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The recent rash of foodborne illnesses has prompted the federal government to unveil a new response team, the Coordinated Outbreak Response and Evaluation Network. The CORE will be dedicated to responding quickly to human and animal foodborne illness outbreaks.

The network will be compromised of a team of epidemiologists, veterinarians, microbiologists, environmental health specialists and emergency coordinators working full-time to respond to outbreaks, and work on prevention of outbreaks. The network will work closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and state public health and agriculture agencies.

The FDA announced formation of CORE on the heels of a second ground turkey recall after meat in a Cargill production facility tested positive for salmonella. Ground turkey salmonella poisoning has sickened over 70 consumers and at least one person has died as a result of eating contaminated meat.

Federal officials have also focused on cantaloupes that could be responsible for a string of listeria food poisoning cases across the southwest. The FDA reported that at least fifteen consumers have been infected with a strain of listeria that could be linked to cantaloupes grown in the Rocky Ford region of Colorado. Three individuals have died as a result of listeriosis between August and early September. Listeria infections have also been found in other products, such as avocadoes imported from Mexico. The FDA announced this week that avocadoes packaged at a Peru facility and imported in the United States have tested positive for listeria. It is unknown if any consumers have fallen ill to listeriosis from contaminated avocadoes. Listeriosis poses a particular risk for children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems. For pregnant women, illness from Listeria bacteria can cause miscarriages and still births. The fatality rate associated with listeriosis is about 25%.

An Orlando injury lawyer can provide guidance if you have suffered because of salmonella, listeriosis or other food poisoning outbreak.

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