE results showed that the two new isolates and the isolate received on September 22 were indistinguishable by two enzymes. By September 29, 2005 isolates obtained from seven more patients arrived at the MDH PHL for further analysis. Public health investigators recognized that an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak was underway in Minnesota. While laboratory testing was performed, MDH epidemiologists conducted preliminary interviews with patients who were laboratory confirmed with E. coli O157:H7. On the morning of September 28 investigators had identified pre-packaged lettuce produced by Dole Food Company, Inc. as the likely vehicle of transmission for infection with E. coli O157:H7. A supplemental questionnaire focusing on the type and brand of lettuce consumed and where it was purchased, was developed and administered to case-patients previously interviewed and newly identified cases. On September 29 Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) staff collected a bag of Dole lettuce at the home of a case patient and began microbiologic testing for the presence of E. coli O157:H7. On September 30 the MDH issued a press release advising the public that 11 cases of E. coli O157:H7 had been identified in Minnesota residents who had eaten Dole lettuce purchased from at least four different stores in the Twin Cities area.  Persons with symptoms of E. coli were told to contact the MDH and their physician. Dr. Chris Braden at the Foodborne and Diarrheal Disease Branch at the CDC announced that no other states were reporting outbreak associated cases. Meanwhile MDA microbiologists continued to process lettuce specimens obtained from households with cases of confirmed E. coli O157:H7. On Monday, October 3 the agency reported that sample number M-05-2310, Lot Number B250215B received on September 30 had tested positive for E. coli O157:H7. The isolate obtained from the sample was sent to the MDH for PFGE analysis. The resulting pattern was indistinguishable to the pattern identified in case-patients. A second specimen, M-05-2318, lot number unavailable, would also yield positive results. News of the positive lettuce specimen prompted the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue a nationwide health alert regarding Dole pre-packaged salads on October 2.  The FDA announcement reiterated warnings expressed in the MDH press release and further described the Dole products associated with illness, Classic Romaine, American Blend, and Greener Selection. Although cases had only been identified in Minnesota, the product was noted to have been distributed nationwide. It would not be long before cases of E. coli O157:H7 in Wisconsin and Oregon would be recognized. The Wisconsin case was a 12 year old female with E. coli O157:H7 who had a history of eating Dole pre-packaged lettuce. PFGE subtyping showed that her isolate was indistinguishable to the EXHX01.0238 pattern and one band different on the second enzyme pattern. Despite the one band difference, MDH molecular epidemiologists considered the girl to be part of the outbreak concluding that the difference was not enough to preclude the case from being considered outbreak related. The Oregon case was indisputably associated with consumption of Dole pre-packaged salad mix. A 60 year old Portland resident was hospitalized and laboratory confirmed with E. coli O157:H7 on September 21, 2005. The patient had experienced onset of symptoms on September 18, four days after purchasing and consuming Dole brand “Classic Romaine” salad mix. Michael Roberson, representative for Albertsons’, the grocery store of purchase, confirmed that the chain’s Portland area distributing center had received Dole Greener Selection and Dole Classic Romaine. A portion of the salad mix was still in the patient’s refrigerator. A photograph taken of the packaging documents that Ms. Scheetz purchased Dole salad mix with a “Best if Used By” date of 9/23/05, lot number was B250215B. PFGE subtyping showed that the Oregon isolate was indistinguishable by two enzymes to other ill Dole lettuce consumers in Minnesota. Aware of the potential severity of an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak, the FDA and the Food and Drug Branch at the California Department of Health Services initiated an investigation at the Dole processing plant. Preliminary information indicated that 22,321 cases of Dole pre-packaged lettuce with a “Best If Used By” date of 9/23/05 and a production code starting with “B250” were shipped from a single Dole processing facility in central California to 34 states in early September. Investigators estimated that since each case contained between 6 and 12 bags, approximately 244,866 bags of lettuce had made it to market. On October 11, 2005 the MDH counted 23 laboratory confirmed cases of E. coli O157:H7 and seven epidemiologically linked cases. Illness onset dates ranged from September 16 to September 30. Two cases had developed Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS). Oregon and Wisconsin reported one case each. Case control study data show a statistically significant association between illness and consuming Dole pre-packaged lettuce with a matched odds ratio of 6.8, 95% confidence interval, 1.4-31.9, and a p-value of 0.01. The California Department of Health Services continues to conduct a trace back investigation to farms implicated in earlier lettuce outbreaks. A final outbreak report and traceback summary has not been provided.  Eventually, a total of 32 persons from three states would be linked to the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak.

thKathleen A. Glass, Max C. Golden, Brandon J. Wanless, Wendy Bedale, Charles Czuprynski Author Affiliations Food Research Institute, University of Wisconsin—Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA

