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Multistate Outbreak – Salmonella Chicken Lawsuit Likely

It is not surprising to hear Salmonella illness related to chicken.  It is just about common knowledge that there is a risk of Salmonella infection when chicken is improperly handled or cooked.  What should not be common, though, is Salmonella outbreaks.  Especially Salmonella outbreaks of drug-resistant strains. But yet again, here we are.  A Salmonella outbreak often occurs when the food product is grossly contaminated, making it more likely for those handling or consuming it to become ill.  Information about this latest outbreak of Salmonella Infantis are being uncovered as the investigation trucks on and the likelihood of a Salmonella chicken lawsuit or lawsuits.

In the meantime, here is what you need to know.

What You Need to Know About the Outbreak

As of October 17, 2018, 92 people across 29 states have been linked to this outbreak with Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts being the hardest hit.  Currently there have been 11 reported cases in Pennsylvania. 10 in New York. 9 in New Jersey and Massachusetts.  Ohio has 7 reported cases.  Illinois has seen 5.  North Carolina with, Michigan, Minnesota, and Missouri have 3.  Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Rhode Island, Texan, Virginia, and Washington have 2 cases each.  The states of Alabama, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Nebraska, South Carolina, and Tennessee have 1 reported case.

These reported cases are only as accurate as the currently released data and many other cases may not be documented due to the infected individual being healthy enough to recover without medical treatment.  Those cases, unfortunately, are often unreported.  So far people have been hospitalized with Salmonella Infantis linked to this outbreak.  No deaths have been reported so far.

Two big issues are at play here.  No source has been narrowed, and multiple antibiotic resistance makes this illness more difficult to treat.

The CDC did, however, provide a link to a previous pet food investigation from earlier in the year. There may be a possible link between this outbreak (1 person was confirmed sick from exposure to raw pet food) and this earlier investigation. According to the FDA’s website, there was an investigation and a warning letter concerning raw pet foods made by Arrow Reliance Inc., including Darwin’s Natural Pet Products and ZooLogics Pet Food in early 2018. Among the laundry list of found contaminants, Salmonella was found in:

  • Natural Selections Chicken with Organic Vegetables Meals for Dogs, due to Salmonella
    Lot #43887, manufacture date 1/30/18, in 2 lb. flexible film packages, recalled on 3/26/2018
  • ZooLogics Chicken with Vegetables Meals for Dogs, due to Salmonella
    Lot #4403743887, manufacture date 2/7/18, in 2 lb. flexible film packages, recalled on 3/26/2018
  • Natural Selections Duck with Organic Vegetables Meals for Dogs, due to Salmonella
    Lot #44147, manufacture date 2/5/18, in 2 lb. flexible film packages, recalled on 3/26/2018
  • ZooLogics Duck with Vegetable Meals for Dogs, due to Salmonella
    Lot #41957, manufacture date 11/16/17, in 2 lb. flexible film packages, recalled on 2/10/18
  • ZooLogics Chicken with Vegetable Meals for Dogs, due to Salmonella
    Lot #41567, manufacture date 11/2/17, in 2 lb. flexible film packages, recalled on 2/10/18
  • Natural Selections Duck with Organic Vegetables Meals for dogs, due to Salmonella
    Lot #40487, manufacture date 9/29/17, in 2 lb. flexible film packages, recalled on 12/04/17
  • Natural Selections Chicken with Organic Vegetables Meals for Dogs, due to Salmonella and Listeria Monocytogenes
    Lot #40727, manufacture date 9/26/17, in 2 lb. flexible film packages, recalled on 12/04/17
  • Natural Selections Turkey with Organic Vegetables Meals for Dogs, due to Salmonella
    Lot #39937, manufacture date 8/24/17 and Lot #40507, manufacture date 9/20/17, in 2 lb. flexible film packages, recalled on 12/04/17
  • Natural Selections Duck Meals for Cats, due to potential contamination with Salmonella
    Lot #38277, manufacture date 6/1/17, in 2 lb. flexible film packages, recalled on 09/08/17

What You Need to Know About the Investigation

At this time, evidence is not linking the outbreak strain to a single source.  Current epidemiologic and laboratory evidence (patient interviews and tested samples) indicate that many types of raw chicken products from several different sources are contaminated with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Infantis.

According to patient interviews, different types of chicken products under different brands were consumed prior to becoming ill.  The outbreak strain has been linked to food samples taken from raw chicken products, raw chicken pet food, and even live chickens.

The investigation has uncovered antibiotic resistance to several antibiotics.  Laboratory testing indicated to resistance to antibiotics: ampicillin, ceftriaxone, chloramphenicol, ciprofloxacin, fosfomycin, gentamicin, hygromycin, kanamycin, nalidixic acid, streptomycin, sulfamethoxazole, tetracylcin, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued advice to clinicians on which treatment to pursue, though the process to link a patient to the outbreak may present a lag in correct administration of treatment.

As a preventative measure, the CDC and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Food Safety Investigative Service (FSIS) – the governing body for food inspection in chicken production has shared investigation information throughout the chicken industry and asked about steps that each facility could take to reduce Salmonella contamination.

What You Need to Know About How the Outbreak is Investigated

When a patient becomes ill with what seems to be a potentially foodborne illness, their doctor will request a test to screen for the potential culprit.  Depending on the results of that test, the data from the patient sample will be uploaded into PulseNet – a “national subtyping network of public health and food regulatory agency laboratories coordinated by the CDC.”   A type of testing known as DNA fingerprinting is obtained on the sample to determine the specific genetic information of the strain infecting the patient.  With this specific information, data can be compared to other patients and food samples to link cases to other patients and potential sources of infection.  When samples are closely genetically related, they are most likely from a common source.

Patient interviews help narrow down the source to give investigators a place to start.  In this outbreak, 89% of those interviewed reported preparing and/or eating chicken products purchased raw.  Chicken products included ground chicken, chicken pieces, and whole chicken.  They were asked what brands they purchased and where they got them from.  In this outbreak, interviewed patients indicated many different brands from multiple stores.  Patient interviews can uncover other clues to help investigators narrow down the source.  “One person got sick after pets in their home ate raw ground chicken pet food.”  Recently the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a recall on raw pet food.    Another interviewed patient lives in the same home as a person who works in a facility that raises or processes chickens.

Armed with patient interview information, FSIS and FDA investigators looked for potential sources.  Samples were obtained from slaughter and processing establishments as part of FSIS’s routine testing procedures under the current Salmonella performance standards.  Samples from 58 facilities tested positive for genetically similar strains to the Salmonella Infantis strain identified in outbreak patient samples.  “This result provides evidence that people in this outbreak got sick from handling or eating raw or undercooked chicken.”

The outbreak strain of Salmonella Infantis has been identified in samples from raw chicken pet food, from raw chicken products from 58 slaughter and/or processing establishments, and from live chickens.  Samples collected at slaughter and processing establishments were collected as part of FSIS’s routine testing under the Salmonella performance standards. Furthermore, WGS showed that the Salmonella from these samples is closely related genetically to the Salmonella from ill people.  This result provides more evidence that people in this outbreak got sick from handling or eating raw or undercooked chicken.

