May 26, 2018

E. coli Food Poisoning in Cincinnati Possibly Associated With Area Restaurant

An Ohio E.coli outbreak may be associated with leafy greens served at an area restaurant, a source familiar with the cases says. Five confirmed cases and one probable case of E.coli poisoning have been confirmed by the Hamilton County Department of Health. The illnesses occurred in mid December. Four of the patients, who range in age from 12 to 83, are female and two are male.

“People have a right to get information about this outbreak. It’s important for health department officials to get the facts out. Public awareness and public trust are enhanced by full disclosure, including the food that’s implicated and the restaurant at which it was served,” said Fred Pritzker, a food safety lawyer and advocate who publishes Food Poisoning Bulletin.

Salad greens are a common source of E.coli food poisoning. There has been a multi-state food poisoning outbreak linked to leafy greens every year for the last three years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Last year, an E.coli outbreak linked to spinach and spring mix salad greens  sickened 33 people in five states.  Thirteen of those people became so sick they required hospitalization.  Symptoms of an E.coli infection include include severe abdominal cramping  and bloody diarrhea.

Last week, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)  proposed two rules that are part of the Food Safety Modernization Act.  One of them is about produce safety and  specifically addresses contamination hazards such as irrigation water, farm worker hygiene,  soil amendments, wild animal intrusion and sanitation of farm structures, equipment, and tools.

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