Johnston County Hams, a Smithfield, N.C. establishment, is recalling approximately 89,096 pounds of ready-to-eat ham products that may be adulterated with Listeria monocytogenes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The ready-to-eat deli-loaf ham items were produced from April 3, 2017 to Oct. 2, 2018. The following products are subject to recall:

  • Varying weights of 7 to 8-lbs. plastic-wrapped “JOHNSTON COUNTY HAMS, INC. COUNTRY STYLE FULLY COOKED BONELESS DELI HAM.”
  • Varying weights of 7 to 8-lbs. plastic-wrapped “Ole Fashioned Sugar Cured The Old Dominion Brand Hams Premium Fully Cooked Country Ham” with Sell-By dates from 4/10/2018 to 9/27/2019.
  • Varying weights of 7 to 8-lbs. plastic-wrapped “Padow’s Hams & Deli, Inc. FULLY COOKED COUNTRY HAM BONELESS Glazed with Brown Sugar.”
  • Varying weights of 7 to 8-lbs. plastic-wrapped “Premium Fully Cooked Country Ham LESS SALT Distributed By: Valley Country Hams LLC” with Sell-By dates from 4/10/2018 to 9/27/2019.
  • Varying weights of 7 to 8-lbs. plastic-wrapped “GOODNIGHT BROTHERS COUNTRY HAM Boneless Fully Cooked.”

The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. M2646” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to distributors in Maryland, North Carolina, New York, South Carolina and Virginia.

On September 27, 2018, FSIS was notified that a person ill with listeriosis reported consuming a ham product produced at Johnston County Hams. Working in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state public health and agriculture partners, FSIS determined that there is a link between the Listeria monocytogenes illnesses and ham products produced at Johnston County Hams. The epidemiologic investigation identified a total of four listeriosis confirmed illnesses, including one death, between July 8, 2017 and August 11, 2018. FSIS collected two deli ham product samples from the Johnston County Hams, Inc. facility in 2016 and in early 2018. Whole genome sequencing results showed that Listeria monocytogenes identified in deli ham both years was closely related genetically to Listeria monocytogenes from ill people. FSIS is continuing to work with federal and state public health partners to determine if there are additional illnesses linked to these products and will provide updated information should it become available.

I have been a frequent advocate for more transparency at the FDA when it comes to outbreaks and recalls – especially of Class I Recalls – and a frequent critic of its failure to disclose retailers – where the recalled product was sold – and its failure to disclose manufacturers – where the product was produced.  Commissioner Gottlieb seems to be taking a major leap forward in allowing consumers more information on at lease where tainted product has been sold.

I had just finished by speech at the South American IAFP Conference, when the FDA Alert fell into my in box – Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on new FDA commitment to disclose retailer information for certain food recalls to improve consumer safety.

So, here is Commissioner Gottlieb’s press statement in part.

A bit of History –The agency has not traditionally released lists of specific retailers where recalled foods may have been purchased. This is because certain supply chain information is confidential between the supplier and retailer…. But there are some cases where additional information about the retailers selling potentially harmful product may be key to protecting consumers such as when the food is not easily identified as being subject to a recall from its retail packaging and the food is likely to be available for consumption. It is particularly important in situations where the product has already been linked to foodborne illness.

Retail Disclosure –… That’s why today the FDA issued new draft guidance that describes situations when disclosing retail information for products undergoing recalls is appropriate. The draft guidance outlines the circumstances when the FDA intends to make public the retail locations that may have sold or distributed a recalled human or animal food. These circumstances will particularly apply in situations associated with the most serious recalls, where consumption of the food has a reasonable probability of causing serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals.

Retail Disclosure continued –… Based on this new policy, moving forward the FDA intends to publicize retail consignee lists for food recalls when the food is not easily identified as being subject to a recall from its retail packaging, or lack thereof, and if the food is likely to be available for consumption…. The new draft guidance also states that the FDA may disclose retail consignee lists in certain recall situations, including when a recalled food is related to a foodborne illness outbreak and where the information is most useful to consumers….

Perhaps, this says it all? –… I remain committed to investing in the FDA’s food program, building on our successes, and to applying the FDA’s food safety expertise to protect American families and keep our Nation safe.

Today the CDC reported that it, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis infections.