What You Need to Know to Protect Your Family

All chicken products should be considered contaminated.  Expect that germs are present and take precautions as needed to keep you family safe.  You can do this by cleaning hands, cooking tools, and surfaces.  Proper handwashing should be with warm, soapy water for 20 seconds – consider singing the “Happy Birthday” song twice to be sure you wash long enough.  You can use a diluted bleach solution – one tablespoon unscented, liquid chlorine bleach in one gallon of water – to sanitize food contact surfaces.  Fresh bleach solution should be prepared each time.

Separating raw and ready-to-eat food items is also essential to prevent the spread of germs.  From the grocery cart, to the shopping bag, to the refrigerator, to the prep counter – keep raw foods away from other foods.  Consider using separate cutting boards and plates for raw meats and potentially contaminated foods than ones used for produce and cooked foods.  NEVER place cooked food on a plate that you had raw meat or potentially contaminated foods on.

Cooking to an appropriate internal temperature is another way to protect your family.  Chicken should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 ⁰F.  Don’t estimate or go by “color.”  Use a food thermometer in the thickest part of the meat to get an accurate temperature.

Store food responsibly.  The refrigerator should be at least 40 ⁰F.  All foods should be stored in the refrigerator within 2 hours to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.  This drops to 1 hour if the temperature creeps above 90 ⁰F.

Our Salmonella Lawyer is Here to Help You

If you believe you have developed a Salmonella infection, we want you to know that a Salmonella Lawyer at the Lange Law Firm, PLLC is currently investigating this matter and offering free legal consultations. Our lawyer, Jory Lange became a lawyer to help make our communities and families safer.

If you or a loved one have become ill with Salmonella after eating or handling raw chicken products, you can call 833.330.3663 for a free consultation or complete the form here.

By: Heather Van Tassell, Contributing Writer (Non-Lawyer)

October 19, 2018
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NJ, NY, and PA Hit Hard by Salmonella Raw Chicken Outbreak

A devastating outbreak of Salmonella is currently spreading quickly throughout the United States. This multistate outbreak is made even more deadly given that the Salmonella Infantis is multidrug-resistant. Investigators from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) are linking the outbreak to raw chicken products from a variety of sources with no single common supplier being identified. 92 people have been affected from 29 states. Further, there have been 21 hospitalizations. Stakeholders are currently trying to get the situation under control with U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) monitoring the outbreak. Unfortunately for food safety observers, this is yet another yet another poultry-related outbreak to add to the long list of cases in recent history. Here is everything you need to know about this latest Salmonella Raw Chicken Outbreak.

What We Know

First, a clarification of what is known by the authorities must be given. Illnesses started from January 19, 2018, to September 9, 2018. CDC has been extremely thorough in their investigation to date with a comprehensive PulseNet system being used to monitor the illnesses attributed to the outbreak. There is a phenomenal range of people affected with ill people ranging in age from less than one year to 105, with a median age of 36. Additionality,  sixty-nine percent of ill people are female thus showing the gender bias for victims. This information illustrates to food safety professionals just how encompassing this Salmonella outbreak is for consumers and the subsequent dangers to health. Investigations have shown the strain in samples from a variety of raw chicken products including pet food, chicken pieces, ground pieces and whole chickens. The bacteria have also been found in live chickens.

Interviews are an indispensable tool for investigators to coherently analyze the perilous situation. Ill people were posed questions focusing on the weeks before they came ill, especially about the foods they ate and other exposures. Of 54 people interviewed, 48 (89 percent) reported preparing or eating chicken products that were purchased raw, including whole chicken, chicken pieces and ground chicken. Results conclusively prove that this outbreak caused people to get sick from handling or eating raw or undercooked chicken as ill people reported purchasing various different brands of raw chicken products from many stores. The patients live in California, Washington, Texas, Nebraska, Missouri, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Maine.

Photo courtesy of CDC

Rosa DeLauro (D., Ct.) believes that; “The overuse of antibiotics in the livestock sector only makes this problem worse, and it is long past time we deal with the problem head-on, instead of going through the same issues over and over again. The federal government and the poultry industry need to take this problem seriously. Déjà vu (after a similar incident of antibiotic-resistant strain of salmonella that contaminated chicken five years ago which resulted in 634 illnesses across 29 state) is not an acceptable policy for dealing with food safety. We need to be proactive. People’s lives are on the line”.

The Outbreak Investigation

Investigators have identified the outbreak strain of Salmonella Infantis through sampling raw chicken pet food, from raw chicken products from 58 slaughter and/or processing establishments, and from live chickens. These samples were collected at slaughter and processing establishments to assist FSIS’ routine testing under the Salmonella performance standards. Furthermore, Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) showed that the Salmonella from these samples is closely related genetically to the Salmonella from ill people. The CDC in their investigation notice state that; “a single, common supplier of raw chicken products or of live chickens has not been identified. The outbreak strain of Salmonella Infantis is present in live chickens and in many types of raw chicken products, indicating it might be widespread in the chicken industry. CDC and USDA-FSIS have shared this information with representatives from the chicken industry and asked about steps that they may be taking to reduce salmonella contamination.”

This outbreak of Salmonella is alarming stakeholders given that it is multidrug resistant, especially the following antibiotics (the main drug used to treat the disease): ampicillin, ceftriaxone, chloramphenicol, ciprofloxacin, fosfomycin, gentamicin, hygromycin, kanamycin, nalidixic acid, streptomycin, sulfamethoxazole, tetracycline, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. These results of predicted resistance came from WGS analysis of isolates from 43 ill people and 68 food or environmental samples. Moving forward, CDC and USDA-FSIS are sharing information about the investigation with representatives from the chicken industry seeking to establish precautionary measures to reduce Salmonella contamination.

Salmonella – A Household Name?

Salmonella is becoming an all too familiar illness in the U.S. Common symptoms usually occur 12 to 72 hours after being exposed with infections including diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps. Children under the age of 5, adults over 65 years old and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to suffer severe Salmonella upon infection. The illness usually lasts between four and seven days with most healthy people recovering without ever needing treatment. with antibiotics. Cases that cause concern include severe diarrhea and a spread from the intestines to the bloodstream. However, there are reported cases of death unless victims are not treated promptly.

There are several easy, vital safety procedures that must be adopted to prevent Salmonella infection. Most importantly, it is paramount that the handling of raw chicken is done carefully given that raw chicken has harmful germs that can infect food preparation areas. Hands should always be washed thoroughly, especially before and after preparing or eating food, touching animals, or using the toilet.

Raw chicken should not contaminate the food preparation areas as germs can spread to other foods and surface. A separate cutting board for raw chicken and vegetables will efficiently manage germs and protect diners. It is a good idea to not wash chicken before preparing it. Another fundamental step to avoid Salmonella infection is thoroughly cooking raw chicken to kill harmful germs. Purchasing a food thermometer to effectively measure temperatures is a proactive way of ensuring food safety. Chicken breasts, whole chickens and ground poultry should always be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F.

