Home Emergency Management News EDM Monday Briefing: Food Recalls and FDA Public Health Alert
EDM Monday Briefing: Food Recalls and FDA Public Health Alert

EDM Monday Briefing: Food Recalls and FDA Public Health Alert


Emergency and disaster management briefing for August 3, 2020: Onions shipped to all 50 states are being linked to a salmonella outbreak; the Apple Fire has forced thousands to evacuate near Beaumont, California; Tropical Storm Isaias is forecast to re-strengthen into a hurricane before making landfall in the Carolinas late this evening; the search for the remaining missing sailors from an AAV which sank near San Clemente Island has now been called off; CalFire ordered residents in Colusa County to evacuate as the Sites Fire spread at an alarming rate; the NHC is now monitoring another trough of low pressure in the mid-Atlantic with an increased chance of development; police in Issaquah are investigating a robbery and shooting that occurred at a Costco early Sunday morning; and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a public health alert for taquitos and chimichangas due to foreign matter that poses a possible choking hazard.

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1) A salmonella outbreak that has affected about 400 people may be linked several onion brands produced by Thomson International. The potentially contaminated onions were shipped to all 50 states beginning from May 1 until the present, and include all varieties — red, yellow, white, and sweet. Cartons between five and 50 pounds, along with mesh sacks of two to 50 pounds, under at least 11 brand names, including Kroger, Food Lion, and Hartley's Best, were named in the voluntary recall.

2) A wildfire, which began as two adjacent fires that combined with each other, has forced the evacuation of thousands of people near Beaumont, about 85 miles east of Los Angeles, California. Dubbed the Apple Fire, CalFire reported that the blaze has scorched at least 26,450 acres (approx. 41 square miles). It is burning in rugged, steep and dangerous terrain amid triple-digit temperatures, with only five percent containment achieved. New evacuation orders have been issued, and there are nearly 2,300 personnel assigned to the wildfire, with ground crews being supported by at least nine helicopters.

3) Tropical Storm Isaias has moved away from the Florida coast and is moving toward the Carolinas with an expected increase in its forward speed as it potentially re-strengthens. The storm is forecast to become a hurricane again sometime later today, making landfall in northeastern South Carolina or southern North Carolina late this evening. The storm is moving at about 13 mph, and sustained winds have increased slightly to 70 mph, with a minimum central pressure of 994 mb.

4) The search for the seven missing marines and one naval sailor involved in an AAV accident off the coast of Southern California on Thursday has been called off. The amphibious assault vessel, known as an AAV, began to sink near San Clemente Island off San Diego during a training exercise. Eight marines were rescued, although one died, and two were in critical condition. The operation of more than 800 AAVs has been suspended as an investigation was launched into what caused the vessel to sink.

5) Residents in Colusa County were ordered to evacuate Sunday due to the rapidly moving Sites Fire. The wildfire, which is burning southeast of Stonyford, had burned about 500 acres by Sunday evening. According to CalFire, the blaze is spreading at an alarming rate. At least 12 structures were being threatened by the fire, but containment had grown to 20 percent by Monday morning.

6) The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is monitoring another system in the mid-Atlantic with at least a 60 percent chance of development. Weather officials stated that a surface trough of low pressure located north of the Leeward Islands, though disorganized, is now producing showers and thunderstorms. The chance of development into a tropical system increases over the next five days, and if it develops, the storm would be named Josephine.

7) Police are investigating an alleged robbery and shooting that occurred Sunday morning at a Costco in Issaquah, Washington. At approximately 6:30 a.m., with the store still closed, three suspects rammed a stolen truck into the store and shot at the jewelry case. Employees were inside the store, but no one was hit, and the alleged suspects drove away from the scene in another vehicle.

8) The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a public health alert for recalled products due to a choking hazard from extraneous material that may be present in the products. A recall has been issued by Sun Valley Foods for beef and chicken taquitos and chimichangas, due to the possible presence of hard plastic in the food items after the hard substance was found in a barrel of green chiles used to make the products. Several of the brands include José Olé, Casa Mamita, and Great Value. Information regarding the FDA public health alert and recall can be found on the USDA website.


Kimberly Arsenault Kimberly Arsenault serves as an intern at the Cleveland/Bradley County Emergency Management Agency where she works on plan revisions and special projects. Previously, Kimberly spent 15 years in commercial and business aviation. Her positions included station manager at the former Midwest Express Airlines, as well as corporate flight attendant, inflight manager, and charter flight coordinator. Kimberly currently holds a master's degree in emergency and disaster management from American Public University.