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NEWS
October 19, 2011 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has identified why whole cantaloupes sold by Colorado grower Jensen Farms became contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes : "poor sanitary" practices in a packing facility. The FDA said it conducted an environmental assessment at Jensen Farms on Sept. 22-23, and inspectors found that bacteria may have originated in cantaloupe fields or on a truck parked near the packing facility. The bacteria then probably proliferated in the packing facility, where pooled water near equipment and walkways and might have promoted growth, the agency said.
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NEWS
September 28, 2011 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times / for the Booster Shots blog
As the death toll from a multistate Listeria outbreak linked to contaminated cantaloupes rose to 13 this week, making it the deadliest in a decade, Food and Drug Administration officials have said the number of cases may rise in coming weeks. "We are seeing more illnesses -- that's the nature of listeriosis," FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg said in a briefing Wednesday. "And we will see more cases ... likely through October. " Four strains of Listeria monocytogenes have infected a total of 72 people in 18 states, according to figures released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
BUSINESS
September 15, 2010 | Bloomberg News
People from six states sued two Iowa egg farms, accusing them of failing to prevent an outbreak of salmonella poisoning. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta has said that as many as 1,519 diagnosed cases reported since May 1 may be linked to eggs from the Wright County Egg farm in Galt and Hillandale Farms of Iowa in New Hampton. "Self-policing doesn't work," Kenneth Moll, a lawyer for the consumers, said Wednesday at a news conference announcing the lawsuit's filing in federal court in Chicago.
BUSINESS
October 16, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
An outbreak of E. coli cases linked to a North Carolina fair is raising questions about the safety of petting zoos and animal exhibits. So far, Cleveland County Health Director Dorothea Wyant said 38 cases, including the death of a 2-year-old boy, have been linked to the Cleveland County Fair. Of the 16 adults and 22 children involved, eight were hospitalized. Many had stopped by to see the sheep, goats and pigs used for livestock competitions and in the "huge" petting zoo, Wyant said.
NEWS
May 9, 2012 | By Thomas H. Maugh II / For the Booster Shots blog
A reusable grocery bag left in a hotel bathroom caused an outbreak of norovirus-induced diarrhea and nausea that struck nine of 13 members of a girls' soccer team in October, Oregon researchers reported Wednesday. The outbreak also affected many family members after the team returned home. Norovirus is a common, easily spread virus that causes various forms of gastric distress. It is "the perfect human pathogen" because it is highly contagious, rapidly and prolifically spread, produces limited immunity and is only moderately virulent, which allows it to continue spreading, said Dr. Aron J. Hall of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in an editorial accompanying the report in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.
NATIONAL
October 9, 2013 | By Michael Muskal
The federal government's partial shutdown has led to a partial return of furloughed workers, including some workers needed to investigate an outbreak of salmonella in chicken. One of the ironies of the shutdown is how the politics have been presented. In their drive to end it, lawmakers and others highlight the important work that has been put on hold in the political dispute, especially the loss of key services to families of veterans, consumers and workers whose lives are made better by government inspections.
NEWS
April 4, 2013 | By Monte Morin
Following an outbreak of E. coli cases in 15 states, Rich Products has expanded its recall to include all food products made at its Waycross, Ga., plant, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The Buffalo, N.Y., company recalled almost 200,000 pounds of frozen chicken quesadillas and other frozen meals on March 28 after local health officials linked the outbreak to a package of quesadillas. "Testing conducted by the New York State Department of Health, Wadsworth Center Laboratory, identified the outbreak strain of STEC O121 in an open package of Farm Rich brand frozen quesadillas from an ill person's home," said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . The expanded recall includes all products produced at the Waycross plant with "Best by" dates that range from Jan. 1, 2013, to Sept.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 28, 2012 | By Rebecca Trounson, Los Angeles Times
California public health officials say an outbreak of salmonella that has sickened 73 people in the state appears to be linked to tainted mangoes. The California Department of Public Health said Tuesday that the source of the tainted fruit and any affected brands have not yet been identified. But the salmonella cases in California do involve the same bacterial strain as in a recent outbreak in Canada, department spokesman Matt Conens said. In those cases, Canadian authorities have warned people not to eat Daniella brand mangoes, which are grown in Mexico.
BUSINESS
January 5, 2012 | By Diana Marcum, Los Angeles Times
A tragedy 1,300 miles away changed a way of life in this Central California farm town that proudly calls itself the Cantaloupe Center of the World. This would normally be the season when farmers plan the summer crop that in good years is valued at nearly $200 million, according to the California Cantaloupe Advisory Board. Instead, they are cutting acreage devoted to the fruit and scrambling for ways to reassure a nervous public that cantaloupes are safe to eat. In the fall, the deadliest food-borne illness outbreak in the United States since 1924 was traced to listeria-tainted cantaloupe in Colorado.
NEWS
November 21, 2012 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
To date, 10 people have fallen ill - and three have died - in the hantavirus outbreak at Yosemite National Park's “signature” cabins in Curry Village, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hantavirus only infects a handful of people in the U.S. each year, but when it strikes it is deadly about a third of the time, killing by shutting down the respiratory system.  Humans can catch the virus by getting bitten by infected deer mice, which carry the disease, or by inhaling virus particles that are shed in mouse feces or urine.  Hantavirus cannot pass from person to person.
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