 By: Billy Rayfield, Contributing Writer (Non-Lawyer)

October 18, 2018
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Multistate Raw Chicken Salmonella Outbreak

Raw chicken Salmonella. They can’t seem to get away from each other. The CDC and public health and regulatory officials across multiple states are currently investigating a multistate outbreak involving a multi-drug resistant Salmonella infection. These illnesses have been linked to raw chicken products, leading to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service’s (USDA-FSIS) involvement in the investigation. Here is what you need to know about this outbreak!

Many outbreaks don’t ever surpass a dozen infected cases, and when the numbers reach two dozen, it’s considered terrible. However, this recent raw chicken-related outbreak has left ninety-two individuals infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Infantis according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Cases have been reported across 29 states! While twenty-one of the ninety-two affected people have been hospitalized, no deaths have yet to be reported.

According to epidemiologic and laboratory evidence, many different types of raw chicken products are responsible for the outbreak and a variety of different sources have been found to be contaminated with Salmonella Infantis, meaning the source that is making people sick is broad and harder to contain than normal. Per information gathered via interviews, the ill people report having eaten many different types, brands, and cuts of chicken products purchased from a collection of locations. The particular strain has been detected “in samples taken from raw chicken pet food, raw chicken products, and live chickens,” according to the CDC.A single, common supplier for the contaminated raw chicken has yet to be determined.

Per the CDC’s report on the outbreak, “Antibiotic resistance testing conducted by CDC on Salmonella bacteria isolated from ill people shows that the outbreak strain is resistant to multiple antibiotics.” This is a dangerous situation, as it means it is much harder to eliminate! The CDC goes on to say that

The outbreak strain of Salmonella Infantis is present in live chickens and in many types of raw chicken products, indicating it might be widespread in the chicken industry. CDC and USDA-FSIS have shared this information with representatives from the chicken industry and asked about steps that they may be taking to reduce Salmonella contamination.

A resistance to antibiotics, however, is scary news to anyone who has contracted this specific strain of Salmonella. A visit to a healthcare professional is certainly advisable, but few medications are proving effective in fighting this particular strain. The best protection in this case, as in many, is in prevention.

All ninety-two of the infected illness had been reported by October 15th. A list of the states as well as number of cases can easily be found on the Map of Reported Cases page provided by the CDC. According to the research presented by the CDC, the illnesses have ranged in dates from January 19th to September 9th of this year, which patients’ ages ranging from less than twelve months to 105 years old. The median age is 36 and 69% of all the ill cases are female. Fifty-four of the ninety-two sick people were interviewed and 48 of these reported having prepared or eaten chicken that had been purchased raw. Products included ground chicken, chicken pieces, and whole chickens, but many different brands from multiple stores were used. According to one interviewee, the sickness occurred after feeding the pets in the home raw ground chicken as pet food, and another illness came about by someone who works directly with raising and processing chickens.   

58 different slaughter and/or processing establishments have been identified as contaminated with the strain of Salmonella in question. Samples were collected from many different establishments as part of FSIS’s investigation testing routine, a standard test meant to identify Salmonella performance standards. As authorities collect more information, it becomes more and more apparent that people suffering from this outbreak become sick after handling or eating raw or undercooked chicken products.

The CDC offers a collection of helpful advice on the most effective ways to prevent a salmonella infection from spreading. They encourage retailers and consumers to “handle raw chicken carefully and cook it thoroughly to prevent food poisoning. This outbreak is a reminder that raw chicken can have germs that spread around food preparation areas and make you sick.” While we’ve all most likely been educated on the fact that it’s best to eat your meat cooked rather than raw, outbreaks like this one occur due to improper food handling techniques. The CDC is clear about not advising consumers to avoid eating chicken or that retailers should cease selling chicken products. They are simply and directly stating that properly cooking chicken is essential in order to prevent foodborne illnesses from spreading.

In order to make it as clear and concise as possible, the CDC has presented a list for all consumers to follow in order to prevent Salmonella infection from any raw chicken products from any source:

  • Wash your hands. Salmonella infections can spread from one person to another if hands have Salmonella germs on them. Wash hands before and after preparing or eating food, after contact with animals, and after using the restroom or changing diapers.
  • Cook raw chicken thoroughly to kill harmful germs. Chicken breasts, whole chickens, and ground poultry, including chicken burgers and chicken sausage, should always be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F to kill harmful germs. Leftovers should be reheated to 165°F. Use a food thermometer to check, and place it in the thickest part of the food.
  • Don’t spread germs from raw chicken around food preparation areas. Washing raw poultry before cooking is not recommended. Germs in raw chicken can spread to other foods and kitchen surfaces. Thoroughly wash hands, counters, cutting boards, and utensils with warm, soapy water after they touch raw chicken. Use a separate cutting board for raw chicken and other raw meats if possible.
  • CDC does not recommend feeding raw diets to pets. Germs like Salmonella in raw pet food can make your pets sick. Your family also can get sick by handling the raw food or by taking care of your pet.

Be careful with raw ingredients, especially raw poultry, since even meats contaminated with some strain of Salmonella bacteria can appear and smell perfectly normal. Properly cooking these proteins is essential in avoiding the spread of foodborne illnesses.

Our Salmonella Lawyer is Here to Help You

If you believe you have developed a Salmonella infection, we want you to know that a Salmonella Lawyer at the Lange Law Firm, PLLC is currently investigating this matter and offering free legal consultations. Our lawyer, Jory Lange became a lawyer to help make our communities and families safer.

If you or a loved one have become ill with Salmonella after eating or handling raw chicken products, you can call 833.330.3663 for a free consultation or complete the form here.

By: Abigail Ryan, Contributing Writer (Non-Lawyer)

October 17, 2018
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JBS Salmonella Beef Outbreak: A Parent’s Perspective

This week, I opened my computer and learned of another ground beef recall on of all days National Taco Day. Us American folks use ground beef in tacos more than most, and the news of this recall makes most people wary, especially parents. The JBS Salmonella Beef Outbreak and Recall concerns me as a mother.

Almost 7 million pounds of ground beef, to put that into perspective an average sized cow weighing in at 1200-1500 pounds brings in about 470 pounds of ground beef. That is enough to make anyone say “holy cow.” Over 8000 cows worth of ground beef pulled from shelves this time because of Salmonella.

The Outbreak

The Department of Agriculture said that an epidemiological investigation identified 57 case-patients from 16 states that suffered food borne illness between Aug. 5 and Sept. 6. The huge concern is that many people like myself buys ground beef in bulk and freezes it. I vacuum seal them into 1 pound packages often and toss them right into the freezer often not writing a lot of information on the packages except maybe the date that I froze it. This is quite scary for a parent who was just looking to save a little money when finding a good deal at the grocery store and wanting to stock up for the winter months when we make more hearty meals such as soups, stews and chili that often call for ground beef.

According to ABC17 the recalled products were packaged between July 26 and September 7 and were sold nationwide under brand names Walmart, Cedar River Farms Natural Beef, Showcase, Showcase/Walmart and JBS Generic.

The USDA inspection mark on the packaging of the recalled products contains the establishment number “EST. 267.”

“FSIS is concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers’ freezers. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase,” the agency said in announcing the recall.

