Tuesday 19 July 2022

FDA Continues Investigation Into Food-Borne Illness Outbreaks Caused by 9 Different Pathogens Across US


Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is continuing its investigation into various disease outbreaks linked to food as the number of people getting sick has been gradually rising.

There have been a total of 15 investigations into food-borne illnesses conducted by the FDA this year. Out of those 15, four have already ended and nine are ongoing.

In five of the nine outbreaks that are still active, the pathogen sources responsible have not yet been identified by the FDA.

More from Food and Safety News:

One outbreak of infections from E. coli O157:H7 has been declared over with 10 patients identified. The investigation status remains “open” according to the agency. Traceback has been initiated in relation to the outbreak but the FDA has not reported what food or foods are involved.

Three other outbreaks from as yet unidentified sources have seen patient counts go up in the past week.

  • The count for an outbreak of Salmonella Braenderup in a not yet identified product has increased from 40 to 42.
  • The count for an outbreak of Salmonella Paratyphi B var. L(+) tartrate+ in a not yet identified product has increased from 13 to 14.
  • The count for an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes in a not yet identified product has increased from 21 to 22.

An investigation of a hepatitis A outbreak linked to fresh strawberries continues in the United States and Canada. In the U.S. 18 confirmed patients have been identified with 13 of them having been hospitalized.

An investigation of Salmonella infections linked to Jif peanut butter continues with the patient count standing at 16 with two hospitalizations.

Below are foodborne illness outbreaks investigated by the FDA:

The FDA stated, “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.”

You can read the FDA summary here.

This year, there have already been over 130 food and beverage products recalled by the FDA. Of those 130 products, 31 were terminated due to listeria contamination, salmonella, lead content, undeclared products, etc.

Daily Harvest initiated a voluntary recall of its “French Lentil & Leek Crumbles” frozen product, the FDA said, as lawsuits are filed against the company.

Daily Harvest said it still can’t determine what is causing people to become ill with “gastrointestinal illness and abnormal liver function.”

“Daily Harvest said that so far, testing has ruled out common food-borne pathogens, major allergens, pesticide, Hepatitis A, norovirus, and a range of mycotoxins, including aflatoxins. Aflatoxins are a type of toxin produced by fungus that can grow on grains and seeds.” NBC reported.

Also, TGP reported earlier this month that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) raised the alarm over a mysterious listeria outbreak that has sickened dozens of people across the country. Florida-based Big Olaf Creamery ice cream was recalled due to the listeria outbreak in 10 states.

The outbreak spread to ten states: Florida, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

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