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Full Tilt Recalls Most 2014 Dairy-Based Ice Cream Flavors for Listeria Risk

Full Tilt Ice Cream of Seattle is recalling all dairy-based ice-cream flavors (except non-dairy frozen desserts) sold under the Full Tilt brand and produced between Jan. 1 and Dec. 19, 2014, because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

The Full Tilt dairy-based ice-cream products were distributed in Oregon and Washington through grocery stores and retail scoop shops.

The ice cream was sold in 16-oz. paper containers with a 7-digit code ending in 14x (e.g., 0219142), as well as 1.5-gallon and 3-gallon plastic gallon tubs produced before 12/19/2014. The following table summarizes the affected products:

Name of product size production dates type of packaging
Full Tilt Ice Cream 16-oz. containers 01/01/2014-12/19/2014 paper
Full Tilt Ice Cream 1.5-gallon containers 01/01/2014-12/19/2014 plastic gallon
Full Tilt Ice Cream 3-gallon containers 01/01/2014-12/19/2014 plastic gallon

No illnesses have been reported to date.

These dairy-based ice-cream products contain ice-cream base produced and recalled by Snoqualmie Gourmet Ice Cream Inc. as an ingredient. Full Tilt has since performed a rigorous sanitation schedule to prevent further contamination.

This recall is being made with the knowledge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Washington State Department of Agriculture.

Consumers who have purchased Full Tilt are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at (206) 963-5038 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. PST, Monday through Friday.

Listeria can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

Food Safety News

WA Ice Cream Company Recalls All 2014 Flavors Except One for Listeria Risk

Pink’s Ice Cream LLC of Seattle is recalling all ice-cream flavors produced in 2014 with the exception of Coconut Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

Pink’s Ice Cream was distributed through grocery stores and restaurants around the Puget Sound area, including Uwajimaya and Metropolitan Market outlets.

The 16-oz. pints of ice cream are sold with a six-digit numerical product code on the bottom of the product. That six digit code will start with two numbers between 00**** and 52****.  The recall includes all codes within that range with the exclusion of 01**** and 41****. The table below summarizes the affected products.

Name of Product Flavors Size Production Date Type of Packaging
Pink’s Ice Cream Black Sesame, Durian, Green Tea, Mango, Red Bean, Spicy Ginger, Taro, Thai Tea 16 oz 1/1/14-12/21/14 Paper Carton
Pink’s Ice Cream Black Sesame, Durian, Green Tea, Mango, Red Bean, Spicy Ginger, Taro, Thai Tea 1.0 gal 1/1/14-12/21/14 Plastic Gallon

The recall is the result of contamination found at Snoqualmie Gourmet Ice Cream, Pink’s dairy supplier. A routine sampling revealed traces of Listeria in the finished product and on nearby surfaces at the supplier’s plant. Pink’s Ice Cream has recalled all products made with potentially contaminated dairy ingredient, sterilized all production surfaces and equipment, and has begun sourcing dairy from an alternative source.

No illnesses related to the consumption of Pink’s Ice Cream products have been reported to date. This recall is being made with the knowledge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Consumers who have purchased Pink’s Ice Cream, except the non-dairy Coconut, are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at (206) 861-9098 during regular business hours (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST).

Listeria can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

Food Safety News

Food Safety News Hands Santa Nice List Nominees for 2014

Merry Christmas!

Whether today finds you celebrating the birth of Christ, the Winter Solstice, or about to observe Kwanzaa, the one thing everyone can agree on is that we need more nice people in this world.

Food Safety News is pleased to present our sixth-annual nominations for Santa’s nice list. As we did during the past five years, we’ve compiled a list of people who we think would be missed from the world of food safety if they were not doing what they’re doing.

Without further delay, here’s our list of nominees and why we picked them. Santa, the rest is up to you!

Jeff Almer

Six years ago this Christmas morning, Jeff Almer of Savage, MN, found himself opening presents from his mom, who had died four days earlier on Dec. 21. Shirley Mae Almer, 72, who beat cancer twice, was killed by eating peanut butter.

Shirley Almer was one of nine people who died after being infected with a deadly Salmonella strain that had contaminated peanut butter products made in Blakely, GA, by the Peanut Corporation of America.

When the jury trial of peanut-industry executives began in Albany, GA, last July, it was a surprise that he was there representing the victims and serving as a point of contact for them. Government attorneys prosecuting the case also fulfilled their duty to communicate with victims by relying on Jeff.

The trial took almost two months, but it finally delivered the justice for which Jeff had waited so long. Guilty, guilty, and guilty went the verdicts on a total of 98 federal felony counts. Jeff then got the word out to his network of other victims and friends back in Minnesota.

We expect Jeff will be back in Albany for the sentencing of the peanut-industry executives, and, in the meantime, he’ll be keeping other victims updated on what’s going on.

Tom Vilsack

We’ve decided it was nice of Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to stick around. We think his longevity is turning out to be a positive thing for food safety. Six years ago, there was enough to make people suspicious of the former Iowa governor. His total food-safety experience was exempting a popular Iowa restaurant from the food code section on cross-contamination.