The USDA also reminded consumers to cook all ground beef to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. “The only way to confirm that ground beef or other cuts of beef are cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer that measures internal temperature.”

The salmonella ridden ground beef was tracked because of the illnesses, but more so technology to a certain point came into play as well. Receipts from stores were compared but also store rewards cards were used to track the ground beef and make links to the illnesses. Have you ever gotten a call from a store asking if you bought something or to warn you about a product that you have purchased? We actually have and while many times our phones ring with numbers we do not know and they go to voicemail, this was one message that I not only appreciated but admired the store for doing. Granted it was just an autodialer, but it was really important to me especially as a parent.

Salmonella

Salmonella is a pretty scary thing especially to hear as a parent. We strive to do things correctly and to keep our children safe every single day, but then incidents like this come out and we are often struck with a fear and a desire to know more about the recall and worse yet if you consumed any of the recalled meat what you should do.

Symptoms of Salmonella appear from 8-72 hours after contact and while most healthy people pop back pretty fast there is always the added risk to children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems. Medical attention is often required for dehydration.

Salmonella infection is usually caused by eating raw or undercooked meat, poultry, eggs or egg products. The incubation period ranges from several hours to two days. Most salmonella infections can be classified as stomach flu (gastroenteritis). Possible signs and symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Blood in the stool

Signs and symptoms of salmonella infection generally last two to seven days. Diarrhea may last up to 10 days, although it may take several months before bowels return to normal.

Unfortunately others are affected for much longer periods of time. Arthritis symptoms have been known to affect those who have been infected with Salmonella. This is called reactive arthritis and has been known to last for months to years and has been known to lead to chronic arthritis.

If salmonella infection enters your bloodstream (bacteremia), it can infect tissues throughout your body, including:

  • The tissues surrounding your brain and spinal cord (meningitis)
  • The lining of your heart or valves (endocarditis)
  • Your bones or bone marrow (osteomyelitis)
  • The lining of blood vessels, especially if you’ve had a vascular graft

It is also important to know that each year in the United States that 3,000 people die from food poisoning related illnesses each year.

How to Prevent Salmonella

Hand washing is one of the most important parts to steering clear of Salmonella. Always wash your hands after using the restroom, especially if you are showing symptoms of any stomach upset. Proper hand washing after handling raw meats is also imperative.

When cooking avoid cross contamination. This is important especially when handling the above mentioned raw meats. I make sure to have multiple cutting boards available and I use a lot of cleaners that are rated to kill Salmonella bacteria. These can be found in most any store and are relatively cheap. The multiple cutting boards are used to keep fruits and vegetables separate from the raw meats. I also have different knives available for slicing.

If you are preparing meats, never place cooked meats on a plate where any raw meats were present.

It is important that if you feel you have been affected by any recall or have symptoms of Salmonella to get medical attention and allow the doctors and health officials to do their jobs and help track down what you have been in contact with. This not only helps you but also the general public.

Our Salmonella Lawyer is Here to Help You

If you believe you have developed a Salmonella infection, we want you to know that a Salmonella Lawyer at the Lange Law Firm, PLLC is currently investigating this matter and offering free legal consultations. Our lawyer, Jory Lange became a lawyer to help make our communities and families safer.

If you or a loved one have become ill with Salmonella after eating ground beef products, you can call 833.330.3663 for a free consultation or complete the form here.

By: Samantha Cooper, Contributing Writer (Non-Lawyer)

October 8, 2018
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Outbreak Update – JBS Beef Salmonella Outbreak

Here’s the latest update in the JBS Beef Salmonella Outbreak. The United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Thursday that meat producer JBS Tolleson, Inc. recalled over 6,937,195 pounds of beef that has been contaminated with Salmonella. The recall was issued after 57 people in 16 states fell sick due to the product.

These products are still in the market. Therefore, you should remain alert while purchasing beef until further notice.

About the products:

The recalled products were packaged from July 26 to September 7 of this year. The products include ground beef and sirloin trimmings. The products were sold under the brand names: Walmart, Showcase/Walmart, Kroger, Cedar River Farms Natural Beef, Cedar River Farms Sirloin Trimmings, Comnor Perfect Choice, Gourmet Burger, Grass Run Farms Natural Beef and JBS Generic. The products are marked with establishment number ‘EST. 267’ inside the Department of Agriculture (USDA) mark of inspection. Check out the full list of all the products recalled and their labels on the FSIS website.

About the Retailers:

The recalled products were distributed to several retailers across the United States. A list of retailers can be found here.

A food safety alert has been issued and consumers, retailers and restaurant owners are urged to not consume products mentioned in these lists. They should either throw them out or return them back to the stores.

A total of 57 illnesses have been reported till now. Here is a breakdown of illnesses by state of residence.

State Illnesses
Arizona 15
Colorado 12
Utah 6
Montana 5
California 4
Nevada 2
Ohio 2
South Dakota 2
Wyoming 2
Idaho 1
Iowa 1
Illinois 1
Kentucky 1
Minnesota 1
Oregon 1
Indiana 1

 

Even though the authorities were made aware of the outbreak about a month ago, no action was taken until the illnesses were stacked up. This is probably due to a loophole when it comes to Salmonella. 

FSIS (Food Safety and Inspection Service), a part of USDA is responsible to maintain food safety for commercial supply of meat, poultry and eggs. It prohibits the sale of ground beef contaminated with certain strains of E.Coli. And when it comes to Salmonella, the microbe isn’t on the list of prohibited list of adulterants. This means that companies are allowed to sell products contaminated with salmonella as long as they know it will be cooked. Safe internal temperature for ground beef is 160℉.

Several public health groups have urged the FSIS since a long time (from Nixon era) to change the law and not allow Salmonella contaminated meat in the market. But FSIS always backs up by saying that consumers will not be eating meat without cooking it.

The safety of consumers is in their hand. They have to make sure that the beef products are fully cooked before they eat it. That is considered as a failing of current system by some, because consumers don’t always adequately cook their meat products. This leads to outbreaks. The Centre for Science in the Public Interest has continued to push for change. USDA has rejected their petitions saying that they wouldn’t be able to distinguish antibiotic-resistant salmonella from other types.

Under the current laws, FSIS waits for the illnesses to pile up and positive tests for products that caused the illness before issuing recalls. The reason why there was a delay even now.

About JBS Tolleson Inc.:

JBS Tolleson Inc. is based in Arizona and is a subsidiary of JBS, largest meat company in the world. They are a leading processor of beef, pork and lamb in US; beef in Canada and the largest cattle feeder in the world with operations based in US and Canada. Headquartered in Colorado, they have over 100 facilities in America, Canada, Australia, Puerto Rico and Mexico. They are also leading processor of animal protein with more than 300 production units and delivering products in more than 150 countries.

On 4th October 2018, the company recalled 6.5 million pounds of beef due to Salmonella contamination. That is the amount of beef that 31,000 Americans typically eat over a year.

About Salmonella:

Salmonella is one of the most common causes of food poisoning in US. It sickens 1.2 million people in US each year. 450 among them lose their lives. Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain. They arise after 12 to 72 hours of eating the contaminated product. Most people will recover on their own within a week. Children, pregnant women, elderly people and those with compromised immune system are at more risk of complications.

