Dole reopens salad facilities linked to multi-year Listeria outbreak

Dole is reopening two salad production plants linked to an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections that has killed at least two people.

Dozens of packaged salad varieties sold under brands including those sold by Walmart, Kroger and Lidl were recalled Dec. 22, 2021, after testing revealed the presence of the Listeria. The salads were produced at Dole facilities in Yuma, AZ, and Bessemer City, NC.

Brands of salads included in the recall were:

  • Ahold
  • Dole
  • Kroger
  • Lidl
  • Little Salad Bar
  • Marketside
  • Naturally Better
  • Nature’s Promise
  • Simply Nature

The expiration dates on the recalled salads ranged from Nov. 30, 2021, through Jan. 8, 2022. 

Although all of the salads should have been removed by retailers and thrown away by consumers by now, additional illnesses could still be reported because it can take up to 70 days for symptoms of infection to develop. Then it can take another three to four weeks … Read more

Officials investigating third death in hepatitis A outbreak traced to restaurant

A third death is being investigated in a hepatitis A outbreak traced to an Italian restaurant in West Norriton, PA.

Montgomery County public health officials say they have already confirmed two deaths in the outbreak traced to Gino’s Restaurant and Pizzeria. They have confirmed 10 people as infected with the liver disease and another three cases remain under investigation.

As of this week the restaurant remains closed. Public health officials ordered the closure on Jan. 7. At least seven of the infected people were admitted to hospitals.

County officials are working with the Pennsylvania Department of Health on the investigation. So far the investigation suggests the exposure occurred in late November and no longer presents a risk. 

It can take up to 50 days after exposure to the hepatitis A virus for symptoms to appear. After symptoms appear sick people must be tested and test results must be confirmed and … Read more

APHIS smuggling unit finds prohibited pork in New York City

During the past three months, from October to December 2021, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s (APHIS) Smuggling Interdiction and Trade Compliance (SITC) program seized and destroyed more than 1,900 pounds of prohibited pork, poultry, and ruminant products from New York City-area retailers.

APHIS reports these items were sourced from China, lacked required import permits and health certificates, and therefore are considered a risk of introducing diseases as well as invasive plant and animal pests into the United States. SITC anti-smuggling efforts prevent the establishment of invasive plant and animal pests and diseases while maintaining the safety of our ecosystems and natural resources.

The recent efforts to safeguard American agriculture represent a continued collaboration between APHIS, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and New York City officials.

APHIS is concerned about these prohibited products because China is affected by African Swine Fever … Read more

Norovirus sickens more than 120 in Slovenia; contaminated packaging suspected

Norovirus was the cause of more than 120 illnesses in late December 2021 in Slovenia, according to findings of an investigation.

The National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ), the Administration for Food Safety, Veterinary Sector and Plant Protection (UVHVVR) and the National Laboratory of Health, Environment and Food (NLZOH) investigated the outbreak in the town of Ilirska Bistrica.

Officials said based on the clinical symptoms of patients, the duration of disease and results of laboratory tests, the cause of the illnesses was norovirus.

Between Dec. 25 and 30, 2021, an outbreak of an infectious disease was detected in Ilirska Bistrica and 123 people became ill with at least one person being hospitalized.

Most people infected suffered from vomiting and watery diarrhea but some also reported a fever, nausea and abdominal pain.

Spread linked to packaging
Norovirus was isolated as the causative agent in nine fecal samples from infected individuals. Bacillus … Read more

Meat smugglers are out to breach U.S. borders, endangering pork industry

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s job of keeping African Swine Fever out of the United States is not helped by stepped up and all too common meat smuggling.

Whether commingled in those shipping containers stacked up at U.S. ports or moved across a southern border run by cartels, there are more opportunities for meat smuggling into the United States than ever before.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection keeps turning up evidence about how it’s working. At the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport April 6 through June 6, 2021, CBP intercepted 19,555 pounds of prohibited pork, chicken, beef, and duck arriving from China.

At a big port like LA/LB, the “unmanifested animal products” were commingled in boxes of headphones, door locks, kitchenware, LCD tables, trash bags, swim fins, cell phone covers, plastic cases, and household goods. All those items are typical covers for the attempts to smuggle illegal meats.… Read more