As Secretary of Agriculture, however, his food-safety accomplishments are piling up, and he’s no longer judged merely by his statehouse record. His service continuing into President Obama’s second term is significant. No Secretary of Agriculture has “gone the distance” since former Minnesota Gov. Orville L. Freeman held the office for eight straight of the Kennedy-Johnson years.

In his year-end message, the only thing Vilsack says about food safety is that USDA answered 1.3-million questions on the subject from consumers. He should have talked about his poultry inspection reforms. But since he is staying around, maybe he’ll use the next opportunity to get that done.

Dana Dziadul

When the Wake Forest, NC, girl was just 3 years old, she ate cantaloupe that was contaminated with Salmonella Poona and became infected with the pathogen.

Today, 16-year-old Dana Dziadul has written a children’s book about food-safety practices and distributes it without charge. The young victim-turned-advocate wrote “Food Safety Superstar” to teach kids four safety practices: hand-washing, table and counter cleaning, keeping cold and fresh foods cold, and making sure food is thoroughly cooked before eating it.

Her work has gotten the attention of FDA, and the book got a release at the U.S. Capitol. Nice, Dana!

Mike Taylor

If he played major-league baseball, sportswriters would be saying he is already a first-ballot Hall-of-Fame candidate and he is still on the field.

When Bill Clinton was president 20 years ago, Michael R. Taylor was the young attorney who served both as administrator of USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and Acting Under Secretary for Food Safety at USDA. His meat-industry reforms were the most significant in 100 years and included banning E. coli O157:H7 from beef products.

When Barack Obama became president in 2009, Taylor returned to government, first as senior advisor to the FDA commissioner. About a year later, he was named Deputy Commissioner for Foods, heading up the agency’s new Office of Foods.

This time, Taylor is reforming FDA’s regulation over food by implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). It puts him at the helm of the FDA team working on regulations to implement the new law. We have no doubt Taylor is going to get the job done by his open and flexible approach.

And that’s nice. (And, yes, he’s the same Mike Taylor who once worked for Monsanto.)

Sandra Eskin

The food-safety shop at The Pew Charitable Trusts, run by Sandra Eskin, continues to be an irreplaceable resource we rely upon, benefiting readers in ways that are not alway obvious. We don’t want to disclose any secrets, but sometimes, like when Congressional action is occurring in a dark tunnel somewhere, we’ve often turned to Sandra and her staff to shed some light on what’s happening.

Likewise, the work of her unit is also top-drawer. Whenever you hear that victims of foodborne illness are on Capitol Hill or at some statehouse telling their real-life stories, chances are it’s because Pew organized it.

Pew’s food-safety shop also benefits from the nonpartisan Pew Research Center’s expertise in surveys on social and demographic issues that are known for being thorough and spot-on. If you’re looking for a read that will get your brain going, check out the Pew Research Center’s “14 striking findings from 2014.”

Michele Simon

She is often on fire, especially if her target is a big corporation, but we’ve never heard anyone say that Michele Simon, JD, MPH, is not nice. A frequent contributing writer for Food Safety News, she had a breakout year of her own in 2014.

Simon is a public-health lawyer with a focus on food-industry marketing and lobbying tactics. She’s the author of “Appetite for Profit: How the Food Industry Undermines Our Health,” and, “How to Fight Back,” and now she is also president of Eat Drink Politics, a watchdog consulting business.

The Oakland, CA, resident has been a food-industry writer/researcher since 1996. As an attorney, she also provides legal services to food and beverage companies (we presume the more enlightened ones) from Foscolo and Handel PLLC, The Food Law Firm, based in Sag Harbor, NY.

Amy Nordyke

A mother looking for a way of improving her children’s immune systems, she hit upon the idea of giving them raw (unpasteurized) milk to drink.

“I read that as long as I knew my farmers and knew that they took all the appropriate safety measures, my family would be safe from scary bacteria. So I jumped in and added it to our diet,” wrote Nordyke in a guest commentary published by Food Safety News last Oct. 14.

It started out well enough, even with the need to travel some to keep supplied. “We really liked raw milk,” she said. Then Seamus, her 18-month-old son, was sickened with bloody diarrhea that would quickly evolve into hemolytic uremic syndrome or HUS, a potentially life-threatening attack on his kidneys.

Seamus would recover, and Amy had the courage to tell her family’s story, which opened her up to comments from all sides challenging her decisions as a mother. But she hung in there and answered most of them one by one.

Nice, Amy. By sharing your thinking with other parents, you made a difference in a way that we don’t often see. Thank you!

Food Safety News

The Food Safety News Nominees for Santa’s 2014 Naughty List

How did the media, our professional associates in corporate and government information, Maine Governor Paul R. LePage, Wisconsin Secretary of Agriculture Ben Brancel, Sheldon Lavin, POTUS (the president of the United States), and FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg end up on the Food Safety News 2014 naughty list?

