List of foodborne illness outbreaks in the United States
In 1999, an estimated 5,000 deaths, 325,000 hospitalizations and 76 million illnesses were caused by foodborne illnesses within the US. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began tracking outbreaks starting in the 1970s. By 2012, the figures were roughly 130,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths.
- The Swill milk scandal leads to the deaths of 8,000 babies in one year alone.
- On July 2, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a public warning after learning that a Westchester County, New York, man had died and his wife had become seriously ill from botulism after eating a portion of a can of Bon Vivant vichyssoise soup. 6,444 vichyssoise soup cans were recalled, including all Bon Vivant soups – more than a million cans in all. On July 7, the FDA ordered the shutdown of the company's Newark, New Jersey, plant. Out of 324 soup cans, five of them were found to be contaminated with botulinum toxin, all in the initial batch of vichyssoise that was recalled. The company filed for bankruptcy within a month of the start of the recall, and changed its business name to Moore & Co. The FDA resolved to destroy the company's stock of canned soup, but the company fought the proposed action in court until 1974.
- Botulism in peppers served at the Trini and Carmen restaurant in Pontiac, Michigan, caused the largest outbreak of botulism poisonings in the United States up to that time. The peppers were canned at home by a former employee. Fifty-nine people were sickened.
- Botulism in Clovis, New Mexico. 34 people who ate at a restaurant, Colonial Park Country Club, developed clinical botulism in the second-largest outbreak in United States history. The outbreak was traced to either potato salad or a commercially prepared three-bean salad served to a group attending a banquet. Despite a thorough search of the local landfill, the discarded three-bean salad containers were never located, making it impossible to test them to confirm the source of contamination. All patients were hospitalized and 33 received trivalent botulinal antitoxin. There were two deaths.
- Botulism (Type A Clostridium botulinum) in Peoria, Illinois. 28 persons were hospitalized, and 20 patients were treated with an antitoxin. 12 patients required ventilatory support and 1 death resulted. The source was sauteed onions made from fresh raw onions served on a patty melt sandwich. The sandwiches were served at the Skewer Inn Restaurant located inside Northwoods Mall.
- A listeria outbreak in California stemmed from Mexican style soft cheese made by Jalisco. There were 52 confirmed deaths, including 19 stillbirths and 10 infant deaths. At the time, it was the deadliest foodborne illness outbreak in the United States, measured by the number of deaths, since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had begun tracking outbreaks in the 1970s. Alta Dena supplied the raw milk to Jalisco to make the cheese. Jalisco had a non-licensed technician perform the pasteurization, though pasteurized milk might have been diluted with non-pasteurized milk by the technician. On July 15, 1989 Alta Dena was absolved of any blame.
- As there was Salmonella typhimurium in milk from the Hillfarm Dairy in Melrose Park, Illinois, a salmonellosis outbreak occurred. At least 16,284 people were infected, all but 1,059 of them from Illinois. The others were in Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Two people died and the infection was a contributing factor in the deaths of "four, possibly five, others". It was the worst outbreak of salmonellosis food poisoning in United States history at the time.
- Botulism in whitefish in New Jersey. Four members of a Fort Lee family were stricken with botulism after eating fish bought in Jersey City.
- E. coli O157:H7 outbreak caused by undercooked hamburgers from Jack in the Box. Four children died and nearly 700 others became sick in the Seattle area and other parts of the Pacific Northwest. The outrage resulting from the deaths placed strong political pressure on Washington and resulted in new regulations from the USDA to reform century-old practices in the meat industry. The new regulations, titled Pathogen Reduction and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point Systems Final Rule, required a mandatory HACCP inspection system and microbial testing in meat processing plants.
- Salmonella in ice cream from Schwan's Sales Enterprises of Marshall, Minnesota. Based upon the volume of ice cream produced, the number of consumers, and the attack rate amongst consumers, it is estimated that 29,100 people within Minnesota suffered from S. enteritidis gastroenteritis after eating Schwan's ice cream; and that since most of the ice cream produced during the outbreak was distributed outside Minnesota, as many as 224,000 people across the United States became sick. The contamination occurred when raw, unpasteurized eggs were hauled in a tanker truck that later carried pasteurized ice cream to the Schwan's plant. The ice cream premix wasn't pasteurized again after delivery to the plant.
