Ongoing Decade-Old Investigation of Listeria in Queso Fresco and Cotija Cheese
The most recent food poisoning outbreak investigation was launched just last month, with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launching an investigation into Queso Fresco and Cotija Cheese linked to Listeria Monocytogenes, a deadly bacteria for those with a weak immune system or for expecting mothers. The queso fresco and cotija cheeses were manufactured by Rizo Lopez Foods, Inc., of Modesto, California. The implicated product includes cheese, yogurts and sour cream (or “crema”) sold under the labels: Tio Francisco, Don Francisco, Rizo Bros, Rio Grande, Food City, El Huache, La Ordena, San Carlos, Campesino, Santa Maria, Dos Ranchitos, Casa Cardenas, and 365 Whole Foods Market. While the investigation was just reopened, the cases in this outbreak stem as far back as 2014. So far, 26 victims have been identified, including two deaths, in eleven states. California is the most impacted, with 8 identified victims. 23 of the 25 victims required hospitalization.
No Lead is the Only Safe Lead: Applesauce Fed to Children in the U.S.
Also active in 2024 is the ongoing outbreak linked to high levels of lead in applesauce imported into the U.S. by WanaBana and sold at Dollar Tree, Wies and Schnuck’s stores in the U.S. The product has extremely high levels of lead, a very toxic heavy metal. There is no safe level of this toxic metal, and physicians and researchers have linked even small amounts of lead to reduced cranial capacity, lowered neuroplasticity, reduced cognitive development, ADHD, Autism, anti-social behaviors, and even crime during you adulthood and adolescence. In Ecuador, officials with the Agencia Nacional de Regulación, Control y Vigilancia Sanitaria, have identified the packer/manufacturer of the contaminated product. It is Austrofoods, and Equatorian company who purchased ground cinnamon from another Ecuadorian company, Negasmart, to flavor the applesauce. Again, while there is no safe level of lead, the CDC has issued a “case definition” (criteria for being an “official” victim in this outbreak) to include both (1) a blood lead level of 3.5 µg/dL or higher; AND (2) measured within 3 months after consuming the recalled apple sauce puree. Well over 400 cases have now been identified in 43 states, with that number only expected to grow. A number of Lead Applesauce lawsuits have been filed.
Cantaloupe Once Again on the List of Deadly Outbreaks
Once again, death and illness have resulted from consumption of contaminated cantaloupe. Both whole and pre-cut cantaloupe were recalled after The TruFresh cantaloupes, sold under the brands Malichita and Rudy, were imported by Sophia Produce, and sold widely in the U.S. At least 407 people acquired salmonella Sundsvall or Oranienburg. At least 6 people died as a result, while 158 were hospitalized. At lease 44 states recorded victims, as did Cananda. The number of casualties in each state tracked state-population closely. An outbreak that sicked 11 earlier in the year, with Salmonella Newport, was also linked to cantaloupe.
Peaches, Plums, and Nectarines Joined Cantaloupe as 2023’s Dangerous Fruits
Fresh whole peaches, plums, and nectarines, sold in colorful plastic bags, were also linked to an outbreak – this time of Listeria Monocytogenes. This outbreak has also proven to be deadly with one victims dying and 10 others requiring hospitalization. The CDC and FDA investigation began late fall last year, on November 17, 2023, and focused on HMC Group Marketing, Inc., a Kingsburg, California company. HMC issues a voluntary recall on its peaches, plums, and nectarines sold between May 1, 2022 and November 15, 2022 and again from May 1, 2023 to November 15, 2023.
Onions Again on Recall List – Third Time in 4 Years Onions Cause Major Outbreak
Yet again, onions are at the heart of a nation-wide outbreak of salmonella, this time Salmonella Tompson, that has sicked 80 and led to 18 hospitalizations and one death. After the Thomson Onion outbreak in 2020, and the ProSource onion outbreak in 2021, onions are again at the center of a wide-spread salmonella outbreak. But this time, instead of whole onions, this outbreak is linked to pre-chopped bags of onions. The diced onions were manufactured by Grill Onions. All of the victims come from states in the Western U.S.
Parasites Also Made an Appearance in 2023: Broccoli Contaminated with Cyclospora
The Cyclospora parasite, usually on fruits or vegetables imported from warmer climates, also reappeared in the U.S., having been here most recently in wide-spread Cyclospora outbreaks linked to garden salads. This time the Cyclospora bug was distributed in broccoli. At least 20 victims were identified.
Poison Unknown Kills Two After Eating Morel Mushrooms at Dave’s Sushi in Montana
At lest two wrongful death lawsuits have been filed, and other injured, after eating morel mushrooms from Dave’s Sushi in Montana, where they were served raw in specialty sushi rolls. The victims died very soon after eating the mushrooms, and the restaurant was closed pending an investigation. The deaths have yet to be fully explained, as the causal toxin has not yet been identified. Litigation in the Dave’s Suchi mushroom fatalities is ongoing, and companies in California an China appear to be in the stream of commerce for the morel mushrooms. At other establishments, which served cooked morel mushrooms, it appears the patrons did not get sick.
Many other outbreaks and Recalls were investigated in 2023, and many more will likely be unveiled in 2024. For more information or to stay attuned to the many outbreaks, feel free to subscribe toe FoodPoisonignNews.com – the link is at the bottom of the page.