February 27, 2021

FDA Trying New Romaine Sampling Plan in Yuma, Arizona

The FDA is trying a new romaine sampling plan in Yuma, Arizona. Romaine grown in that area was linked to a deadly E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that sickened at least 210 people in 36 states. Ninety six people were hospitalized. Twenty-seven patients developed HUS. And five people, who lived in Arkansa, California, Minnesota (2 people), and New York, sadly died. And a deadly E. coli O157:H7 outbreak last year, that sickened 32 people in 12 states and was unsolved, was caused by the same strain that made people sick in the 2018 Yuma, Arizona romaine outbreak. That outbreak was not linked to any food or any growing region. So it's appropriate for the FDA to concentrate on that growing region. Lab testing during the investigation found the outbreak strain of E. coli in canal water in the … [Read more...]

Oklahoma E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak Second Highest in Nation

The Oklahoma E. coli O157:H7 outbreak, which is part of the national outbreak the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced yesterday, is the second highest in the nation with five out of sixteen total sick. Officials are concerned about this outbreak because of fast growth and a high hospitalization rate of 56%. That is much higher than the typical 30% hospitalization rate for the average E. coli O157:H7 outbreak. In addition, three people have been diagnosed with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a type of kidney failure. That rate of 19% is also much higher than the average 4% rate of HUS development in E. coli outbreaks. The CDC is warning people that if they have severe symptoms of a Shiga toxin-producing E. coli outbreak they should immediately … [Read more...]

Six in Arkansas Sick in Deadly Mystery E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak

Arkansas is hard hit in the deadly mystery E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that was announced yesterday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Six people are sick in Arkansas, out of 16 in the entire country. This outbreak is unusual because the CDC investigation notice stated that the agency is concerned about the growing number of severe illnesses. Nine of the sixteen patients have been hospitalized for a rate of 56%; that is much higher than the typical 30% hospitalization rate for this type of outbreak. And three of those patients have been diagnosed with HUS, a type of kidney failure. There is no information about what food may have caused this outbreak; we also do not know if any restaurant or supermarket is involved. E. coli outbreaks in the past have been … [Read more...]

New Deadly E. coli Outbreak Causing Severe Illnesses and Hospitalizations

A new deadly  E. coli outbreak has been announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As of February 1, 2021, 16 people in five states are sick with E. coli O157:H7 infections. The investigation notice states that "CDC is concerned about the growing number of severe illnesses and hospitalizations in this outbreak. If you have E.  coli symptoms, talk to your healthcare provider and report your  illness to your local health department." The states where people are sick are Washington (2), Oklahoma (5), Arkansas (6), Virginia (2), and New York (1). Illness onset dates range from December 23, 2020 to January 7, 2021.  Recent illnesses may not yet be reported since it can take two to four weeks to link illnesses to an outbreak. The patient age range is from 10 to 95 … [Read more...]

E. coli O157:H7 Leafy Greens Outbreak Unknown Source 2 Investigation Complete

The E. coli O157:H7 leafy greens outbreak Unknown Source 2 investigation is complete, according to an update posted by the FDA. The outbreak was declared over on December 22, 2020, after sickening at least 40 people in 19 states. Twenty people were hospitalized, and four developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure. After the investigation, no recommendation was made to consumers, retailers, or suppliers. Epidemiologic and traceback investigations indicated that leafy greens were linked to this E. coli O157:H7 outbreak. This outbreak was caused by a strain of E. coli that is genetically related to a strain linked to the fall 2019 E. coli O157:H7 romaine outbreak that sickened at least 167 people in 27 states. The patient case count by state is: Arizona (2), … [Read more...]

Second Mystery E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak Over After Sickening 40

The second mystery E. coli O157:H7 outbreak, also known as Unknown Source 2, which has been linked to leafy greens, is now over, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This is the number six multistate outbreak of 2020, with 40 people sick in 19 states. Unfortunately, a specific type or brand of leafy greens was not identified as the source of this outbreak. This outbreak is different from the other two mystery E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks that occurred at the same time: Unknown Source 1 which was the number 8 outbreak of 2020, and Unknown Source 3 which was the number 9 outbreak of 2020. The patient case count by state is: Arizona (2), California (6), Illinois (2), Indiana (1), Kansas (4), Michigan (3), Minnesota (2), Missouri (3), North Dakota (4), Ohio … [Read more...]

Number Nine Outbreak of 2020: Unknown E. coli Outbreak 3

The number nine outbreak of 2020 is the Unknown E. coli Outbreak 3, which is not linked to any food source or facility. Eighteen people in nine states are sick in this Unknown E. coli outbreak 3, which ended December 18, 2020. Six people were hospitalized because they are so sick. The patient case count by state is: California (3), Colorado (2), Illinois (4), Michigan (3), New York (1), Ohio (1), Pennsylvania (2), Virginia (1), and Washington (1). Illness onset dates ranged from September 2, 2020 to November 6, 2020. The patient age range was from 8 to 71 years. Laboratory testing found the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 in a sample of Tanimura & Antle romaine lettuce in a single head package, but investigators were not able to determine if people got sick from eating … [Read more...]

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 one 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...]

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