- E. coli O157:H7 in unpasteurized apple juice from Odwalla. The company was using blemished fruit and ignored warnings from in-house safety experts and specialized in selling unpasteurized juices for their supposed health benefits. 70 people in several U.S. states were stricken, mostly in the West, and in Canada. The outbreak caused one death, a 16-month-old girl from Colorado.
- E. coli O157:H7 in lettuce sickened at least 61 people in Illinois, Connecticut and New York in May and June 1996.
- Hepatitis A on frozen strawberries from Andrew & Williamson Sales Co. of San Diego, California. The strawberries were grown in Baja California, Mexico and processed by A&W. Thousands of students from Arizona, California, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, and Tennessee may have been exposed to the virus from eating strawberries in school lunches. Over 2.6 million pounds of strawberries were recalled.
- 1997 E. coli O157:H7 in ground beef from Hudson Foods Company of Rogers, Arkansas. Burger King was the largest client. The plant was in Columbus, Nebraska. The company recalled over 25 million pounds of ground beef it had manufactured, in the second largest recall in history.
- A listeriosis outbreak, which was the third deadliest outbreak of foodborne illness in the United States since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention started tracking in the 1970s, resulted in 14 deaths and 4 miscarriages or stillbirths. The listeria outbreak was in hot dogs and cold cuts from Sara Lee Corporation. Some sources put the death toll as high as 21.
- A Sun Orchard salmonellosis outbreak occurred when more than 400 people became infected with Salmonella Muenchen as a result of drinking contaminated unpasteurized orange juice. The juice was produced by Sun Orchard, based in Tempe, Arizona, and sold to restaurants, hotels, retail and catering outlets in 15 US states and 2 Canadian provinces under a variety of different brand names, including Sun Orchard, Earls, Joey Tomato's, Trader Joe's, Markon, Aloha, Sysco, and Voila! The outbreak resulted in 1 fatality, and is the largest outbreak of salmonellosis associated with unpasteurized juice.
- E. coli O157:H7 was found in the drinking water at the Washington County Fair in Easton, New York. Over 700 people were affected and 2 people died.
- Salmonella in bean sprouts from Pacific Coast Sprout Farms. They bought dry seeds in China and Australia and when germinated, the sprouts caused an outbreak from Oregon to Massachusetts. At least 67 people became ill, and 17 were hospitalized.
- A young girl died and 65 other people were sickened in an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The source of the outbreak was two Sizzler restaurants that apparently allowed raw meat to come into contact with other food items. The infected meat was traced to the Excel meat packing plant in Colorado.
- There were 19 confirmed cases, 19 likely cases, and 49 suspected cases of E. coli O157:H7 in Oregon in August. The cases were linked to a Wendy's restaurant, and although beef was the suspected vector of transmission, such a link was not conclusively shown.
- E. coli O157:H7 in ground beef from ConAgra. 19 people became ill in California, Colorado, Michigan, South Dakota, Washington and Wyoming as a result of eating tainted hamburger from a ConAgra plant in Greeley, Colorado. The company recalled over 19 million pounds of ground beef it had manufactured, in the third largest recall in history.
- Listeria in processed turkey from Pilgrim's Pride. The company recalled over 27 million pounds of poultry products it had manufactured, in the largest recall in history. The outbreak killed 7 people, sickened 46, and caused 3 miscarriages.
- Botulism sickened 8 people in Western Alaska as a result of eating a beached beluga whale.
- Fifty-seven people in 7 states became ill in August and September after consuming meat contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. The tainted meat originated at the meat packing plant Emmpak Foods. Emmpak recalled 2.8 million pounds of ground beef in the aftermath of the outbreak.
