Power of media, Broadway actor claims he was ill after dining at Chipotle

Kate Taylor of Business Insider writes:

Chipotle’s shares dropped after a Broadway star blamed the burrito chain for a recent illness.
“I, as you can see, am in the hospital and I have fluids in my arm because the food did not agree with me and I almost died,” People reported that Jeremy Jordan, a Broadway actor and star of “Supergirl,” said in an Instagram story on Thursday.
The story of Jordan’s illness picked up media coverage over the weekend.
On Monday, Chipotle’s stock fell up to 5.9% — the lowest level in almost five years, according to Bloomberg.
Chipotle denied any link between Jordan’s illness and the chain.
“We were sorry to hear Jeremy was sick and were able to get in touch with him directly regarding where and when he ate,” spokesman Chris Arnold said in an email to Business Insider. “There have been no other reported claims of illness at the restaurant where he dined. We take all claims seriously, but we can’t confirm any link to Chipotle given the details he shared with us.”
The reaction shows just how susceptible Chipotle is to concerns about food safety.
In 2016, the company’s stock dropped 3.5% after a single report on Twitter said that someone had gotten sick after eating at a Manhattan Chipotle.
Chipotle is still struggling to build sales following an E. coli outbreak in late 2015 that sickened more than 50 people in 14 states.
In October, Chipotle’s shares fell nearly 12% after missing expectations for its most recent quarter. The company’s revenue reached $1.13 billion in the quarter, falling short of the $1.14 billion estimate.

Raw is risky and a drain on public health

A protracted outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections was caused by consumption of unpasteurized (“raw”) milk sold at Oregon grocery stores. Although it never caused a noticeable increase in reported infections, the outbreak was recognized because of routine follow-up interviews.

Six of 16 Portland-area cases reported between December 1992 and April 1993 involved people who drank raw milk from dairy A. By pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), E. coli O157:H7 isolates from these cases and from the dairy A herd were homologous (initially, 4 of 132 animals were E. coliO157:H7-positive).

Despite public warnings, new labeling requirements, and increased monitoring of dairy A, retail sales and dairy-associated infections continued until June 1994 (a total of 14 primary cases). Seven distinguishable PFGE patterns in 3 homology groups were identified among patient and dairy herd E. coli O157:H7 isolates. Without restrictions on distribution, E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks caused by raw milk consumption can continue indefinitely, with infections occurring intermittently and unpredictably.

A prolonged outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections caused by commercially distributed raw milk

1.sep.2017

The Journal of Infectious Diseases

Keene et al.

https://academic.oup.com/jid/article/176/3/815/872141

85 sick with shiga-toxin E. coli at Marines base

About 85 U.S. Marines-in-training remained ill last week after an apparent shiga-toxin producing E. coli outbreak at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego and Camp Pendleton amid a week-old outbreak of diarrheal illnesses at the military installations, authorities reported.

Among the medical cases were 19 new ones diagnosed since Oct. 31, 2017, according to MCRD public affairs. In all, 16 recruits were receiving treatment at an off-base hospital, with the remainder being cared for at military medical facilities.

Base officials initially announced a total of about 300 cases of intestinal ailments at the 2 San Diego-area installations on Oct. 30, 2017.

 That tally was down to roughly 215 a day later. The cause or causes of the debilitating bacterial exposure remain under investigation.

Huffpo tells Bezos to check out food safety in search for host city for HQ2

Brian Castrucci writes that Amazon should look for a restaurant grading disclosure system in the potential locales for the new second headquarters of the online retailer. 

When your employees go out to lunch, I am sure you want them to do so without the threat of salmonella, E. coli, or some other food-borne illness. A wide spread food-borne illness could really hamper productivity and have a serious impact on the health of your employees. Cities can help guard against such outbreaks with policies requiring food establishments to publicly post safety inspection “grades,” which can empower consumers while also reducing foodborne illness rates and health care costs. Next time you are visiting one of the cities competing for your second headquarters, see how easy it is to find the restaurant inspection grade

Not bad advice. Check out this paper on the benefits and limitations of disclosure systems. 

The use of restaurant inspection disclosure systems as a means of communicating food safety information

12-year-old Oklahoma girl lives with constant reminder of E. coli outbreak nine years ago

In Aug. 2008, 26-year-old Chad Ingle had a meal at the Country Cottage in Locust Grove, Oklahoma, a popular family-owned buffet-style restaurant.

Nine days later, Chad was dead from E. coli O111.

By the end of the outbreak, 341 people had been sickened with E. coli O111, all from eating at the country diner in a town of 1,423 people.

A paper describing the investigation was published in 2011 in Epidemiology and Infection and concluded from epidemiological evidence the outbreak resulted from cross-contamination of restaurant food from food preparation equipment or surfaces, or from an unidentified infected food handler.