It’s complicated. Make yourself an eggnog and sit back. (You may need something to stiffen that eggnog.) But here’s the view as we look down on food-safety news land and as we all get ready to enjoy Christmas, or just use this much-needed break to rest up.

We, the media

We, the media, produced the Ebola scare for the U.S. because it generated ratings and readers. We made up stories and sold them to magazine editors who were both gullible and lazy. We helped instigate riots when we presented information we knew was incomplete.

The Ebola scare in the U.S. was so intensely hot for awhile that it was the most searched-for word of 2014, according to Google. Would a foreign army landing on the beaches of the Gulf Coast have gotten more panicked coverage than one man sickened with Ebola got when he landed in Dallas?

The panic ended when no cases originated in the U.S., the White House named an Ebola czar and stopped talking about it, and someone made the merciful decision to stop CDC Director Dr. Thomas R. Frieden from doing anymore TV interviews.

When the scare ended, so did almost all coverage of the real Ebola crisis in Western Africa.

How far back this sent infectious disease reporting remains to be seen. Few American who got that hot shot of Ebola scare reporting were left with any useful understanding of the far greater risks we face on a routine basis, including the foodborne variety. The damage from all that sloppy reporting is outside our wheelhouse, but other than to put paper sacks over our heads, there is not much we can do about it. But we know naughty when we see it, and 2014 was a very bad year for the media. Sorry about that.

Our professional associates in corporate and government public information

We are talking here about the corporate public-relations people and the so-called public information officers (PIOs) we work with daily.

There are some exceptions, we might call them old-school types, who still know how to develop working relationships with reporters based on trust and professionalism. No Christmas presents are exchanged, but these are the folks who still have a human face.

Unfortunately, old-schoolers, including some who are in their 20s, are rare today. We’ve come to find that corporate public relations exists to create an illusion of openness for the company without any intention of ever delivering.

An even more disturbing trend is underway among the government PIOs, whose salaries are paid by the taxpayers. It used to be that PIOs would be driven by the information they could quickly get out from their agencies. The really good ones could be quoted by their bosses.

Today, PIOs are on a mission, which, again with rare exceptions, is to minimize or extinguish the information coming from their agency or department. Anyone doing real journalism is viewed as a threat, and your tax money is now going for those communications tools where the government has total control of the message and is able to meter the real information down to a trickle.

These are not new trends, but the feeling that they’ve reached a tipping point was very much part of the journalistic atmosphere in 2014.

Gov. Paul R. LePage

Moving on to a single individual, Maine Gov. Paul R. LePage falls on the naughty list for a very specific reason.

It’s not that, during 2014, the narrowly re-elected Republican governor let the Maine Center for Disease Control go without the leadership of a director or state epidemiologist, or even the agency’s weird decision to keep secret the name of a restaurant where someone worked while infected with Hepatitis A.

No, LePage falls on the naughty list because he really messed up what might have been a teachable moment regarding when a state’s top public health authority may, or may not, order someone held in quarantine. Everyone remembers the healthcare worker traveling home from West Africa, first to New Jersey and then home to Maine.

LePage took time out from his close campaign to put state police outside the woman’s Fort Kent house, and, for three days, he made one strong statement after another.

“Maine has established protocols for the monitoring of any individual who returns to Maine after traveling from West African regions that have been impacted by Ebola,” he said. “These protocols include monitoring the individual for 21 days after the last possible exposure to Ebola. Twenty-one days is the longest time it can take from the time a person is infected with Ebola until that person has symptoms of Ebola,” he continued, adding, “But we must be vigilant in our duty to protect the health and safety of all Mainers, as well as anyone who may come in contact with someone who has been exposed to Ebola.”

“We commend all healthcare workers for their humanitarian work in West Africa and other regions of the world, and we are proud that they are always ready to help others,” LePage went on. “Upon the healthcare workers’ return home, we will follow the guidelines set by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control for medical workers who have been in contact with Ebola patients. Additionally, we will work with the healthcare worker to establish an in-home quarantine protocol to ensure there is no direct contact with other Mainers until the period for potential infection has passed. We will help make sure the healthcare worker has everything to make this time as comfortable as possible.”

The quarantined nurse went bicycle riding and hired an attorney, who went to a lower state court and got her sprung short of her 21-day quarantine period. LePage then just said he did everything he could, but the judge had lifted the restrictions and he’d abide by state law.

Maybe his campaign polling showed he was on the wrong side of the issue. Governors usually don’t accept lower-court decisions, and they can get their appeals heard all the way up to the state supreme court pretty fast.

State quarantine laws have not been used much in recent years, but, a generation or two ago, people commonly accepted orders to stay put until some infectious disease was brought under control. One thing is for certain: Such laws were never intended for use just to make a politician look tough during a campaign — or not.

Ben Brancel

Wisconsin Secretary of Agriculture Ben Brancel, himself a dairy farmer for 22 years and who still runs Angus and Hereford cattle, took over the helm of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection in January 2011, six months before an outbreak from contaminated raw milk at a Racine elementary school. He makes his way on to our naughty list because he managed to keep the name of the dairy farm associated with that outbreak secret for 3.5 years.