- A hepatitis A outbreak was one of the most widespread hepatitis A outbreak in the United States, afflicting at least 640 people, killing four people in north-eastern Ohio and south-western Pennsylvania in late 2003. The outbreak was blamed on tainted green onions at a Chi-Chi's restaurant in Monaca, Pennsylvania.
- E. coli O157:H7 from Taco Bell in South Plainfield, New Jersey and Long Island. 39 people in central New Jersey and on Long Island were sickened and suffered from hemolytic uremic syndrome. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at first believed the E. coli O157:H7 to be in the green onions. The FDA on December 13, 2006 said it could not confirm that scallions were the cause of the problem, as previously suspected, and that it was not ruling out any food as a possible culprit. It was later suspected that infected lettuce was the cause.
- 2006 North American E. coli outbreak. E. coli O157:H7 in bagged organic spinach packaged by Natural Selection Foods and most likely supplied by Earthbound Farm in San Juan Bautista. 3 dead, and 198 people reported sickened by the outbreak across 25 U.S. states, and 1 person reported sickened by the outbreak in Ontario.
- On December 27, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health warned not to drink milk or milk related products from Whittier Farms in Shrewsbury, MA due to a listeria bacteria contamination that resulted in two deaths.
- On October 11, food manufacturer ConAgra asked stores to pull its Banquet and generic brand chicken and turkey pot pies due to 152 cases of salmonella poisoning in 31 states being linked to the consumption of ConAgra pot pies, with 20 people hospitalized. By October 12, a full recall was announced, affecting all varieties of frozen pot pies sold under the brands Banquet, Albertson's, Food Lion, Great Value, Hill Country Fare, Kirkwood, Kroger, Meijer, and Western Family. The recalled pot pies included all varieties in 7-oz. single-serving packages bearing the number P-9 or "Est. 1059" printed on the side of the package.
- E. coli O157:H7 in ground beef from the Topps Meat Company in Elizabeth, New Jersey. As of 2007[update], it is the second-largest beef recall in United States history.
- Salmonella in Metz Fresh, California spinach. Recalled 8,000 cartons of fresh spinach. No reports of any illness.
- Botulism from cans of Castleberry's, Austex and Kroger brands of chili sauce. In total, over 25 different brands of a variety of products were recalled by Castleberry's Food Company. The best by dates for the affected products range from April 30, 2009, through May 22, 2009. The contamination by the toxin is extremely rare for commercially canned products. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention medical epidemiologist Dr. Michael Lynch said the last such U.S. case dates to the 1970s. The roughly 25 cases reported each year were mainly from home canned foods.
- Salmonella from Peter Pan and Great Value Peanut Butter (both manufactured by ConAgra) in 44 states. By March 7, 2007, the outbreak had grown to 425 cases in 44 states since its start in August 2006. The CDC said it is believed to be the first salmonella outbreak associated with peanut butter in United States history.
- In April and May, 14 people in 11 states were sickened after eating E. coli O157:H7-tainted beef packed by United Food Group. The meat packing company ultimately recalled 5.7 million pounds of potentially contaminated meat.
- 2008 United States salmonellosis outbreak. As of August 28, 2008, from April 10, 2008, the rare Saintpaul serotype of Salmonella enterica caused at least 1442 cases of salmonellosis food poisoning in 43 states throughout the United States, the District of Columbia, and Canada. As of July 2008, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration suspects that the contaminated food product is a common ingredient in fresh salsa, such as raw tomato, fresh jalapeño pepper, fresh serrano pepper, and fresh cilantro. It is the largest reported salmonellosis outbreak in the United States since 1985. During a House subcommittee hearing into food supply safety and the recent salmonella contamination, a top federal official told panel members that agencies have found the source of the contamination after it showed up in yet another batch of Mexican-grown peppers. Adam Acheson, Food and Drug Administration associate commissioner for foods, said the FDA tracked the salmonella positive test to serrano peppers and irrigation water at a packing facility in Nuevo León, Mexico, and a grower in Tamaulipas. New Mexico and Texas were proportionally the hardest hit by far, with 49.7 and 16.1 reported cases per million, respectively. The greatest number of reported cases have occurred in Texas (384 reported cases), New Mexico (98), Illinois (100), and Arizona (49). There have been at least 203 reported hospitalizations linked to the outbreak, it has caused at least one death, and it may have been a contributing factor in at least one additional death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintains that "it is likely many more illnesses have occurred than those reported." If applying a previous CDC estimated ratio of non-reported salmonellosis cases to reported cases (38.6:1), one would arrive at an estimated 40,273 illnesses from this outbreak.
