The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday threw its weight and pocketbook behind the federal investigation of a California slaughterhouse where CNN exposed issues surrounding one of the biggest meat recalls in years.
The latest congressional action authorizes $1 million in additional funding to "provide for a swift completion" of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's probe into the Rancho Feeding Corporation.
Federal investigators have said they believe the Petaluma, California-based company bought diseased dairy cows and processed them when government inspectors weren't there. After the cows were killed, employees would hide the warning signs of cancer by trimming off diseased parts, using a fake stamp of approval or even replacing the heads of sick cows with ones from healthy animals.
Seventeen people in five states have been sickened by E. coli after eating clover sprouts, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
That's up from the 10 cases reported by the CDC in late May.
No deaths have been linked to the E. coli outbreak, the CDC says, but nearly half of those sickened were hospitalized. Three cases were identified in Idaho, one in Michigan, two in Montana, one in Utah and 10 in Washington state.
Approximately 20 million people fall ill every year due to norovirus, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which says the food service industry could do much to decrease that number.
Restaurants and catering services are the most common sources for norovirus outbreaks from contaminated food, according to the report. "Infected food workers are frequently the source of these outbreaks, often by touching ready-to-eat foods served in restaurants with their bare hands," CDC experts wrote.
In a press release issued Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised consumers not to eat Evergreen Produce brand raw clover. The release states that these sprouts are possibly linked to seven confirmed and three probable cases of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli in Idaho and Washington. Fifty percent of the people sickened were hospitalized.
Even people with uncompromised immune systems are strongly cautioned to discard any Evergreen Produce sprouts in sealed containers so no other humans, pets or wild animals can consume them and become infected. Thoroughly cooking sprouts can reduce the chance of foodborne illness, says the FDA, but be careful – since 1996, there have been at least 30 reported outbreaks of foodborne illness associated with different types of raw and, yes, lightly cooked sprouts.
But aren't sprouts supposed to be - healthy? They're the stuff of health food cafes and virtuous hummus pockets. They're supposed to add beneficial, low-calorie crunch to salads and sandwiches, not cause you to, per the CDC, "develop diarrhea (often bloody) and abdominal cramps" or possibly become severely ill and die.
As many as 5,000 people may have passed recently through a Missouri restaurant where an employee with hepatitis A worked while possibly contagious, health officials said Wednesday.
Red Robin said the employee last worked on May 16 and that the restaurant has been deemed safe after an inspection by the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.
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