ABSTRACT

A 2014 multistate listeriosis outbreak was linked to consumption of caramel-coated apples, an unexpected and previously unreported vehicle for Listeria monocytogenes. This outbreak was unanticipated because both the pH of apples (<4.0) and the water activity of the caramel coating (<0.80) are too low to support Listeria growth. In this study, Granny Smith apples were inoculated with approximately 4 log10 CFU of L. monocytogenes (a cocktail of serotype 4b strains associated with the outbreak) on each apple’s skin, stem, and calyx. Half of the apples had sticks inserted into the core, while the remaining apples were left intact. Apples were dipped into hot caramel and stored at either 7°C or 25°C for up to 11 or 28 days, respectively. Data revealed that apples with inserted sticks supported significantly more L. monocytogenes growth than apples without sticks under both storage conditions. Within 3 days at 25°C, L. monocytogenes populations increased >3 log10 in apples with sticks, whereas only a 1-log10 increase was observed even after 1 week for caramel-coated apples without sticks. When stored at 7°C, apples with sticks exhibited an approximately 1.5-log10 increase in L. monocytogenes levels at 28 days, whereas no growth was observed in apples without sticks. We infer that insertion of a stick into the apple accelerates the transfer of juice from the interior of the apple to its surface, creating a microenvironment at the apple-caramel interface where L. monocytogenes can rapidly grow to levels sufficient to cause disease when stored at room temperature.

IMPORTANCE

Neither caramel nor apples are a food where the pathogenic bacterium Listeria monocytogenes should grow, as caramel does not contain enough free water and apples are too acidic. Caramel-coated apples, however, were recently linked to a deadly outbreak of listeriosis. We hypothesized that inserting a stick into the apple releases juice to the interface between the apple and caramel, providing a more hospitable environment than either component alone. To test this hypothesis, apples were inoculated with L. monocytogenes prior to caramel dipping. Some apples had sticks inserted into them before dipping, while others did not. No growth of L. monocytogenes occurred on refrigerated caramel apples without sticks, whereas slow growth was observed on refrigerated caramel apples with sticks. In contrast, significant pathogen growth was observed within 3 days at room temperature on caramel apples with sticks inserted. Food producers should consider interfaces between components within foods as potential niches for pathogen growth.

FOOTNOTES

Citation Glass KA, Golden MC, Wanless B, Bedale W, Czuprynski C. 2015. Growth of Listeria monocytogenes within a caramel-coated apple microenvironment. mBio 6(5):e01232-15. doi:10.1128/mBio.01232-15.

Hanbit Enterprises, Inc. dba Jack and the Beanstalk is recalling Soybean Sprouts in 1lb, 1.5lb, 10 lb, and Natto plastic bags distributed up to and including February 12, 2015 with Best if Used by dates up to February 19, 2015, because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer long-­‐term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeriainfection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

The soybean sprouts were distributed to Bay Area stores and restaurants.

1LB SOYBEAN SPROUT BAR CODE – 7-27580-12366-9
1.5LB SOYBEAN SPROUT BAR CODE – 7-27580-12365-2
10LB SOYBEAN SPROUT BAR CODE – 7-27580-12351-5
NATTO SOYBEAN SPROUT BAR CODE – 7-27580-12367-6

No illnesses that have been reported to date.

The recall was the result of a routine sampling program by the FDA which revealed that the finished products contained the Listeria bacteria. The company has ceased the production and distribution of the product as FDA and the company continues their investigation as to what caused the problem.

Two Deaths confirmed.

The Minnesota Departments of Health and Agriculture are working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on a multi-state outbreak of listeriosis linked to eating caramel apples.

Four people in Minnesota have become ill as part of this outbreak. All were adults ages 59 to 90 years. They became ill in late October and November. All were hospitalized and two died.

Health officials are warning consumers who may have purchased any pre-packaged, commercially-produced caramel apples, including caramel apples with other toppings such as nuts, chocolate, and sprinkles, to not eat them until more information from the investigation becomes available.

Minnesota cases purchased caramel apples from Cub Foods, Kwik Trip, and Mike’s Discount Foods, which carried Carnival brand and Kitchen Cravings brand caramel apples. These two brands are no longer available for purchase at retail locations; however, health officials are concerned that persons who purchased them may still have them in their homes. The investigation is evolving, and other caramel apple brands and locations may also be impacted. Minnesota officials are working with national partners to determine the scope of products impacted. Consumers should not eat any brands of commercially-produced pre-packaged caramel apples until additional information is available. At this time, no illnesses related to this outbreak have been linked to apples that are not caramel-coated and not pre-packaged.

Listeriosis is a serious infection caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. The disease affects primarily older adults, pregnant women, newborns, and persons with weakened immune systems. On average, seven cases of listeriosis are reported in Minnesota each year. Symptoms of listeriosis include fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions. Infected pregnant women may experience only a mild, flu-like illness; however, infections during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage or stillbirth, premature delivery, or infection of the newborn. Symptoms begin from 3 to 70 days after consuming the bacteria.

Anyone who believes they may have become ill with listeriosis should contact their health care provider.