- An aggressive strain of Salmonella, the Newport serotype, was found in beef products made by a Fresno, California-based unit of Cargill (Beef Packers Inc.) in August 2009, resulting in a large recall.
- Salmonellosis in peanut butter from Peanut Corporation of America in Blakely, Georgia has become "one of the nation’s worst known outbreaks of food-borne disease" in recent years. Nine are believed to have died and an estimated 22,500 were sickened. Criminal negligence has been alleged after product tested positive then re-tested "negative" by a second testing agency, and shipped on several occasions. The product was in turn used by dozens of other manufacturers in hundreds of other products which have had to be recalled. The CEO of Peanut Corporation of America was sentenced to 28 years in prison for his role in the outbreak.
- E. coli O157:H7 was believed to have contaminated Nestle Toll House refrigerated cookie dough. Nestlé recalled its products after the FDA reported there was a possibility that the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak, which sickened at least 66 people in 28 states, might be a result of raw cookie dough consumption. According to Marler Clark, the number of illnesses reached 70 in 30 states by June 23, 2009, with 35 hospitalizations required, and seven cases of hemolytic-uremic syndrome. The products which were originally believed to have been tainted came from a Danville, Virginia plant. However, no E. coli O157:H7 has been found in the plant, according to the FDA. Many media sources have failed to report that E. coli contamination has not been confirmed in Nestlé products. The CDC has reported that ground beef is a likely source of the contamination.
- More than 500 million eggs were recalled after dangerous levels of Salmonella were detected in the eggs of two Iowa producers, Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farm, that distribute eggs in fourteen U.S. states. Nearly 2,000 illnesses were reported between May and July, approximately 1,300 more than usual for this strain of the bacteria. Jack DeCoster and Peter DeCoster have pleaded guilty to the "distribution of adulterated eggs in interstate commerce," and Quality Egg "admitted to falsifying expiration dates on egg cartons" as well as to two attempts to bribe a USDA inspector In August 2010, the company recalled 380 million eggs in connection with a salmonella outbreak, and a related company, Hillandale Farms, recalled 170 million eggs.
- In 2011, the United States saw an outbreak of listeriosis from cantaloupes from Colorado that lasted from July to September. 30 people died, making it the second-deadliest recorded U.S. outbreak since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began tracking outbreaks in the 1970s.
- In June 2011, twenty people fell ill from eating cantaloupe from Del Monte Fresh Produce infected with Salmonella Panama from Guatemala. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had found that eight of the people sickened had eaten cantaloupes purchased from Costco, and they used the purchase records to figure out that the food in common was cantaloupes, and they had come from the same Guatemalan farm. Del Monte went to court to lift the import ban by the Food and Drug Administration. An investigation found that a pipe carrying raw sewage emptied into an open ditch about 110 yards from the farm's packing house.
- Andrew Williamson Fresh Produce voluntarily recalls one lot of organic grape tomatoes sold under the Limited Edition and Fresh & Easy labels due to a possible health risk from Salmonella.
- Emporia, Kansas-based Tyson Fresh Meats (Tyson Foods) announces it is recalling 131,300 pounds of ground beef products due to possible E. coli O157:H7 contamination.
- Publix Super Markets issues a voluntary recall for spinach dip because it may be adulterated with Listeria monocytogenes.
- Roundy's Super Markets Inc., a Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based company with an establishment in Kenosha, Wisconsin, is recalling 360 pounds of breaded chicken breast products, that should have been fully cooked, because they may have been undercooked.
