December 10, 2023

Miguel’s Cocina 4S Ranch E. coli Outbreak Sickens 13 in San Diego

A Miguel's Cocina 4S Ranch E. coli outbreak has sickened at least 13 people in San Diego, California, according to the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) officials.  That restaurant is located at 10514 Craftsman Way in San Diego. The pathogen that caused those illnesses is a Shiga toxin-producing E. coli strain (STEC). That means the bacteria produce a toxin called Shiga toxin that damages red blood cells and can cause kidney failure. The County Health Department of Environmental Health and the county's Epidemiology team are investigating the outbreak. The patient age range is from 6 to 87 years old. Seven people have been hospitalized. At least one person has developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a type of kidney failure. Those patients … [Read more...]

Huntley High School E. coli Outbreak Sickens Six Students in Illinois

A confirmed Huntley High School E. coli outbreak has sickened at least six students in that school in Illinois, according to the McHenry County Department of Health. The Huntley Community School District 158 is working with the health department to respond to the Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) outbreak. That school is located at 13719 Harmony Road in Huntley. The first illness was identified on Sunday, September 17, 2023. At this time, officials do not know the source of the illnesses. The county is actively monitoring for potential cases, since E. coli is a reportable condition, and there are no other known cases in McHenry County outside of the school outbreak. School officials sent a letter to parents, students, and staff, telling them that they are taking the situation … [Read more...]

U of Arkansas E. coli Outbreak Not Linked to Public Dining Facilities

The University of Arkansas E. coli outbreak is most likely not linked to the University's public dining facilities, according to the Arkansas Department of Health. Officials are still investigating the outbreak, which has sickened about 100 students and has hospitalized four. That department has gathered and is analyzing survey data from more than 3,200 people to try to solve the outbreak. Officials do say, however, that it is "challenging" to try to identify E. coli cases without severe symptoms. Anyone who is cooking for themselves should protect themselves by cooking meats thoroughly and avoid cross-contamination between raw meats and foods that are eaten uncooked. It's also important to wash fruits and vegetables well before consumption, and avoid consuming unpasteurized … [Read more...]

About 100 Sickened in E. coli Outbreak at University of Arkansas

According to Dr. Naveen Patil, Deputy State Health Officer for the Arkansas Department of Health, there are about 100 people sickened in an E. coli outbreak at the University of Arkansas, and four people have been hospitalized. A press conference was published on the University of Arkansas Pat Walker Health Center web site. Dr. Patil said the Department was notified that some University students had been hospitalized, and they started investigating. He said, "Having so many cases within a short period of time is concerning." He said that it appears that all of the hospitalized patients and those sickened are connected to the University in some way. The number changes every day, and more people could be hospitalized. He added that some of those who have been hospitalized have been … [Read more...]

University of Arkansas E. coli Outbreak Sickens Students

A University of Arkansas E. coli outbreak has sickened an unnamed number of students and has hospitalized some, according to the Arkansas Department of Health and news reports. The press release states, "The university is working closely with public health officials to help identify the source of the outbreak and provide guidance to help prevent additional infections. At this time, based on what we know about the onset of symptoms, we believe the outbreak started more than a week ago." University officials and health department officials are working to identify the source of the outbreak. We don't know which foods they are focusing on, the number of students sick, or how many have been hospitalized. We also don't know the serotype of the bacteria that is causing this illness. It … [Read more...]

Tennessee E. coli Raw Milk Outbreak Sickened Two Infants

A Tennessee E. coli raw milk outbreak sickened two infants in 2022, according to a study conducted by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and published in their weekly Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. One of the babies developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and became seriously ill. The milk was sold through a cow-share arrangement, since raw milk, or unpasteurized dairy, sales through retail outlets are illegal in that state. The two infants, who were 10 months old at the time, got sick on July 25 and August 1, 2022. Stool specimens tested positive for Shiga toxin-producing E. coli bacteria (STEC) by polymerase chain reaction. One of the infants developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure, and was hospitalized for 27 days. The … [Read more...]

USDA Starts Testing Ground Beef For Big Six E. coli Strains, O157

The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has started testing ground beef, bench trim, and other raw ground beef components for Shiga toxin-producing E. coli strains (STEC) that are adulterants. They include the "Big Six" O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, and O145 as well as O157. The testing started on February 1, 2023. This new program was announced in the Federal Register on June 4, 2020. Before this new program, the government only tested beef manufacturing trimmings for the Big Six and O157:H7. Otherwise, all raw beef products are tested for E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella bacteria. FSIS has also started testing for the non-O157 STEC in ground beef samples collected at retail stores and in samples of imported raw beef products. Any positive results will be subject to … [Read more...]

Three Sick in E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak in King County, Washington

Three people are sick in an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in King County, Washington, according to information from the King County Health Department. No one has been hospitalized and no deaths have been reported. And no source for the pathogen has been identified. Three people from three separate households have been sickened with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli bacteria (STEC). The illness onset dates range from October 4 through October 16, 2022. The patient age range is from 18 to 36 years. Confirmed cases are linked through whole genome sequencing, which means they likely have a common source of infection. Two out of those three patients reported eating dishes that were prepared with raw or undercooked beef before they got sick. But officials cannot rule out other possible sources … [Read more...]

Ottawa County MI E. coli Outbreak Grows to 12 Sick, 2 HUS Cases

According to Wood TV 8, the Ottawa County MI E. coli outbreak has grown to include 12 sick people with five hospitalized. Derek Glashower of the Ottawa County Health Department told that outlet that two children have "serious kidney complications," which probably means hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Noted food safety attorney Eric Hageman, who has represented many clients in E. coli and HUS lawsuits, said, "We certainly hope that officials can solve these outbreak soon so people stop getting sick. Any E. coli illness is a tragedy, and it's especially tragic when children are sick and hospitalized." This Ottawa county MI E. coli outbreak is unusual because that area usually sees just two to three cases of E. coli infections every August. This number of illnesses is a significant … [Read more...]

Raw Pet Food Is a Public Health Issue Because of E. coli Contamination

A study published in Microorganisms has found that feeding pets raw pet food comes with a risk of pathogenic bacteria, including Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), which can cause serious illness in humans and is a public health issue. The study evaluated commercially available raw meat-based diets (RMBDs) in Switzerland. These foods are made of uncooked raw muscle meats, organ meats, and the meaty bones of livestock or wild animals. They are mostly from the by-products of animals that are slaughtered for human consumption. The study looked at the occurrence of STEC isolated from commercially available raw pet food in Switzerland.  In  a recent study in the U.S., Shiga toxin-producing E. coli bacteria were identified in 4% of commercially available RMBDs. Studies demonstrating … [Read more...]

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