Posts Tagged ‘food poisoning’

Chicken and salmonella

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

In the last few days, you may have heard about people getting sick from salmonella found in some chicken. Salmonella are a kind of bacteria that cause the food poisoning, salmonellosis. You can get salmonellosis and other kinds of food poisoning from harmful germs in something you eat or drink.

Salmonellosis can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever and headache. If you get salmonellosis during pregnancy, it can cause serious and even life-threatening problems for you and your growing baby.

So far, 300 people in over 18 states have gotten sick.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) found that the tainted chicken came from three Foster Farms packaging plants in California. The chicken may have the following UDSA inspection numbers: P6137, P6137A and P7632. The USDA is still investigating and hasn’t officially announced a recall yet.

In the meantime, be sure to cook all meats well to help avoid salmonellosis and other kinds of food poisoning. Use a food thermometer and cook chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of at least 165 F. Wash hands and clean work space after handling raw chicken and other meats. Learn more tips about handling food safely.

Listeriosis – serious food poisoning

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Listeriosis, a kind of food poisoning caused by harmful germs in something you eat or drink, is especially serious when you’re pregnant. It can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever and headache.

There are over 1,600 new cases of listeriosis each year in the United States. Most healthy people don’t get sick from listeriosis. It mostly affects people with a weakened immune system, including pregnant women. If you get listeriosis during pregnancy, it can cause serious health problems for your growing baby including miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth, low birthweight, and life-threatening infections.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, pregnant women are 10 times more likely to get this serious form of food poisoning than others in the general population. And the risk is 24 times higher among pregnant Hispanic women, according to the Vital Signs report, released Tuesday by the CDC.

Most people get listeriosis by eating food that is contaminated with the bacteria Listeria. Food can come in contact with Listeria in soil, water, animals or animal poop.
Foods that may have Listeria include:
• Vegetables that come in contact with animal poop in the soil or in fertilizer
• Meats, including beef, pork and chicken
• Unpasteurized milk and foods made with it. If a food has been pasteurized, it’s been heated to kill bad germs. Milk and juices often are pasteurized. Look for the word “pasteurized” on the product label.
• Hot dogs (and juice from hot dogs) and deli meats, like ham, turkey, salami and bologna
• Pre-made or cold salads from delis or salad bars
• Pates or meat spreads that have been kept in a refrigerator. Canned meat spreads are safe.
• Soft cheeses, like feta, Brie, Camembert, Roquefort, blue-veined, queso blanco, queso fresco or Panela
• Smoked fish (nova style, lox, kippered or jerky) that has been kept in a refrigerator. Smoked fish is safe if it’s canned or you use it in a cooked dish (like a casserole).

Foods can cross contaminate each other. Cross contamination is the transfer of harmful bacteria from one thing to another. For example, if you use the same knife to cut raw chicken and tomatoes and don’t wash the knife in between, it can pass Listeria from the chicken to the tomatoes. Or if you get juice from a hot dog package on a knife, it can pass Listeria from the knife to the next food you cut.

You may hear news stories about foods that have been recalled (not allowed to be sold) because of listeriosis. If you’ve eaten one of these foods, call your health care provider right away.

Signs and symptoms of listeriosis usually start a few days after you’ve eaten infected food. But it can take up to 2 months for them to appear. To test for listeriosis, your provider takes a sample of your blood or urine, or fluid from your spine. Your provider sends the sample to a lab for testing.

Listeriosis usually causes mild, flu-like symptoms including fever, muscle aches, chills, nausea, diarrhea. If listeriosis infection spreads to your nervous system (brain and spinal cord), symptoms may include headache, stiff neck, being confused, trouble with balance or seizures. Call your health care provider if you think you may have listeriosis. Treatment depends on your symptoms. During pregnancy, quick treatment with antibiotics can keep listeriosis from harming your baby.

Here are some things you can do to help prevent listeriosis:
• Handle foods safely when you wash, prepare, cook and store them.
• Wash your hands well with soap and water after contact with animals, animal food, bedding, tanks or animal poop.
• Wash your hands well with soap and water after using the bathroom.
• Watch out for cross contamination between yourself, food and any utensils or supplies you use when preparing or eating food.

