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FDA looking into new outbreak, along with 10 other ongoing investigations


The FDA has 11 open outbreak investigations with a total of more than 1,350 people sickened. A new outbreak of Salmonella Mississippi accounts for 99 of those patients.

The new outbreak, announced Aug. 31, has not yet been posted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Food and Drug Administration has begun traceback efforts to find the as yet unknown source of the pathogen, but the agency has not reported what food or foods are being traced.

As with most of the FDA’s outbreak announcements, it has not revealed the patients’ age range or their states of residence. Neither has the agency reported the dates of illness onset for the patients in the new outbreak.

In an ongoing outbreak of infections caused by E. coli O157:H7 the FDA has initiated sample collection and analysis. The outbreak, reported by the CDC as being linked to lettuce on Wendy’s sandwiches, has sickened at least 84 people, according to the CDC. The four-state outbreak has sickened more people according to the state counts, but all of the reports have not reached the CDC.

Wendy’s has stopped serving the romaine-iceberg lettuce hybrid on sandwiches in several states, according to a statement from the company. The lettuce the restaurant chain uses in other products is not the same as that used on sandwiches. A number of people in the outbreak have required hospitalization and several have developed kidney failure.

In other outbreak news, the FDA has initiated an on-site inspection at Big Olaf Creamery in Florida, which has been deemed to be behind an 11-state outbreak of Listeria infections. The state of Florida closed the business several weeks ago after tests found multiple places of contamination with Listeria monocytogenes in the plant. Testing also showed Listeria in 16 of 17 flavors of the company’s ice cream. At last count the outbreak had sickened 25 patients with one having died. A pregnant woman also miscarried. Twenty-four of the patients have required hospitalization.

Meanwhile, patient counts in several other outbreaks have increased in the past week.

  • For a Salmonella Senftenberg outbreak from a not yet identified food, the case count has increased from 22 to 25 cases.
  • For a Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak from a not yet identified food, the case count has increased from 62 to 73 cases. An on-site inspection and sample collection and analysis has been initiated.
  • For a Cyclospora outbreak the case count has increased from 70 to 75.
  • For a Cyclospora outbreak the case count has increased from 41 to 42.
  • For a Salmonella Braenderup outbreak the case count increased from 74 to 75.

Other ongoing investigations

  • 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 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.

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