Food Safety Update: Cholera Oysters, Listeria Chives

The Food and Drug Administration says oysters from Florida’s Apalachicola Bay should not be eaten, served,  shipped, purchased or sold because of cholera. This disease, most associated today with polluted, poor communities in third world countries, is a result of exposure to sewage, especially feces. Eight people who ate oysters from this area have been sickened, although none were hospitalized or killed. This area produces 75% of Florida’s oyster crop. It is unknown whether there will be a harvest when the season opens again in mid-summer.

Goodness Gardens of New York is recalling chives because of possible contamination with the Listeria bacteria. Although no illnesses have been reported from eating the chives, the company is making sure all its retailers have removed them from the shelves and consumers urged to return them to their stores.

Officials in Northeastern Illinois are investigating 10 cases of Salmonella poisoning, seven of the cases coming from customers of Portello’s in St. Charles. The restaurant has been thoroughly sanitized and workers are being required to pass two tests for the bacteria before returning to their jobs.

Del Monte Fresh Produce is continuing its recall of grape tomatoes which may be contaminated with Salmonella. There are also recalls of products containing grape tomatoes, such as ready-made salads. Canadian authorities also are issuing a recall of grape tomatoes.

The Arkansas Department of Health is issuing a recall of Mountain Pure bottled water. Tests show many of the bottles are contaminated with mold. Officials are continuing to investigate. Consumers around the city of Clinton should pour out or return the bottles.

The FDA has asked a judge to shut down a Memphis, Tennessee spice company because of unsanitary conditions. American Mercantile has failed to protect its ingredients from exposure to rodents, insects and other possible contaminants.

Put down those Entenmann’s Pop ‘Ems donuts. In fact, you’ll probably not want to eat them anyway. Customers have reported mini-donuts made at Bimbo Bakeries smell funny and have mold on them. Included in the recall are Bimbo’s Donitas brand donuts.