As of September 7, 2018, 14 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Enteritidis have been reported from Alabama and Tennessee.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from July 10, 2018 to August 7, 2018 Ill people range in age from 1 year to 94, with a median age of 31. Fifty percent are female. Of 9 people with information available, 2 (22%) have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Epidemiologic and traceback evidence indicates that shell eggs from Gravel Ridge Farms in Cullman, Alabama are a likely source of the outbreak.

On September 8, 2018, Gravel Ridge Farms recalled cage-free large eggs because they might be contaminated with Salmonella Enteritidis bacteria. Recalled eggs were sold in grocery stores and to restaurants in Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee. The FDA website has a list of the grocery stores where recalled eggs were sold. Consumers who have any Gravel Ridge Farms cage-free large eggs in their homes should not eat them. Return them to the store for a refund or throw them away. Restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell recalled Gravel Ridge Farms cage-free large eggs.

Prior E. coli outbreak in 2009 and recall in 2013.

The Department of Health cautioned consumers today to be aware of the risks of drinking raw milk especially for infants and young children, older adults, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems.

“Raw milk doesn’t go through the pasteurization process where harmful germs and bacteria are destroyed. This puts infants, young children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with a weakened immune system at a greater risk of illness when they drink it,” said Dr. Scott Lindquist, Washington state communicable disease epidemiologist.

Lab results recently confirmed a child under 5 years old from Island County and resident in their 70s of Clallam County became ill with an E. coli infection after drinking Dungeness Valley Creamery raw milk.

E. coli infections may cause severe diarrhea, stomach cramps and bloody stool. Symptoms generally appear three to four days after exposure, but can take up to nine days to appear. In some cases, the infection causes a serious disease resulting in kidney failure.

Individuals who have any of these symptoms after consuming raw milk should consult their health care provider and notify their local health departments.

In 2009 an outbreak was linked to the consumption of raw, unpasteurized, whole milk produced by the Dungeness Valley Creamery. There were a total of three cases. There were two E. coli strains implicated. One strain was confirmed and was E. coli O121. The other strain was suspected and was E. coli O157:H7. Raw milk was legal to sell and buy in Washington, provided the dairy underwent a series of inspections and was licensed. This dairy had been licensed since 2006.

In 2013, the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) is warned consumers not to drink Dungeness Valley Creamery brand raw Jersey whole milk, raw Jersey skim milk, and raw Jersey cream because the products may be contaminated with Escherichia coli bacteria (E. coli) that can cause serious illness.

Dungeness Valley Creamery raw Jersey cream, raw Jersey whole milk and raw Jersey skim milk with any Best Buy dates of 03/02 or later may be contaminated. The firm sells its products in gallon, half gallon, quart and pint containers. Today’s health alert includes all container sizes of the unpasteurized milk products.

The health alert is being initiated after routine sampling by WSDA found toxin-producing E. coli in a sample of raw cream. Based in Sequim, the Dungeness Valley Creamery and WSDA are continuing their investigation into the source of the problem. Currently, no human illnesses have been linked with these products.

Some strains of E. coli produce a toxin called Shiga toxin that can lead to severe illness. Shiga toxin-producing E. coli infections may cause severe diarrhea, stomach cramps, and bloody stool. Symptoms generally appear three to four days after exposure, but can take as long as nine days to appear. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should contact a health care provider.

The infection sometimes causes hemolytic uremic syndrome, a serious disease in which red blood cells are destroyed and the kidneys fail. Infants, children, pregnant women, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems are especially at risk.

According to the Dungeness Valley Creamery website, the firm’s products are sold at the following retail locations:
• Bainbridge Island: Real Foods; Pan D’Amore; Walt’s Lynwood Center Market
• Bothell: Tru Health
• Bremerton: CJ’s Evergreen General Store; Fresh Local
• Federal Way: Marlene’s Market & Deli
• Issaquah: Front Street Red Apple
• Longview: Country village Nutrition Shoppe
• Olympia: Olympia Food Co-op East; Olympia Food Co-op West
• Port Angeles: Country Aire; Good To Go
• Port Townsend: Port Townsend Food Co-op
• Poulsbo: Abundantly Green
• Seattle: Madison Market; My Asia’s Essentials; Pike Place Market Creamery
• Sequim: Sequim Prairie Grange; Red Rooster Grocery; Sunny Farms Farm Store
• Tacoma: Marlene’s Market & Deli
• Vancouver: Chuck’s Produce; Neighbors Market

South Africa on Monday declared an official end to the world’s worst recorded listeria outbreak after it killed 216 people and sickened more than 1,000 since early 2017.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said no news cases had been recorded over the past three months.

