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Category: Foodborne

Public Health: Are We Too Slow?

Meat thermometer and raw chicken breast

  One of the many roles of public health is to protect consumers from threats like foodborne outbreaks. Much of this hinges on quickly getting out clear messages to the public that provide simple steps to help stem the spread of disease. This is something public health professionals have been doing for over a hundred Read More >

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Cheesy Chicken & Rice Recall: A Successful Outbreak Investigation

I know it is summer when a quick review of our foodborne outbreak watch board shows four multistate outbreak investigations: Salmonella Chester, Salmonella Baildon, Salmonella Hartford, and  E. coli O157 due to contaminated bison meat products. Outbreak investigations play a key role in preventing foodborne diseases and often help public health officials identify areas for Read More >

Posted on by Ali S. Khan6 CommentsTags , , ,

A Primer on E. coli O145: A Little Contaminated Lettuce and a Lot of Different Os

Here is a quick summary of the recent Escherichia coli O145 outbreak associated with Romaine lettuce, and it highlights the amazingly quick FDA actions to prevent additional disease: • On April 16th, public health authorities recognized an outbreak of bloody diarrhea at a university in Michigan that was later confirmed as being due to E. coli Read More >

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Food-borne Outbreaks Caused By Ingredients: Would You Like Some Pepper With That?

  I often discuss the globalization and complexity of our food supply to highlight both the wonderful diversity of our yummy foodstuffs but also the challenges from contamination. Recently, architectural students in California provided a vivid example when they deconstructed a taco from a street-vendor to see the origin of each of the ingredients (see Read More >

Posted on by Ali S. Khan1 CommentTags , ,

Cookie Dough – Gooey, Sweet, and Seasoned with… Bacteria?!

The possibility that E. coli O157:H7 was a contaminant in cookie dough surprised even the most experienced microbiologists here in CDC’s Enteric Diseases Laboratory Branch. E. coli O157 is a common culprit of a severe diarrheal illness, usually caused by eating contaminated and undercooked ground beef or drinking unpasteurized apple juice. It shouldn’t have even Read More >

Posted on by Gerry Gómez7 Comments

The First Step in Identifying a Foodborne Outbreak… PulseNet

The road to last month’s cookie dough recall started when CDC scientists reviewed information collected through PulseNet, a national network of laboratories that perform DNA “fingerprinting” of foodborne bacteria like E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella, and Listeria. These fingerprints are plugged into a database that CDC and its state partners routinely scan. I’m a PulseNet database Read More >

Posted on by Steven Stroika2 Comments
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