The FDA reports that the number of illness reports linked to a dry cereal nearly doubled in the past week, reaching 446.

In a weekly update, the Food and Drug Administration said the number had increased from the 231 “adverse event” cases reported on April 20. Although the update does not name the cereal involved, the FDA previously confirmed to Food Safety News that it is investigating an outbreak of illnesses linked to Lucky Charms cereal.

The FDA also confirmed that it sent an alert earlier this week to state and local health departments noting the outbreak and asking for help in investigating it. The Ohio Department of Health reported that grain-related symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Hundreds of similar reports on the crowdsourcing website iwaspoisoned.com have arrived in recent weeks. Website operator Patrick Quade works with state and local health departments to help identify foodborne illness outbreaks.

In other outbreak news, the FDA has closed its investigation into an outbreak of Salmonella Saintpaul without identifying a source of the pathogen. According to the latest report, the outbreak had affected 60 people. The agency reported no information about the patients and did not say where they live. The FDA launched traceback efforts but was unable to collect enough information for on-site inspections or sample collection.

Two other outbreaks, both involving Listeria monocytogenes infections, are still under investigation. One was reported on February 9 and the other on April 13. The number of patients is currently 17 and 19, respectively, compared to 15 and 17 a week ago.

For the Listeria outbreak first published on February 9, the FDA initiated tracing, on-site inspection, and sample collection and testing. However, the agency continues to list the cause of the outbreak as undetermined.

For the Listeria outbreak originally reported on April 13, the FDA has begun tracing efforts, but no further investigative details have been released. The cause remains undetermined.

Other ongoing investigations
The FDA continues to investigate an outbreak of norovirus associated with Canadian oysters. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention is participating in the investigation and recently reported 103 patients across 13 states. Recalls have been issued and tracing efforts are underway.

In an outbreak of “adverse events” linked to a meal replacement drink, the FDA reports that six people have been affected. The agency first reported the outbreak on March 30. She began efforts to trace and test samples.

In an outbreak of coronobacter infections, the FDA continues to investigate infant formula produced by Abbott Nutrition at its Sturgis, MI plant. At least four babies have been infected and two have died. Recalls of certain Similac products and other formulas have been initiated and production at the plant has been halted.

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