- E. coli in strawberries from Newberg, Oregon killed one person on August 8, 2011. The Oregon Health Authority announced that they had linked at least 10 E. coli infections to a strawberry farm in Newberg, Oregon. Four patients had been hospitalized and an elderly woman died from kidney failure associated with her E. coli illness. The strawberries were sold to buyers who resold them at roadside stands and farmer's markets.
- One dead in California from Salmonella and 76 more people sickened in 26 states. On August 3, 2011, Cargill recalled 36,000,000 pounds of fresh and frozen ground turkey products produced at the company's Springdale, Arkansas, facility from February 20, 2011, through August 2, 2011, due to possible contamination from Salmonella Heidelberg.
- In March and April 2011, Jennie-O recalled almost 55,000 pounds of turkey burgers because drug-resistant salmonella was found in its products.
- In June 2011, nearly 3,000 cases of Dole Food Company salad bags were recalled after a random test found the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes in a bag of the salad.
- Contaminated papaya appears to be the cause of an outbreak of Salmonella food poisoning (salmonellosis) in 23 states, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers. The FDA says papayas imported from Mexico and distributed by Agromod Produce Inc. of McAllen, Texas, is likely the source of 97 cases of Salmonella Agona. To date, 10 people have been hospitalized but there have been no reported deaths. As a result, all papayas sold before Saturday, July 23, 2011, have been voluntarily recalled by Agromod. The cases were reported between January 1 and July 18 in Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio. Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. While ages ranged from 1 year to 91 years old, the average age of those stricken is 20. More than half of the cases are women. Texas had the most cases with 25 people falling ill.
- The 2012 salmonella outbreak caused sickness in hundreds of people in the Netherlands and the United States via Salmonella-tainted salmon.
- A peanut butter recall was voluntarily issued in September 2012 by Sunland Inc. due to salmonella. After further investigation, the recall included all 240 products, made at Sunland's production plant in Portales, New Mexico manufactured since March 1, 2010. A total of 35 people from 19 states were sickened from tainted products, most of them children. The Center for Disease Control (CDC), said the majority of those who became ill claim it was between June 11, 2012 and September 2, 2012. Officials from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found salmonella all over plant including improper handling of the products, unclean equipment and uncovered trailers of peanuts outside the facility. The total of people and states rose to 41 people in 20 states sold by Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Safeway, Target and other large grocery chains. On November 26, 2012, the FDA suspended Sunland's registration to produce and distribute food product. Sunland had the right to a hearing and prove to the FDA that its facilities are clean and can reopen. Sunland closed and filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on October 9, 2013.
- An unusual strain of E coli bacteria caused the reported illness of 33 people across several states in the US, carried on organically grown greens like spinach and spring mix. This strain produces shiga toxin, which is thought to have been transferred to the species from the shigella bacterium, by a bacteriophage, a kind of virus that (as the name implies) "eats" bacteria. Cases of food poisoning began to be reported in the New York State area on October 18, 2012. The CDC eventually concluded this was an example of O157:H7, its code for a strain of E coli that is noteworthy for seeming to have genes from a different species, shigella, producing an unusual toxin, though not one especially lethal to human beings. Overall, 33 people in 5 states are known to have been infected. There were no deaths reported. This outbreak seems to have originated with food from State Garden, an organic produce company in Chelsea, MA.
- July – August. The E. coli O157:H7 outbreak at Federico's Mexican Restaurant in Litchfield Park, Arizona, (a suburb of Phoenix) has now grown to include 79 people. At least 23 people have been hospitalized in this outbreak. This is now the largest E. coli outbreak in the United States in years. At least two people have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a severe complication of an E. coli O157:H7 infection that can destroy the kidneys. Symptoms of an E. coli infection include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea that may be bloody and/or watery, fever, nausea, and vomiting. Symptoms of HUS are the same as E. coli symptoms but include pale skin tone, small, unexplained bruises, bleeding from the nose and mouth, decreased urination, blood in the urine, and swelling. Victims have filed three civil suits against Federico's parent company, Femex LLC, in Maricopa County Superior Court.
