FDA investigating new Listeria outbreak; continues work on 2 other Listeria outbreaks and 2 E. coli outbreaks

FDA investigating new Listeria outbreak; continues work on 2 other Listeria outbreaks and 2 E. coli outbreaks

by Sue Jones
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Federal officials are investigating a new outbreak of infections from Listeria monocytogenes but a cause has not yet been determined.

The Food and Drug Administration reports that 13 people have been sickened in the outbreak. The agency has not reported where the people live or what the age range of patients is.

As of Feb. 10 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had not reported on the outbreak. This is the standard procedure for the CDC unless a probable cause has been determined.

The FDA has begun a traceback investigation, but has not reported what food or foods are involved.

In other outbreak news, the FDA has begun traceback efforts in an outbreak of E. coli O143:H26 infections that it first reported this past week. As with the new Listeria outbreak, the agency has not announced a possible source of the E. coli.

Neither product testing nor onsite inspections have begun in either of those outbreak investigations, according to the FDA.

The FDA currently has investigations open in three other outbreaks. Those outbreaks involve patients with infections from Listeria and E. coli O157:H7. All three of those outbreaks are associated with packaged salads.

The agency has closed an investigation of an outbreak of E. coli O121:H19 infections that sickened four people and was associated with romaine lettuce. Although traceback was conducted it was inconclusive. The FDA did not initiate product testing or onsite inspections in relation to the outbreak.

The table below shows information about five ongoing outbreak investigations being managed by FDA’s CORE Response Teams and one investigation that has been closed. The investigations are in a variety of stages. Some outbreaks have limited information with active investigations ongoing, others may be near completion. The table below has been abbreviated to show only active investigations.

The Food and Drug Administration will issue public health advisories for outbreak investigations that result in “specific, actionable steps for consumers — such as throwing out or avoiding specific foods — to take to protect themselves,” according to the outbreak table page.

Not all recalls and alerts result in an outbreak of foodborne illness. Not all outbreaks result in recalls.

Outbreak investigations that do not result in specific, actionable steps for consumers may or may not conclusively identify a source or reveal any contributing factors, according to CORE’s outbreak table page. If a source(s) and/or contributing factors are identified that could inform future prevention, FDA commits to providing a summary of those findings, according to CORE officials.

Click here to visit the FDA page that has a complete list of outbreak investigations and links to outbreak information.

Outbreak Table 02 10 22
Click on the table to enlarge. Use the link above to go to the FDA page with links with information about specific outbreaks.

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