Outbreaks in Alfalfa Sprouts and in Cheeses

Alfalfa Sprouts Linked to Salmonella Multi State Outbreak

sprouts-photoCDC  and FDA  report that 30 people across nine states have been infected in an outbreak ofSalmonella reading and Salmonella abony, traced back to Alfalfa Sprouts supplied by Sprouts Extraordinaire of Denver, Colorado.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from May 21, 2016 to July 20, 2016. At least 30 people range in age from less than 1 year to 72, with a median age of 30. Five ill people have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported.

Ill people in the current outbreak reported eating raw alfalfa sprouts on sandwiches from several different restaurants. This investigation indicated that Sprouts Extraordinaire supplied alfalfa sprouts to all five of these locations. On August 5, 2016, Sprouts Extraordinaire recalled its alfalfa sprout products from the market due to possible Salmonella contamination. These products were sold in boxes labeled “5-lb Living Alfalfa” The investigation is still ongoing.

Contaminated Cheese Linked to E. coli Outbreak

grassfield Cheese1Grassfields Cheese LLC of Coopersville, MI, issued a nationwide recall of 20,000 pounds of its cheeses because of the E. coli. Whole Foods Markets has augmented that action, specifically recalling Grassfields Cheese products sold at its stores in 13 states. According to FDA  the recall includes the following types of Grassfields Cheeses: Gouda, Onion ‘n Garlic, Country Dill, Leyden, Edam, Lamont Cheddar, Fait Gras and Polkton Corners. The potential for contamination was identified during an ongoing investigation of seven cases of human illnesses occurring between March and July 2016 caused by a same type of STEC.

Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), and local health departments in Michigan are investigating the outbreak of six cases of non-O157:H7 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli infections in Michigan residents. The first patient got sick March 13, with the most recent patient becoming ill on July 13. They range in age from 15 to 37 years old. One patient had symptoms so severe that hospitalization was required, but the patient has since been discharged, according to the Michigan health department. Several of the people sickened by E. colisaid they had eaten restaurant meals containing Grassfields cheese.  At least one sample of the cheese contained bacteria matching the E coli strain found in the ill individuals, the state health department reported in Friday’s update. Whole Foods reports its stores in 13 states sold the recalled organic cheese.  At least seven people have been made sick after eating cheese contaminated with E. coli produced by family-owned artisan cheese producer in Michigan.

Grassfiels is a family owned cheese manufacturer, the owners, decided 15 years ago to make organic cheeses made from the grass-fed, antibiotic-free cows raised on the family farm. The business did not make the family rich, but it was popular online and is sold around the nation at Whole Foods. Making cheese is a process that takes months and the 20,000 pounds of cheese they have destroyed equals two-thirds of their yearly output. The E. coli outbreak could mean the end of family cheese-making business.

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