The strain of bacteria implicated in the outbreak is Salmonella Newport, an antibiotic-resistant strain that is more difficult to treat. The resistance of this strain to various kinds of antimicrobials is growing day by day which makes this outbreak a little more alarming.

No deaths have been reported till now. But more cases can emerge considering the incubation period of Salmonella and presence of recalled products in markets. Vigilance is the only way to assure that it doesn’t affect you or your family.

Our Salmonella Lawyer is Here to Help You

If you believe you have developed a Salmonella infection, we want you to know that a Salmonella Lawyer at the Lange Law Firm, PLLC is currently investigating this matter and offering free legal consultations. Our lawyer, Jory Lange became a lawyer to help make our communities and families safer.

If you or a loved one have become ill with Salmonella after eating ground beef products, you can call 833.330.3663 for a free consultation or complete the form here.

By: Pooja Sharma, Contributing Writer (Non-Lawyer)

October 6, 2018
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These 16 States Involved in Salmonella Beef Outbreak

Put that ground beef in the trash. Sorry, that’s all its good for now. Curious about the Salmonella Beef Outbreak states? Here’s what you need to know:

Currently, 57 people have been hospitalized across 16 states. To check if your state is at risk, see this map or find your state here:

State Ill People
Arizona 15
California 4
Colorado 12
Idaho 1
Iowa 1
Illinois 1
Indiana 1
Kentucky 1
Minnesota 1
Montana 5
Nevada 2
Ohio 2
Oregon 1
South Dakota 2
Utah 6
Wyoming 2
Total 57
More Info

Though Utah, Arizona, and Colorado have suffered the most impact, reported illnesses have stretched across the nation. Due to the large distribution of JBS products, it is likely there will be an increase of illness reporting before all is said and done. JBS distributes livestock products to brand names such as Cedar River Farms Natural Beef, Showcase, Walmart, and JBS Generic.

Millions of pounds of raw beef have been recalled due to Salmonella contamination. While recent reports have shown the number to be approximately 6.5 million pounds, the United States Department of Agriculture has labeled this a Class I recall at 6,912,875 lbs. According to the USDA, a Class I recall is “a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.”

After store receipt tracking from eight contaminated persons, JBS Tolleson was identified as the supplier of contaminated raw beef. Reported Salmonella cases began August 5, 2018; however, the contaminated products date from July 26 to September 7, 2018. Products packaged within this date period should be immediately disposed of.

The ground zero of the current JBS Salmonella outbreak is located in Arizona and is identified as products labeled with the establishment number “EST. 267.” You can find this number within the USDA mark of inspection. A list of recalled items will continue to be updated and can be found here.

Horrendous conditions for livestock may be the cause.

JBS faces allegations of “egregious and inhumane” livestock practices after an inspection by USDA Food Safety last year. This report cited “mentally incoherent” cows that were showing signs of pain were found in a JBS establishment. JBS was reprimanded with a federal notice to euthanize the cows, however one died in its pen before the action could be carried. As of 2017, JBS was ordered to provide an action plan to prevent further reprimand.

So, JBS… Again?

This is not the first contamination rodeo for JBS, as over a year ago the JBS North Carolina plant was issued an enforcement notice due to the recall of 35,000 pounds of ground beef. Also in February, Pilgrim’s Pride Line, a JBS majority owned company, recalled 101,000 pounds of breaded chicken. There seems to be a negative pattern emerging for this wide-spread company.

What can you do?

It is important to show extreme caution with the growing numbers of contamination. Check your freezers and fridges for meats associated with the abovementioned labels. Return the product to the store for refund or toss it out with the trash. Either way, play it safe, rather than risking you or your family’s health.

There have been no reported deaths associated with this Salmonella Newport outbreak at this time. But, that does not mean consumers are immune to extreme ramifications. Symptoms of Salmonella poisoning often show within 12 to 72 hours of exposure, and time taken for health care professionals to diagnose, verify, and report often causes a lag to public notification.

The nature of Salmonella Newport is that symptoms often pass without medical intervention. These symptoms include: diarrhea, fever, stomach cramps, and can last four to seven days. Those showing signs of illness should immediately seek medical help as food borne illness contamination effects each individual at varying degrees.

Salmonella infections can travel from the intestines to the blood stream, then disperse to other areas of the body. Children under five and those above 65 are most often those who suffer extreme ramifications for the infection; however, a weakened immune system can be further compromised by Salmonella regardless of age. It is also important to quickly seek medical help, so your infection can be reported to the CDC, offering the chance for others to become aware of their risk.

On a personal note from this writer…

After combing through JBS’s website, I believe a bit of humbling is in order. Though they “voluntarily” recalled the beef to comply with USDA regulations, as well as to prevent further illness caused by their product, I find myself uncomfortable with their heavily marketed food safety representation.

As of 10/5/2018 at 12:20 MT, the press release section of JBS’s website does not show notice of the current salmonella outbreak. I believe there is an ethical obligation of transparency that is not being met. Somewhere on the website their notice may be buried, but it is not easily found within their formatting.

I have followed, wrote, and researched multiple outbreaks during my time with Make Foods Safe and my life as a consumer. This will be the first that I have seen a disregard for the public’s safety by a brand. This stance is derivative from the lack of notification on their website. It is common practice for brands to insert a banner on their website during an outbreak to notify their consumers. This is partially because public relations often choose to control the tone of the information, to notify their consumers, and also to prevent increased ramifications. Not all of those reasons are perfectly moral, but the lack of exposure by JBS has a resounding underhandedness about it. I don’t doubt there have been companies in the past who have not overtly notified their consumers through their homepage, but JBS choosing to forfeit website notice is a shaded act nonetheless.

This prodded me to take a gander at their food safety section. I found this JBS promise:

“Confidence in the safety of our products. That’s what you expect. We adopt an aggressive and innovative approach to food safety, always focused on the provision of wholesome, safe products to give you the confidence you expect when partnering with JBS USA and Pilgrim’s®.”

JBS’s animal care section becomes somewhat of a joke with the recent exposures of their livestock treatment standards. These reports coupled with the tone of sincerity within their mission statements makes for a satire read.

JBS will need an overhaul to wipe the stain of multiple contaminations off their products and their ethics, and I don’t doubt a public relations stunt will be headlining their future. While JBS may provide positive economic progress with employment and trade, this does not forfeit their responsibility to livestock and consumers.

That’s some food for thought from the annoyed mind of hungry writer. For now, I’ll be skipping the burger.

Our Salmonella Lawyer is Here to Help You

If you believe you have developed a Salmonella infection, we want you to know that a Salmonella Lawyer at the Lange Law Firm, PLLC is currently investigating this matter and offering free legal consultations. Our lawyer, Jory Lange became a lawyer to help make our communities and families safer.

If you or a loved one have become ill with Salmonella after eating ground beef products, you can call 833.330.3663 for a free consultation or complete the form here.

