FDA Advises Consumers Not to Eat Yellowfin Tuna Steaks from Kroger Retail Stores in Multiple States

September 7, 2019 – FDA Advises Consumers Not to Eat Yellowfin Tuna Steaks from Kroger Retail Stores in Multiple States

  • Consumers who recently experienced symptoms of scombroid poisoning after eating yellowfin tuna steaks.
  • Consumers who purchased yellowfin tuna steaks from Kroger retail stores in AL, AR, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MI, MO, MS, NE, OH, SC, TN, VA and WV with sell by dates from August 29, 2019 to September 14, 2019.

Product

  • Yellowfin tuna steaks sold at Kroger retail stores in AL, AR, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MI, MO, MS, NE, OH, SC, TN, VA and WV with sell by dates from August 29, 2019 and September 14, 2019. The product may be sold as raw yellowfin tuna steaks at the seafood counter or seasoned in store-prepped Styrofoam trays.

Purpose

The FDA is advising consumers to not eat yellowfin tuna steaks from the seafood counter or seasoned yellowfin tuna steaks in store-prepped Styrofoam trays from Kroger retail stores in AL, AR, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MI, MO, MS, NE, OH, SC, TN, VA and WV with sell by dates from August 29, 2019 and September 14, 2019 because they may cause scombroid poisoning. Consumers of these products who are experiencing symptoms of scombroid poisoning should contact their healthcare provider. Consumers of these products who have recently experienced symptoms of scombroid poisoning should report their symptoms to their local Health Department.

Symptoms of Scombroid Poisoning

Scombroid poisoning is caused by eating fish that has not been properly refrigerated or preserved and therefore contains high levels of histamine. Scombroid poisoning is most commonly caused by fish that have naturally high levels of the amino acid histidine, which bacteria convert to histamine when the fish is not correctly stored.

Scombroid symptoms usually develop within a few minutes to an hour after eating contaminated fish. They usually resemble an allergic reaction, such as flushing of the face, headache, heart palpitations, itching, blurred vision, cramps, and diarrhea. Symptoms can be treated with antihistamines. Even without treatment, people usually get better within 12 hours.

If you suspect you have symptoms of scombroid poisoning, contact a health professional. Read the full advisory at: https://www.fda.gov/food/alerts-advisories-safety-information/fda-advises-consumers-not-eat-yellowfin-tuna-steaks-kroger-retail-stores-multiple-states 

Cyclosporiasis

Cyclosporiasis is an infection of the intestine caused by a parasite called Cyclospora (SIGH-clo-SPORE-uh). The first known human cases of cyclosporiasis were reported in 1979. Cyclosporiasis is not spread directly from person-to-person. Infected people pass Cyclospora in their feces (stool), but this form of the parasite cannot make people sick. The parasite needs time (days to weeks) in the environment to change into a form that can make people sick. This form of the parasite then can infect someone by entering the body through the mouth, typically by eating or drinking something that is contaminated with Cyclospora.

Outbreaks of cyclosporiasis in the United States have been linked to imported fresh produce, such as raspberries, basil, lettuce, and snow peas. The produce involved in each outbreak was probably contaminated in the country where it was grown. Nationally, there has been an increase in Cyclosporiasis in 2019, with state health departments throughout the country investigating numerous outbreaks. The Virginia Department of Health is currently investigating an increase in intestinal illness associated with Cyclopora. A common source for the increased illnesses is currently being investigated.  Local health districts are evaluating potential exposures by interviewing ill persons and collecting samples for testing at its public health laboratory. Anyone experiencing symptoms of Cyclosporiasis should visit their healthcare provider. They can test for Cyclospora and prescribe the correct treatment.  Physicians should report cases to the health department as indicated in Virginia’s Reportable Disease List.

For more information about cyclosporiasis, and reporting and surveillance of Cyclosporiasis Cases in Virginia, please visit: http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/surveillance-and-investigation/cyclosporiasis/.

Pita Pal Foods, LP Recalls Various Hummus and Dips Due to Possible Health Risk

July 16, 2019 – Pita Pal Foods, LP of Houston, TX has issued a voluntary recall of certain hummus products made between May 30, 2019 and June 25, 2019, due to concerns over Listeria monocytogenes, which was identified at the manufacturing facility (not in finished product) during an FDA inspection.

