October 20, 2021

History of E. coli O145 Outbreaks in the United States

There are three active multistate food poisoning outbreaks on the USDA outbreak table: One is for an outbreak caused by Listeria monocytogenes, one caused by Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7, and one caused by Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O145 bacteria. The last one may be linked to ground beef. Let’s look at the history of E. coli O145 outbreaks.

History of E. coli O145 Outbreaks in the United States

What is the history of E. coli O145 outbreaks in the United States? This pathogen is part of the Big Six STEC bacteria group that the USDA classified as adulterants back in 2011. The government started testing for the bacteria as part of a zero tolerance policy in 2012, but it has not been linked to many outbreaks.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there was a multistate outbreak caused by E. coli O145 bacteria in 2012. In the outbreak, 18 people in 9 states were sickened. Four people were hospitalized and one person died. A source for the infections was not found.

And in 2010, a multistate outbreak caused by E. coli O145 that was associated with shredded romaine lettuce that was made at a single processing facility. The outbreak sickened at least 26 people in five states. Seven probable cases was identified but not confirmed. Twelve people, or 40%, were hospitalized, which is a high hospitalization rate for E. coli outbreaks. and three people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure.

In that 2010 outbreak, E. coli O145 was found in an unopened package of shredded romaine lettuce. Two recalls were issued as a result of the investigation.

It is unusual that there are three multistate outbreaks caused by relatively uncommon pathogens at the same time, and that so little information is known about them. On the FDA’s CORE Outbreak Table, there are two open investigations into illnesses caused by very rare pathogens: Salmonella Miami and Salmonella Potsdam. We don’t know why this is happening. Stay tuned and hopefully these outbreaks will be solved soon.

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If you or a loved one have been sickened with an E. coli or Salmonella infection, please contact our experienced attorneys for help at 1-888-377-8900 or 612-338-0202.

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