FOOD SAFETY NEWS SCAN: Outbreak E coli ID'd in cheese, undercover egg-farm probe

Nov 17, 2010

Outbreak E coli strain confirmed in unopened Gouda cheese
New Mexico's health department has confirmed the outbreak strain of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in an unopened package of Gouda cheese from Costco, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported yesterday. Bravo Farms Dutch Style Raw Milk Gouda Cheese has been linked to at least 37 cases of E coli illness, including 15 hospitalizations. The CDC said that the E coli strain in the outbreak is one that had never before been reported to its PulseNet database. The cheese was sold and samples of it offered for tasting in Costco stores between Oct 5 and Nov 1 in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and California. The most recent onset of illness among cases was Oct 27.
Nov 16 CDC update

Humane Society releases egg farm investigation
The Humane Society of the United States today released the findings of a 28-day undercover investigation at a Waelder, Tex., egg farm that the society says shows animal abuse and food safety problems. The farm is owned by Cal-Maine, the nation's largest egg producer, In a press release, the Humane Society said one of its investigators worked inside the farm through part of November. The group released a written report and video detailing the findings at a press briefing in Washington, DC. It found birds trapped in cage wires, live birds roaming outside cages and falling into manure pits, injured birds with bloody feet and broken legs, overcrowding, and eggs covered in feces and blood. It pointed out studies that suggest Salmonella infections are more common in birds housed in caged systems compared with those in cage-free settings. The Humane Society opposes battery cage confinement methods. Cal-Maine, in a press release today in response to the report, said it has been a leader in implementing animal welfare measures and that all of its facilities comply with existing environmental, health, and safety laws. It said it follows industry animal care guidelines and offers customers a cage-free egg option. On Nov 5 Cal-Maine, based in Jackson, Miss., recalled 24,000 eggs it received from an Ohio producer after environmental tests by the US Food and Drug Administration found Salmonella Enteritidis. On Nov 9 the company expanded the recall to include 120 dozen more eggs. No illnesses have been linked to the recalled eggs.
Nov 17 Humane Society press release
Nov 17 Cal-Maine press release
Nov 8 CIDRAP News Scan

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