January 23, 2018

Longhorn Steakhouse Associated With Ohio E.coli Outbreak

A Longhorn Steakhouse restaurant in the Cincinnati area has been associated with a December E.coli outbreak with five confirmed cases and one probable case. The likely source of the outbreak was leafy greens and because officials believe there is no current threat to public health the investigation into the outbreak is closed.

It is not unusual for leafy greens to be contaminated with E. coli 0157:H7 . In November, an E.coli outbreak linked to spinach and spring mix salad greens  that were sold at grocery stores sickened 33 people in five states.

E. coli bacteria live in the intestines of animals and are shed in feces. There are many possible contamination points from farm to table such as soil amendments, irrigation water and hygiene of workers who harvest, package, transport, prepare and serve food. After contaminated food is ingested, it can tale three to four days for symptoms, which include abdominal cramps, and diarrhea, to appear. Over the course of a week, these symptoms will intensify to sever cramping and the diarrhea may become bloody. Anyone who develops these symptoms should see a health care provider.

More than a quarter million Americans are stricken with E.coli infections each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Food safety advocates hope newly proposed food safety rules that are part of the Food Safety Modernization Act will help to reduce the number of foodborne illnesses reported annually and improve food safety for all consumers.

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