By: Heaven Bassett, Contributing Writer (Non-Lawyer)

October 6, 2018
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12 Sick in Colorado from Beef Salmonella Food Poisoning

Can you visualize 6.5 million pounds of beef?  How many 18-wheeler trailers do you think that might be?  That is a lot of beef! Here is what you need to know about the Beef Salmonella Food Poisoning Outbreak, especially for those in Colorado.

More specifically, around 6,500,966 pounds of raw, non-intact beef products – a fancy way of saying cut up or ground.  That is how large the beef recall has grown in response to a multi-state outbreak linked to beef products according to the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) in a statement today.  JBS Tolleson, a large supplier that packages beef products under several different brand names, is indicated as the probable source for this outbreak.

These recalled products could be packaged under several nationwide brand names, so look closely.

  • Walmart
  • Cedar River Farms Natural Beef
  • Showcase
  • Showcase/Walmart
  • JBS Generic
Multi-State Salmonella Newport Outbreak

This recall was a result of a multi-state outbreak investigation that lead investigators to this Tolleson, Arizona meat processor.  A total of 57 cases across 16 states have been linked with the same strain of Salmonella Newport. The case counts by state are:

State Ill People
Arizona 15
California 4
Colorado 12
Idaho 1
Iowa 1
Illinois 1
Indiana 1
Kentucky 1
Minnesota 1
Montana 5
Nevada 2
Ohio 2
Oregon 1
South Dakota 2
Utah 6
Wyoming 2
Total 57

People began getting sick on August 5, 2018 and the last date of illness onset currently linked to this outbreak occurred on September 6, 2018 though this number could change.

There is a lag between diagnosis and reporting to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), so other cases could become known.  Beef, being a product people often freeze for later use, could hang around in people’s freezers for quite some time and thus extend exposure time and risk.

How the Investigation Linked to Beef

People began reporting illness that began on August 5, 2018.  Once screening diagnosis indicated Salmonella was the cause of illness, additional testing is performed to get a better idea of what type of Salmonella they were looking at.  Additional testing indicated that Salmonella Newport was the specific strain in question and additional genetic analysis was performed to present a DNA fingerprint to PulseNet (a database used to link foodborne illness outbreaks).

Soon cases began to trickle in.  Patient interviews are conducted.  Questions like, “Where have you eaten in the last week before becoming ill?  Where have you shopped for food in the last week before becoming ill?  Is there anyone who is sick at home that wasn’t sick enough to receive medical treatment that could be related to what you have eaten?”

By September 5, 2018 FSIS was notified that some of the products that FSIS regulates (beef products) could be linked to patient samples with Salmonella Newport illness.  This is now a joint investigation between local and state health departments, CDC and FSIS.  Everyone is working together to find out the source of the outbreak so that a food product or source can be identified.  The faster this happens, the faster a recall can be initiated – which helps to reduce the continued incidence of illness.

The first major breakthrough happened on September 19, 2018, when the first store receipt was linked to ground beef products.  As of the last FSIS update, 8 case patient receipts or shopper card numbers have been used in product traceback investigations.  This traceback evidence has linked JBS as the common supplier of the ground beef products that could be responsible for outbreak patient illness.

Recall Initiated

In response to this new information, a whopping 6.5 million pounds of “non-intact” beef products were recalled.  Affected products were packaged on various dates from July 26, 2018 to September 7, 2018.  The products bear a USDA establishment number of EST. 267 that can be found inside the USDA mark of inspection.

Specific product lot and UPC information can be found at the following link:  https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/6ae70f90-0f59-4006-a665-4d10d05156a0/RC-085-2018-Products-List.pdf?MOD=AJPERES  But beware.  It is a fine print document with 30 pages.  FSIS indicates that if you have any of the recalled product in your home you should not consume it.  It should be either thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.  Personally, if I have any of the brands indicated in the recall still in my fridge or freezer, it is going in the trash.  Better safe than infected.

The investigation is ongoing.  FSIS is continuing to work with local and state health departments and the CDC and will post additional information as it becomes available.  MakeFoodSafe.com will be there along the way to make sure you have the most up to date information to make informed decisions in your kitchen for your family.

A Bit About Salmonella Newport

Eating food that is contaminated with Salmonella can cause the illness salmonellosis.  This is one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses.  In fact, the CDC estimates Salmonella is responsible for about 1.2 million illnesses each year.  This accounts for 23,000 hospitalizations and around 450 deaths every year.  The United States accounts for 1.1 million of those cases, with about 1 million being linked to a food source.

Salmonella Newport is just one type of Salmonella strain that can infect humans and animals. Most normally healthy individuals can recover without medical attention, though some groups may be at higher risk for a more severe illness.  Older adults (generally over 65), infants and children (up to 5 years old), and those with a compromised immune system (whether due to disease, illness, or medications) are in this category.

Typical symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever.  Symptoms often begin within 12 to 72 hours of consuming the contaminated product.  Illness generally last between 4 to 7 days.  In some cases, diarrhea might be so severe that the patient may need to be hospitalized due to dehydration.

Some may develop additional symptoms/illness that presents just as gastrointestinal symptoms begin to subside.  This is known as reactive arthritis, which causes pain in the joints.  This reactive arthritis can last for months or even years, developing into chronic arthritis.  Eye irritation and painful urination are additional symptoms those with reactive arthritis might experience.

If you feel that you have consumed contaminated product, you are doing your community a service by being tested.  While your symptoms may be mild and not require medical attention, your patient interview may help to bring traceback evidence that can help to identify a source faster, minimizing additional illnesses in the outbreak.

Our Salmonella Lawyer is Here to Help You

If you believe you have developed a Salmonella infection, we want you to know that a Salmonella Lawyer at the Lange Law Firm, PLLC is currently investigating this matter and offering free legal consultations. Our lawyer, Jory Lange became a lawyer to help make our communities and families safer.

If you or a loved one have become ill with Salmonella after eating ground beef products, you can call 833.330.3663 for a free consultation or complete the form here.

By: Heather Van Tassell, Contributing Writer (Non-Lawyer)

October 5, 2018
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15 Sick in Arizona from Beef Salmonella Outbreak

As of October 4th, 2018, JBS Tolleson, Inc. recalled approximately 6,500,966 pounds of various kinds of their raw, non-intact beef products due to a possibility of them being contaminated with Salmonella. It looks like we have yet another Beef Salmonella outbreak. There are currently 57 reported illnesses with 14 hospitalizations linked to the outbreak.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced the recall just today, explaining that “The raw, non-intact beef items, including ground beef, were packaged on various dates from July 26, 2018 to Sept. 7, 2018. The following products are subject to recall: [Products List (PDF) (or XLSX) | Product Labels (PDF only)].” According to FSIS, “The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. 267” inside the USDA mark of inspection,” and these products were shipped to a large collection of retail locations and institutions all across the nation.

Here’s what you should know!

Other Ground Beef Outbreaks

There have been numerous foodborne illness outbreaks this year along that have been directly linked to ground beef products. For instance, in September, the CDC clarified an outbreak that Cargill Meat Solutions in Fort Morgan, Colorado, caused. The company recalled ground beef products produced and packaged on June 21, 2018, and were shipped to nationwide retailers. Restaurants and retailers were specifically instructed not to serve or sell any of the recalled ground beef, and consumers with any ground beef products in their freezers were specifically instructed to contact the store where they purchased the meat to find out if it was, in fact, the recalled meat.

