'salmonella' on Serious Eats

Hillandale Farms Will Resume Shipping Eggs

The FDA has given permission for one of the two egg companies involved in the August Salmonella outbreak to resume selling eggs. The "FDA finds your corrective actions to be adequate," said Kansas City FDA District Director John W. Thorsky in a letter to Gary Bartness of Hillandale Farms. The FDA has warned Wright County Egg, the other company involved in the recall, that they must take prompt corrective action to eliminate Salmonella, or else they'll face seizure and/or injunction. More

'Consumer Reports': Two-thirds of Fresh, Whole Broiler Chickens Contain Salmonella, Campylobacter

Two-thirds of fresh whole broiler chickens tested by Consumer Reports in 22 states contained salmonella and/or campylobacter bacteria, the magazine reports. Air-chilled organic birds (especially store-brand birds) fared best. Among name brands, Perdue's were cleanest while 80 percent of Tyson and Foster Farms chix registered for one or both pathogens. [via Civil Eats]... More

Salmonella Found in Raw Alfalfa Sprouts

Before you buy or make that sprout-laden salad or sandwich for lunch today, please be sure to avoid alfalfa sprouts. From the FDA: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) [on April 26] recommended that consumers not eat raw alfalfa sprouts, including sprout blends containing alfalfa sprouts, until further notice because the product has been linked to Salmonella serotype Saintpaul contamination. Other types of sprouts have not been implicated at this time. Photograph ©iStockphoto.com/THEPALMER... More

Salmonella FAQ

Salmonella could be lurking in your meat, eggs, fruits, vegetables, peanut butter, and chocolate bars—seemingly everywhere. Read CBC.ca's Salmonella FAQ for information on how infections occur and how to prevent them from happening. [via Coldmud]... More

FDA Declares Tomatoes Safe Again, But Not Hot Peppers

With salmonella outbreaks slowing down, the FDA reported yesterday that tomatoes are in the clear, but fresh jalapeño and serrano peppers still need attention. The tomato industry estimates more than $100 million in losses, but according to the FDA, every type of tomato in stores and fields today is safe (and happy). The outbreak peaked between May 20 and June 10 when about 33 people became ill a day, but dropped to an average of 19 people a day between June 11 and June 20. How can two different types of produce get contaminated with the same rare strain of Salmonella Saintpaul? According to FDA food safety chief Dr. David Acheson, a large farm was perhaps growing tomatoes in one... More

First Tomatoes, Now Jalapeños; Does the FDA Have Its Act Together?

First the CDC and the FDA told us that tomatoes were the likely culprit of the salmonella outbreak that has affected nearly a thousand people since it was first reported on April 10. Now, after tomato growers and distributors have lost hundreds of million of dollars destroying and throwing out supposedly tainted product, there are reports that the CDC thinks jalapeños might be the culprit. Then again, the government is saying it could be one of a half dozen ingredients used to make salsa. It seems to me that the only thing we can definitively conclude from this episode is that our food safety system is irretrievably broken. According to the Wall Street Journal, "Health officials said the evidence linking... More

Tomatoes: Are They Really the Cause of the Salmonella Outbreak?

The good news: tomatoes may not be the cause of the salmonella outbreak that began back in April and have since gotten 810 people sick. The bad news: no one is really sure what is. Tomatoes remain the top suspect and the advice on which ones consumers should avoid hasn't changed, stressed Food and Drug Administration food safety chief Dr. David Acheson.However, he said it is possible that tomatoes being harvested in states considered safe could be picking up salmonella germs in packing sheds, warehouses or other facilities currently under investigation.[...] "The source of contamination has been ongoing at least through early June, and we don't have any evidence that whatever the source is, it's been removed from the market,"... More

How Does Salmonella Get Inside Tomatoes?

