Category: Foodborne

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 Gómez9 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

Not a Typical Spring Weekend: Seven Salmonella Investigations

Foodborne illnesses occur throughout the year and summers tend to be busy with outbreaks. I work in CDC’s Enteric Diseases Epidemiology Branch and we just spent a few busy weeks on an investigation linking E. coli 0157 illnesses to raw cookie dough. See Karen Neil’s blog about that process. Still, even in our busiest times, Read More >

Posted on by Mark Sotir1 Comment

Linking Raw Cookie Dough to an E. coli Outbreak

Contaminated raw cookie dough wasn’t on anyone’s mind as my public health colleagues and I were searching for the cause of a multistate outbreak of E. coli infections. I’m one of the Epidemic Intelligence Service officers in CDC’s Enteric Diseases Epidemiology Branch, which monitors and investigates foodborne diseases together with CDC’s Enteric Disease Laboratory Branch Read More >

Posted on by Karen Neil9 Comments

Clostridium difficile – an Emerging Zoonosis?

The media has recently given attention to studies [G. Songer; Rodriguez-Palacios A, et al] that isolated a bacterium called Clostridium difficile from meats sold in grocery stores.  C. difficile causes a severe colon infection and is generally acquired in hospitals and long-term care facilities.  Although most of the cases of C. difficile infection are healthcare Read More >

Posted on by Ali S. Khan9 Comments

Food Safety: Need for Speed

CDC plays a vital role but public health happens at the local level thanks to the work of thousands of our state, territorial, tribal, city, and county public health professionals. So it is always a pleasure to meet with state epidemiologists, leaders in using epidemiologic data to guide public health practice and improve health.  On Read More >

Posted on by Ali S. Khan1 Comment