Beef is the most common source of E. coli outbreaks, but it’s not the only one. E. coli outbreaks have been linked to vegetables, dairy, fruit, poultry, frozen foods and dough. The nine-state outbreak linked to Pizza Ranch restaurants is the latest example of an E. coli outbreak linked to dough.
The E. coli O157:H7 outbreak sickened 13 people in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Carolina, New Jersey, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Minnesota between December 6, 2015 and January 16, 2016. Dough used to make desserts was the source of the outbreak.
The company, which has discontinued using the dough, faces lawsuits stemming form the outbreak. Both of them on behalf of children who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a complication of E. coli infections that most often affects children under 10 and causes kidney failure, seizure, stroke, coma and death.
E. coli symptoms usually develop within two to five days of exposure but can appear within 24 hours or take as long as 10 days to develop. They include stomach cramps and diarrhea, that is sometimes bloody. Sometimes these symptoms, which last about a week, are accompanied by a low-grade fever.
In 2009, a 30-state E.coli outbreak was linked to Nestle Tollhouse Cookie dough sickened 72 people. Contaminated flour was suspected as the source of contamination in the dough. Thirty-four people were hospitalized, 10 developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).