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sickened 25 articles

Peanut factory knowingly sold salmonella-contaminated peanuts to food suppliers

The Peanut Corporation of America knowingly distributed salmonella contaminated peanuts to manufacturers and presented faked documents to back up those false claims, in what has become one of the largest salmonella outbreaks in U.S. history, according to court testimony. The trial has begun for three executives of the peanut producer over the 2009 outbreak that killed nine people and sickened at least 700 others. Peanut Corporation of America went bankrupt in 2009 after it was identified as the source of the outbreak. Then-plant manager Sammy Lightsey testified against plant owner Stewart Parnell, saying he discovered that the company was shipping peanuts on ... Read More

Jury selection begins for trial of employees of peanut processing plant at center of deadly Salmonella outbreak

Jury selection is underway for the trial of three people, employees and associates with a peanut processing plant blamed for the deadliest Salmonella outbreak in U.S. history, which killed nine people and sickened more than 700 in 2009. Former Peanut Company of America owner Stewart Parnell, his brother and food broker Michael Parnell, and the peanut plant’s quality control manager Mary Wilkerson were indicted last year on 76 criminal counts that allege the three shipped peanuts contaminated with Salmonella to industrial food customers – including nursing homes, schools and food suppliers – and covered up lab tests that showed some batches ... Read More

FDA warns doctors, consumers not to use compounded drugs from Unique Pharmaceuticals

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning health professionals, pharmacies and consumers not to use drugs marked as sterile manufactured by Unique Pharmaceuticals Ltd., because they may be contaminated and using them may result in serious and potentially life threatening infections or death. The FDA conducted two recent inspections of Unique Pharmaceuticals and found unsanitary conditions that inspectors say could compromise the sterility of the purportedly sterile products, which puts patients at risk. The inspections revealed sterility failures in several lots of drug products intended to be sterile, reoccurring contamination problems, and poor sterile production practices. Unique Pharmaceuticals’ products ... Read More

Maker of tainted steroid shots reaches settlement agreement in meningitis outbreak case

Patients and their families harmed or killed by contaminated steroid injections made by New England Compounding Center (NECC) could start receiving compensation next year now that a $100-million multidistrict litigation (MDL) settlement has been reached between the plaintiffs and trustees of the now-bankrupt company. Tuesday’s settlement agreement came as welcome news to dozens of plaintiffs whose lives were marred by a deadly 2012 meningitis outbreak traced to NECC injections that killed 64 people in 20 states and injured 750 others. “There are hundreds of victims and their families feeling some relief today, even though grief for many is still fresh,” ... Read More

One death, multiple illnesses linked to listeria-contaminated Mexican cheeses

Sixteen varieties of Mexican cheeses sold in the United States are being recalled after they were linked to a listeria outbreak that has killed one person and sickened newborns and pregnant women. The cheeses are produced by Roos Foods of Kenton, Del., and include the company’s Mexicana, Amigo, Santa Rose De Lima, Suyapa, La Capina and La Purisima Crema Nica brands. One death was reported in California, and seven illnesses were in Maryland. All of those sickened said they had eaten the cheese prior to becoming ill. Seven of the eight victims were hospitalized. Five of the illnesses, including two ... Read More

NECC agrees to pay more than $100 million to compensate victims of fungal meningitis outbreak

The owners and insurers of the Massachusetts compounding pharmacy blamed for a deadly, multistate fungal meningitis outbreak have agreed to pay more than $100 million to settle lawsuits and compensate victims, families of victims and creditors. At least 751 people were sickened and 64 died after receiving contaminated steroid injections manufactured by New England Compounding Center (NECC). About 18,000 tainted shots were distributed to medical facilities in 23 states, and an estimated 14,000 people were exposed to the fungus after receiving the shots commonly used to treat back, neck and joint pain. Hundreds of patients developed fungal infections, including meningitis. ... Read More

Bill requires more government oversight for larger compounding pharmacies

President Barack Obama signed into law new legislation that gives the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) more regulatory control over compounding pharmacies. The move comes 15 months after authorities linked a multistate fungal meningitis outbreak to contaminated steroid shots manufactured and distributed by a Massachusetts-based specialty pharmacy. The new law does not give the FDA as much control over compounding pharmacies as the agency had hoped, but it does give FDA the authority to conduct on-site inspections of pharmacies that mass produce custom-mixed drugs for distribution across state lines. The FDA oversees drug companies that produce pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter medicines. ... Read More

Chinese pet treats sickened thousands of animals; will humans be next?

The rash of pet illnesses and deaths from possibly tainted jerky treats made in China has raised questions whether federal officials are doing enough to endure imported foods are thoroughly inspected and deemed safe for humans. More than 3,600 dogs and 10 cats were sickened or died after eating the jerky treats, however the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says it has yet to identify what in the treats made the animals sick. About 580 of the cats and dogs that fallen ill have died from health problems including kidney failure and gastrointestinal bleeding. In an effort to identify the ... Read More

Compounding pharmacy’s insurance company claims it does not owe victims of fungal meningitis outbreak

The insurance company for Ameridose, the parent company of the compounding pharmacy blamed for producing and distributing contaminated steroid shots that led to a multistate fungal meningitis outbreak, is asking a federal judge to declare that a $5 million insurance policy cannot be used to pay victims’ claims. The outbreak sickened at least 750 people with fungal infections including fungal meningitis, and killed 64. Treatment for the infections involve months of antifungal medication with grueling side effects. One patient who had recovered from a related infection has suffered a relapse, sending a wave of unrest to those who assumed they ... Read More

Government shutdown puts Americans’ health, safety at risk

Efforts by federal officials to quell a salmonella outbreak traced to raw chicken products that has sickened nearly 300 people and hospitalized dozens in 18 states have been dramatically slowed due to the government shutdown. The foodborne illness investigation is just one example of how the Congressional stalemate that has halted nonessential federal operations is putting Americans’ health and safety at risk. Only a handful of scientists with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were working on outbreak detection, which severely hampered the organization’s ability to manage the situation. This week the CDC announced it would have to ... Read More