Brancel, who now serves at the pleasure of WI Republican Gov. Scott Brown, is representative of those state departments of agriculture which sometimes put their mission to protect and promote their farm and ranch sectors ahead of food safety.

When state health departments or state agriculture departments attempt to hide such basic information — such as who, what, and why — from the public, they are only harming themselves by generating ever more reason to distrust government. Brancel certainly should know that. He also headed Wisconsin’s agriculture department under former WI Gov. Tommy Thompson.

After another school-related outbreak occurred in Wisconsin last September, causing numerous illnesses, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel decided it had had enough. The newspaper enlisted open-records advocates and used state law to force the release of the names of the involved raw-milk farms.

“It’s outrageous. The public has the right to this information. Who is the state of Wisconsin trying to protect, the public or bad operators?” said Bill Lueders, president of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council.

Naughty, Mr. Secretary.

Sheldon Lavin

With $ 6 billion in worldwide revenue, OSI Group Chairman and CEO Sheldon Lavin could not have gone into 2014 on a higher note. He’d just been inducted into the Meat Industry Hall of Fame. He was introduced in November 2013 to the elite gathering at the Drake Hotel in Chicago by McDonald’s President Jeff Stratton, who spoke of Lavin’s connection to the “McFamily,”a reference to OSI’s meat-supplying relationship with McDonald’s going back to the legendary Ray Kroc.

Then 2014 dawned and brought an international food-safety crisis that landed Lavin on this year’s naughty list. That’s a bit of a step down from the Forbes 100 list of largest privately owned companies.

OSI Group in 2014 spanned the world, with the company supplying meat in China and Japan to McDonald’s, Yum! Brands’ KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants, and many others.

Then last summer, Dragon TV struck with a report that OSI’s Shanghai Husi Food Co. Ltd. was selling meat to these fast-food outlets that was past its expiration dates and that production facilities were far from sanitary.  The Chinese public reacts strongly to food-safety threats, especially where American companies are involved.

Almost immediately, contracts were cancelled and the Shanghai unit closed down except for staff to deal with the investigation. Levin was forced into crisis mode. OSI continues to have expansive operations in China, but the cleanup from that Dragon TV airing will continue well into 2015.

POTUS

More than a year ago, Dr. Elisabeth Hagen left government service, leaving open the position of Under Secretary for Food Safety at USDA. According to the law, the position shall be filled by presidential appointment and confirmed by the United States Senate.

Leaving this position open is not an option. And it’s enough to put President Barack Obama on the naughty list, no matter how meritorious his overall record on food safety.

When USDA was reorganized by Congress in 1993, the added currency of the agency’s top food-safety officer being a presidential appointment with Senate confirmation was recognized as being in the public interest.

Both the White House and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack have shown their flexibility and creativity in keep the food-safety shop in good hands. They’ve done it with an “Odd Couple” pairing. Brian Ronholm, who was Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety under Hagen, then named Acting Under Secretary after she departed, recently assumed the Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety title again.

Then, in late September, FSIS Administrator Al Almanza was also named USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety. In other words, there are now two deputies at the agency, but the president did not make an appointment to the top job.

Only POTUS (the president of the U.S.) can move this one off the dime. It would be unfortunate if his food-safety legacy is scuffed by leaving the appointment of the next Under Secretary for Food Safety to whoever follows him into the Oval Office. Mr. President, the clock is ticking, and you shall not pass this way again.

Margaret A. Hamburg

Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg. Perhaps you’ve heard of her. But, if you are involved in food safety, even if you attend a lot of the various conferences and seminars held throughout the year, chances are you’ve never laid eyes on the commissioner.

It’s not unusual for the FDA Commissioner to spend most of his or her time on the drug side of the house. Approval of drugs and medical devices is where the glamor and big bucks can be found once you leave public office. Besides, when you’ve got talent like Mike Taylor holding down the food side, why not just let it be?

Still, we’ve been watching from afar for a long time and could not help but notice the only published remarks Hamburg made before a food group in 2014 were to the World Spice Congress in Cochin, India, last February. To be fair, she did also speak in Washington, D.C., last February on the nutrition facts label.

We understand favoring one kid over the other. We’d just like to see her around campus sometime.

Food Safety News

USApple reporting 2014 apple crop is one of the largest on record

On Dec. 1, this year’s fresh apple holdings totaled 122.2 million bushels, a 16 percent increase from the same time last year, according to the December 2014 edition of the U.S. Apple Association’s Market News.

“Processing holdings totaled 44.6 million bushels, 3 percent above last year on Dec. 1,” said Mark W. Seetin, director, regulatory and industry affairs for the U.S. Apple Association. “The total number of apples in storage on Dec. 1 was 166.8 million bushels, 12 percent above last December’s total.”P1040068-copyPink Lady apples. (Photo by Christina DiMartino)

He added that the 2014 U.S. crop looks to be one of the largest on record, with the highest quality apples harvested in several years.

