October 25, 2016

2014 Hamburger E. coli Outbreak Traced to Wolverine Packing

When 92 percent of E. coli O157:H7 outbreak patients in May 2014 told health investigators they had previously eaten a hamburger at a restaurant, it wasn't long before USDA food safety officials and the CDC traced the cluster of dangerous illnesses in Michigan and Ohio to ground beef production at Detroit's Wolverine Packing Company. On May 19, 2014, Wolverine Packing recalled 1.8 million pounds of ground beef that had been shipped to distributors, mostly for use in restaurants nationwide. By then, the E. coli outbreak had sickened a total of 12 individuals infected with the outbreak strains of E. coli O157:H7, including five people from Michigan and five from Ohio. Massachusetts and Missouri also were touched by the outbreak. Two victims suffered kidney failure and life-threatening … [Read more...]

Wolverine Ground Beef E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak Over

The CDC has declared that the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to ground beef produced by Wolverine Packing Company appears to be over. In total, 12 people in 4 states were sickened in this outbreak. Seven (58% of the outbreak total) of ill persons were hospitalized; no one developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), and no deaths were reported. Epidemiologic and traceback investigations indicated that contaminated ground beef produced by Wolverine was the likely source of this outbreak. The beef was distributed to retailers and restaurants nationwide. In interviews, 11 of the 12 persons stated they ate ground beef prepared as a hamburger served at a restaurant before becoming ill. Findings of multiple traceback investigations of the ground beef used at restaurants where the ill … [Read more...]

As Michigan Struggles with E. coli Outbreak, USDA Studies Cattle

A new study conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and published in Agricultural Research magazine is finding that about 2% of cattle in this country may be "supershedders" who shed high levels of pathogenic E. coli O157:H7 in their manure. This information comes as an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in Michigan and Ohio is associated with undercooked ground beef. Supershedding is very problematic because it could "increase the amount of E. coli O157:H7 that makes its way from pasture or feedlot pen into the packing houses where steaks, roasts, ground round, or other beef products are prepared." This study may provide new ways to curb shedding of this bacterium. The study was conducted on 6,000 head of feedlot cattle and more than 13,000 manure, hide, and carcass samples. … [Read more...]

Ohio E. coli Cases May Be Linked to MI Outbreak

Four Ohio E. coli cases may be part of the outbreak in Michigan that has sickened 5 people who ate undercooked ground beef, Food Poisoning Bulletin has learned. The Ohio Department of Health is investigating four cases of E. coli O157 that are a genetic match to the cases in Michigan, Melanie Amato, a department spokeswoman said. "The Michigan and Ohio cases might have a common source, but we cannot confirm that at this time; the investigation into a common source is ongoing. ODH is working with our local, state and federal partners to try and identify the common source for these cases," she said. Yesterday, the Michigan Department of Health reported that five people from five different counties had contracted E. coli poisoning from undercooked ground beef served at restaurants. … [Read more...]

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