November 12, 2019

Philadelphia E. coli Outbreak Grows to 19 Sick; No Source Found

The Philadelphia E. coli outbreak has grown to include 19 ill persons. James Garrow of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health updated Food Poisoning Bulletin in an email. The Department cannot confirm whether or not anyone has been hospitalized. The case count is accurate as of September 6, 2019. Public health officials continue investigating the source of the pathogen. The Health Alert stated that restaurants may be involved in this outbreak, but no specific restaurants have been named yet. The outbreak was originally reported on September 5, 2019. The age range of patients at that time was 7 to 90. This age range may have changed; but we don't know for sure. E. coli outbreaks in restaurants are not common, and most often are labeled "associated with" or "possible." … [Read more...]

It’s State Fair Time! Watch Out for E. Coli …

It's state fair time! State fairs around the country are in full swing. Some have ended, and some have yet to begin. These gatherings are celebrations of the harvest and of the hard work of farmers. But in the past, these fairs and other late summer and early fall gatherings have been the source of dangerous E. coli outbreaks. This year, an E. coli O157 outbreak at the Minnesota State Fair has sickened 11 people, hospitalizing six. One person has developed HUS. Most of the patients visited the Miracle of Birth exhibit, and had contact with ruminant animals. Earlier this year, a deadly E. coli outbreak at the San Diego County Fair sickened 10 people. Three people were hospitalized and one 2-year-old died. In 2014, an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to the traveling Zerebko Zoo … [Read more...]

MN State Fair E. coli Outbreak: Are These Outbreaks Common?

With the announcement yesterday of the MN State Fair E. coli outbreak that has sickened 11 people and hospitalized six, we were wondering how many other state and county fairs have had these serious outbreaks. Are these E. coli. outbreaks common at local, county, and state fairs? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. There have been quite a few E. coli outbreaks at state and county fairs over the years, and some have been deadly. These are the state and county fair outbreaks that have occurred since 2012: In 2012, a huge E. coli outbreak linked to the Cleveland County Fair in North Carolina sickened 106 people, including 65 children. Thirteen people were hospitalized in that outbreak, and one child died. Fair organizers banned petting zoos at the event after this outbreak. In … [Read more...]

Minnesota State Fair E. coli O157 Outbreak Sickens 11; 1 With HUS

An E. coli O157 outbreak associated with the Minnesota State Fair has sickened 11 people, according to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). This Minnesota State Fair E. coli outbreak was announced today. Evidence suggests that contact with livestock is a "key factor" in this outbreak. Patients interviewed by public health officials say that they visited the fair between August 25, 2019 and September 2, 2019. Illness onset dates range from August 29, 2019 to September 6, 2019. Whole genome sequencing indicates that the E. coli O157 strains are closely related. Six people were hospitalized; one remains in the hospital. One person has developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure that is potentially fatal. Cases range in age from 2 to 43 years. HUS is most … [Read more...]

Soy Nut Butter E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak Studied in Journal of Pediatrics

The Journal of Pediatrics has published a study on the 2017 soy nut butter E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that sickened 32 people, mostly children, in 12 states. That outbreak was linked to I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter, which is used as a substitute for peanut butter in many daycare settings and schools around the country. Twelve of the patients in this outbreak were hospitalized. Twenty-six of these illnesses occurred in children under the age of 18. Eight of these children developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure that is a complication of a Shiga toxin-producing E. coli infection. One adult also developed that complication. Twenty-five of the case patients ate the same brand of soy nut butter or attended schools or daycare centers that served the product. The … [Read more...]

Philadelphia E. coli Outbreak Sickens At Least 14

A Philadelphia E. coli outbreak has sickened at least 14 people, according to a Health Alert issued by the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. Public health officials "have identified a few shared restaurant exposures," in their ongoing case investigation, but no one restaurant or food has been named so far. In the past, E. coli outbreaks have been linked to ground beef, flour, animals at county fairs, raw milk, and lettuce. Just about any food can be contaminated with this pathogen through cross-contamination. The source of E. coli is typically found in the guts of ruminant animals such as cows and goats and is shed in their feces. Person-to-person transmission is also possible because the infectious does is small; just 10 bacteria. The patient age range in this outbreak … [Read more...]

Sisseton South Dakota E. coli Outbreak Sickens Eight Children

A Sisseton South Dakota E. coli outbreak has sickened eight children, according to news reports. The South Dakota Department of Health is investigating this outbreak. Some of the patients have been hospitalized, but we don't know how many. We also don't know if any of the children has developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure that is a serious complication of an E. coli infection. Dr. Joshua Clayton, the state epidemiologist, told the Aberdeen News that the source of the pathogen has not been identified. The Department of Health was notified about the outbreak last week by either a physician or a hospital after the first infection was confirmed. And he said that the disease can be spread person-to-person. While some of the patients may have gone to … [Read more...]

CDC Weighs In On Bison Burgers E. coli O103 and O121 Outbreak

An E. coli O103 and O121 outbreak linked to Northfork Bison ground bison and Bison Burgers/Buffalo Burgers has sickened at least 21 people in 7 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These products are imported from Canada. The case count by state is: Connecticut (1), Florida (4), Michigan (1), Missouri (1), New Jersey (2), New York (9), and Pennsylvania (3). Eight people have been hospitalized. No cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure, have been reported. Illness onset dates range from March 18 to June 18, 2019. The patient age range is from 6 to 79 years. Six people are sick with E. coli O103, 13 are sick with E. coli O121, and 2 people are sick with both of these pathogens. Epidemiologic and traceback information … [Read more...]

Northfork Bison Recalls Bison and Buffalo Burgers in Wake of E. coli Outbreak

Northfork Bison Distributors of St. Leonard, Quebec, Canada, is recalling its Bison Burgers (Buffalo Burgers) and Ground Bison (called Bison Ground) for possible E. coli O121 and O103 contamination. There is an outbreak associated with these recalled products. At least 21 people in 7 states are ill with these infections. The Bison Burgers (Buffalo Burgers) and Ground Bison were distributed across the eastern and central U.S. to institutions and retail outlets. All institutions that have Bison Burgers and Bison Ground in their inventory with the production dates of February 22, 2019 through April 30, 2019, should not serve it to customers, but return it to the distributors. For consumers, the recalled products are Buffalo Burgers (4 x 4 ounce) with expiration dates up to October … [Read more...]

Three Sick With E. coli After Eating at Red Robin in Westminster, CO

Three people, including two children, are sick with E. coil O157:H7 infections after eating at the Red Robin restaurant at 799 West 146th Avenue in Westminster, Colorado, according to the Tri-County Health Department. Public health officials inspected the restaurant on July 9, 2019, after being informed about the outbreak by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Two of the three people infected were hospitalized because they were so ill. The inspection revealed several food safety violations. Red Robin voluntarily closed the restaurant on July 10, 2019 for cleaning and sanitizing. They also required food safety training for all employees, and they tested employees who handle food. Critical violations included improper employee hand washing, improper cleaning … [Read more...]

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