According to spokesman Bill Wharton from the Dayton & Montgomery County Health Department, 36 people are now ill with E. coli 0157 after eating food at a picnic held by Neff’s Lawn Care at 9400 Ekhart Road in Germantown. As many as 200 to 300 people may have eaten contaminated food at the annual customer appreciation picnic held on July 3 2012.
Of the 36 ill persons, nine have been hospitalized, and five have been confirmed infected with E. coli 0157. The public health department is gathering information through interviews with the people who prepared the food and with those who are ill. They are investigating food sources, food handling, storage practices, temperature controls, and the potential for cross-contamination.
Symptoms of E. coli food poisoning include severe stomach cramps and diarrhea, often bloody. If you attended this picnic and ate food, you may still become ill up to July 11, 2012. It can take that long for anyone infected with E. coli to exhibit symptoms.
If you or anyone you know attended this picnic and are sick, call the Dayton & Montgomery County Health Department at 937-225-4460 and report your illness. If you have seen a doctor, he or she should report the illness to authorities. It’s important that anyone who is infected with E. coli 0157 not be treated with antibiotics and not take antidiarrheal medication. Seek medical attention and tell your doctor that you ate food at this picnic.
This bacteria can be spread through person-to-person contact. Anyone who is ill should not prepare or handle food and should wash their hands frequently, with warm water and soap to avoid cross-contamination.