Typhoid Mary and salmonella outbreaks: two very different stories, right?
Well, maybe not so much. As it happens, salmonella exists in many different forms in many different species and one of those is Salmonella Typhi. The CDC says the United States sees about 400 cases of Typhoid Fever a year, mostly from people who have traveled abroad.
What most salmonella outbreaks refer to is a slightly different version of Salmonella that results in salmonellosis. This is the classic – if unpleasant – disease that causes diarrhea, cramping and fevers. And its common enough and mild enough to not always be reported, though the CDC estimates about 400,000 cases annually. Mild as it is, the more common salmonellosis can cause hospitalization as well, particularly for the especially young or old. Hospitalization usually occurs when the salmonella bacteria make their way to the blood stream.
In both cases, salmonella is transferred to food by people already sick with the illness. So, wash your hands and wash your veggies before you use them!
CDC – Typhoid Fever: General Information – NCZVED.
The most recent CDC report on the Salmonella outbreak linked to pine nuts sold at Wegmans states that 42 people are known to have been infected and two hospitalized. Those affected either bought the pine nuts in bulk sections of the store or ate prepared foods with pine nuts in them. Specifically Caprese salads and asparagus with pine nuts in them, including pesto.
The report notes that, while they’re treating all 42 people as a group, only 39 had information available and of those, 25 positively reported eating pine nuts from Wegmans. They know this in part because the affected people’s Shoppers Club cards appear to have been analyzed. Per the report:
Early in the investigation, shopper card information was collected and used to identify which specific products to suspect as sources of illness. Ill persons gave permission for public health officials to retrieve shopper card purchase information. A review of shopper card records identified that ill persons had purchased the same type of Turkish pine nuts from bulk bins at different locations of Wegmans grocery stores before becoming ill.
To find out more about the Wegmans pine nut recall – which includes bulk pine nuts sold in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, and Maryland, see their corporate page here. The recall does not include pestos.
For its part, the CDC is recommending that shoppers not eat any pine nuts bought in bulk at Wegmans between July 1, 2011 and October 18, 2011, including those items that contain pesto, since pesto is made with pine nuts as well. For more information from the CDC, check the link below:
CDC – November 3, 2011 – Salmonella Enteritidis Infections Linked to Turkish Pine Nuts.
We finally figure out the obvious and start buying banks, Gene Simmons buys a record company, and masturbation becomes a healthy ((not to mention natural and zesty)) enterprise in this latest of news roundups for DFE. Lets whip out some stories, shall we?
- Buying jets with bailout money is for pussies. How about this: take bailout money, then host a conference call filled with influential business leaders and lobbyists to try to break the back of the Employee Free Choice Act. Why not take taxpayer money and then use it to spend on lobbying politicians? And so you can break the bank of the unions that fight for the taxpayers you just bilked?
- The Obama Administration sees the banking industry sliding farther and farther into trouble and it’s beginning to look more and more obvious that some “nationalization,” or the government buying a controlling interest in distressed banks, may be necessary. As a side note, see Dean Baker for why shareholders of bankrupt banks actually make out quite well in such a scenario. Hint: a few bucks for paper worth nothing is a good thing.
- Corning expects that of the 3,500 jobs they’re cutting back across the enterprise, 650 of them will be local jobs. Bad news, people. I feel for ya.
- Peanut butter recalls continue. It was reported last night no less than twelve incidents at the offending company where testing revealed traces of salmonella and they sent the stuff to market anyway.
- Gene Simmons announced on his website that he’s starting up a new Universal Records company in Canada, eh? Can’t wait to see Gene in full KISS regalia on the Canadian $5!
- It’s been a long couple months for Toyota. In addition to posting it’s first annual loss in its history, now they need to recall a million vehicles for defective seat belts.
- Calling all mad hatters! If you thought the salmonella outbreak in peanut butter was fun, get ready for the long-term effects of corn syrup laced with mercury. Yessiree, Bob! Bad news: you may go insane or this may have something to do with the increase in Autism. Good news: you’ll more easily be able to find your way home after you’re diagnosed with mercury poisoning.
- People are flocking to small business ownership as a way to avoid the layoffs going around right now. Why you would think that selling pizza would be a way to save yourself is beyond me, but interesting, nonetheless.
- Finally, mixed news for the porn industry: studies show that masturbation among teenagers increases the risk of prostate cancer, yet masturbation among the 50-something set actually decreases it. I guess based on the bell curve, I’m free to whack it whenever I want.
As the salmonella outbreak panic continues to grip the nation, it looks as though an effort is being made to block the import of Mexican tomatoes as one possible source of the outbreak. Of course, that’s pissing off Mexico, since there’s really no proof whatsoever that their ‘maters are the source of the bug:
Worried U.S. buyers block Mexican tomatoes at border | Reuters
“I’ve had phone calls from producers saying their tomatoes are being blocked, not all varieties but some varieties,” Alberto Cardenas said, stressing that U.S. officials had found no evidence so far that Mexican tomatoes were unsafe to eat.
Twenty-five people have been hospitalized as a result of the U.S. outbreak, which is being linked to raw plum, Roma and round tomatoes. Investigators at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, have not ruled out Mexico as the source of the infection.
I suppose that there’s wisdom, despite the irritation, in at least cutting down the number of potential sources while the true culprit has not been identified. There seems to be no really good way to track the progress of crops through the supply chain, therefore this may be a long process, if they ever find an answer the government is willing to share with us (don’t hold your breath).