November 23, 2020

CDC Updates Second Mystery E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak; Romaine?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated the second mystery E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that may be associated with leafy greens or romaine lettuce. This outbreak has now sickened at least 39 people in 18 states. There are three unsolved multistate E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks ongoing at this time; all of the investigation notices mention leafy greens, and one mentions an unnamed restaurant. The outbreak investigation notice states that "This outbreak is different from the two other E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks CDC is currently investigating." This is the same strain of E. coli O157:H7 which caused a massive outbreak last year that was linked to romaine lettuce from the Salinas Valley growing region in California. At least 167 people were sickened in that outbreak … [Read more...]

Canada E. coli Romaine Lettuce Update – Import Restrictions are Working

Every year since 2017, there has been at least oneĀ E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to romaine lettuce or leafy greens in the United States and in Canada. While no such outbreak has been officially announced in the United States yet in 2020, there have been three "mystery" E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks announced by the CDC and FDA this fall that may be associated with romaine. No such outbreaks have occurred in Canada this year. Why? It may be because last month the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) imposed import restrictions on romaine lettuce grown in the United States. The romaine that allegedly caused illnesses in Canada mostly came from the Salinas growing region in California. So romaine importers either had to prove to the Canadian government that the lettuce did not … [Read more...]

Are There Three Romaine E. coli O157:H7 Outbreaks?

Food safety experts are talking about three separate new E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks in the United States that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have not definitively linked to any food or facility. All may have a common thread, however. Are there three romaine E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks currently ongoing in this country? Maybe. The first two outbreaks were announced at the end of October 2020. The first E. coli O157:H7 outbreak, which sickened 21 people in 8 states and hospitalized 8, may be associated with a restaurant. The significant clue in this outbreak is that the outbreak strain is closely related to the E. coli O157:H7 bacteria that sickened 210 people in a deadly outbreak linked to romaine lettuce in 2018. The second outbreak, which has sickened at least … [Read more...]

CDC Investigates Third Mystery E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak; May be Romaine

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investigating a third mystery E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that has sickened at least 12 people in 5 states. The other two outbreaks, which were announced earlier this month, have sickened a total of 44 people. And the outbreak notices seem to suggest that the illnesses may be associated with romaine lettuce and/or restaurants. In this new outbreak, the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 was found in a sample of recalled Tanimura & Antle single head romaine lettuce by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. But the government is insisting that isn't enough to link the romaine to the outbreak. They are still investigating to see if more products may be contaminated with the pathogen. Investigators are … [Read more...]

Third E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak May Be Linked to Romaine

At the end of October the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the FDA announced two distinct E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks that were not linked to any one food or facility. One may have been associated with romaine lettuce, and the other may have been associated with a restaurant. Today the FDA announced a third E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that has sickened at least twelve people in five states that may be associated with recalled romaine lettuce. The patient case count by state is: California (2), Illinois (4), Michigan (2), Ohio (1), Pennsylvania (2), and Virginia (1). Five people have been hospitalized. The last illness onset date was October 14, 2020. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development found E. coli O157:H7 bacteria on a sample of Tanimura … [Read more...]

Tanimura & Antle Romaine Lettuce Tests Positive for E. coli: Outbreaks?

Tanimura & Antle romaine lettuce has tested positive for E. coli O157:H7, according to a consumer advisory put out by the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD). That agency is warning consumers not to eat Tanimura & Antle romaine lettuce that is packed as single heads. A routine sample of the lettuce that was collected at a Walmart store in Comstock Park, Michigan, and tested by MDARD's Laboratory Division was confirmed positive for the pathogen. Analysis by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services found that the strain of E. coli recovered from that romaine is "highly related genetically" to the E. coli O157:H7 bacteria that has sickened two people in Michigan. The CDC stated last week that there are are two E. coli O157:H7 … [Read more...]

One Of the New E. coli O157:H7 Outbreaks Associated With a Restaurant

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced that one of the two new E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks is associated with a restaurant. This deadly outbreak, which has sickened twenty-one people in eight states and killed one person from Michigan, is caused by a pathogen that is closely related to the 2018 E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to romaine lettuce that sickened 210 people in 36 states. Patients sickened in this outbreak live in California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Utah, and Wisconsin. The outbreak notice states, "Several ill people have been identified as part of an illness cluster at a restaurant. An illness cluster is defined as two or more people from different households who report eating at the same restaurant location, attending … [Read more...]

FDA Investigates Two E. coli Outbreaks That May Be Romaine

The FDA is investigating two E. coli outbreaks that may be caused by romaine lettuce. Those outbreaks were announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Wednesday, October 27, 2020. Both of these outbreaks are caused by E. coli strains that are genetically related to two previous romaine outbreaks: One in in 2019 from Salinas, California lettuce. and one in 2018 from Yuma, Arizona lettuce. FDA Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response said in a statement, "The FDA, along with the CDC and our state and local partners, are working to investigate two outbreaks of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7 (STEC) illnesses. We do not know what food is causing people to get sick or whether it involves an FDA-regulated food product. However, we have seen similar … [Read more...]

Second Secret E. coli Outbreak Sickens 23 in 12 States, Hospitalizes 10

A second secret E. coli outbreak has sickened 23 people and hospitalized 10, according to information released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) late last night. The first outbreak, which was caused by a different strain of E. coli O157:H7, was also announced last night. This outbreak is caused by the same strain of bacteria that contaminated romaine lettuce and sickened 167 people in 27 states in 2019. While this information is significant, it doesn't mean that this outbreak was caused by leafy greens. A specific food has not been identified yet, and the government is not making any recommendations for consumers to avoid any particular food. But in another twist, the outbreak investigation statement says, "State and local public health officials are … [Read more...]

Secret E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak Sickens 21, Hospitalizes 8, Kills 1

A secret E. coli O157:H7 outbreak has sickened 21 people, hospitalized 8, and killed one person living in Michigan, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This outbreak was announced late last night. It is one of two outbreaks announced at the same time that may have connections to leafy greens. The patient case count by state is: California (7), Florida (1), Illinois (1), Michigan (2), New Jersey (1), Ohio (7), Utah (1), and Wisconsin (1). Illness onset dates range from June 6, 2020 to October 5, 2020. The patient age range is from 2 to 75 years. Fifty percent of ill persons who gave information to investigators were hospitalized. One person developed HUS, and one death was reported from Michigan. Investigators have identified and illness cluster at a … [Read more...]

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