NEWS SCAN: Ricotta-linked Listeria outbreak, drop in bloodstream infections

Sep 11, 2012

Multistate Listeria outbreak prompts ricotta recall
A New York company, Forever Cheese, Inc., is recalling one production date of its Ricotta Salata Frescolina cheese due to possible links to 14 Listeria monocytogenes infections in 11 states, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said yesterday in a recall notice. The cheese subject to the recall was sold to retailers and distributors in 18 states and the District of Columbia from Jun 20 to Aug 9. The lots were sold to supermarkets, restaurants, and wholesale distributors in California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington. The company said it is contacting retailers and distributors to pull all remaining products from the marketplace. People at risk for severe complications from Listeria infection include older people, those with underlying medical conditions, and pregnant women.
Sep 10 FDA recall notice

HHS reports 40% drop in bloodstream infections after national safety initiative
A nationwide patient safety project funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) reduced the rate of central line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) in participating intensive care units (ICUs) by 40%, according to preliminary findings reported yesterday. Using a toolkit called the Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP), the initiative prevented more than 2,000 CLABSIs, saved more than 500 lives, and realized more than $34 million in health care savings, AHRQ said in a news release. The project involved teams at more than 1,100 ICUs in 44 states over 4 years. Preliminary data indicate that participating hospitals reduced the rate of CLABSIs nationally from 1.9 to 1.1 infections per 1,000 central-line days, an overall drop of 40%. CUSP helps healthcare professionals identify and address safety problems that lead to CLABSIs, the agency said. "This project gives us a framework for taking research to scale in practical ways that help front-line clinicians provide the safest care possible for their patients," AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, MD, said in the release.
Sep 10 AHRQ news release

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