August 16, 2018

Georgia’s BBQ Shack HUS E. coli Outbreak Revisited

BBQ Shack E coli HUS Lawyer Lawsuit GeorgiaThree months of investigation into one of this summer’s most serious HUS E. coli outbreaks has not pinpointed what food item sent people to the hospital after eating at the BBQ Shack restaurant in Toccoa, Georgia. But other evidence in the outbreak is supporting victims as they continue to make payment claims for their distress.

E. coli lawyer Ryan Osterholm has produced an HUS YouTube video summarizing the outbreak and detailing why people who are sickened in restaurant food poisoning outbreak can sue the proprietor without knowing the exact source of contamination. “The fault belongs to the restaurant operator when public health investigations find reliable links between a ¬†cluster of illnesses and a single establishment,” Osterholm said. “It’s not unusual for the exact source of infection to remain a mystery.”

According to a document from the Georgia Department of Health, officials learned of the outbreak after a state epidemiology surveillance officers noticed a cluster of E. coli cases in lab reports from the Stephens County Hospital Рfour patients in one week back in early May. The Stephens County Health Department had also received complaints about the BBQ Shack in Toccoa after some customers reported being ill after eating at the restaurant. Public health investigators interviewed all the patients who were sick and other diners who ate at the restaurant but did not get sick, tracking them down using credit card receipts. Food samples and environmental swabs taken from the restaurant on May 16 have tested negative for any disease.

State and county officials who investigated the BBQ Shack E. coli outbreak believe people were sickened after eating at the restaurant in Toccoa May 2-4. The onset of illness in some case patients didn’t occur until May 8. Records show that of the nearly 20 people who were infected with E. coli O157:H7, at least seven were hospitalized. At least five of those patients contracted a rare but dangerous complication known as HUS, or hemolytic uremic syndrome.

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