December 8, 2023

Two New E.coli Strains Cause Separate Outbreaks in California

Trader-Joes-Chopped-SaladTwo strains of E. coli that have never been seen before are the source of two separate, ongoing  food poisoning outbreaks in California, health officials told Food Poisoning Bulletin today. One of these new strains is the source of the multistate outbreak linked to ready-to-eat salads produced by Glass Onion Catering of Richmond, CA and sold at Trader Joe’s and other grocery stores in several states. The other new strain has sickened four people in Humboldt County, in Northern California.

The multistate outbreak has sickened 22 people in California, one person in Arizona and three people in Washington.  Six of those sickened, who range in age from four to 78  years old, have been hospitalized including two who have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a complication of E. coli infections that leads to kidney failure.

Glass Onion recalled 181,620 pounds of ready-to-eat salads and sandwich wraps sold under the brand names Trader Joe’s, Delish, Atherstone Fine Foods, Super Fresh Foods, and Lunch Spot. The products were made between September 23 and November 6, 2013 and shipped to distribution centers in Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington.

The outbreak in Humboldt County has sickened four people since July. Three of them developed HUS. Humboldt County authorities are working with the state on an investigation of the outbreak. By using lab tests to determine the “genetic fingerprint” of the E. coli strain, they have determined that all four patients were sickened by the same strain which has never been seen before in California. A source of the outbreak has not yet been determined.

E. coli symptoms include abdominal cramping, nausea and diarrhea that can be bloody. Health officials urge anyone who ate one of the recalled salads and is experiencing these symptoms to see a doctor.

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