- October – November. A company that makes prepared chicken salad has recalled more than 180,000 pounds of its products after some were linked to a few cases of Escherichia coli (E. coli) infection. CA-based Glass Onion Catering has recalled products distributed to AZ, CA, NV, NM, OR, TX, UT, and WA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) says. So far, 26 people in 3 states have been diagnosed with the same E. coli 0157:H7 infection, the USDA says (15 of them say they ate products traced to Glass Onion Catering, which supplies midsized grocery store chains such as Trader Joe's with "gourmet grab and go" products, many featuring grilled chicken (chicken is rarely contaminated with E. coli). Most E. coli strains are harmless and even beneficial, but the aforementioned strain can cause abdominal cramps, diarrhea (which may be or become bloody), and dehydration. In most, that is the extent of any illness, but in some young, old, or immunocompromised patients, it can lead to widespread infection (sepsis) and/or a severe disease of the kidneys called hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS; which can lead to kidney failure), which may be deadly.
- One person died and three newborns became ill in an outbreak of listeria (listeriosis) linked to Hispanic-style cheese. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Friday, February 21, 2014, that the death occurred in California. Seven additional illnesses were reported in Maryland. All of the Maryland victims reported eating soft or semi-soft Hispanic-style cheese that they purchased at different locations of the same grocery store chain. Listeria was later detected in a sample of Caujada en Terron, or fresh cheese curd, purchased at that chain. The CDC says three of the victims are newborns. Two of those ill are mothers of two of the ill newborns. The agency says the cheese was probably produced by Roos Foods of Kenton, Delaware.
- As of May 16, 2014, 11 cases of E. coli O157:H7 in 4 states (Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio) from tainted ground beef from Wolverine Packing Company of Detroit, Michigan.
- In March 2015, organic food company Amy's Kitchen voluntarily recalled 74,000 cases of its products that could contain listeria, due to contaminated organic spinach.
- In August through September 2015, over 300 people were infected with Salmonella. The bulk of the cases were in California and Arizona with the states of California and Texas having one fatality each. It was traced to cucumbers from Mexico distributed by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce who, on September 4, 2015, voluntarily issued a recall.
- In October through November 2015, 45 people contracted E. coli from Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants. The cases were in Washington State, California, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, and Oregon. At least 16 people were hospitalized. The outbreak warranted the closing and sanitization of over 40 Chipotle restaurants across Washington and Oregon. The restaurants reopened after discarding all supplies and ordering fresh ingredients.
- In April 2016, CRF Frozen Foods recalled over 400 organic and traditional frozen food products sold under 40 different brands due to contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. The outbreak was linked to 8 cases of listeriosis in the United States.
- In April 2017, a contained outbreak of the Botulism toxin was confirmed in California, linked to a cheese sauce. There was no recall of the product.
- Hickory Harvest Foods announced a recall of organic nut mix, potentially infected by listeria monocytogenes in May 2018.
- A strain of Escherichia coli bacteria caused the reported illness of 210 people across 36 states in the US, carried on Romaine lettuce from Yuma, Arizona. It prompted a multi-state investigation from the CDC and FDA. This outbreak began in the beginning of April of 2018 and the FDA found that the contaminated Romaine lettuce came from a Yuma Farm. This strain produces shiga toxin, which is thought to have been transferred to the species from a strain of Shigella by a bacteriophage, a kind of virus that eats bacteria. On or after April 16, 2018, cases of food poisoning began to be reported in the New York State area. The CDC eventually concluded this was an example of O157:H7, its code for a strain of E. coli that is noteworthy for seeming to have genes from a different but related species, Shigella, producing an unusual toxin, though not one especially lethal to human beings.
- On November 20, 2018, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Health Canada announced that they were investigating a multistate binational outbreak of pathogenic Escherichia coli O157:H7 (E. coli O157:H7) infections linked to romaine lettuce. This outbreak was separate from the previous outbreak traced to Yuma, AZ.
