Patient numbers continue to rise in multiple outbreaks under FDA investigation

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According to the Food and Drug Administration, the number of patients in several ongoing foodborne illness outbreaks continues to rise.

The agency is currently investigating 10 homes. Investigations are in various stages, with a traceback, on-site inspection and sample collection and analysis underway in several of them.

New this week is the announcement that tracing has begun in an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes, but the FDA isn’t saying which foods or foods are being traced. The cause of the outbreak remains unknown. As of September 21, there were six confirmed patients in the outbreak, but the FDA has not disclosed where the patients live.

As with the Listeria monocytogenes outbreak, the FDA has not released any patient information, such as their age or where they live, for any of the other outbreaks under investigation.

Ongoing outbreak investigations

  • The number of patients in an outbreak caused by Salmonella Mississippi has risen to 103 from 102 patients reported a week ago. The agency has not made public where the patients live or their ages. The FDA has not identified a source of the pathogen but has initiated traceback efforts. The agency has not reported which foods or foods are traced.
  • For an outbreak of Salmonella Senftenberg from an as-yet-unidentified food, the number of patients has risen to 30, from 27 reported a week ago. The traceback has started but the FDA has not reported what is being traced.
  • For an outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium from an as yet unidentified food item, the number of patients rose to 84, from 78 reported a week ago. Tracing, on-site inspection, and sample analysis have been initiated, but the FDA has not reported what is being traced or tested or where the inspection takes place.
  • For an outbreak of Cyclospora, the number of patients rose to 81, from 79 a week ago. The traceback has started but the FDA has not reported what is being traced.
  • For another Cyclospora outbreak, the number of patients remained stable at 42. Tracing has begun but the FDA has not reported what is being traced. Likewise, sample testing has begun but the agency has not reported what is being tested.
  • An investigation related to adverse reactions associated with Daily Harvest brand frozen leek and lentil crumbs is ongoing. The company has received more than 470 disease complaints, and in its last report on September 15, the FDA had received 386 complaints. Some of the patients suffered from liver failure and at least 25 had to have their gallbladders removed. The FDA is working on traceback efforts and has begun on-site inspection and product testing. Some tests have revealed that tara flour is a unique ingredient in the Daily Harvest crumbles product and may be linked to disease.
  • In an ongoing outbreak of infections caused by E. coli O157:H7, the FDA has initiated sample collection and testing. The outbreak, reported by the CDC to be linked to lettuce on Wendy’s sandwiches, has sickened at least 84 people. The outbreak in four states has sickened more people according to state tallies, but not all reports have reached the CDC. Wendy’s has stopped serving the romaine and iceberg lettuce hybrid on sandwiches in several states, according to a company statement.
  • The FDA is conducting an on-site inspection at Big Olaf Creamery in Florida, which has been found to be the source of an outbreak of Listeria infections in 11 states. The state of Florida shut down the company several weeks ago after testing revealed several places of Listeria monocytogenes contamination in the plant. The tests also showed Listeria in 16 of the company’s 17 ice cream flavors. At last count, the outbreak had sickened 25 patients, one of whom had died. A pregnant woman also had a miscarriage. Twenty-four of the patients required hospitalization.
  • An outbreak of Cronobacter infections in four infants, two of whom died. The outbreak has been determined to be over by the CDC, but is still under investigation. The babies consumed formula made by Abbott Nutrition’s factory in Sturgis, MI.
Click on the picture to enlarge. Use the link below to access the FDA’s page with links to specific outbreaks.

Click here to access the FDA’s page with links to specific details on the outbreak. The investigations are at different stages. Some outbreaks have limited information with active investigations underway, others may be nearing completion.

A public health notice will be issued for investigations that result in specific, actionable steps consumers should take to protect themselves, according to the FDA. Please direct your attention to these pages for the most up-to-date investigation information and for consumer protection information.

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

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