This summer season is off to a bleak, tomato-less start with the recent salmonella outbreak in certain types of raw red tomatoes. Serious Eater Butrflygirly asked, "Couldn't this be avoided by proper washing? If you wash/clean something properly, all should be good. Right?" Actually, it wouldn't be as bad if all we had to worry about was fecal matter getting on tomatoes. Although there are a number of ways that salmonella can be transmitted from feces to produce, the surface contaminants are killed in a chlorine bath when tomatoes are delivered to a packing plant. Of course, this doesn't do much good if the salmonella is inside the tomato, which can occur if there are cuts or scars on the... More

Salmonella Scare Hits the Big Time

You know something is news when it graces the cover of the New York Post. The main focus of the story is that the burger chains have stopped serving tomatoes on their burgers, and people are upset. At the Mickey D's on Sixth Avenue between 21st and 22nd streets, Beata Royzman, 17, a La Guardia HS senior, winced as she bit into a cheeseburger that didn't have tomatoes. "It's disgusting," she groaned. "It would be much better with tomatoes... Previously: Salmonella Scare Halts Tomato Sales... More

Salmonella Scare Halts Tomato Sales

These tomatoes may be safe, but others may give you Salmonella poisoning. Beware. Bountiful grape tomatoes still populate Mickey D's "premium salad," but you're out of luck if you want a tomato slice on your burger. Reuters reported today that McDonald's and Wal-Mart stores have stopped selling certain tomatoes. Chipotle and Target are also nixing tomatoes to play it safe. On Saturday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned U.S. consumers that the Salmonella outbreak—145 reported cases, including at least 23 hospitalizations since mid-April—is linked to raw red plum, red Roma, and red round tomatoes. The FDA says that it is safe to eat cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, tomatoes sold with the vine still attached, and tomatoes grown at home.... More

What Makes Raw Eggs Dangerous

Ask Metafilter answers the question, "What is the relationship between the age of a consumed raw egg and the risk of food poisoning, and what factors influence it - in general, but also specifically to salmonella?"... More

Did Your Microwave Nuke the Bacteria in Your Frozen Dinner? It Depends

I'm not usually all that skittish when it comes to food safety (I do stay away from frozen boxed hamburger on principle), but when I read in the New York Times about people very likely contracting salmonella from eating frozen food that hadn't been microwaved long enough, I got very scared. According to the story, a 19-month-old baby girl became "so violently ill after eating a Banquet chicken pot pie she passed out and had a seizure, a 104-degree fever, and nearly constant diarrhea" (she had diarrhea for six weeks before she fully recovered). She was not alone. "According to the Centers for Disease Control," the story continues, "165 people in 31 states have become ill with the same strain... More

Eggs No Longer Best Friends With Salmonella

Eggs are getting safer, says Goody Solomon of the Washington Post: "In 2002, the last year for which numbers are available, 10 percent of reported Salmonella enteritidis outbreaks in the United States were related to eggs, compared with a spike of 80 percent in 2001, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These days, according to the CDC, salmonella outbreaks are more likely to be caused by other foods: juices, salsa, meat, sprouts, fruits, and salads."... More

Rats: Gross, But Less Dangerous Than Our Unwashed Hands

eGullet's Steven Shaw has a strong op-ed in the New York Times today arguing for a more rational response to rats in restaurants than the current hysteria: Rats move freely from building to building: adult rats can, like the superhero Plastic Man, compress themselves to fit through spaces as narrow as half an inch. Their mobility makes them as easy to miss as they are to find. A rat-free city is no more possible than a germ-free or risk-free society. We can hope to manage rodents, roaches and other intruders down to an acceptable level, but they’ve always accompanied, and may outlast, human civilization.Rats in restaurants, while distasteful, are more a distraction than a disaster for public health. As... More

Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Peanut Butter

"The Food and Drug Administration in Washington warns consumers NOT to eat certain jars of Peter Pan or Great Value peanut butter due to the risk of contamination. The F-D-A says the affected jars have a product code on the lid that begins with the number "21-11." Check your shelves, please!... More

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