Health officials announced in March that they had traced the outbreak to an Enterprise Food plant owned by Tiger Brands

At least 216 people died during the outbreak, according to the country’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases.

A total of 1,060 people contracted the disease, which is caused by bacteria from soil, water, vegetation and animal feces which can contaminate fresh food, notably meat.

The United Nations had said South Africa’s listeriosis outbreak was believed to be the largest-ever worldwide.

See press alert:

http://www.nicd.ac.za/index.php/media-statement-by-the-minister-of-health-on-the-listeriosis-outbreak/

See last outbreak update:

http://www.nicd.ac.za/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Listeriosis-outbreak-situation-report-_26July2018_fordistribution.pdf

As of Tuesday July 31, 2018, the Delaware General Health District has received a total of 683 inquiries related to a possible foodborne illness outbreak stemming from the Chipotle located at 9733 Sawmill Parkway. Of those inquiries, staff members have completed over 480 interviews.

The Ohio Department of Health returned initial stool sample results today – all have tested negative for Salmonella, Shigella, E. coli and Norovirus. Further stool testing will be conducted for other pathogens. The food samples are still in the process of being tested for Bacillus Cereus or Clostridium Perfringens in addition to the four diseases listed above that are tested in stool samples.

The Delaware General Health District suggests that you please contact your local health department to file food complaints. Posting on social media and/or a website is not an official complaint. The Health District has also received calls regarding medical attention. Please consult your doctor for all medical needs.

Although, McDonalds is linked to nearly 300 illnesses, other illnesses may also be linked as recalls expand.  NOTE – FDA and Fresh Express has not yet named other retailers where product was sold.

Fast Facts from the FDA:

  • The FDA, CDC, along with state and local officials are investigating a multi-state outbreak of cyclosporiasis illnesses likely linked to salads from McDonald’s restaurants.
  • On July 26, 2018, the FDA completed final analysis of an unused package of Fresh Express salad mix containing romaine lettuce and carrots, which had been distributed to McDonald’s. The analysis confirmed the presence of Cyclospora in that sample, though the expiration date for that product, July 19, had already passed. On July 27, the FDA informed Fresh Express of the results.
  • FDA instructed Fresh Express to determine whether potentially contaminated product may still be on the market. Fresh Express reported to FDA that the romaine from the same lot as the positive sample was not packaged for direct retail sale by Fresh Express and had already expired. Fresh Express committed to using recall procedures to inform those companies that received this romaine about the sample result. Fresh Express also reported that carrots used in the mix were only sent to McDonald’s locations.
  • On July 30, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued a public health alert on beef, pork and poultry salad and wrap products potentially contaminated with Cyclospora that were distributed by Caito Foods LLC, of Indianapolis, IN. The products were produced between July 15 and 18, 2018, with either “Best By,” “Enjoy by,” “Best if Sold By” or “Sell By” dates ranging from July 18 through July 23, 2018. Caito Foods had received notification from Fresh Express that the chopped romaine in these products was being recalled.
  • The CDC reports that 286 people in 15 states have become ill. There have been 11 hospitalizations and no deaths.
  • The investigation is ongoing and the FDA is currently reviewing distribution and supplier information for romaine and carrots.
  • As of July 13, 2018, McDonald’s decided to voluntarily stop selling salads at impacted restaurants in IL, IA, IN, WI, MI, OH, MN, NE, SD, MT, ND, KY, WV, and MO. The company has since reported that it has replaced the supplier of salads in those states. More information can be found in McDonald’s Statement.
  • Consumers who have symptoms of cyclosporiasis should contact their health care provider to report their symptoms and receive care. Most people infected with Cyclospora develop diarrhea, with frequent, sometimes explosive, bowel movements. Other common symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps/pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea, and fatigue. Vomiting, body aches, headache, fever, and other flu-like symptoms may be noted. Some people who are infected with Cyclospora do not have any symptoms. If not treated, the illness may last from a few days to a month or longer. Symptoms may seem to go away and then return one or more times (relapse).
  • At this time, we do not have evidence to suggest that this cluster of illnesses is related to the ongoing Cyclospora outbreak linked to Del Monte vegetable trays.

