Peanut butter substitute recalled after E. coli outbreak

Associated Press

A peanut butter substitute sold by an Illinois company is being recalled because 12 cases of E. coli have been linked to the product.

Glenview-based I.M. Health SoyNut Butter Co . is voluntarily recalling its SoyNut Butter products.

E. coli cases in Arizona, California, Maryland, New Jersey and Oregon have been linked to the nut-free product

Bite of Peanut Butter Sandwitch

iStock

Illinois public health Director Dr. Nirav Shah says some E. coli infections are mild but others may be life-threatening. Young children are particularly vulnerable.

Health officials recommend people not eat any variety or size of I.M. Healthy-brand SoyNut Butter products or granola coated with the company’s SoyNut Butter.

Safest food in the world – Canadian edition; US says clean up

The Globe and Mail is reporting that the U.S Agriculture Department has given the Canadian Food Inspection Agency until mid-March to fix significant food safety and sanitation concerns found during an audit of Canada’s meat, poultry and egg inspection systems.
Safest food in the world – Canadian edition; US says clean upCFIA met the “core criteria” for overall food inspection, but American officials identified “operation weaknesses related to government oversight, plant sanitation and microbiological testing” for listeria, salmonella and E. coli, according to a final report submitted to CFIA on Jan. 14.

Failure to fix the deficiencies could lead the U.S. government to delist Canadian plants that were audited from exporting their products to the United States.

CFIA issued a statement to The Globe and Mail late Monday insisting that food safety was not compromised and steps are being taken to improve the inspection system.

“It is important to note that none of the audit findings posed a food safety risk to consumers, including the identified sanitation issues,” CFIA said. “At the time of the audit, the CFIA inspectors were already addressing the sanitation findings outlined in the audit report and the establishments were already taking the required steps to fix the issues in question.”

The U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS) conducted the audit between May 28 and June 13, 2014, of slaughter and processing plants in Ontario and Quebec.

The audit found CFIA does not conduct ongoing environmental sampling and testing in food-production plants for Listeria monocytogenes (Lm), the bacteria that contaminated cold cuts produced by Maple Leaf Foods in 2008 that resulted in the death of 22 Canadians.

Food-plant employees test the surfaces where ready-to-eat meat and poultry is packaged but “does not collect samples or test for the presence of Lm on non-food contact surfaces,” the audit said. Read more of this post

More cases of E. Coli in Washington, Oregon Expected

More cases of E. Coli in Washington, Oregon Expected

Health officials expect the number of people sickened by an E. coli outbreak linked to Chipotle restaurants in Washington state and Oregon to grow while they investigate the cause of the infection. Read more of this post

Imported-Food Outbreaks Rise, CDC Says

By TIMOTHY W. MARTIN | WSJ

 

Outbreaks of illness linked to imported food have risen since the late 1990s, casting a spotlight on federal inspection standards for fish, produce and other foods brought in from abroad.

The 39 outbreaks from imported food reported between 2005 and 2010 represent a small fraction of total cases of food-borne illnesses such as salmonella or E. coli, according to the data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention presented Wednesday. But the rise in imported-food outbreaks—mostly from fish and spices—highlights gaps in the food-safety system that a sweeping new law is intended to address.

CDC researchers found 6.5 outbreaks from foreign foods a year, on average, between 2005 and 2010—more than double the average of 2.7 outbreaks annually between 1998 and 2004.

Of the 39 outbreaks between 2005 and 2010, nearly half—17—occurred in 2009 and 2010.

The foods, including fish, oysters, cheese, sprouts and seven other types of products, were shipped from 15 countries. Nearly 45% of those foods originated from Asia. Most people were sickened with salmonella or histamine fish poisoning, a bacterial disease contracted from eating spoiled dark-flesh fish that causes rashes, diarrhea, sweating, headaches and vomiting. The outbreaks led to 2,348 cases of illness, the CDC said.

Among the largest of those outbreaks was one in 2008 linked to jalapeño and serrano peppers from Mexico contaminated with salmonella. More than 1,400 people were sickened and more than 280 were hospitalized with salmonella in 43 states.

Other major outbreaks reviewed in the study were a 2007 recall of Veggie Booty, a puffed rice snack that was found to contain contaminated raw materials from China that led to 52 cases of salmonella in 17 states, and a 2010 outbreak of typhoid fever tied to frozen fruit pulp that originated in Guatemala.

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