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Papaya outbreak highlights FDA outbreak notification challenges

Because the FDA and CDC did not have sufficient information about the papaya outbreak they issued a blanket warning against eating papayas from Mexico. A few days later, when more details became available, they announced that Cavi brand papayas distributed by Agroson’s were the source of the outbreak. All other papayas from Mexico are safe to eat. A similar situation happened before Thanksgiving of 2018 when consumers were warned against eating any romaine lettuce. On December 13, 2018, Adam Bros. Farming, in Santa Barbara County was identified as the source of the outbreak. Thereafter all other romaine lettuce was safe....

ruth

Why is flour a continuous source of E. coli outbreaks and recalls?

Raw wheat flour caused several outbreaks of heterogenic Escherichia coli Infections (STEC) in the USA and Canada since the first outbreak in 2009. The first outbreak of (STEC) in ready-to-bake cookie dough was due to Nestlé Toll House cookie dough. The company recalled 47 products (3.6 million packages). 77 people became ill, 35 were hospitalized, and 10 developed HUS. Another outbreak of STEC E. coli in flour happened in December of 2015- September of 2016. 63 people were infected with STEC O121 or STEC O26.  17 patients have been hospitalized, and one person developed HUS. General Mills flour was the...

ruth

How to assure safer leafy greens, the role of water testing and why traceability is not sufficient

The failure of current measures to stop the lettuce outbreaks shows the lack of a clear solution and even regulators aren’t sure how to fix the problem and the FDA is worried about a repeat of romaine lettuce outbreak this year. FDA has requested increased funding in its 2020 budget to allow the increased use of blockchain technology. However, tracing the products is not a solution. The main issue it how to avoid the contamination in the first place. Both romaine lettuce outbreaks of 2018 were linked to irrigation water. Water used during the production of fresh fruits and vegetables...

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Persister bacteria travel an alternate path to antibiotic resistance

A persister bacterium is different from antibiotic-resistant bacteria. While most antibiotic-resistant bacteria have acquired genetic mutations that directly protect them against antibiotics, persisters do not possess such mutations. They have a better chance of survival than resistant mutants, because of certain genes they switch on or off before, during or after antibiotic therapy. It seems that the line between the antibiotic-resistant bacteria and persister bacteria is not as clear as scientists previously thought.  The researchers found that some persisters were more likely than standard bacteria to produce offspring with the direct, genetic-mutation resistance to antibiotics. The researchers found the persisters’...