“Fresh apple supplies are quite ample, and demand has been especially strong,” said Seetin. “The December Market News reports that apples are moving to the marketplace at a record pace as of early December.”

USApple’s overview of the industry reports that the U.S. has approximately 7,500 apple producers who grow nearly 200 varieties of apples on approximately 328,000 acres.

The 2013 crop estimate, at 248.6 million bushels, was the 10th-largest apple crop since the U.S. Department of Agriculture began keeping statistics on commercial apple production. The total farm-gate revenue, or wholesale value, of the U.S. apple crop is more than $ 2.7 billion each year.

Excitement is quickly and strongly brewing in other USApple news as well. In a Dec. 5 press release titled “Apple industry unites to increase sales,” Suzanne Wolter, chair of USApple’s consumer health education and public relations committee, said that during the 2014 winter season, U.S. Apple Association and participating members were working to support apple sales by conducting joint retail communications and consumer education programs that share the same themes with their respective audiences at the same time.

“There is great opportunity here for us to deepen the impact we make with media and consumers alike by joining efforts,” said Wolter. “Right now we have not only the right team to implement these types of programs, but also the industry enthusiasm and support to make them a success.”

From Dec. 1 through early spring, USApple and select members are holding monthly public relations and social media outreach initiatives to reach online fans and media. The efforts are aimed at attracting greater consumer attention with consistent and timely messages and images.

“Consumer news media and social media are increasingly busy, cluttered places to connect with consumers, particularly during the holiday season,” Wendy Brannen, director of consumer health and public relations for USApple, stated in the release. “By conducting joint communications campaigns in which much of the apple industry, including producers, processors and retailers, are presenting the same content at the same time, we’re better able to break through to consumers with important, helpful messages that will ideally translate to increased apple sales.”

The December program focused on encouraging consumers to “share the health” during the holiday season with do-it-yourself apple gifts, including homemade gift baskets, butters and jams, with apples as the healthy, accessible and affordable center ingredient. Members will be sharing similar posts and professionally styled photography on their social and digital channels and pitching consistent messages and materials to their respective target consumer media.

“USApple’s offer of a social media themed toolbox that individuals can use and to adapt to their own use will help us to reach our goal of seeing between 15 and 30 social media sites all post very similar themes,” added Jim Allen, president of the New York Apple Association in Fishers, NY, which is participating in the campaign. “If we reach that goal it will create a ground swell of activity.”

“It’s an awesome tool,” he continued. “The New York Apple Association has posted a video on our website, nyapplecountry.com, and on Facebook at facebook.com/nyapples.”

On Dec. 11, Julia Stewart, spokesperson for NYAA added, “Our Facebook post of our video showing consumers how to assemble simple apple gift baskets has so far garnered more than 800 likes and reached over 110K, and still counting. Those are great numbers for a group our size.”

The plan for future campaigns is to focus on the benefits of resolving to eat two apples a day in January, and promoting apples’ heart health research during American Heart Month in February.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

The 10 Worst U.S. Foodborne Illness Outbreaks of 2014

This year saw dozens of well-publicized foodborne illness outbreaks caused by everything from bean sprouts to cilantro to caramel apples. Food Safety News has compiled a list of the 10 most harmful U.S. outbreaks of 2014, in terms of both the number of people who died and the number sickened.

This list includes only foodborne illness outbreaks in which investigators determined both the pathogen involved and the food source, which eliminates a number of outbreaks from inclusion.

10. Chia seeds and powder contaminated with Salmonella, 83 sickened. One of the more eyebrow-raising outbreaks of the year was tied to sprouted chia seeds and powder sold in the U.S. and Canada. At least 52 people from Canada and 31 from the U.S. were found to be sickened. [News report]

9. Bean sprouts from Wonton Foods contaminated with Salmonella, 111 sickened. New England residents were hit hard by this recent Salmonella outbreak, in which at least 29 people were hospitalized. [CDC outbreak information]

8. Chicken dish at Food Safety Summit contaminated with Clostridium perfringens, 216 sickened. This outbreak was the perfect recipe for a snarky news headline: Hundreds of people sickened with a foodborne illness at none 0ther than one of the nation’s biggest food-safety conferences. The likely source was a chicken marsala dish served by the conference’s hired catering company. [News report]

7. Foster Farms chicken Salmonella outbreak, 634 total sickened, including 218 in 2014. Coming in at number two on our list of the worst outbreaks from 2013, the nationwide Salmonella outbreak from Foster Farms chicken continued into 2014, sickening another 218 people this year before finally being declared over in July. The outbreak spanned more than 17 months, making it one of the longest-running outbreaks in recent memory. [News report]

6. Wedding dish contaminated with Clostridium perfringens, more than 300 sickened. Contaminated gravy allegedly ruined a special day for more than 300 of the 750 attendees at a wedding in Missouri. Shortly after the wedding, guests began reporting cases of diarrhea and vomiting. [News report]

