July 16, 2024

Georgia E. coli Outbreak Associated With BBQ Shack: 11 Sick, 5 with HUS

Seven people have been hospitalized in a Georgia E.coli outbreak associated with BBQ Shack in Toccoa that has sickened 11 people. Five of them are being treated for hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a complication of E. coli infections that can be life-threatening.

E. coli O157:H7 HUS Chopped Romaine Lettuce OutbreakHealth officials say 10 of the 11 people sickened ate at the BBQ Shack the weekend of May 2-4, 2013 and that no other commonalities were reported. Ten of the patients are from Georgia and one is from South Carolina. Between May 4 to May 8, 2013, they all developed symptoms of an E.coli infection, which include diarrhea that can be bloody and abdominal cramps.

Officials from the North Health District, and the Stephens County Health Department continue to investigate E. coli O157:H7 illnesses which all occurred during early May.  They believe the risk of exposure was limited to the weekend of May 2-4.

A specific source of the outbreak has not yet been identified. In restaurant outbreaks, investigators look at which foods may have been involved and they also interview restaurant employees to see if anyone was ill while they were working.  Infected food workers are the source the majority of restaurant-associated outbreaks, accounting for about 65 percent of them, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Employees touching food with their bare hands accounts for the other 35 percent.

No new cases have been identified in this outbreak since May 8. Anyone experiencing symptoms of an E.coli infection should see a health care provider. Those symptoms include severe and painful abdominal cramps, and diarrhea that is usually bloody or watery.




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