Patient numbers continue to increase in the many outbreaks that are under FDA investigation

According to the Food and Drug Administration, patient numbers in many foodborne disease outbreaks continue to increase.

The agency is currently investigating 10 outbreaks. Investigations are in various stages, with traceability, on-site inspections, sample collection and analysis performed in many of them.

What’s new this week is the announcement that tracking has begun in the outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes, but the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t say what food or foods are being traced. The cause of the outbreak is still unknown. As of September 21, there were six patients confirmed in the outbreak, but the Food and Drug Administration has not disclosed where the patients live.

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

Ongoing investigations into the outbreak

  • The number of patients in an outbreak caused by Salmonella Mississippi has risen to 103 from 102 patients reported a week ago. The agency did not announce the patients’ whereabouts or their ages. The Food and Drug Administration has not identified a source of the pathogen but has begun tracing efforts. The agency did not report the food or the foods being tracked.
  • For an outbreak of Salmonella Synftenberg from an as-yet-unidentified food, the number of patients rose to 30, compared to 27 reported a week ago. Tracing has begun but the Food and Drug Administration has not reported what is being traced.
  • For an outbreak of salmonella typhimurium from an as-yet-unidentified food, the number of patients rose to 84 compared to the 78 reported a week earlier. Tracking, on-site inspection, and sample analysis have begun, but the Food and Drug Administration has not reported what is being traced or tested or where the assay is being performed.
  • For the cyclospora outbreak, the number of patients rose to 81 compared to 79 a week ago. Tracing has begun but the Food and Drug Administration has not reported what is being traced.
  • For a cyclospora outbreak again, the number of patients has remained steady at 42. Tracking has begun but the Food and Drug Administration has not reported what is being tracked. Likewise, sample testing has begun but the agency has not reported what is being tested.
  • An investigation of the adverse effects associated with the Daily Harvest brand of frozen Lakes and Crumbles lentils is ongoing. The company has received more than 470 disease complaints and as of its latest report on September 15, the Food and Drug Administration has received 386 complaints. Some patients developed liver failure and at least 25 patients had to have their gallbladder removed. The Food and Drug Administration is working on traceability efforts and has begun on-site inspection and product testing. Some tests revealed that tara flour is a unique ingredient in the crumbly product of Daily Harvest and could be linked to disease.
  • In an ongoing outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infection, the Food and Drug Administration has begun collecting and analyzing samples. The outbreak, which the CDC reported as linked to lettuce on Wendy’s sandwiches, has sickened at least 84 people. Outbreaks in four states have infected more people according to state statistics, but not all reports have reached the CDC. Wendy’s has stopped offering romaine lettuce hybrids on sandwiches in several states, according to a statement from the company.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is conducting an on-site examination at Big Olaf Creamery in Florida, which has been deemed to be behind the listeria infection outbreak in 11 states. Florida closed the business several weeks ago after tests found multiple places of Listeria monocytogenes contamination at the plant. Tests also showed that Listeria contained 16 of the company’s 17 flavors of ice cream. At last count, the outbreak has sickened 25 patients and one person has died. A pregnant woman also miscarried. Twenty-four patients required hospitalization.
  • An outbreak of Cronobacter infection in four children, two of whom died. The outbreak has been determined to be over by the CDC but is still under investigation. Babies consumed infant formula made with the Abbott Nutrition plant in Sturgis, Michigan.
Click on the table to enlarge. Use the link below to go to the FDA page with links to specific disease outbreaks.

Click here to go to the Food and Drug Administration’s page that contains links to specific outbreak details. Investigations are in various stages. Some outbreaks have limited information as active investigations continue, others may be nearing completion.

A public health advisory report of investigations that have resulted in specific, actionable steps for consumers to take to protect themselves will be released, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Please direct your attention to these pages for the latest investigation and consumer protection information.

Investigations into outbreaks and adverse events that do not result in specific and actionable steps for consumers may or may not conclusively identify the source or reveal any contributing factors. Investigations of adverse events are based on self-reported data. Although these reports may name a specific product, the Food and Drug Administration (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 illness or adverse events. If a cause and/or contributing factors that could help with prevention in the future are identified, the FDA is committed to providing a summary of those findings.

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