Pepperidge Farm has been notified by one of its ingredient suppliers that whey powder in a seasoning that is applied to four varieties of crackers has been the subject of a recall by the whey powder manufacturer due to the potential presence of Salmonella.  Pepperidge Farm initiated an investigation and, out of an abundance of caution, is voluntarily recalling four varieties of Goldfish crackers. The products were distributed throughout the United States. No illnesses have been reported. No other Pepperidge Farm products in the U.S. are subject to this recall.

The following four varieties with the indicated codes are subject to this recall:

  • Flavor Blasted® Xtra Cheddar
  • Flavor Blasted® Sour Cream & Onion
  • Goldfish® Baked with Whole Grain Xtra Cheddar
  • Goldfish® Mix Xtra Cheddar + Pretzel

As a precautionary measure, Flowers Foods, Inc. (NYSE: FLO) is voluntarily recalling Swiss Rolls sold under the brand names Mrs. Freshley’s, Food Lion, H-E-B, Baker’s Treat, Market Square, and Great Value, distributed nationwide, and Captain John Derst’s Old Fashioned Bread distributed in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, due to the potential presence of Salmonella in an ingredient, whey powder. The ingredient recall was initiated by a third-party whey powder manufacturer and supplier. No illnesses have been reported in connection with the recalled items. See below for list of UPC #s and “best by” dates.

The recalled products are:

BRAND UPC # BEST BY / ENJOY BY DATES
Mrs. Freshley’s – 4 ct./7.2 oz. 072250011907 10/09/18 through 10/19/18 309 8187 A 75 D
309 8187 B 75 D
309 8190 C 75 D
309 8194 B 75 D
309 8194 C 75 D
Mrs. Freshley’s – 6 ct./12 oz. 072250903233 10/14/18
309 8194 B 75 D
Food Lion – 6 ct./13 oz. 035826092779 10/16/18
H-E-B – 6 ct./12 oz. 041220296583 09/19/18
Baker’s Treat – 6 ct./13 oz. 041498188382 09/21/18 through 09/28/18
Market Square – 6 ct./12 oz. 087381760556 309 8194 B
Great Value – 6 ct./13 oz. 078742147550 Sep 17 2018 Through Sep 25 2018
309 8191 B
Captain John Derst’s
Old Fashioned Bread
071316001180 07/16/18 through 7/28/18

Mondelēz Global LLC announced today a voluntary recall in the United States, including Puerto Rico & the U.S. Virgin Islands, of certain Ritz Cracker Sandwiches and Ritz Bits productThese products contain whey powder as an ingredient, which the whey powder supplier has recalled due to the potential presence of Salmonella.

This recall is limited exclusively to the products listed in the grid below, available at retail stores nationwide. No other Mondelēz Global LLC product is included in this recall.