5. Mexican-grown cilantro contaminated with Cyclospora, 304 sickened. Following a massive outbreak last year involving Cyclospora-contaminated salads and cilantro grown in Mexico, Texans once again faced the brunt of a Cyclospora outbreak from Mexican cilantro this year. The bulk of the illnesses once again hit at the height of summer. [CDC outbreak information]

4. Raw milk contaminated with Campylobacter in Utah, 1 dead and 80 sickened. This outbreak was the subject of a state legislative inquiry in Utah after it contributed to the death of one immunocompromised man. While Utah state law requires that raw milk carry a warning about the potential to carry harmful pathogens, the milk in this outbreak did not. [News report]

3. Bean sprouts from Wholesome Soy Products contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, 2 dead and 5 sickened. 2014 was a bad year for bean sprouts, which saw numerous outbreaks and even more recalls. The most deadly of the sprout outbreaks was linked to Wholesome Soy Products, where FDA investigators found several problems related to unsanitary conditions during inspections of their facilities earlier this year. [CDC outbreak information]

2. Dual Listeria outbreaks linked to Mexican-style cheese, 2 dead and 13 sickened in total. Mexican-style cheeses were linked to two deadly outbreaks this year. In one, a patient died and eight were sickened by cheese produced by Maryland-based Roos Foods. The other outbreak, linked to cheese produced by Florida-based Oasis Brands, killed one patient and sickened five. [News report for Roos Foods outbreak] [News report for Oasis Brands outbreak]

1. Caramel apples contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, 5 dead and 29 sickened. The year’s most deadly outbreak was also its most recent to be announced and likely its most unexpected. While illnesses first appeared in mid-October, public health officials didn’t trace the outbreak back to store-bought, prepackaged caramel apples until mid-December. A complete list of brand names has yet to emerge, but so far we know that Carnival brand and Kitchen Cravings brand caramel apples are among those affected. [News report]

Food Safety News

The 10 Worst U.S. Foodborne Illness Outbreaks of 2014

This year saw dozens of well-publicized foodborne illness outbreaks caused by everything from bean sprouts to cilantro to caramel apples. Food Safety News has compiled a list of the 10 most harmful U.S. outbreaks of 2014, in terms of both the number of people who died and the number sickened.

This list includes only foodborne illness outbreaks in which investigators determined both the pathogen involved and the food source, which eliminates a number of outbreaks from inclusion.

10. Chia seeds and powder contaminated with Salmonella, 83 sickened. One of the more eyebrow-raising outbreaks of the year was tied to sprouted chia seeds and powder sold in the U.S. and Canada. At least 52 people from Canada and 31 from the U.S. were found to be sickened. [News report]

9. Bean sprouts from Wonton Foods contaminated with Salmonella, 111 sickened. New England residents were hit hard by this recent Salmonella outbreak, in which at least 29 people were hospitalized. [CDC outbreak information]

8. Chicken dish at Food Safety Summit contaminated with Clostridium perfringens, 216 sickened. This outbreak was the perfect recipe for a snarky news headline: Hundreds of people sickened with a foodborne illness at none 0ther than one of the nation’s biggest food-safety conferences. The likely source was a chicken marsala dish served by the conference’s hired catering company. [News report]

7. Foster Farms chicken Salmonella outbreak, 634 total sickened, including 218 in 2014. Coming in at number two on our list of the worst outbreaks from 2013, the nationwide Salmonella outbreak from Foster Farms chicken continued into 2014, sickening another 218 people this year before finally being declared over in July. The outbreak spanned more than 17 months, making it one of the longest-running outbreaks in recent memory. [News report]

6. Wedding dish contaminated with Clostridium perfringens, more than 300 sickened. Contaminated gravy allegedly ruined a special day for more than 300 of the 750 attendees at a wedding in Missouri. Shortly after the wedding, guests began reporting cases of diarrhea and vomiting. [News report]

5. Mexican-grown cilantro contaminated with Cyclospora, 304 sickened. Following a massive outbreak last year involving Cyclospora-contaminated salads and cilantro grown in Mexico, Texans once again faced the brunt of a Cyclospora outbreak from Mexican cilantro this year. The bulk of the illnesses once again hit at the height of summer. [CDC outbreak information]

4. Raw milk contaminated with Campylobacter in Utah, 1 dead and 80 sickened. This outbreak was the subject of a state legislative inquiry in Utah after it contributed to the death of one immunocompromised man. While Utah state law requires that raw milk carry a warning about the potential to carry harmful pathogens, the milk in this outbreak did not. [News report]

3. Bean sprouts from Wholesome Soy Products contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, 2 dead and 5 sickened. 2014 was a bad year for bean sprouts, which saw numerous outbreaks and even more recalls. The most deadly of the sprout outbreaks was linked to Wholesome Soy Products, where FDA investigators found several problems related to unsanitary conditions during inspections of their facilities earlier this year. [CDC outbreak information]