This particular outbreak commenced after effecting 4 states with the strain of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O26, causing 18 illnesses, 6 hospitalizations, and 1 death. The illnesses started on dates between July 5th, 2018, to July 25, 2018. The outbreak is now over. However, similar outbreaks centering around ground beef have occurred in the past, most often causing a multi-state outbreak and leaving at least a dozen people affected. Another similarity with ground beef outbreaks is that they are commonly caused by some sort of E. coli strain.

This latest ground beef recall, however, seems to be due to Salmonella, according to the FSIS announcement. The CDC launched an outbreak website linked to the recall just today.

What’s Up with JBS?

While the JBS website clearly gives a statement about food safety, this latest outbreak leads one to question how thorough their efforts for food safety truly are. Their “food safety” page states,

Confidence in the safety of our products. That’s what you expect. We adopt an aggressive and innovative approach to food safety, always focused on the provision of wholesome, safe products to give you the confidence you expect when partnering with JBS USA and Pilgrim’s®.

JBS goes on to explain how closely they work with government regulatory agencies, as well as “industry leaders, suppliers, customers, consumers, and the scientific community to monitor the safety of our products,” obviously clarifying that food safety is an important characteristic to uphold with their beef products. Despite their efforts to focus on contamination prevention, some sort of slip-up must have occurred to result in 6.5 million products deserving a recall. FSIS has identified this outbreak as a Class 1, meaning that “There is a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.”

What’s the Latest Outbreak?

As of September 5th of this year, case-patients notified FSIS of an investigation of Salmonella Newport illnesses occurring after an apparent consumption of a variety of beef products regulated by FSIS. The very first store receipt presented potentially linked the purchase of a FSIS-regulated product to a sickened patient, and it was received on September 19th of this year. After this report, FSIS was able to being a traceback investigation of ground beef products, discovering that to date, eight cases have officially provided a receipt or shopper card to further help these traceback investigations.

So far, 16 states have confirmed illnesses. These include:

State Ill People
Arizona 15
California 4
Colorado 12
Idaho 1
Iowa 1
Illinois 1
Indiana 1
Kentucky 1
Minnesota 1
Montana 5
Nevada 2
Ohio 2
Oregon 1
South Dakota 2
Utah 6
Wyoming 2
Total 57

FSIS, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state public health and agriculture partners, have been able to reliably determine that raw ground meat is the most likely source of these case-patients’ illnesses. Further investigations have identified JBS as the producer of the ground beef products in question, resulting in a massive recall, as well as an “epidemiological investigation [that] has identified 57 case-patients from 16 states with illness onset dates ranging from August 5 to September 6, 2018.”

Therefore, this outbreak is already far larger than many of the previous outbreaks linked to ground beef. The true concern now is that many of the recalled products will remain frozen within consumers’ freezers and be eaten later, only to result in illness. Because of this, any consumers who have purchased any of these raw ground beef products are specifically encouraged to not eat them. Rather, FSIS recommends that any and all of these products should be discarded or returned to the place of purchase in order to avoid any risk of illness.

It’s important to understand that by consuming a food contaminated with Salmonella, salmonellosis can result, which is one of the most common foodborne bacterial illnesses. Elderly adults, infants, as well as individuals with weakened immune systems or preexisting health conditions are at a heightened risk of contracting an illness from these contaminated meats. Discarding any food believed to be contaminated with the Salmonella bacteria is key in avoiding the illness.

Conclusion

Sometimes it’s difficult to impossible to determine whether or not a product has been contaminated. Therefore,

FSIS advises all consumers to safely prepare their raw meat products, including fresh and frozen, and only consume ground beef that has been cooked to a temperature of 160°F. Other cuts of beef should be cooked to a temperature of 145 °F and allowed to rest for at least 3 minutes. The only way to confirm that ground beef or other cuts of beef are cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer that measures internal temperature.

Contaminated foods are a serious situation. Because of this, FSIS has promised that they will continue to work with the public health partners in order to contain the outbreak, and also plans on providing updates and information as it is available.

Our Salmonella Lawyer is Here to Help You

If you believe you have developed a Salmonella infection, we want you to know that a Salmonella Lawyer at the Lange Law Firm, PLLC is currently investigating this matter and offering free legal consultations. Our lawyer, Jory Lange became a lawyer to help make our communities and families safer.

If you or a loved one have become ill with Salmonella after eating ground beef products, you can call 833.330.3663 for a free consultation or complete the form here.

By: Abigail Ryan, Contributing Writer (Non-Lawyer)

October 4, 2018
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Salmonella Beef Outbreak, JBS Tolleson Recall

Ground beef is back in the news with another Salmonella beef outbreak and recall this year. Salmonella Newport to be precise. The Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, and Prevention’s epidemiological investigation has identified 57 illnesses from 16 states. The illness onset dates range from August 5 to September 6, 2018. It is likely that more cases will be added to the outbreak, as it takes a few weeks for illness reports to be entered into the nationwide system. The health conditions of those with Salmonella infections linked to this outbreak and recall have not been released at this time. Here is what you need to know about this Salmonella beef recall and outbreak.

JBS Tolleson, Inc. announced today it is recalling ground beef products do to possible Salmonella contamination. The FSIS notice reported the following products are subject to recall: [Products List (PDF) (or XLSX) | Product Labels (PDF only)]. FSIS further announced:

“FSIS is concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers’ freezers. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase,” the agency said in announcing the recall.

The states with illnesses have not yet been released. However, the company shipped these products nationwide, so all United States’ consumers are put on notice to check their freezers for these products.

The Recall

This recall is not related to the Public Cargill Ground Beef recall linked to E. coli illnesses.

JBS Tolleson, Inc. confirmed the products were packaged from July 26, 2018 through September 7, 2018. The products are raw, non-intact beef items. The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. 267” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The company shipped them to retail locations and institutions nationwide under brand names Walmart, Cedar River Farms Natural Beef, Showcase, Showcase/Walmart and JBS Generic.

JBS Tolleson, Inc.’s recall includes about 6.5 million pounds of ground beef products.

The Investigation

FSIS confirmed that local health departments observed a spike in Salmonella Newport infections linked to several FSIS-regulated products, like ground beef. The agency confirms:

“The first store receipt potentially linking the purchase of FSIS-regulated product to a case-patient was received on September 19, 2018; FSIS was then able to begin traceback of ground beef products. To date, eight case-patients have provided receipts or shopper card numbers, which have enabled product traceback investigations.  FSIS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state public health and agriculture partners have now determined that raw ground beef was the probable source of the reported illnesses. Traceback has identified JBS as the common supplier of the ground beef products.”

The FDA, CDC, and local health departments are still investigating the outbreak at this time.

