August 12, 2022

Minnesota E. coli Lawyer Lauds State Health Department

Minnesota’s food poisoning investigators had a busy year with outbreaks in 2014, successfully tracing the cause of three separate clusters of E. coli hospitalizations and two waves of Salmonella infections. The efforts undoubtedly protected more people from contracting pathogen-related illnesses and gave victims of the solved outbreaks a chance to hold the purveyors accountable. A review by Food Poisoning Bulletin shows that four of the outbreaks had implications beyond the state’s borders, including findings of E. coli O157:H7 in celery that came from the Salinas Valley; E. coli O111 in cabbage purchased by units of a national restaurant chain  and Salmonella Enteritidis in a frozen chicken breast product mass-produced in Illinois for the American retail market. “The Minnesota … [Read more...]

Fond du Lac E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak from Jim-N-Jos Northland Katering

The Minnesota Department of Health has released a report on the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that sickened people at the picnic for Elders of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and other events. The picnic was held on July 11, 2014 and was catered by Jim-N-Jo's Northland Katering. The caterer is licensed by the University of Minnesota and operated out of the Cloquet Forestry Center. Jim-N-Jo's catered at least 12 events in the Upper Midwest from July 5 to July 17, 2014. Five of those events resulted in illness and 57 patients met the outbreak criteria. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Minnesota Department of Environmental Health, and MDH Tribal Relations conducted an investigation into this outbreak. They interviewed 199 individuals from seven catered events. Of these, … [Read more...]

Applebees E. coli Lawsuit Assigned to Judge Magnuson

The E. coli lawsuit filed against Apple Minnesota, LLC d/b/a Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar has been assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Paul A. Magnuson in the Twin Cities. The suit, filed on behalf of Applebee's patron Keith Comstock, was the first legal action taken by victims of this summer's outbreak of E. coli O111 traced to nine Applebee's restaurants in Minnesota. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, 15 people were infected with the highly toxic foodborne pathogen in late June and early July. Agency officials late last week identified green, whole head cabbage as the likely source. Mr. Comstock suffered food poisoning symptoms three days after eating Oriental Chicken Salad at the Applebee's in Woodbury, Minn., near his home. Under medical care, he tested … [Read more...]

Applebee’s E. coli Outbreak Source Was Likely Cabbage, Officials Say

Green, whole head cabbage was the likely source of an E. coli O111 outbreak that sickened at least 15 people who ate at the Yard House or one of several Applebee's restaurants in MN, the Minnesota Department of Health said today. Four people were hospitalized and  have recovered. Thirteen patients ate at Applebee's restaurants in Minnesota in June and July 2014.  Most of those sickened ate the Oriental Chicken Salad at the Applebee's restaurant.  Applebee's temporarily removed the item from the menu and changed the ingredients before making it available again. The outbreak strain of E. coli O111 has not been seen in the United States before this particular outbreak. Health officials say the cabbage was likely contaminated before it was delivered to restaurants. A common out-of-state … [Read more...]

Did Zerebko Petting Zoo Provide Enough E. coli Prevention?

Petting zoo E. coli outbreaks like the one in Minnesota this summer have been studied in the U.S. for decades. A watershed outbreak 10 years ago at the North Carolina State Fair was the worst in recent history. A total of 108 case patients were identified, including 41 with laboratory-confirmed illness and 15 who experienced kidney failure as part of life-threating complication known as E. coli hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Within months after the North Carolina outbreak, in March 2005, the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians (NASPHV) published new recommendations for operators that are still viewed as important safety standards. At the time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was saying that its own control measures for petting zoos, published … [Read more...]

Minnesota E. coli Investigators Solve Two Outbreaks In One Month

Minnesota epidemiologists have solved a pair of unrelated E. coli outbreaks in the span of a month, first linking Applebees restaurants in the state to infections of E. coli O111 and then proving that a traveling petting zoo put seven people in the hospital. The agency responsible for the disease sleuthing is the Minnesota Department of Health. "Without a doubt the Minnesota Department of Health stopped these outbreaks before other people could become infected,'' Minneapolis-based E. coli lawyer Fred Pritzker said. "They provide an invaluable public service.'' In the most recent outbreak, Zerebko Zoo Tran traveling petting zoo withheld its animals from the last two county fairs at which it was scheduled to exhibit in August, according to a health department news release. The … [Read more...]

Rice County Fair E. coli Cases Dominate Petting Zoo Outbreak

The Rice County Fair in Faribault, Minnesota, is where five people contracted E. coli poisoning in an outbreak that infectious disease experts from the Minnesota Department of Health have traced to a traveling petting zoo. The Rice County cluster of  E. coli O157:H7 illnesses expanded to a total of seven case patients -- more than half of the outbreak total -- when the pathogen spread from an infected person or persons to two secondary case patients. Infection with E. coli O157:H7 is the primary cause of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), the most common cause of kidney failure in children in this country. This syndrome usually involves prolonged hospital stays and is fatal in up to 5 percent of cases. In the Minnesota E. coli outbreak linked to Zerebko Zoo Tran traveling petting zoo, … [Read more...]

Zerebko Petting Zoo MN E. coli Outbreak One in a Long Line

The ongoing E.coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to the Zerebko Zoo Tran traveling petting zoo is just one in a long line of outbreaks at state and county fairs around the country in the last few years. The Zerebko zoo goes from fair to fair during the summer months, providing animals for children to see and play with. An E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to that organization has sickened at least 13 people in Minnesota. Seven people have been hospitalized in this outbreak; two have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), and one person is still hospitalized. Zerebko Zoo Tran has been at the Rice County Fair, the Nashwauk 4th of July Festival, the Polk County Fair, and the Olmstead County Fair. In 2013, there were at least two outbreaks associated with petting zoos. An outbreak in … [Read more...]

Minnesota E. Coli Fair Outbreak Linked to Traveling Petting Zoo

An E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to various county fairs and events around the state of Minnesota has sickened at least 13 people. The illnesses were caused by a traveling petting zoo, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. That traveling group, Zerebko Zoo Tran, goes from fair to fair during the summer. All of the confirmed cases have infections with E. coli O15:H7 bacteria with the same genetic fingerprint. Two of those cases are secondary cases, who were exposed to people sickened in the primary outbreak. Environmental and animal fecal samples collected from Zerebko Zoo Tran yielded the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7. The owner has been cooperating with the government's investigation and voluntarily withheld he animals from the last two fairs he was scheduled to … [Read more...]

Fond du Lac E. coli Outbreak Case Count Reaches 22

According to the Pioneer Press, at least 22 people have been sickened with E. coli O157 on the Fond du Lac Reservation in northern Minnesota. The Band of Lake Superior Chippewa posted news of the outbreak on Juy 21, 2014. There is no new information about this outbreak at the Minnesota Department of Health web site. This is not the same strain of E. coli associated with Applebee's restaurants that has sickened more than a dozen people in Minnesota. That is a rare strain of E. coli O111 that has not been seen in the United States until now. Food poisoning cases do increase in the summer months, as more people eat fresh produce that may be contaminated with the pathogenic bacteria, and more cook outdoors. Outdoor cooking must follow special food safety rules, including cooking chicken … [Read more...]

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