Listeria monocytogenes is an organism that 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. No illnesses have been reported to date for these products. The company is issuing this recall out of an abundance of caution.

The products have been distributed nationwide and to United Arab Emirates. Consumers who have purchased products listed below with these use by dates are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 832-803-9295 or email products@pitapal.com.

For a full list of impacted products, click here.

 

CDC: Outbreaks of Salmonella Infections Linked to Backyard Poultry

June 13, 2019 – CDC and public health officials in several states are investigating multiple multistate outbreaks of Salmonella infections linked to contact with backyard poultry. Click here to read full investigation notice.

Latest Outbreak Information
  • Since the last update on May 16, 2019, illnesses in an additional 227 people and 20 states have been added to this investigation. Four Salmonella serotypes have also been added.
  • A total of 279 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella have been reported from 41 states.
    • 40 (26%) people have been hospitalized and no deaths have been reported.
    • 70 (30%) people are children younger than 5 years.
  • Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicate that contact with backyard poultry, such as chicks and ducklings, from multiple hatcheries is the likely source of these outbreaks.
    • In interviews, 118 (77%) of 153 ill people reported contact with chicks or ducklings.
    • People reported obtaining chicks and ducklings from several sources, including agricultural stores, websites, and hatcheries.
  • One of the outbreak strains making people sick has been identified in samples collected from backyard poultry in Ohio.

 

Hepatitis A virus (HAV) contamination of frozen blackberries under the Kroger grocery store “Private Selection” brand

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is alerting consumers to a hepatitis A virus (HAV) contamination of frozen blackberries under the Kroger grocery store “Private Selection” brand. This contamination was discovered by the FDA as a part of an ongoing frozen berry sampling assignment. The FDA is advising consumers not to eat and to throw away frozen fruit purchased from Kroger and other retail locations packaged under Kroger’s “Private Selection” brand. Here are the recalled products:

  • PRIVATE SELECTION FROZEN TRIPLE BERRY MEDLEY, 48 OZ (BEST BY: 07-07-20; UPC: 0001111079120);
  • PRIVATE SELECTION FROZEN TRIPLE BERRY MEDLEY, 16 OZ (BEST BY: 06-19-20; UPC: 0001111087808);
  • PRIVATE SELECTION FROZEN BLACKBERRIES, 16 OZ (BEST BY: 06-19-20, 07-02-20; UPC: 0001111087809)

These products are available at Kroger retail locations and have a two-year shelf life. The FDA is working with the manufacturer on this matter. This posting will be updated with new information as it becomes available. The FDA is continuing to investigate to determine whether there are other implicated products.

At this time, the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are not aware of any cases of hepatitis A linked to the consumption of Kroger Private Selection brand frozen blackberries. Hepatitis A virus (HAV) can result in a liver infection that may be inapparent. However, when symptoms occur, they can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months. The HAV is found in the stool and blood of people who are infected. The HAV is spread when someone ingests the virus, usually through person-to-person contact or from eating contaminated food or drink. Contamination of food with the hepatitis A virus can happen at any point: growing, harvesting, processing, handling, and even after cooking.

Hepatitis A can have a long incubation period and can have serious health consequences for some people, especially those who are immune-compromised. People infected with HAV may not have symptoms until 15 to 50 days after exposure, which often makes it difficult to determine the exact exposure that led to illness. Symptoms may include fever, headache, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, yellowing of the skin or eyes (known as jaundice), dark urine, and pale stool. Young children may not show symptoms of HAV infection.

The FDA recommends that consumers who consumed the frozen blackberries with the BEST BY 07-02-20T6DC PRODUCT OF USA 136216 and have not been vaccinated for HAV consult with their healthcare professional to determine whether post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is indicated. PEP may be recommended for unvaccinated people who have been exposed to HAV in the last two weeks; those with evidence of previous hepatitis A vaccination or previous hepatitis A infection do not require PEP.

Contact your healthcare provider if you think you may have become ill from eating frozen blackberries, or if you believe that you have eaten any of the frozen blackberry products noted above within the last two weeks.

The FDA encourages consumers with questions about food safety to call 1-888-SAFEFOOD Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern time, or to consult http://www.fda.gov.