Peanut butter recall

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Smucker’s® is recalling its Natural Peanut Butter Chunky because it may have Salmonella, bacteria that cause salmonellosis infection. People with salmonellosis can get sick and may have diarrhea, fever, vomiting and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection.

The recall is for Smucker’s® Natural Peanut Butter Chunky with the following details:

• Purchased between November 8 – 17, 2011
• UPC 5150001701 (located on the side of the jar’s label below the bar code)
• Production Codes 1307004 and 1308004
• Best-If-Used-By dates August 3, 2012 and August 4, 2012
• Chunky product only (not creamy)

In most healthy adults, symptoms can last for days. But pregnant women, babies and others with weakened immune systems can sometimes become seriously ill from Salmonella infection.  Occasionally, a pregnant woman can pass a Salmonella infection on to her baby. After birth, her baby can get diarrhea, fever and, less frequently, meningitis after birth. Meningitis is an infection of the membranes surrounding the brain.

Visit the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) website for more information on the peanut butter recall.

Listeriosis harmful in pregnancy

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

You may have heard recent news about cantaloupes being recalled because they may be linked to listeriosis, a kind of food poisoning. The cantaloupes are Rocky Ford cantaloupes and were shipped nationwide by Jensen Farms.

Listeriosis is a serious infection caused by bacteria called listeria. Listeriosis most often happens from being in contact with foods that have listeria. While anyone can get listeriosis, pregnant women are about 20 times more likely than other healthy adults to get listeriosis. In fact, about 1 in 6 cases of listeriosis happens during pregnancy.

Listeriosis is very harmful to women during pregnancy. A pregnant woman who gets listeriosis is at risk for miscarriage, premature birth and stillbirth. Listeriosis is also very harmful, even deadly, to newborn babies. Older adults and people with weakened immune systems are at increased risk of listeriosis, too.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises everyone not to eat Rocky Ford cantaloupes shipped by Jensen Farms. While most grocery stores have removed the cantaloupes from their shelves, some people may still have them in their homes. At least 18 states have reported cases of listeriosis from cantaloupes, including California, Montana, Kansas, Florida and Maryland.

To learn more about the recalled cantaloupes, visit the CDC website.

Don’t eat that!

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

There is so much to pay attention to these days regarding food that sometimes you can feel spooked about putting anything in your mouth.  This stuff is “good,” that’s “bad,” even though it was good yesterday…  Try not to go crazy and remember the old adage, “everything in moderation.”

Still, it is important to watch what you eat because not all foods are safe for pregnant women. Some contain high levels of chemicals that can affect your baby’s development. Others put you at risk for getting an infection that can hurt your baby.  Here are some tips:
• Avoid swordfish, shark, king mackerel and tile fish. These fish can contain potentially risky levels of mercury. The same for raw fish, especially shellfish (oysters, clams)
• Cook all meat, poultry and seafood thoroughly to kill bacteria.
• Cook all eggs well and avoid soft-scrambled eggs and all foods made with raw or lightly cooked eggs (does that Caesar salad dressing have raw egg in it?)
• Avoid soft cheeses made with unpasteurized milk. Examples are Brie, feta, Camembert, Roquefort, blue-veined, queso blanco, queso fresco and Panela. Check the label to see what kind of milk was used to make the cheese.
• All milk and any foods made from it should be pasteurized. So should juices.
• Raw vegetable sprouts, including alfalfa, clover, radish and mung bean might be sources of salmonella, so don’t eat them.

Recalls: Parkers Farm products, Happytot and Happybaby pouch meals

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

Two companies have recently recalled food products. Parkers Farm, a food company in Minnesota, has recalled several products because of possible contamination with Listeria. This bacteria can cause a type of food poisoning that can be especially dangerous for pregnant women and small children.

The recalled products include peanut butter, bagel spreads, dips, cheese and salsa. They are sold under the brand name Parkers Farm and other brand names, incuding Kroger, Dutch Farms and Central Market.

For a list of all the products in this recall, visit the Web site of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Nurture, Inc., has recalled some Happytot and Happybaby meal pouches. The packaging is defective and could lead to contamination with bacteria. For a list of all the recalled products, visit the FDA Web site.