Description Retail UPC Best When Used By Dates Package Image
RITZ BITS CHEESE
BIG BAG
3 OZ
0 44000 00677 8 07 MAR 19
Thru
13 APR 19
SEE IMAGE BELOW
RITZ BITS CHEESE
1 OZ
0 44000 02025 5 07 MAR 19
Thru
13 APR 19
SEE IMAGE BELOW
RITZ BITS CHEESE
12 PACK CARTON
0 44000 02032 3 08 MAR 19
thru
13 APR 19
SEE IMAGE BELOW
RITZ BITS CHEESE
30 PACK CARTON
0 44000 01309 7 03 MAR 19
thru
13 APR 19
SEE IMAGE BELOW
RITZ BITS CHEESE
1.5 OZ
0 44000 00929 8 03 MAR 19
thru
13 APR 19
SEE IMAGE BELOW
RITZ BITS CHEESE
3 OZ GO PACKS
0 44000 03215 9 07 MAR 19
thru
12 APR 19
SEE IMAGE BELOW
10.8 OZ RITZ CHEESE CRACKER SANDWICHES 0 44000 88211 2 14 JAN 19
thru
11 FEB 19
SEE IMAGE BELOW
1.35 OZ RITZ CHEESE CRACKER SANDWICHES 0 44000 00211 4 14 JAN 19
thru
11 FEB 19
SEE IMAGE BELOW
10.8 OZ RITZ BACON CRACKER SANDWICHES
WITH CHEESE
0 44000 04566 1 05 FEB 19
06 FEB 19
SEE IMAGE BELOW
1.35 OZ RITZ BACON CRACKER SANDWICHES
WITH CHEESE
0 44000 04567 8 05 FEB 19
thru
06 FEB 19
SEE IMAGE BELOW
10.8 OZ RITZ WHOLE WHEAT CRACKER
SANDWICHES WITH WHITE CHEDDAR CHEESE
0 44000 04577 7 04 FEB 19
05 FEB 19
SEE IMAGE BELOW
1.35 OZ RITZ WHOLE WHEAT CRACKER
SANDWICHES WITH CREAM CHEESE
0 44000 04580 7 06 FEB 19 07 FEB 19
08 FEB 19
SEE IMAGE BELOW
1.35 OZ RITZ EVERYTHING CRACKER
SANDWICHES WITH CREAM CHEESE
0 44000 04580 7 06 FEB 19
07 FEB 19
08 FEB 19
SEE IMAGE BELOW
MIXED COOKIE CRACKER VARIETY
20 PACK
0 44000 04100 7 01 FEB 19
thru
04 FEB 19
SEE IMAGE BELOW
MIXED COOKIE CRACKER VARIETY
40 PACK
0 44000 04221 0 31 JAN 19
thru
05 FEB 19
SEE IMAGE BELOW

Ninety people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Reading have been reported from 26 states. Forty people have been hospitalized. The outbreak strain of Salmonella Reading has been identified in samples from raw turkey pet food in Minnesota, from raw turkey products from 19 slaughter and 6 processing establishments, and from live turkeys from several states.

The samples collected by FSIS at these slaughter and processing establishments were part of FSIS’ routine testing under the Salmonella performance standards. Furthermore, WGS showed that the Salmonella strain from these samples is closely related genetically to the Salmonella strain from ill people.  This result provides more evidence that people in this outbreak got sick from preparing raw turkey products.

Yesterday I suggested that the FDA’s Dr. Scott Gottlieb should be a bit more transparent on who produced, processed, transported and sold the E. coli tainted romaine.  Today, the FDA notes that retailers are still selling Salmonella tainted Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal (See below)

The FDA has become aware that recalled Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal are still being offered for sale. All Honey Smacks cereal was recalled in June 2018. Retailers cannot legally offer the cereal for sale and consumers should not purchase Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal. The FDA has learned that some retailers are still selling this product. The FDA will continue to monitor this situation closely and follow up with retailers as we become aware of recalled products being offered for sale.

As of July 12, 2018, 100 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Mbandaka have been reported from 33 states.

Illnesses started on dates from March 3, 2018, to July 2, 2018. Ill people range in age from less than one year to 95, with a median age of 57. Of ill people, 68% are female. Out of 77 people with information available, 30 (39%) have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Illnesses that occurred after June 19, 2018, might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when their illness is reported. This takes an average of 2 to 4 weeks.

State and local health officials continue to interview ill people and ask questions about the foods they ate and other exposures in the week before they became ill. Fifty-five (85%) of 65 people interviewed reported eating cold cereal. In interviews, 43 people specifically reported eating Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal. Ill people in this outbreak reported this cereal more often than any other cereals or food items.

Health officials in several states collected Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal from retail locations and ill people’s homes for testing. Laboratory testing identified the outbreak strain of Salmonella Mbandaka in a sample of unopened Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal collected from a retail location in California. Laboratory testing also identified the outbreak strain in samples of leftover Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal collected from the homes of ill people in Montana, New York, and Utah.

The Kellogg Company recalled all Honey Smacks products that were on the market within the cereal’s one-year shelf-life. However, Honey Smacks products with earlier dates could also potentially be contaminated. Do not eat Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal of any size package or with any “best if used by” date.

Dr. Gottlieb it is past time for the FDA – especially during an outbreak and recall situation – to make the supply chain transparent.