February 20, 2020

History of Fast Food E. coli Outbreaks

Food poisoning outbreaks that are linked to fast food have occurred in the past. Most of these outbreaks have been linked to raw vegetables, primarily raw sprouts, although the very first serious E. coli O157:H7 outbreak caused by a fast food product was the Jack in the Box outbreak of 1992 through 1993. The history of fast food E. coli outbreaks is long. The type of E. coli bacteria that causes serious human illness, known as Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, is found in the intestines of ruminant animals. There are many strains of E. coli, but only some cause human illness. The most common E. coli serotype that causes outbreaks is E. coli O157:H7. There are other serotypes, but they are much more rare. Those pathogens, sometimes called the "Big Six" STEC, included O103, O26, … [Read more...]

E. coli Outbreaks in 2018 Sickened 296

Three E. coli outbreaks in 2018 sickened at least 296 people. These outbreaks were linked to romaine lettuce and ground beef. E. coli illnesses are serious because if a patient is under the age of five, they can develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), as a complication. That complication can cause kidney failure, strokes, seizures, and death. The E. coli outbreaks of 2018 included the strains O157:H7 and O26. There are six non-O157 E. coli strains that produce shiga toxins. Those toxins travel through the bloodstream, destroying red blood cells, which then clog tiny tubes in the kidneys. They also travel to the brain and can cause strokes. Patients sickened in this outbreak did develop that complication. One hundred twenty seven people were hospitalized, 29 developed HUS, and … [Read more...]

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