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FDA investigating three new outbreaks; other investigations remain active


The FDA is investigating two new outbreaks of infections from Salmonella bacteria. The agency is also investigating an outbreak of E. coli infections announced Tuesday by the CDC.

In an outbreak of infections from Salmonella Senftenberg, the Food and Drug Administration is reporting that there are 19 confirmed patients but has not revealed the patients’ ages or states of residence. The agency has not been able to determine the source of the pathogen and has not begun traceback or sampling activities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not yet posted an outbreak notice on the situation.

In another new outbreak, the FDA reports that 44 people have been infected by Salmonella Typhimurium. The agency has begun traceback efforts in relation to the outbreak but has not reported what food or foods are being traced. The FDA has not reported any specific patient information on either of the Salmonella outbreaks such as patient ages or states of residence. The CDC has not yet posted an outbreak notice on the situation.

In another new outbreak investigation, the FDA reports that 29 people have been infected by E. coli O157:H7. Nine of the patients have been hospitalized. The CDC announced the outbreak yesterday. All of the patients confirmed so far live in Michigan and Ohio, but the CDC cautions that other patients could be identified in other states. The CDC’s numbers show that there are 15 sick people in Michigan and 14 in Ohio. However, Wood County in Ohio is reporting 20 patients. The difference is likely because of the lag time between testing and reporting to federal authorities.

The FDA has begun traceback efforts in the investigation of the E. coli outbreak but has not reported what food or foods are being traced. According to the CDC notice, illnesses in the outbreak have onset dates of July 26 through Aug. 6. Patients range in age from 6 to 91 years old.

In another active outbreak investigation, the number of confirmed patients infected by the Cyclospora parasite has jumped from 77 to 98 since the most recent report a week ago. The FDA has begun traceback and sampling efforts, but the agency has not reported what food or foods are being traced and tested.

The FDA reports that two investigations into outbreaks have ended. The first was an outbreak of Salmonella Braenderup infections from in an unidentified product. There were 74 confirmed patients. The agency initiated traceback efforts but did not report what food or foods were being tracked. The FDA also did not report the ages of states of residence for the victims.

The second investigation to be closed in the past week involved hepatitis A infections traced to imported strawberries. The agency reports that 18 people from three states were sickened in the outbreak. Thirteen of the patients required hospitalization. No deaths were reported. The implicated strawberries were imported from Mexico and sold under the HEB and FreshKampo. There were also illnesses reported in Canada. 

Other ongoing outbreak investigations as of Aug. 17

  • An investigation related to adverse effects associated with Daily Harvest brand frozen Leeks & Lentils Crumbles. The company has received more than 470 complaints of illnesses and as of its last report on July 29 the FDA had received 329 complaints. Some of the patients have gone into liver failure and at least 25 have had to have their gallbladders removed. The FDA is working on traceback efforts and has begun on-site inspection and product testing. Some testing has revealed that tara flour is an ingredient unique to the Daily Harvest crumbles product and could be related to the illnesses.
  • An outbreak of “adverse events” involving 558 patients who ate Lucky Charms cereal. The investigation is ongoing and the FDA is conducting on-site inspections and testing.
  • An outbreak of infections from Listeria monocytogenes traced to Big Olaf ice cream produced in Florida. A total of 25 confirmed patients have been reported with one death and one fetal loss. The patients are spread across 11 states and many of the sick people reported travel to Florida before becoming ill. Testing has shown Listeria in the manufacturing plant and in 16 of 17 flavors of Big Olaf ice cream. The company has been closed down by the state until further notice.
  • An outbreak of infections from Cronobacter in four infants, one of whom died. The outbreak has been determined to be over by the CDC, but is it still under investigation. The babies consumed infant formula made by Abbott Nutrition’s plant in Sturgis, MI.
Click table to enlarge. This table shows only the most recent outbreak investigations. To view the FDA page with the entire table and links to specific outbreak information, use the link below.

Click here to go to the FDA page with links to specific outbreak details. The investigations are in a variety of stages. Some outbreaks have limited information with active investigations ongoing, others may be near completion.

public health advisory will be issued for investigations that have resulted in specific, actionable steps for consumers to take to protect themselves, according to the FDA. Please direct your attention to those pages for the most up-to-date information on the investigation and for consumer protection information.

Outbreak and adverse event investigations that do not result in specific, actionable steps for consumers may or may not conclusively identify a source or reveal any contributing factors. Adverse event investigations rely on self-reported data. Although these reports may name a particular product, FDA will only indicate a product category in the table and will not publicly name a specific product until there is sufficient evidence to implicate that product as a cause of illnesses or adverse events. If a cause and/or contributing factors are identified that could inform future prevention, FDA commits to providing a summary of those findings.

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