Ethan Hutchins of ABC News writes that at first glance Machaela Ybarra is a typical 12-year-old going through the struggles any pre-teen faces. But like the words on the pages of her textbooks, Machaela has a story to tell, a story she only wishes was fiction.

“Whenever I understood what happened to me, I couldn’t believe it,” said Ybarra.

Machaela was just 2 when she contracted E. coli. It happened at Country Cottage restaurant in Locust Grove.

A Sunday afternoon lunch nine years ago changed Machaela’s life forever.

“It sounds scary even though I don’t remember much,” said Ybarra.

Her mother will never forget that day. Christina Ybarra still knows what her daughter ate: Fried chicken, meatloaf, green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy.

“It was a buffet so we went and got one plate, her and I both ate off of it and I didn’t get sick at all,” said Christina Ybarra.

It’s a miracle, she says, since Christina was seven months pregnant at the time with Machaela’s little sister.

Of the hundreds who got sick from E. coli, one person died. The restaurant closed, but was back in business two months later, and now years later Country Cottage remains open. Folks here in town say they still eat here, not blaming the restaurant for those dark days years ago.

No one in Locust Grove at the restaurant or even with the city likes to talk about the outbreak. It’s fair to say, it’s a bad time most people there would like to forget.

But for Machaela, there are daily reminders.

“I’m on seizure medication because I can just stare sometimes and just be unconscious,” said Ybarra.

 

UK woman critically ill with E.coli O55

A young woman from Guildford has been left in a critical condition in hospital after she contracted E.coli O55.

Alexander Brock of Get Surrey writes the victim and her sister, whose family have asked us not to name, both fell ill within hours of each other on Saturday September 16.

Public Health England (PHE) confirmed it was investigating “a confirmed case of E.coli O55 in Surrey.”

The eldest of the two sisters, aged 22, recovered after a few days of having symptoms such as diarrhoea and abdominal pain.

However, the health of the younger sister, 19, quickly deteriorated and she was rushed to Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford a few days after becoming ill.

She then suffered kidney failure, which developed into hemolytic uremic syndrome.

This led to several of her organs failing, including her heart. The woman has been in critical condition at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London since September 27.

The strain has been confirmed as E.coli O55, which 31 people contracted in an outbreak in Dorset between July 2014 and November 2015.

In a statement, PHE added there had been other recorded E.coli cases in children in neighbouring areas which have been “identified as being potentially linked.”

 

Food Safety Talk 137: Grandma makes the best pickles

Don and Ben talk High Sierra and bricking a MacBook Air, Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip, State Fair judging, pH test strips, mail order food safety and cold brewed canned coffee. They also do some listener feedback on food safe issues related to brewing beer.

Episode 137 can be found here and on iTunes.

Show notes so you can follow along at home:

Stop kissing chicks: CDC gets tired of counting, 1 dead, 1120 sick from backyard poultry

1120 Cases

48 States

249 Hospitalizations

1 Death

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This year saw the largest number of illnesses linked to contact with backyard poultry ever recorded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Contact with live poultry or their environment can make people sick with Salmonella infections. Live poultry such as chickens and ducks can be carrying Salmonella bacteria but appear healthy and clean, with no sign of illness.

As raising backyard flocks becomes more popular, more people are having contact with chickens and ducks – and may not know about the risk of Salmonella infection.

These outbreaks are a reminder to follow steps to keep your family healthy while enjoying your backyard flock.

Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching live poultry or anything in the area where the birds live and roam.

Adults should supervise handwashing for children.

Do not let live poultry inside the house.

Do not let children younger than 5 years handle or touch chicks, ducklings, or other live poultry without adult supervision.

In 2017, CDC and multiple states investigated 10 separate multistate outbreaks of Salmonella infections in people who had contact with live poultry in backyard flocks.

The outbreak strains of Salmonella infected a reported 1120 people in 48 states and the District of Columbia

Illnesses started on dates ranging from January 4, 2017 to September 22, 2017.

249 ill people were hospitalized. One death was reported from North Carolina.

Epidemiologic, traceback, and laboratory findings linked the 10 outbreaks to contact with live poultry, such as chicks and ducklings, from multiple hatcheries.

In interviews, 542 (70%) of 774 ill people reported contact with live poultry in the week before illness started.

The outbreaks were caused by Salmonella bacteria with several DNA fingerprints : Salmonella Braenderup, Salmonella Enteritidis, Salmonella Hadar, Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i-, Salmonella Indiana, Salmonella Infantis, Salmonella Litchfield, Salmonella Mbandaka, Salmonella Muenchen, and Salmonella Typhimurium.

Multistate outbreaks of human Salmonella infections linked to live poultry in backyard flocks, 2017 (final update)

19.oct.17

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

https://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/live-poultry-06-17/index.html