Salmonella outbreak tied to pot pies totaled 401 cases

first_imgNov 26, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – A widely publicized Salmonella outbreak that was linked to frozen pot pies last year involved 401 cases in 41 states and put more than 100 patients in hospitals, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today in a final report on the episode.The outbreak prompted changes in the label instructions for Banquet pot pies and warnings about the importance of thoroughly cooking frozen, not-ready-to-eat foods. And in today’s report, the CDC says the food industry and regulators should examine manufacturing processes for such foods to determine how safe it is to cook them in microwave ovens.Cases in the outbreak began in February and continued until December, peaking in September, according to the article in the Nov 28 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Of patients for whom the information was available, 144 of 289 (50%) had bloody diarrhea, and 108 of 338 (32%) were hospitalized, the CDC says. The outbreak strain is known as Salmonella enterica serotype I 4,5,12:i:-.Rajal Mody, MD, a CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service officer, said a hospitalization rate of 32% is “close to average” for Salmonella outbreaks. He said a recent study that compared the hospitalization rates for many different Salmonella serotypes found that the average is 22.8%. The study was published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases (see link below).”There are definitely some strains that are lower, some in the 16% range, and there’s one as high as 67%, but that is a fairly rare serotype,” Mody told CIDRAP News. He said the same study indicated that the average hospitalization rate for the I 4,5,12:i:- strain is about 25%.The first cluster of cases involving the outbreak strain with matching DNA fingerprints was detected by Pennsylvania disease detectives in June, the CDC report says. But the source of infection was not discovered until a case-control study was launched in October.As part of that effort, epidemiologists in the Minnesota Department of Health determined that four case-patients had eaten Banquet pot pies in the week before they got sick. Further investigation of cases and neighborhood matched controls pointed to Banquet turkey pot pies as the only food associated with the outbreak.In subsequent interviews, 174 of 236 case-patients reported they had eaten frozen pot pies in the week before they fell ill, and more than 90% of these were Banquet or other brands made in the same plant. In addition, the outbreak strain was found in 13 unopened Banquet turkey pot pies collected from patients, all of them produced on Jul 13 or Jul 31, 2007.ConAgra Foods on Oct 8, 2007, suspended production of pot pies at the plant linked to the outbreak, and a few days later the company recalled all pot pies made there. Previous reports listed the plant location as Marshall, Mo.The CDC report indicates that many of the outbreak cases might have been related to undercooking of the pot pies in microwave ovens. “Banquet pot pie microwave instructions might have been confusing because different parts of the package recommended different preparation times,” the article says. Also, the microwave instructions varied by wattage, but few of the patients who were interviewed knew the wattage of their microwave. The report notes that ConAgra revised the labeling and instructions on the pot pies before resuming production.However, improper microwave cooking could not explain the entire outbreak, because 23% of case-patients who ate a pot pie reported cooking the pies in conventional ovens, the CDC says. The case-control study was not large enough to determine whether using a microwave rather than a conventional oven was a risk factor for illness.Several previous salmonellosis outbreaks have been linked to frozen, not-ready-to-eat foods, including several tied to frozen chicken entrees, the report notes. The pot pie outbreak differed from the previous ones in that all the meat ingredients in the pies were supposed to be precooked, with the crust being the only raw part, it says. The report suggests that contamination could have come from “raw frozen poultry pastes” used in making the pies. However, an intensive investigation of the ConAgra plant and its suppliers failed to pinpoint any source of contamination.In view of the likely role of microwave cooking in the outbreak, the CDC says, “Industry and regulators should consider examining the manufacturing processes for frozen not ready-to-eat foods to determine the extent to which microwave cooking is safe for these products.”Besides calling for clear instructions and warnings on frozen microwavable foods, the agency says that clear and prominent listing of the wattage on microwave ovens might improve consumer compliance with the cooking instructions.CDC. Multistate outbreak of Salmonella infections associated with frozen pot pies—United States, 2007. MMWR 2008 Nov 28;57(47):1277-80 [Full text]See also: Oct 12, 2007, CIDRAP News story “ConAgra recalls pot pies as Salmonella cases rise”Study from Jul 1, 2008, Journal of Infectious Diseases: “Salmonellosis outcomes differ substantially by serotype”last_img read more

