Some of the Biggest Food-Related Outbreaks of 2013

trader joesIn the year 2013, several food-related outbreaks were reported in the United States. One of the biggest outbreaks was as a result of contamination of Glass Onion Chicken salads by E. coli, which caused 33 cases of illnesses. The customers of Trader Joe’s in at least four states became sick after consuming pre-made salad from Glass Onion. At least two people who were admitted to the hospital developed HUS (hemolytic uremic syndrome). This is a kidney condition that is often linked to serious E. coli infections.

Another notable outbreak is Cyclospora contamination of cilantro and salads, which left about 631 people sick. This outbreak was one of the most confusing because it seemed as though there were two different Cyclospora working together. One group of patients, mainly from Nebraska and Iowa, evidently seemed to be associated with Red Lobster and Olive Garden restaurants. A few weeks later, another group of patients from Texas emerged and had no clear connection to the two restaurants.

Another big outbreak was caused by contamination of Foster Farms Chicken by salmonella. About 631 people got sick after eating the contaminated chicken. The illness was traced to raw chicken that was processed by the facilities of Foster Farms in California. A possible undercooking or mishandling of the raw chicken led to hospitalization of at least 162 people. Another noteworthy outbreak was a result of imported cucumbers’ contaminated by salmonella. About 84 people got sick after consuming the contaminated cucumbers. Investigators found that the cucumbers in question originated from Mexico. Out of the confirmed cases of illnesses, 17 people were admitted to hospitals. The cucumber importers were banned from bringing additional products to the United States until they could provide solid evidence that future products were uncontaminated.