About Salmonella

Salmonella affects more than a million Americans each year. The most common way that people contract the pathogen is through food. Typically, the symptoms are consistent with what you might expect from the flu: upset stomach, cramps, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting are all common, as are headache, fever, and chills. Salmonellosis typically comes on in 12 to 72 after exposure to the bacteria. It usually lasts for 4 to 7 days.

For a healthy adult with a strong immune system, salmonella is annoying but poses little risk of serious illness. For the very young, the elderly, and the immunocompromised, however, the illness can prove to be serious or even deadly. More than 400 people die from Salmonella in the United States each year, according to the CDC. If you or someone you know has salmonellosis and is experiencing severe or bloody diarrhea, seeking medical attention is a good idea: although antibiotics aren’t needed in the majority of cases, they can sometimes make the difference between serious illness and death. Early medical attention can help reduce the risk of severe illness and potential long-term complications, including reactive arthritis.

FSIS’s notice also mentions:

“Consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses. The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating the contaminated product. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days. Most people recover without treatment. In some persons, however, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Older adults, infants, and persons with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop a severe illness. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact their health care provider.

FSIS advises all consumers to safely prepare their raw meat products, including fresh and frozen, and only consume ground beef that has been cooked to a temperature of 160°F. Other cuts of beef should be cooked to a temperature of 145 °F and allowed to rest for at least 3 minutes. The only way to confirm that ground beef or other cuts of beef are cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer that measures internal temperature.”

Our Salmonella Lawyer is Here to Help You

If you believe you have developed a Salmonella infection, we want you to know that a Salmonella Lawyer at the Lange Law Firm, PLLC is currently investigating this matter and offering free legal consultations. Our lawyer, Jory Lange became a lawyer to help make our communities and families safer.

Can I Be Compensated For Salmonella Food Poisoning?

Yes.  When a corporation sells food for a profit, the law requires that it sell only food that is safe to eat.  When a corporation sells food that is not safe to eat, the corporation can be held legally responsible for the harm they cause.  So if you got sick, were diagnosed with a Salmonella infection, or were hospitalized with Salmonella food poisoning after eating beef contaminated with Salmonella, you may have a valid legal claim against the corporation that sold the ground beef products.

If you or a loved one have become ill with Salmonella after eating ground beef products, you can call 833.330.3663 for a free consultation or complete the form here.

By: Candess Zona-Mendola, Editor (Non-Lawyer)

October 4, 2018
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There’s a New Pac Man in Town Called Salmonella

When I first began researching for this article, a distinct image came to mind, and that was of a yellow Pac Man gobbling up what was in its path. That is what I envision a Salmonella GMOs to look like. I’m always fascinated by science: especially the strides in research that currently exist. Although I may not sometimes understand it, it is certainly captivating. Whenever a friend remarks or queries about a topic, it’s like throwing down a personal challenge, as in this case. I simply had to find out what all this was about. Salmonella genetic engineering that is.

A Teacher’s Take

Okay, so my bread-and-butter profession is teaching, but I love writing. As a teacher, I constantly have to approach lessons from a kid standpoint, e.g. “I have zero interest in what you have to say. I have my cell phone at the ready in case I get even more bored. Bring it on, teach”. In case you’re wondering, I teach high school English and as an occupational hazard, I deal with the most chronically underwhelmed people on this planet.  I’m emphatically unimpressed by the glazed-over eyes of my students. It takes quite the feat to capture their attention away from their electronic devices, so I implement my sketching skills. If for one moment, it entertains them and keeps them from taking pictures of me that they can post on Snapchat and caption in humorous fashion. “Ms. B is sooo lame”.

It’s particularly difficult when I’m trying to explain a scientific concept, and even though English is my forte, sometimes science segues into our discussions. Ergo, my illustrations are my delivery method after I’ve thoroughly learned my material. So, when I read about scientists genetically engineering Salmonella to gobble up cancerous brain cells, I thought that perhaps readers would enjoy this foray into understanding just what that means.

The New Pac Man Emerges

Salmonella has been around for a really, really long time and is one of the most common forms of foodborne illness, responsible for almost a million cases of food poisoning and approximately 380 deaths every year. It’s especially bad news for gastrointestinal tracts. There are five main strains of this bacterium. But I’m not a scientist. I couldn’t possibly tell you the difference. That would require a whole separate article and delving into areas that may cause a personal brain hemorrhage. Suffice to say that in a study conducted by a group of talented researchers at Duke University, the bacterium Salmonella typhimurium was the lucky contender for the cancer cell brawl. Who knew?

Essentially, scientists, through a very intense and complicated process, transform Salmonella typhimurium into a cancer-eating machine that voraciously consumed one of the most aggressive forms of brain cancer: glioblastoma. Scientists confirm that the record median survival time for this form of brain cancer is only 15 months. Scientists also confirm, for those who do survive, their lives are only prolonged for five years following diagnosis.

Brains!

The study mentioned the term “blood-brain barrier” at that point in the study. Hmmm…what precisely is that? Scientists call this BBB. It appears as if this blood-brain barrier is semi-permeable, meaning that some things can cross and other materials can’t. The cells are tightly packed, sort of like a cellular brotherhood. You know how you scan your credit or debit card at a retail terminal? If the scanner can’t read your code, no access my friend. It may appear overtly discriminatory, but that’s how it works. In the mystery that is the human body, this whole process works for a reason. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t take liberty with scientific methods and take something that was designed to make us horribly sick and turn it into something of a miracle to chew up and dispose of something else that can potentially kill us.

This blood-brain barrier causes problems for traditional drug-based treatments for glioblastoma because again, they don’t have the right “codes”. When researchers tweaked the DNA of Salmonella and injected it into rats with extreme cases of glioblastoma, the rats demonstrated a remarkable 20 percent survival rate. The tumors went into remission for 100 days: roughly approximating ten human years.

But What Does This Mean?

Ravi Bellamkonda, co-author of the study, puts it:

“[D]esigning bacteria to actively move and seek out these distributed tumors, and express their anti-tumor proteins only in hypoxic, purine rich tumor regions is exciting.  They don’t cause an immunological response, because their natural toxicity has been deactivated. At the doses we used in the experiments, they were naturally cleared once they’d killed the tumors, effectively destroying their own food source”.

Somehow that means that the scientists deactivated the toxic characteristics of Salmonella and instead charged the bacteria to attack tumor cells. An element known as purine became the prey of the Salmonella. Purine is plentiful in tumor cells. So, the scientists unleashed the new Salmonella Pac Man in order to find and feed upon tumors.

“Since glioblastoma is so aggressive and difficult to treat, any change in the median survival rate is a big deal,” said Johnathan Lyon, a PhD student working with Ravi Bellamkonda, Vinik Dean of Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering, whose laboratory is currently transitioning to Duke from Georgia Tech, where much of the work was completed. “And since few survive a glioblastoma diagnosis indefinitely, a 20 percent effective cure rate is phenomenal and very encouraging.”

It’s still unclear as to when human trials will become available. But as with many studies involving genetic engineering, there’s substantial hope for curing a variety of diseases.

As for Salmonella, our nasty nemesis, with a few costume changes, could become our super hero.

By: Kerry Bazany, Contributing Writer (Non-Lawyer)

October 1, 2018
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