Target & Walmart Lettuce Hit By Nationwide E. Coli Outbreak

A new Thanksgiving tradition appears to be forming in the United States: a massive recalling of lettuce. 

After last year’s untimely recall of the entire nation’s supply of romaine lettuce, the same appears to be happening again this year. There has been a recall of romaine lettuce grown in Salinas, CA due to its carrying of E. coli.

The CDC first announced the outbreak on Friday, and repercussions have continued to show themselves throughout the weekend. As reported by Fox 11 Los Angeles, some of the nation’s biggest retailers have been clearing their shelves of all romaine lettuce originating from the central valley city. Target recently joined other mega-chains such as Walmart, Sam’s Club, Aldi, and Wegman’s in doing so.

However, before any store could act, there had already been 40 related cases reported in 16 different states, 28 of which have led to hospitalizations, and 5 of which have resulted in kidney failure. Luckily, though, no deaths have been reported in relation to the outbreak. 

The CDC suggests to throw away any remaining romaine lettuce whose packaging says it either originates in Salinas or has no mention of growing location.

Better to play it safe than introduce an E. Coli outbreak to the family.

Unfortunately, it looks like there won’t be any salad to slowly wilt away as everyone ignores it at this year’s Thanksgiving. But, on the bright side, that’s one less dish to worry about. 

Health Restaurants Sweets

More Than 230 People Infected By Norovirus From Ohio Donut Shop

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Norovirus is in the air, but this time Chipotle can take a breath. A donut shop in Ohio has been linked to more than 230 cases of the pathogen.

Consumerist reports that Mama C’s Donuts in Toledo, Ohio, has shut down after 230 cases and climbing of norovirus have been reported from patrons who ate there between Aug. 4 through Aug. 7. Samples taken from the restaurant tested positive for the pathogen while hundreds claim they became sick from eating there.

On Tuesday, the restaurant officially closed down in order to be properly sanitized and will remain so until health officials give them the thumbs up to reopen their doors.

The norovirus is spread when infected employees handle food, and is extremely difficult to contain once it spreads. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms of the norovirus include: abdominal pain, headaches, fever, muscle aches, and diarrhea.

Hopefully everything gets a thorough cleaning and the donut shop can reopen once again. Mama C’s has been in the Toledo area for 14 years.

Fast Food

Chipotle’s Founder Directly Addresses The Insane Amount Of Recent Outbreaks


It’s been a rough couple of months for Chipotle. With a recent norovirus outbreak in Boston causing 120 students to become sick, as well as E. coli linked to West Coast locations, the chain has seen better days. Now, founder Steve Ells finally speaks out about the recent illnesses linked to the fast-casual brand.

In a recent interview with Matt Lauer on the Today Show, Ells speaks about the recent health scares linked to his restaurants and how Chipotle is working to rectify this.

Ells mentions that the company had performed thousands of tests for E. coli on the ingredients they used for their restaurants and they all had come back negative. There doesn’t seem to be a solid answer as to why folks are getting sick.

We definitely feel for them. Earlier this year, the fast-casual chain got rid of their popular pork carnitas because they were from a supplier that didn’t meet Chipotle’s health standards. Only a few months ago did they finally find a supplier they were happy with.

Kind of thought they caught a break after they sorted out that carnitas crisis.

While Chipotle has been working hard to figure out why customers are getting sick, the company’s stock has dropped more than 25 percent since October.

Check out the interview below.

Fast Food

E. Coli Hits Chipotle Restaurants In SIX States, Should We Be Worried?


A few weeks ago, we wrote that more than 43 Chipotle locations were closed down due to an E. coli scare. While the outbreak was only limited to a two-state region, the company closed all the surrounding restaurants just to play things safe. Those restaurants have since reopened. Unfortunately, the E. coli has now expanded to six states.

There have now been reported cases in Minnesota, Ohio, New York and California with Washington and Oregon being the two original states.

Six states means its more than just one unclean kitchen. Currently, there’s an ongoing investigation to figure out the specific food item that’s connected to the E. coli.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 45 people have been infected and 43 of those infected said they had eaten at Chipotle within the week they were sick. The CDC says that the infection began within the window of Oct. 19 to Nov. 8.

Luckily, there have been no deaths.

A spokesman for Chipotle said that the company doesn’t believe it’s necessary right now to close any of the restaurants and is currently not aware of any employees that have become ill. They are, however, taking extreme measures to maintain a healthy and clean environment for preparing food.

Kind of makes us nervous for our next Chipotle visit, though.

Photo: Google Maps


‘Just Ship It’ Three Words That Killed 9 And Landed This Peanut CEO In Jail For 28 Years


Seven years ago, an outbreak of salmonella poisoning in peanuts led to 700 people getting sick and left nine dead. Now, the former corporate CEO of the Peanut Corporation of America faces 28 years in prison because of it.

The salmonella outbreak was traced to a factory in Georgia that was run by the Peanut Corporation of America, NPR reports.

While companies have been found to release contaminated foods before, this instance, the company was aware that its product was contaminated prior to shipping it out to consumers. The PCA would allegedly retest batches of peanut products when it came out positive for salmonella until the tests were clean.

Guess they didn’t want to risk losing peanuts over something as trivial as salmonella contamination.

Investigators found one email in particular where a shipment of peanut products was put on hold and awaited results from a contamination test. Stewart Parnell, who was CEO at the time, was emailed about the situation and told the factory:

Just ship it.

This act of negligence, along with other criminal charges of fraud, obstruction of justice and selling adulterated foods all contributed to Parnell’s punishment.

The ground-breaking sentence Parnell faces are the harshest ever given to company executives connected to food-releated illnesses. Along with Parnell’s 28-year sentence, two other executives of the former company face major jail time.

The now-defunct peanut company served a variety of peanut-based products.


Sam’s Club Recalls 90,000 Pounds of Caesar Salad Kits Due to Listeria Concerns


First salmonella infected almond butter, now listeria ridden caesar salad, is nothing safe?

APPA Fine Foods, makers of Sam’s Club Daily Chef Chicken Caesar Salads, has recalled nearly 92,000 pounds of the salad kits due to a potential listeria contamination. The salad kits were sold in 11 ounce packages and were sold nationwide.

To add insult to injury, it’s not even the greens that are to blame for the outbreak, only the chicken is the carrier of the nasty bacteria. You win this round vegetarians.

The good news is that there have been no reports so far of anyone suffering from listeria symptoms but if you purchased a kit from your local Sam’s Club lately, be sure to check the label:

Affected kits were marked with the codes 141851, 141922, 141951, 141991, 142021, 142201 or 142131 and with use-by dates of 8/14/14, 8/21/14, 8/27/14, 9/1/14, 9/3/14 or 9/17/14. The also include the establishment number “P-21030″ inside the USDA mark of inspection.

H/T + PicThx Gothamist


Possible E. Coli Outbreak in Trader Joe’s, Delish Salads and Sandwiches


Quick, check the date on your sad desk lunch. Salads and sandwich wraps packaged by a California catering company between September 23 and November 6 have officially been recalled due to E. coli contamination.

The Glass Onion Catering Company in Richmond, Calif. supplies foods for several large retailers, including Trader Joe’s, Super Fresh Foods, and Delish, according to Contra Costa Times. The contaminated products, which contained cooked chicken and ham, where shipped to locations in California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Texas.

According to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service. the bacteria causes dehydration, bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping, and possibly even liver failure.

Moral of the story? Make your own damn sandwiches.

H/T Contra Costa Times