September 28, 2022

What is the History of Ground Beef E. coli Outbreaks?

With the HelloFresh ground beef E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in the news, what is the history of ground beef E. coli outbreaks? There have been many in the past, including O157 and non-O157 strains. While E. coli O157:H7 is the most well known strain of this pathogen, the "Big Six" non-O157 strains are also a common cause of human illness. They include O103, O26, O45, O111, O121, and O145. All of these strains produce Shiga toxins, which cause serious illness, so they are called Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC). In 2012 the USDA began classifying these serotypes as adulterants. Shiga toxins cause ulcers in the colon, which causes the characteristic bloody diarrhea that happens with this infection. If Shiga toxins get into the bloodstream, they destroy red blood cells, which move … [Read more...]

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