- List of foodborne illness outbreaks by death toll
- List of foodborne illness outbreaks (countries other than the United States)
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- William Neuman (September 27, 2011). "Deaths From Cantaloupe Listeria Rise". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-09-29.
The deadliest outbreak in the United States since then occurred in 1985, when a wave of listeria illness, linked to Mexican-style fresh cheese, swept through California. A federal database says 52 deaths were attributed to the outbreak, but news reports at the time put the number as high as 84. ...
- Stephanie Strom (January 4, 2013). "F.D.A. Offers Sweeping Rules to Fight Food Contamination". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-01-05.
One in six Americans becomes ill from eating contaminated food each year, the government estimates; of those, roughly 130,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die.
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The death of a Westchester County man Wednesday night, apparently from botulism, and the serious illness of his wife has precipitated a nationwide search for 6,444 cans of vichyssoise marketed under the Bon Vivant label.
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The incident did not take a toll only on the company, however. Bon Vivant did not have adequate records and controls of production lots and distribution to trace the products quickly. The company also did not have the finances or manpower necessary to run a successful recall program. As a result, the FDA had to seize all the Bon Vivant soup throughout the country, more than a million cans in all. FDA said the seizure occupied 125 man years of FDA time, enough for 2,000 ordinary factory inspections for preventive purposes. After some squabbling in the courts, where the owner of the company sought to recover the seized cans for resale under the company's new name, "Moore & Co.", the soup was eventually incinerated, at the cost of nearly $150,000 to the federal government. As for Moore & Co., it appears the resurrection of the company was short-lived.
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Summer 1985: In Southern California, the largest number of food poisoning deaths recorded in recent U.S. history is traced to Mexican-style soft chesse. Of the 142 reported cases, there were 47 deaths, including 19 stillbirths and 10 infant deaths. The killer -- Listeria monocytogenes.
- "Witnesses Clash Over Blame For Deaths From Bad Cheese". Associated Press in the New York Times. July 12, 1989. Retrieved 2011-10-04.
Alta-Dena, the largest dairy in California, supplied the raw milk to Jalisco to make the soft Mexican-style cheese, which was blamed for the outbreak of the severe, flu-like bacterial disease.
- Lawrence K. Altman (July 2, 1985). "Cheese Microbe Underscores Mystery". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-10-10.
In the California outbreak, there have been conflicting reports about the adequacy of the pasteurization. At first, California health officials said they had not found fault with Jalisco Mexican Products in Artesia, Calif., the manufacturer of the suspect cheese. Later, health officials said pasteurized milk might have been diluted with non-pasteurized milk. ...
- "California Dairy Is Absolved Of Blame in Poisonings of 48". Reuters in the New York Times. July 15, 1989. Retrieved 2011-10-04.
A jury today absolved California's largest dairy of any blame for a batch of bacteria-contaminated cheese that killed 48 people four years ago. The jury in Los Angeles Superior Court also rejected claims by the cheese manufacturer, Jalisco Mexican Products, now defunct, that the listeria bacteria were present in raw milk it purchased from the Alta-Dena Certified Dairy.
- Chris Lecos (February 1, 1986). "Of microbes and milk; probing America's worst salmonella outbreak". FDA Consumer.
At least 16,284 persons are known victims of the outbreak, all but 1,059 of them from Illinois. The others lived in Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. That is the number of culture-confirmed cases, meaning the Salmonella typhimurium strain that was contaminating the milk they drank also was found in stool samples from the victims. Patricia J. Larsen, a spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Public Health, said the organism "directly caused" the deaths of two people and was a contributing factor in the deaths of four, possibly five, others. The latter were people with other conditions that "presumably were aggravated to some degree by the infection," she said.
- "Salmonella Outbreak is Traced". United Press International in the New York Times. April 17, 1985. Retrieved 2011-09-29.
About 6,644 cases of samonella poisoning have been reported and 5,295 have been confirmed in five states, most of them in Illinois, according to Jeremy Margolis, the acting Illinois public health director. At least nine deaths have been linked to the outbreak. The other states affected by the outbreak were Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin.