2. Dual Listeria outbreaks linked to Mexican-style cheese, 2 dead and 13 sickened in total. Mexican-style cheeses were linked to two deadly outbreaks this year. In one, a patient died and eight were sickened by cheese produced by Maryland-based Roos Foods. The other outbreak, linked to cheese produced by Florida-based Oasis Brands, killed one patient and sickened five. [News report for Roos Foods outbreak] [News report for Oasis Brands outbreak]

1. Caramel apples contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, 5 dead and 29 sickened. The year’s most deadly outbreak was also its most recent to be announced and likely its most unexpected. While illnesses first appeared in mid-October, public health officials didn’t trace the outbreak back to store-bought, prepackaged caramel apples until mid-December. A complete list of brand names has yet to emerge, but so far we know that Carnival brand and Kitchen Cravings brand caramel apples are among those affected. [News report]

Food Safety News

The 10 Worst U.S. Foodborne Illness Outbreaks of 2014

This year saw dozens of well-publicized foodborne illness outbreaks caused by everything from bean sprouts to cilantro to caramel apples. Food Safety News has compiled a list of the 10 most harmful U.S. outbreaks of 2014, in terms of both the number of people who died and the number sickened.

This list includes only foodborne illness outbreaks in which investigators determined both the pathogen involved and the food source, which eliminates a number of outbreaks from inclusion.

10. Chia seeds and powder contaminated with Salmonella, 83 sickened. One of the more eyebrow-raising outbreaks of the year was tied to sprouted chia seeds and powder sold in the U.S. and Canada. At least 52 people from Canada and 31 from the U.S. were found to be sickened. [News report]

9. Bean sprouts from Wonton Foods contaminated with Salmonella, 111 sickened. New England residents were hit hard by this recent Salmonella outbreak, in which at least 29 people were hospitalized. [CDC outbreak information]

8. Chicken dish at Food Safety Summit contaminated with Clostridium perfringens, 216 sickened. This outbreak was the perfect recipe for a snarky news headline: Hundreds of people sickened with a foodborne illness at none 0ther than one of the nation’s biggest food-safety conferences. The likely source was a chicken marsala dish served by the conference’s hired catering company. [News report]

7. Foster Farms chicken Salmonella outbreak, 634 total sickened, including 218 in 2014. Coming in at number two on our list of the worst outbreaks from 2013, the nationwide Salmonella outbreak from Foster Farms chicken continued into 2014, sickening another 218 people this year before finally being declared over in July. The outbreak spanned more than 17 months, making it one of the longest-running outbreaks in recent memory. [News report]

6. Wedding dish contaminated with Clostridium perfringens, more than 300 sickened. Contaminated gravy allegedly ruined a special day for more than 300 of the 750 attendees at a wedding in Missouri. Shortly after the wedding, guests began reporting cases of diarrhea and vomiting. [News report]

5. Mexican-grown cilantro contaminated with Cyclospora, 304 sickened. Following a massive outbreak last year involving Cyclospora-contaminated salads and cilantro grown in Mexico, Texans once again faced the brunt of a Cyclospora outbreak from Mexican cilantro this year. The bulk of the illnesses once again hit at the height of summer. [CDC outbreak information]

4. Raw milk contaminated with Campylobacter in Utah, 1 dead and 80 sickened. This outbreak was the subject of a state legislative inquiry in Utah after it contributed to the death of one immunocompromised man. While Utah state law requires that raw milk carry a warning about the potential to carry harmful pathogens, the milk in this outbreak did not. [News report]

3. Bean sprouts from Wholesome Soy Products contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, 2 dead and 5 sickened. 2014 was a bad year for bean sprouts, which saw numerous outbreaks and even more recalls. The most deadly of the sprout outbreaks was linked to Wholesome Soy Products, where FDA investigators found several problems related to unsanitary conditions during inspections of their facilities earlier this year. [CDC outbreak information]

2. Dual Listeria outbreaks linked to Mexican-style cheese, 2 dead and 13 sickened in total. Mexican-style cheeses were linked to two deadly outbreaks this year. In one, a patient died and eight were sickened by cheese produced by Maryland-based Roos Foods. The other outbreak, linked to cheese produced by Florida-based Oasis Brands, killed one patient and sickened five. [News report for Roos Foods outbreak] [News report for Oasis Brands outbreak]

1. Caramel apples contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, 5 dead and 29 sickened. The year’s most deadly outbreak was also its most recent to be announced and likely its most unexpected. While illnesses first appeared in mid-October, public health officials didn’t trace the outbreak back to store-bought, prepackaged caramel apples until mid-December. A complete list of brand names has yet to emerge, but so far we know that Carnival brand and Kitchen Cravings brand caramel apples are among those affected. [News report]

Food Safety News

PLMA 2014: Martha Stewart speaks with SN

The Martha Stewart brand can be found at Kmart, Home Depot, Macy’s, PetSmart and other retailers. But does the businesswoman have plans for food retail?

When I heard Martha Stewart would be keynoting PLMA store brands show, I knew I had to ask her about her interest in the supermarket channel.

