New York Times Hit With Possible Food Poisoning

The New York Daily News is reporting that media giant, The New York Times, had to shut down its cafeteria over concerns of a potential <"">food poisoning outbreak. The Health Department is looking into the situation and the dining room was shut down yesterday for sanitizing, said the Daily News. The New York Times is located at Eighth Avenue and 40th Street in Manhattan.

According to an email sent by editors at the New York Times, “While we do not know if the cause is food-related, as a precaution, we are closing the cafeteria for the day,” quoted the Daily News. The cafeteria is scheduled to be open today; however, some stations—self-serve bagel, soup bar, and salad bar—will remain closed until next week while clean-up continues, said the Daily News, adding that prepared foods have been discarded.

Pasta salad may be the source of a potential pathogen that has sickened no less than 15 employees; however, the origin has not been confirmed, reported the Daily News.

We are always following the issue of food poisoning and related illnesses—often long-term—associated with contamination with these toxins. We recently wrote that food poisoning can lead to other adverse health effects, some long-term and serious, such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), specifically in people who suffered from Salmonella or Campylobacter, with the risk increasing three-fold. That risk increases to five-fold if the patient was hospitalized close to the illness. More than 600,000 Americans have some kind of IBD every year, a group of disorders, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, which cause the intestines to become inflamed. IBD can cause abdominal cramps and pain, diarrhea, weight loss, and bleeding from the intestines.

Victims of both infections are also at risk of developing a form of reactive arthritis called Reiter’s Syndrome, which typically affects large weight-bearing joints such as the knees and lower back. Campylobacter infections are associated with the development of Guillain-Barré Syndrome, a potentially paralyzing illness that can leave victims with mild to severe neurological damage. The LATimes previously noted that Salmonella is the number one cause of food borne illness in the U.S. and is typically found in foods with animal origins, causing 16,000 illnesses and 556 deaths annually. Campylobacter can be found in raw or undercooked poultry, raw milk, and contaminated water, and causes about two million illnesses, generally in children under four years of age, and 124 deaths, annually, said the LATimes.

E. coli victims sometimes require kidney transplants and may have scarred intestines that cause lasting digestive difficulty. Even E. coli patients who supposedly recovered can experience long-term health problems later on. For instance, it is estimated that 10 percent of E. coli sufferers develop a life-threatening complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome, or HUS, in which their kidneys and other organs fail. Some 15 percent of children infected with this strain develop HUS.

Listeria monocytogenes infects about 2,500 people in the U.S., killing 500. Contamination occurs in meat and poultry as well as vegetables tainted via soil or fertilizer, noted the LATimes. Listeriosis can kill fetuses, prompt premature births, and can lead to hearing loss or brain damage in newborns and neurological effects and cardio respiratory failure in adults, reported the LATimes previously.

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