Other Sports Lewis Hamilton secures pole position in German Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel unable to take part in qualifying

first_imgSebastian Vettel suffered a turbo problem which forced him to miss qualifying.Charles LeClerc will start 10th due to a fuel systems problem.Lewis Hamilton secured his 87th pole position. highlights For all the Latest Sports News News, Other Sports News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.center_img Hockenheim: Lewis Hamilton secured a gift-wrapped record-extending 87th pole position of his career on Saturday when he made the most of a double disaster for Ferrari in qualifying at the German Grand Prix. The defending five-time world champion, who had struggled for pace and consistency in his Mercedes in practice, improved to clock a best lap in one minute and 11.767 and outpace Max Verstappen of Red Bull by 0.346 seconds. Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas was third ahead of Pierre Gasly in the second Red Bull while Charles Leclerc, who had been fastest for Ferrari in final practice, failed to run in the Q3 top-10 shootout due to a fuel systems problem with his car.     The Monegasque will start 10th, 10 places ahead of his luckless Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel who was unable to take part in qualifying due to a turbo problem and will start at the back of the grid for his home race.     Kimi Raikkonen was fifth for Alfa Romeo ahead of Romain Grosjean of Haas, Carlos Sainz of McLaren, Sergio Perez of Racing Point and Nico Hulkenberg of Renault. “Congratulations Lewis – you never stop amazing us,” said Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff as the Briton drove his slow-down lap.      “Thanks, Toto,” he replied. “A great job guys – I don’t know how we did that.”Also Read | Lewis Hamilton wins Bahrain Grand Prix after Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc suffers engine problem     Hamilton’s lap was the only one in the 1:11’s all weekend at the Hockenheimring, where he last took pole in 2008 and gave his team a perfect cause for celebration on the anniversary of 125 years of motorsport and their 200th Formula One race start. “My first lap was spot-on and the second lap was better in places,” said Hamilton.     Verstappen said: “We could have been closer, but went a bit wide and bottomed out and I lost the rear end, but this is a good result.”Also Read | Hackers leak intimate videos of Nicole Scherzinger, Lewis Hamilton, singer responds     Bottas said: “I think the weather is going to play a big part tomorrow. I’m a bit disappointed, especially with the pace in Q3. Ferrari had been very quick here… so we’re in a good place.”      On an overcast and much cooler day after heavy overnight rain, the Williams team were first on track for Q1, in front of an enthusiastic crowd boosted by Verstappen’s ‘orange army’ and many local supporters for Vettel in Ferrari red.Luckless Vettel     Leclerc was soon on top for the ‘scarlet Scuderia’ ahead of Verstappen, but it was bad news again for the luckless Vettel. After sitting in his car, stranded under repair in the Ferrari garage, he climbed out, condemned to start from the back of the grid.     “I don’t know exactly what happened, but we lost the turbo and the car would not run. I feel bitter, of course, as the car is great and it’s a big chance lost – but we have another chance tomorrow. I am looking forward to the race, of course, but I would prefer to be right up at the front than at the back.”      After struggling with their own problems, Hamilton and Bottas qualified third and sixth for Mercedes with Gasly and Raikkonen between them, while British rookies Lando Norris of McLaren and Alex Albon of Toro Rosso joined the Williams men George Russell and Robert Kubica with Vettel in taking an early exit.     Hamilton was first out in Q2 on mediums as the sun returned following a dull morning in Baden-Wurttemburg. His initial lap in 1:12.149 set the standard with Leclerc and Bottas slotting into second and third before Gasly, defying his critics, split them.     The Q3 session began with Mercedes out first again in their anniversary-liveried cars while Ferrari was besieged as Leclerc’s car was under examination in their garage. As Hamilton set the pace ahead of Verstappen and Bottas, Leclerc climbed out of his Ferrari and out of contention.     “We brought upgrades here, but the Ferraris were on another level all weekend. I think my time, in the end, was good enough to compete with Charles if he had done a lap!” said Hamilton. “The track is incredible and it gets faster every year.”last_img read more