March 2011

worm_april_fools_launch.jpgToday as reported by Food Safety News tomorrow (April Fools Day), the Senate Judiciary Committee voted out S. 216, The Food Safety Accountability Act. It is a Bill “to increase criminal penalties for certain knowing and intentional violations relating to food that is misbranded or adulterated.”

Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Food Safety Account- ability Act of 2011’’.

SEC. 2. CRIMINAL PENALTIES.

Section 303(a) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 333(a)) is amended—

(1) in paragraph (1), by striking ‘‘Any’’ and inserting ‘‘Except as provided in paragraph (2) or (3), any’’;

(2) in paragraph (2), by striking ‘‘Not withstanding the provisions of paragraph (1) of this section, if’’ and inserting ‘‘If’’; and

(3) by adding at the end the following: ‘‘(3) Any person who violates subsection (a), (b), (c), or (k) of section 301 with respect to any food— ‘‘(A) knowingly and intentionally to defraud or mislead; and ‘‘(B) with conscious or reckless disregard of a risk of death or serious bodily injury, shall be fined under title 18, United States Code, imprisoned for not more than 10 years, or both.’’

According to the CDC, 13 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Panama have been reported from Oregon (5 cases), Washington (4 cases), California (2 cases), Colorado (1 case) and Maryland (1 case. According tot he FDA, Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A., Inc. recalled 4,992 cartons of cantaloupes, because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella Panama. The cantaloupes were distributed through warehouse clubs in Alaska, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington.

We, along with local counsel, will be filing the complaint Friday morning.  See also, Salmonella Attorney Bill Marler Explains Cantaloupe Outbreak; Talks Cantaloupe Safety

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Salmonlla at DeFusco’s Bakery in Rhode Island and Salmonella in Del Monte Cantaloupe in the West and now this.

pancakes.jpgAccording to press reports, illnesses from Salmonella have beenlinked to consumption of sausage at a benefit pancake breakfast held in early March in Thurmont, according to the Frederick County Health Department.

The sausage for the Thurmont event was from a previous event, the Frederick County 4-H Camp Center Country Butchering, held Jan. 27 at the Mount Pleasant Ruritan Club in Mount Pleasant. Samples of sausage sold to consumers from the same butchering were tested at the state health department laboratory and found to contain salmonella.

The Frederick County Health Department has been working with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to investigate the outbreak.

Superman.gifWell, perhaps not.

USA Todays, Kim O’Donnel, gave a “shout-out” to Food Safety New’s own Lois Lane, Helena Bottemiller in her article “Your source for safety information:”

jpgFor many new college grads, that first job typically is an entry-level gig with little fanfare or responsibility. For Seattle-area native Helena Bottemiller, it’s been anything but lackluster. Shortly after she graduated from Claremont McKenna College in June 2009, food-safety lawyer Bill Marler snapped her up to be part of his new online publication, Food Safety News.

The website launched in September 2009; by its first anniversary, Bottemiller had covered the Food and Drug Administration’s 85 food recalls (that’s more than one a week), including the infamous salmonella outbreak that resulted in a half-billion egg recall last August. She has covered several other high-profile stories, including seafood safety in the wake of the BP oil spill and congressional hearings for the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, which passed in December. At just 24 years old, Bottemiller is becoming something of a Lois Lane in food journalism.

The number of cases of Salmonella linked to DeFusco’s Bakery in Johnston, Rhode Island has increased to 43 people. Health officials said 22 of those people have been hospitalized. Of the 43 cases, 42 were from Rhode Island and 1 was from Massachusetts. On Tuesday, health officials said a man who tested positive for salmonella died on March 23. The man was in his 80s and lived in Providence County.

The CDC reports that 13 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Panama have been reported from Oregon (5 cases), Washington (4 cases), California (2 cases), Maryland (1 case) and Colorado (1 case).  The illnesses have been linked to Del Monte Cantaloupes.  Del Monte has recalled nearly 5,000 cases.   Contaminated Cantaloupes have been an issue over the last decade and before.

Screen shot 2011-03-30 at 7.48.14 AM.pngWith nearly forty sickened, nearly two dozen hospitalized and one death linked to Salmonella-tainted bakery goods, a negative inspection report is not much of a surprise, but “Operating Without a License” is. Here is the highlights (or, lowlights) and the FULL INSPECTION.

Inspectors say they found pastry cream sitting on the floor, stored at room temperature — a major code violation.

“The temperature of the light cream was 125 degrees F and the temperature of the chocolate cream was 119 degrees F.”

The Health Department requires cream to be cooled to 41 degrees and stored in the refrigerator.

Another violation involves cross-contamination of pastry shells places in egg boxes.

“Ready to eat previously baked pastry shells used for zeppoles, eclairs, and cream puffs, were stored in boxes that were used to store raw shell eggs.”

Palmyra Bologna Company, of Palmyra, PA, is recalling approximately 23,000 pounds of Lebanon bologna products that may be contaminated with E. coli 0157:H7.  14 persons infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli serotype O157:H7 have been reported from Maryland (3 cases), New Jersey (2 cases), North Carolina (1 case), Ohio (2 cases) and Pennsylvania (6 cases). Reported dates of illness onset range from January 10, 2011 to February 15, 2011. Ill persons range in age from 1 to 70 years, with a median age of 13.5 years. Seventy-nine percent are male. Among 13 ill persons for whom information is known, 3 or 23%, reported being hospitalized, and none have reported hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure that is associated with E. coli O157:H7 infections. No deaths have been reported.

This is the second time Palmyra Bologna has been linked to a bacterial outbreak – Salmonella in 1995.

The Rhode Island Health Department has confirmed that a person who has been hospitalized with salmonella died earlier this month.

Zeppoles made at DeFusco’s bakery in Johnston around St. Joseph’s Day are the cause of a Salmonella outbreak that has sickened 38 people in Rhode Island and 1 in Massachusetts. Of those 39 people who have fallen ill, 21 of them have been confirmed to have salmonella. 24 of the 39 have been hospitalized.

CDC Reports that 13 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Panama have been reported from Oregon (5 cases), Washington (4 cases), California (2 cases), Colorado (1 case) and Maryland (1 case). Reported dates of illness onset range from February 5, 2011 to March 4, 2011. Ill persons range in age from less than 1 year old to 68 years old, with a median age of 12 years old. Sixty-two percent are male. Among ill persons, three have been hospitalized and no deaths have been reported.

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