She didn’t take questions after her speech about how she has built her brand, as she had to catch an international flight. But she did spend a few minutes greeting some of the attendees who approached her at the dais.

I introduced myself and immediately asked about her thoughts on the food retail channel.

“Oh, right, I forgot to mention the coffee,” she responded.


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Like the Supermarket News page for updates throughout the day.


She was referring to “ULIVjava Martha Stewart,” just-launched ready-to-drink iced coffees blended with green tea, infused with herbs and botanical ingredients and fortified with vitamins. Formulated with fair trade coffee extract, and non-fat milk and cream, the new drinks come in two varieties: Mocha and Vanilla.

The line was developed by Mary Tedesco, who is Stewart’s longtime personal trainer, and celebrity nutritionist Kathleen Schoen.

The drinks are currently sold in the New York market at 7-Eleven, Whole Foods, Gristede’s and Walgreen’s, with plans for expanded distribution next year.

Suggested Categories More from Supermarket News

Supermarket News

PLMA 2014: Martha Stewart speaks with SN

The Martha Stewart brand can be found at Kmart, Home Depot, Macy’s, PetSmart and other retailers. But does the businesswoman have plans for food retail?

When I heard Martha Stewart would be keynoting PLMA store brands show, I knew I had to ask her about her interest in the supermarket channel.

She didn’t take questions after her speech about how she has built her brand, as she had to catch an international flight. But she did spend a few minutes greeting some of the attendees who approached her at the dais.

I introduced myself and immediately asked about her thoughts on the food retail channel.

“Oh, right, I forgot to mention the coffee,” she responded.


CONNECT WITH SN ON FACEBOOK

Like the Supermarket News page for updates throughout the day.


She was referring to “ULIVjava Martha Stewart,” just-launched ready-to-drink iced coffees blended with green tea, infused with herbs and botanical ingredients and fortified with vitamins. Formulated with fair trade coffee extract, and non-fat milk and cream, the new drinks come in two varieties: Mocha and Vanilla.

The line was developed by Mary Tedesco, who is Stewart’s longtime personal trainer, and celebrity nutritionist Kathleen Schoen.

The drinks are currently sold in the New York market at 7-Eleven, Whole Foods, Gristede’s and Walgreen’s, with plans for expanded distribution next year.

Suggested Categories More from Supermarket News

Supermarket News

PLMA 2014: Martha Stewart speaks with SN

The Martha Stewart brand can be found at Kmart, Home Depot, Macy’s, PetSmart and other retailers. But does the businesswoman have plans for food retail?

When I heard Martha Stewart would be keynoting PLMA store brands show, I knew I had to ask her about her interest in the supermarket channel.

She didn’t take questions after her speech about how she has built her brand, as she had to catch an international flight. But she did spend a few minutes greeting some of the attendees who approached her at the dais.

I introduced myself and immediately asked about her thoughts on the food retail channel.

“Oh, right, I forgot to mention the coffee,” she responded.


CONNECT WITH SN ON FACEBOOK

Like the Supermarket News page for updates throughout the day.


She was referring to “ULIVjava Martha Stewart,” just-launched ready-to-drink iced coffees blended with green tea, infused with herbs and botanical ingredients and fortified with vitamins. Formulated with fair trade coffee extract, and non-fat milk and cream, the new drinks come in two varieties: Mocha and Vanilla.

The line was developed by Mary Tedesco, who is Stewart’s longtime personal trainer, and celebrity nutritionist Kathleen Schoen.

The drinks are currently sold in the New York market at 7-Eleven, Whole Foods, Gristede’s and Walgreen’s, with plans for expanded distribution next year.

Suggested Categories More from Supermarket News

Supermarket News

PLMA 2014: Martha Stewart speaks with SN

The Martha Stewart brand can be found at Kmart, Home Depot, Macy’s, PetSmart and other retailers. But does the businesswoman have plans for food retail?

When I heard Martha Stewart would be keynoting PLMA store brands show, I knew I had to ask her about her interest in the supermarket channel.

She didn’t take questions after her speech about how she has built her brand, as she had to catch an international flight. But she did spend a few minutes greeting some of the attendees who approached her at the dais.

I introduced myself and immediately asked about her thoughts on the food retail channel.

“Oh, right, I forgot to mention the coffee,” she responded.


CONNECT WITH SN ON FACEBOOK

Like the Supermarket News page for updates throughout the day.


She was referring to “ULIVjava Martha Stewart,” just-launched ready-to-drink iced coffees blended with green tea, infused with herbs and botanical ingredients and fortified with vitamins. Formulated with fair trade coffee extract, and non-fat milk and cream, the new drinks come in two varieties: Mocha and Vanilla.

The line was developed by Mary Tedesco, who is Stewart’s longtime personal trainer, and celebrity nutritionist Kathleen Schoen.

The drinks are currently sold in the New York market at 7-Eleven, Whole Foods, Gristede’s and Walgreen’s, with plans for expanded distribution next year.

Suggested Categories More from Supermarket News

Supermarket News