April 16, 2021

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

CDC Announces Two Mystery E. coli Outbreaks; Leafy Greens?

Tonight the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced two mystery E. coli outbreaks that may be linked to leafy greens that have sickened 44 people and hospitalized 18; three have developed HUS and one person has died. In the first outbreak, 21 people in 8 states are ill. Eight people have been hospitalized, and one person who lived in Michigan has died. Illness onset dates range from June 6, 2020 to October 5, 2020. The patient age range is from 2 to 75 years. Of 16 people who gave information to investigators, eight were hospitalized. One person developed HUS. 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). The strain of E. coli O157:H7 causing illness in … [Read more...]

Will There Be a 2020 E. coli Romaine Lettuce Outbreak?

Food safety experts are holding their collective breath. Now that fall is here, will there be a 2020 E. coli romaine lettuce outbreak? In previous years, by this time there has been at least one serious outbreak linked to leafy greens. Is our luck about to run out? Or have changes made by the California and Arizona Leafy Greens Marketing Agreements and government made a difference? There has been at least one E. coli outbreak in the U.S.  linked to leafy greens every year since 2017; hundreds have been sickened, dozens have been hospitalized, and several people died. One of the issues in these outbreak developments, especially in the past several years, has to do with climate. When there has been an unusually hot and dry summer, farmers in California and Arizona have to use more … [Read more...]

It’s National Pizza Week: Are Pizzas Linked to Outbreaks?

It's National Pizza Week! Have pizzas been linked to any food poisoning outbreaks in the U.S.? The answer is yes. The ingredients in pizza that could be problematic include flour in the dough, cheeses, produce such as leafy greens, and any type of meat toppings. But since pizzas are usually cooked so thoroughly, how can people get sick? There are three answers to that question: handling the pizzas before they are cooked, cross-contamination, and microwave cooking. Raw dough is considered a risky food, since flour used to make it has long been associated with E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks, from the Nestle raw cookie dough outbreak in 2009, to the General Mills flour E. coli outbreak in 2016 that sickened 63, to the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to ADM Milling flour last year that … [Read more...]

FDA Weighs in on Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp E. coli Outbreak

The FDA is weighing in on the Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that sickened 10 people in 5 states. Four people were hospitalized and one patient developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure. This salad mix also made 25 people sick in Canada, where the Fresh Express product was recalled. There was no recall issued in the U.S. The contaminated Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp Chopped salad kits that made people sick are "likely no longer available on the market," according to the FDA statement. The outbreak has ended as of January 15, 2020 after sickening 1 person in Georgia, Illinois, and North Dakota; three in Wisconsin; and four in Minnesota. Once again, the FDA states that this outbreak, the outbreak associated with Evergreen … [Read more...]

Timeline of Three Romaine E. coli O157:H7 Outbreaks

This timeline of three romaine E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks is intended to reduce confusion about the illnesses and the products and restaurants they are linked to or potentially linked to. The three outbreaks are a large multistate outbreak linked to romaine lettuce grown in Salinas, California; an outbreak linked to Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp Chopped Salad Kit that has sickened people in the upper Midwest; and an E. coli outbreak associated with seven Evergreen restaurants in the Seattle, Washington area. Only the outbreak associated with Evergreen restaurants has been declared over. All three of these outbreaks have been named by the FDA as having a common grower, even though the strains of E. coli are different. The FDA notice states, "Currently, the tracebacks on all three … [Read more...]

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