December 1, 2015

Red River Valley Fairgoer Stricken With E. coli HUS

Three children who attended the Red River Valley Fair in West Fargo,  North Dakota have E. coli infections and one of them has been hospitalized with a life-threatening complication, hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). About 15 percent of children with E. coli infections develop HUS which causes kidney failure. Children with HUS often experience problems with their central nervous systems such as seizure and stroke. North Dakota health officials have not yet determined the source of the bacteria at the fair held July 7-12. Some possibilities include undercooked ground beef or other meats, contaminated produce or sprouts and contact with animals at petting zoos or other animal exhibits. All three children did report having contact with animals, but health officials are looking at all … [Read more...]

More E. coli Infections Reported in Whatcom County Fest Outbreak

Children dominate a growing list of case patients in the outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 linked to the 22nd annual Milk Makers Festival in Whatcom County, Washington. According to the county health agency's latest update, 41 people have fallen ill with classic E. coli symptoms after attending the Milk Makers event from schools all over the county. The working total of 41 case patients includes people who got sick after having close contact with a sick attendee. Seven of the 41 victims have been hospitalized, but the county has not said anything about their conditions. "Most of the cases involve children who attended the event,'' said a news release from Whatcom County Health Officer Dr. Greg Stern. "Several older children involved with the event and some adults and close contacts of cases … [Read more...]

Milk Makers Fest E. coli outbreak Sickens 32

The Milk Makers Fest E. coli outbreak in Lynden, Washington, is growing in size as state and county health officials confirm more illnesses among more than 1,300 children who attended the educational event hosted recently by the Whatcom County Dairy Women. The investiation so far by the Whatcom County Health Department (WCHD) has confirmed 17 cases, including four individuals who have been hospitalized, the agency said in a news release. In addition, on Thursday there were 15 probable cases in people who had clinical symptoms and exposure to the event or people who attended it. Those cases are being confirmed through laboratory analysis. Dr. Greg Stern, Whatcom County’s health officer, has been identified as the principal contact in the investigation. He is urging those who attended the … [Read more...]

Minnesota E. coli Lawyer Lauds State Health Department

Minnesota’s food poisoning investigators had a busy year with outbreaks in 2014, successfully tracing the cause of three separate clusters of E. coli hospitalizations and two waves of Salmonella infections. The efforts undoubtedly protected more people from contracting pathogen-related illnesses and gave victims of the solved outbreaks a chance to hold the purveyors accountable. A review by Food Poisoning Bulletin shows that four of the outbreaks had implications beyond the state’s borders, including findings of E. coli O157:H7 in celery that came from the Salinas Valley; E. coli O111 in cabbage purchased by units of a national restaurant chain  and Salmonella Enteritidis in a frozen chicken breast product mass-produced in Illinois for the American retail market. “The Minnesota … [Read more...]

Jimmy John’s 2013 Colorado E. coli Outbreak Linked to Imported Cucumbers

A 2013 E.coli outbreak that sickened nine Jimmy John's customers in the Denver area has been linked to cucumbers imported from Mexico. Health officials in Colorado have released a 27-page report detailing the investigation into the October 2013 outbreak, which they believe is the first E. coli O157:H7 outbreak associated with cucumbers in the United States. All nine people who were sickened reported eating sandwiches containing cucumbers at three Denver-area Jimmy John’s shops in early October 2013. Lab tests confirmed that they were all sickened by the same E.coli strain. How the cucumbers became contaminated isn't clear, but it's likely that the three store received contaminated cucumbers, health officials say. "It is very unlikely that contamination occurred within the 3 … [Read more...]

Raw Milk Not For Kids, Warns England’s FSA After E. coli Outbreaks

Three recent raw milk E.coli outbreaks that sickened five children and one adult in the United Kingdom have prompted the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to issue a warning about unpasteurized milk. The agency has halted raw milk production at the farms and issued recalls.  "Long standing FSA advice has been that vulnerable people - that’s older people, infants, children, pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems - are particularly vulnerable to food poisoning and that is why these groups should not be consuming raw drinking milk because it has not been heat treated. " said Andrew Rhodes, Chief Operating Officer at the FSA. In England, most milk is pasteurized, but raw milk sales are permitted if the labels bear a warning that the product is unpasteurized and … [Read more...]

E. coli Illnesses in MA Investigated by State, Federal Authorities

Health officials in Massachusetts are working with federal authorities to investigate the source of three cases of E. coli poisoning that occurred in June.  Results from lab tests last week showed a link between the cases, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. Little is known about the three patients who were diagnosed in June with E. coli O157:H7 infections. Health authorities are not releasing information such as the age, gender, or county of residence of any of the cases patients. Nor have they disclosed if any of those who were sickened required hospitalization. Symptoms of and E. coli infection include diarrhea that can be bloody and abdominal cramping. Some patients with E.coli infections develop a condition called hemolytic … [Read more...]

Ground Beef E. coli Recall Includes North Dakota Supervalu Stores

Two Supervalu stores in North Dakota are among the retailers affected by the 1.8 million pound ground beef recall associated with an E. coli outbreak that has sickened at least 11 people. The stores are located in Beulah and New Town. Consumers who have purchased beef from these stores since the beginning of April should check the packaging to see if it is part of the recall.  The recalled products include all dates between “03 31 14” and “04 18 14” that bear the establishment number “EST. 2574B.” Consumers who have purchased beef that is part of the recall should not eat it as it may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 bacteria which can cause serious illness or death.  Five people in Michigan, four in Ohio, one person in Massachusetts and one person in Missouri have all been … [Read more...]

Ground Beef E.coli Recall: USDA Names Stores

A partial list of stores involved in the 1.8 million pound ground beef recall linked to an E.coli outbreak that has sickened at least 11 people in four states has been published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS). It's a small list for a big recall, but the agency is not permitted to list restaurants, only retail stores, and the list may not yet include all locations. So far, here are the retail locations that are part of the recall. Gordon Food Service Marketplace Stores in FL, IL, IN, KY, MI, OH, PA, TN, and WI.; Surf N Turf Market in Sebring, Florida; Giorgio's Italian Deli in Stuart, Florida;  M Sixty Six General Store in Orleans, Michigan and Buchtel Food Mart on Buchtel, Ohio. Consumers who purchase meat at these stores should … [Read more...]

Solving An E. coli Outbreak, What Did You Eat This Week?

An E. coli outbreak linked to undercooked burgers at restaurants in four states has sickened at least 11 people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As health officials try to determine which cases may be part of the outbreak, they'll be asking those who became ill to remember what they ate during the past week. E.coli symptoms, which include diarrhea that is sometimes bloody and abdominal cramping, usually take about three days after exposure to develop but can take as long as eight days. Many people tend to think that the thing that made them sick was the last thing they ate before they started having symptoms, but that's often not the case. Outbreak investigations have two parts, identifying all of the people who are part of the outbreak and … [Read more...]

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