July 23, 2024

2021 Chipotle and Panera Romaine E. coli Outbreak

In 2021, health departments in Washington and Minnesota did something that doesn't happen very often. They solved an E. coli outbreak linked to leafy greens. "It is rare to be able to identify the outbreak vehicle for commercially distributed food like romaine lettuce (much less link back to a farm source) with only four laboratory-confirmed cases who consumed the romaine lettuce at four different restaurant locations in two states," Doug Schultz, an information officer at the Minnesota Department of Health told Food Poisoning Bulletin. The outbreak was never announced because, by the time investigators identified the specific grower, there was no ongoing risk to the public, he said. Stream of Unsolved Outbreaks Leafy greens recently overtook ground beef to become the leading … [Read more...]

Number of Cases in Chipotle E. coli Outbreak Drops to 37

The number of cases in the E. coli outbreak linked to Chipotle restaurants in Washington and Oregon has officially dropped from 50 to 37. Health officials have trimmed seven cases from the total in Washington and six cases from the total in Oregon bringing the total number of cases in those states to 24 and 13 respectively. The Washington State Department of Health said the numbers were revised as results from "more definitive tests" became available. Five Washington locations have been linked to the outbreak. They are located at: Hazel Dell, 7715 NE 5thAvenue, Suite 109, in Vancouver; 1404 Broadway Avenue and 4229 University Way NE in Seattle; 512 Ramsey Way 101 in Kent; and 1753 S. Burlington Blvd. in Burlington. In Oregon, the 13 patient who range in age form 11 to 61 are from … [Read more...]

E. coli Outbreaks: When the Evidence Gets Eaten, Thrown Away

Identifying the contaminated food source responsible for a food poisoning outbreak isn't always as straightforward as it seems, especially when perishable items are involved. A short shelf life means evidence often is either eaten or thrown away before an investigation even gets started. That's the case with the Chipotle E. coli outbreak. Health officials suspect that contaminated produce is the source of the outbreak. But it's likely that the tainted batch was consumed before investigators gathered samples from restaurants for testing as is often the case. The first round of tests on samples taken from several Chipotle restaurants were negative for the outbreak strain E. coli O26. Other tests are pending. It's important to note that finding the outbreak strain in uneaten food is not … [Read more...]

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