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The New York Times reported in January that in the weeks before the outbreak, Odwalla began relaxing its standards on accepting blemished fruit and began to rein in the authority of its own safety officials, according to company documents and interviews with former Odwalla managers. By these accounts, on the day the contaminated juice was pressed, production managers brushed aside warnings from a company inspector that a batch of apples was too rotten to use without taking special precautions against contaminants. ...
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Interviews with former Odwalla managers and company documents show that in the weeks before the outbreak, Odwalla began relaxing its standards on accepting blemished fruit and reining in the authority of its own safety officials, culminating in tense, dramatic moments on the morning of Oct. 7, 1996, the day the contaminated juice was pressed. ...
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The second deadliest outbreak was in 1998 and 1999, when there were at least 14 deaths and four miscarriages or stillbirths in a listeria outbreak linked to hot dogs and delicatessen meats. Some sources put the death toll in that outbreak as high as 21. ...
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The Pennsylvania Department of Health and CDC are investigating an outbreak of hepatitis A outbreak among patrons of a restaurant (Restaurant A) at the Beaver Valley Mall in the Pittsburgh suburb of Monaca, Pennsylvania. As of November 20, approximately 555 persons with hepatitis A have been identified, including at least 13 Restaurant A food service workers and 75 residents of six other states who dined at Restaurant A. Three persons have died. Preliminary sequence analysis of a 340 nucleotide region of viral RNA obtained from three patrons who had hepatitis A indicated that all three virus sequences were identical. Preliminary analysis of a case-control study implicated green onions as the source of the outbreak. ...
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On an early July day in 1971 when it was too hot to cook, a couple in Westchester County, New York, sat down to a meal of Bon Vivant vichyssoise, a soup often served chilled (and in this case, straight from the can). The soup tasted funny, so they didn't finish it; within hours he was dead and she was paralyzed from botulism poisoning. F.D.A. investigators found five other cans of vichyssoise from the same batch of 6,444 that were also tainted with botulism, and spot checks of other products raised questions about the company's processing practices, so the agency shut down the plant and told the company to recall all its soups.
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Federal investigators later discovered that the dilapidated plant was ravaged by salmonella and had been shipping tainted peanuts and paste for at least nine months. But they were too late to prevent what has become one of the nation’s worst known outbreaks of food-borne disease in recent years, in which nine are believed to have died and an estimated 22,500 were sickened.
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At least 13 people in eight states have died after eating cantaloupe contaminated with listeria, in the deadliest outbreak of food-borne illness in the United States in more than a decade, public health officials said on Tuesday. ... The outbreak appeared to be the third worst in the United States attributed to any form of food-borne illness, in terms of the number of deaths, since the C.D.C. began regularly tracking such outbreaks in the early 1970s. The deadliest outbreak in the United States since then occurred in 1985, when a wave of listeria illness, linked to Mexican-style fresh cheese, swept through California. A federal database says 52 deaths were attributed to the outbreak, but news reports at the time put the number as high as 84. The second deadliest outbreak was in 1998 and 1999, when there were at least 14 deaths and four miscarriages or stillbirths in a listeria outbreak linked to hot dogs and delicatessen meats. Some sources put the death toll in that outbreak as high as 21. ...
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In March, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the FDA found that cantaloupes from a Guatemala farm were connected to 12 cases of salmonella poisoning. The FDA later concluded that the cantaloupes were imported into the U.S. by Del Monte. As of June, 20 people had fallen ill from the outbreak of Salmonella Panama, including two people in California, according to the CDC. ... The melon recall was relatively small compared with some of the other food contaminations that have occurred in recent months, including strawberries with E. coli that killed one person in Oregon and salmonella-tainted ground turkey products that killed one person in California and made more than 100 people ill nationwide.
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The company, which is one of the country’s largest produce marketers, says the restrictions could damage its reputation, and it has sued the Food and Drug Administration to lift them. ...
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