November 20, 2018

History of Lettuce E. coli Outbreaks is Long and Complicated

Earlier this year, a deadly romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak sickened more than 200 people, hospitalized more than 100, and killed five people. Twenty-seven people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure. The FDA and CDC did not solve this outbreak. They did not name a farm or producer that was linked to the contaminated lettuce, and no recall for the chopped lettuce was issued. A recall of whole lettuce heads that was linked to a small outbreak in Alaska. After months of investigation, the government announced they had found the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 in canal water in Yuma, Arizona that may have been used on the lettuce crop. They think that cow feces in the water was the source of the bacteria. But this isn't the first time that lettuce … [Read more...]

E. coli Outbreak Associated With Williams Brothers Meat Market Ham in Washington MO

An E. coli outbreak is associated with ham sold at Williams Brothers Meat Market in Washington, Missouri, according to news reports. The Franklin County Health Department is investigating this outbreak, although there is no mention of the illnesses or the outbreak on that agency's website. Four people are apparently sick in this outbreak. No information about the patient age range, when they got sick, if anyone was hospitalized, or if anyone developed hemolytic uremic syndrome was included in any of the news reports. The news reports also did not state the serotype of E. coli that caused this outbreak. The Emissourian states that "an epidemiological investigation identified a link between the cases and a case reported in June." There are four confirmed cases of E. coli food … [Read more...]

E. coli Outbreak Linked to WA Dungeness Valley Creamery Raw Milk Sickens Two; Lawsuits Possible

An E. coli outbreak that sickened a child under the age of 5 and a person in their 70s is linked to raw milk from Dungeness Valley Creamery raw milk in Olympia, Washington. The child lives in Island county and the older adult lives in Clallam County. The press release from the Washington State Department of Health states that they got sick "with an E. coli infection after drinking Dungeness Valley Creamery raw milk." Dr. Scott Lindquist, Washington state communicable disease epidemiologist, said in a statement, "Raw milk doesn’t go through the pasteurization process where harmful germs and bacteria are destroyed. This puts infants, young children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with a weakened immune system at a greater risk of illness when they drink it." Food safety … [Read more...]

E. coli Outbreak Associated with I Love Sushi and Sodex Cafe Mario in Redmond, WA; Lawsuits Are Possible

A Shiga toxin-producing E. coli outbreak (STEC) associated with I Love Sushi and Sodex Cafe Mario in Redmond, Washington has been announced by Public Health - Seattle & King County. Four people are sick in this outbreak; one person has been hospitalized. The restaurants are located at Nintendo of America at 4600 150th Avenue NE in Redmond. The people who were sickened ate there during the time frame of June 18 - 22, 2018. The restaurants had current ratings of Good for I Love Sushi and Excellent for Cafe Mario. The press release states that Cafe Mario is operated by Sodexo and is not open to the public. Officials have not yet identified the source of the illnesses. They have also not released the patient age range, and have not said whether anyone has developed hemolytic … [Read more...]

Possible E. coli Outbreak at Mexico Viejo Restaurant in Taylorsville, NC; Lawsuits May Be Filed

A possible E. coli outbreak is being investigated at Mexico Viejo restaurant in Taylorsville, North Carolina. Health Director Leeanne Whisnant told news outlets that more than 30 people are sick after eating chicken at that facility. One person has tested positive for an E. coli infection. Apparently, those sickened ate at Mexico Viejo restaurant on June 20, 2018. Whisnant told WBTV that she thinks this is an isolated event. The restaurant has remained open, and no more reports of illness have been received. She also said that everyone who was sickened who was also interviewed by public heath officials have either improved or recovered. If you ate at this restaurant on Wednesday, June 20, 2018 and have been sick with the symptoms of an E. coli infection, call the Alexander County … [Read more...]

E. coli O157 Outbreak HUS in Tennessee Associated with Raw Milk, Animals at French Broad Farm in Knoxville; Lawsuits May Be Filed

An E. coli O157 outbreak in the Knoxville, Tennessee area has sickened several children and has hospitalized four. Most of the children are "known to have consumed raw milk from a local cow-share dairy," according to a media release issued by the Knox County Health Department (KCHD). Because of this outbreak, KCHD is advising the public not to consume any raw milk or any other unpasteurized products from French Broad Farm in Knoxville, Tennessee at this time. Public health officials are also recommending that consumers discard all raw milk and any unpasteurized products they may have purchased from this farm. It's a good idea to clean your fridge well with a mild bleach solution after you discard the raw milk. The farm is not currently operating, so any further exposure to farm … [Read more...]

E. coli Outbreak in Knox County, Tennessee Sickens Several Children

An E. coli outbreak in Knox County, Tennessee has sickened several children, according to the Health Department. According to news reports, the only common factors officials can confirm at this time is that the cases are in this E. coli outbreak are occurring during the same time period. Martha Buchanan, Director of the Knox County Health Department told WATE.com, "We don't We don't have anything for the public to do with any information right now. Right now, we're really working on getting those details, gathering that information, and laying out that picture to see what it tells us about where we need to go next." She added that it's uncommon to have that many cases at one time. Typically, there are about 19 cases of E. coli illnesses that occur every year. The symptoms of … [Read more...]

Lawyer Warns of E. coli Danger at Petting Zoos

Attorneys Fred Pritzker and Ryan Osterholm are warning about the dangers of E. coli infections from petting zoos. As the weather warms and summer starts, petting zoos are popular attractions for families with young children. Unfortunately, those venues can be and have been the source of serious and even deadly E. coli outbreaks. The issue is that ruminant animals often held at petting zoos, such as goats, sheep, and cows, can carry Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) bacteria in their guts. The animals don't get sick from this pathogenic bacteria because they lack the gene that permits the bacteria to grow and produce toxins that destroy red blood cells. The bacteria are shed in the animal's feces. From there, they can get onto the animal's coat, its bedding, and the … [Read more...]

New Jersey Updates E. coli Outbreak That May Be Linked to a Restaurant Chain

The E. coli outbreak in New Jersey has been updated by the New Jersey Department of Health. Eight people living in four counties in that state have been diagnosed with E. coli infections. Those counties are Hunterdon (4 patients), Warren (1 patient), Middlesex (1 patient) and Somerset (2 patients.) There is a "possible association with a chain restaurant" according to the outbreak notice. But the notice also states that "the association may be broader than a single chain restaurant." Lab tests are underway, and public health officials are waiting to see if the strain of E. coli bacteria in the eight patents in this E. coli outbreak match. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will then conduct confirmatory tests. All eight patients have been hospitalized in this … [Read more...]

New Jersey Officials Investigating Panera Breads as Possible E. coli Source

According to news reports, officials in New Jersey are "investigating a cluster of E. coli cases" that may be associated with "local Panera Breads," according to Sarah Perramant, public health epidemiologist in Warren County. This was reported by NJ.com yesterday afternoon. It's important to note that the cluster of E. coli illnesses in that state has not been definitively linked to the Panera restaurant chain, and that health officials have not determined that Panera is the source. In fact, the outbreak may extend beyond one single restaurant chain. The investigation is continuing, with investigators interviewing witnesses, conducting traceback investigations, and using other methods of outbreak epidemiology. The six people who are sick live in Hunterdon, Middlesex, Somersest, … [Read more...]

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