Virginia Department of Health Warns Residents of Increase in Hepatitis A Cases

Prevention includes Vaccination and Hand Washing

Richmond, Va. – Multiple states across the country are experiencing hepatitis A virus (HAV) outbreaks. Since these outbreaks were first identified in 2016, more than 15,000 cases and 8,500 hospitalizations (57% of cases) have been reported in the United States. Virginia has reported a 132% increase in cases of HAV between January 1, 2019 and April 19, 2019 compared to the same time period in 2018. There have been 45 cases reported in Virginia as of April 22, 2019. more>>

K2D Foods Recalls Raw Ground Beef Products Due to Possible E. coli O103 Contamination

WASHINGTON, April 23, 2019 – K2D Foods, doing business as (DBA) Colorado Premium Foods, a Carrolton, Ga. establishment, is recalling approximately 113,424 pounds of raw ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O103, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced April 23. Read full news release.

The raw ground beef items were produced on March 26, March 29, April 2, April 5, April 10, and April 12, 2019.  The following products are subject to recall: [View Labels (PDF only)]

  • Two 24-lb. vacuum-packed packages in cardboard boxes containing raw “GROUND BEEF PUCK” with “Use Thru” dates of 4/14/19, 4/17/19, 4/20/19, 4/23/19, 4/28/19, and 4/30/19.

The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. 51308” inside the USDA mark of inspection on the boxes. These items were shipped to distributors in Ft. Orange, Fla. and Norcross, Ga. for further distribution to restaurants.

FSIS and its public health partners, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Tennessee Department of Health, have been investigating an outbreak of E. coli O103. Unopened, intact ground beef collected as part of the ongoing investigation from a restaurant location, where multiple case-patients reported dining, tested positive for E. coli O103. At this time, there is no definitive link between this positive product and the ongoing E. coli O103 outbreak. Further traceback and product analysis continues to determine if the recalled products are related to the E. coli O103 outbreak.

Most people infected with STEC O103 develop diarrhea (often bloody) and vomiting. Some illnesses last longer and can be more severe. Infection is usually diagnosed by testing of a stool sample. Vigorous rehydration and other supportive care is the usual treatment; antibiotic treatment is generally not recommended. Most people recover within a week, but, rarely, some develop a more severe infection. Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure, is uncommon with STEC O103 infection. HUS can occur in people of any age but is most common in children under 5 years old, older adults and persons with weakened immune systems. It is marked by easy bruising, pallor and decreased urine output. Persons who experience these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately.

Consumers with questions regarding the recall can contact Ashley Barnes, Customer Service Director, Colorado Premium Foods, at (970) 313-4400.  Media with questions can contact Bernie Ruesgen, Vice President, Colorado Premium Foods, at (970) 313-4400.

Consumers with food safety questions can “Ask Karen,” the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov or via smartphone at m.askkaren.gov. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day. The online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/reportproblem.

CDC and several states are investigating a multistate outbreak of Listeria infections linked to deli-sliced meats and cheeses

April 17, 2019 at 4:30 PM ET – CDC and several states are investigating a multistate outbreak of Listeria infections linked to deli-sliced meats and cheeses. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are monitoring the outbreak. Read CDC Investigation Notice in full.

Latest Outbreak Information:

  • A total of 8 people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported from 4 states.
    • All 8 people have been hospitalized, and one death has been reported from Michigan.
  • Epidemiologic and laboratory evidenceindicates that meats and cheeses sliced at deli counters might be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes and could make people sick.
  • In interviews, ill people report eating different types and brands of products, including meats and cheeses, purchased from and sliced at deli counters in many different retail locations.
  • The outbreak strain has been identified in samples taken from meat sliced at a deli and from deli counters in multiple stores.
  • A single, common supplier of deli products has not been identified.
  • CDC is not advising that consumers avoid eating products prepared at delis, or that retailers stop selling deli-sliced products.
  • Retailers should clean and sanitize deli slicers frequently and other areas where deli products are prepared, stored, or served to avoid cross contamination.
  • This outbreak is a reminder that people at higher risk for severe Listeria infection should handle deli-sliced meats and cheeses carefully to prevent illness. Pregnant women and their newborns, adults age 65 and older, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to get sick with listeriosis.

Measles Cases in the US

As you may know, there have been multiple outbreaks of measles in the U.S. So far this year there have been 465 cases in 19 states. This is the second-greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since measles was eliminated in 2000.  The majority of measles cases are in New York City and New York state, which are primarily among unvaccinated people in Orthodox Jewish communities and associated with travelers who brought measles back from Israel. Read More