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New outbreak under investigation; FDA ends work on another without finding source

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The FDA is investigating one new outbreak and has closed an investigation on another.

On Wednesday the Food and Drug Administration announced a new Salmonella Litchfield outbreak that has sickened at least 28 patients. The source of the pathogen has not yet been identified.

In its outbreak announcement, the FDA did not indicate how old the patients are or where they live. The agency also did not report whether any patients have been hospitalized.

As of Wednesday evening, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had not posted any information about the outbreak. This is not unusual because the CDC generally waits until a specific pathogen source has been found. 

The FDA has initiated traceback efforts but has not reported what food or foods are being traced.

The agency has closed its investigation of an outbreak of infections caused by Salmonella Mississippi. The outbreak has been declared over without a source of the pathogen being determined. The FDA first posted the outbreak on Aug. 31. It reported that at least 103 patients were confirmed infected. The agency conducted traceback, but did not report what food or foods were traced.

A Listeria monocytogenes outbreak with six patients continues. Traceback efforts have begun but the FDA is not saying what food or foods are being traced. The cause of the outbreak remains unknown. The FDA has not revealed the ages of the patients or where the patients live.

Ongoing outbreak investigations

  • The patient count in an outbreak caused by Salmonella Mississippi remains steady at 103. The agency has not made public where the patients live or their ages. The FDA has not identified a source of the pathogen but has initiated traceback efforts. The agency has not reported what food or foods are being traced.
  • For a Salmonella Senftenberg outbreak from a not yet identified food, the patient count is steady at 30. Traceback has begun but FDA has not reported what is being traced.
  • For a Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak from a not yet identified food, the patient count has increased to 86, up from 84 reported a week ago. Traceback, on-site inspection and sample analysis has been initiated, but the FDA has not reported what is being traced or tested or where the inspection is taking place.
  • For a Cyclospora outbreak the patient count is steady at 81. Traceback has begun but the FDA has not reported what is being traced. Sample collection and analysis has been initiated and an on-site inspection has been initiated.
  • For another Cyclospora outbreak the patient count has remained steady at 42. Traceback has begun but the FDA has not reported what is being traced. Similarily, sample testing has begun but the agency has not reported what is being tested. 
  • An investigation related to adverse effects associated with Daily Harvest brand frozen Leeks & Lentils Crumbles is ongoing. The company has received more than 470 complaints of illnesses and as of its most recent report on Sept. 15 the FDA had received 386 complaints. Some of the patients have gone into liver failure and at least 25 have had to have their gallbladders removed. The FDA is working on traceback efforts and has begun on-site inspection and product testing. Some testing has revealed that tara flour is an ingredient unique to the Daily Harvest crumbles product and could be related to the illnesses.
  • In an ongoing outbreak of infections caused by E. coli O157:H7 the FDA has initiated sample collection and analysis. The outbreak, reported by the CDC as being linked to lettuce on Wendy’s sandwiches, has sickened at least 84 people. The four-state outbreak has sickened more people according to the state counts, but all of the reports have not reached the CDC. Wendy’s has stopped serving the romaine-iceberg lettuce hybrid on sandwiches in several states, according to a statement from the company.
  • The FDA is conducting an on-site inspection at Big Olaf Creamery in Florida, which has been deemed to be behind an 11-state outbreak of Listeria infections. The state of Florida closed the business several weeks ago after tests found multiple places of contamination with Listeria monocytogenes in the plant. Testing also showed Listeria in 16 of 17 flavors of the company’s ice cream. At last count the outbreak had sickened 25 patients with one having died. A pregnant woman also miscarried. Twenty-four of the patients have required hospitalization.
  • An outbreak of infections from Cronobacter in at least four infants, two of whom died. The outbreak has been determined to be over by the CDC but is it still under investigation. The babies consumed infant formula made by Abbott Nutrition’s plant in Sturgis, MI.

To enlarge table click on it. To view the FDA page with active links to specific outbreak information, use the link below.

Click here to go to the FDA page with links to specific outbreak details. The investigations are in a variety of stages. Some outbreaks have limited information with active investigations ongoing, others may be near completion.

public health advisory will be issued for investigations that have resulted in specific, actionable steps for consumers to take to protect themselves, according to the FDA. Please direct your attention to those pages for the most up-to-date information on the investigation and for consumer protection information.

Outbreak and adverse event investigations that do not result in specific, actionable steps for consumers may or may not conclusively identify a source or reveal any contributing factors. Adverse event investigations rely on self-reported data. Although these reports may name a particular product, 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 illnesses or adverse events. If a cause and/or contributing factors are identified that could inform future prevention, FDA commits to providing a summary of those findings.

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