According to press reports and a press release from the Michigan Depart of Agriculture, James Ruster, owner of Mitchell Hill Farm in Ellsworth, was sentenced last week for a felony violation of Michigan’s Food Law. Ruster pled guilty to willful misbranding and adulteration of food products and was sentenced to 14 to 48 months in prison plus fines and court costs. This is the first felony conviction under this law.
In October 2011 a food inspector investigated a consumer tip that Ruster was selling apple cider at a local farmers market. Mitchell Hill Farm was not approved to produce cider. After repeatedly being informed that he wasn’t meeting safe cider production standards, Ruster continued to make and sell cider.
In November 2012 an investigation by the Health Department of Michigan determined the improperly processed cider caused an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak putting four individuals in the hospital, including two children. The cider was linked to Mitchell Hill Farm.
A further six cases of E coli O157 linked to events on the 17th, 18th and 19th January at the SSE Hydro have been identified taking the total number of cases to 21.
The Public Health Protection Unit of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) along with other health boards, Health Protection Scotland, the Food Standards Agency and Glasgow City Council Environmental Health have been working together to investigate these cases.
Investigations have indicated a link to the SSE Hydro, Glasgow and an association with the consumption of burgers for each of the identified cases.
As the incubation period for anyone who attended the Hydro between January 17th and 17th has now past it is unlikely there will be any further individuals developing symptoms. We may, however, continue to identify cases who have already been unwell. Anyone who attended the event at the Hydro during that specific weekend and has experienced, symptoms including stomach cramps, diarrhoea (often bloody), nausea and fever they should make their local GP aware.
All 21 cases are either fully recovered or are recovering at home. Three cases are from the NHSGGC area, three are from the NHS Lanarkshire area, five cases are from NHS Lothian, two cases are from NHS Highland, four cases from NHS Forth Valley, two cases are from NHS Grampian, one is from NHS Fife and one is from Cumbria.
Dr Eleanor Anderson, Consultant in Public Health Medicine, NHSGGC said: “We are pleased that all the cases are recovering at home.
“While there is no conclusive evidence our investigations have indicated that the most likely source is a link to the consumption of burgers at the SSE Hydro. Glasgow City Council Environmental Health Officers have worked closely with the vendors and will continue to liaise with them to ensure all appropriate food hygiene standards are being met.
Investigators have linked the E. coli O157:H7 cases to the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, a major entertainment venue which opened in September.
All but one of those affected by E. coli live in Scotland, with one living in Cumbria. All are said to be recovering at home.
Last week, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) said seven cases had been identified, with four more confirmed on Monday and a further four today.
Investigators are looking particularly at the three days between January 17 and 19 at the Hydro, but advised anyone who visited the venue between January 17 and 25 and has experienced symptoms including stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea and fever to contact their GP.
The shows at the complex during the period were Top Gear, Del Amitri and Celtic Connections.
Two of the cases are from the greater Glasgow area, three are from Lanarkshire , five from the Lothian area, two from the Highlands, two from the Forth Valley and one from Cumbria.
PFP Enterprises, a Fort Worth, Texas, establishment, is recalling approximately 15,865 pounds of beef products because they may be contaminated with E. coli O103, E. coli O111, E. coli O121, E. coli O145, E. coli O26 and E. coliO45, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.
The following products are subject to FSIS recall:
- 10.5-lb. boxes of Beef Outside Skirt Steak, with a pack date of “12/13/13”
- 20-lb. boxes of Studio Movie Grill Beef Tenderloin Sliced, with a pack date of “12/05/13”
- 15-lb. boxes of Preseasoned Beef for Fajita, with a use by date of “1/13/14”
- 40-lb. boxes of Southwest Style Beef Skirts, with a pack date of “12/5/13”
- 20-lb. boxes of Patterson Food Processors Beef Skirt Seasoned, with a pack date of “12/9/13”
- 10-lb. boxes of Preseasoned Beef for Fajitas, with a pack date of “12/9/2013”
- 40-lb. boxes of Preseasoned Beef for Fajitas w/Binder, with a pack date of “12/9/2013”
- 12-lb. boxes of Seasoned Beef for Fajitas, containing 6 2-lb. packs, with a use by date of “1/15/14”
- 12-lb. boxes of Mexican Style Beef for Fajita, containing 6 2-lb. packs, with a use by date of “1/11/14”
The products subject to recall bear the establishment number “Est. 34715” inside the USDA Mark of Inspection. The products were produced on Dec. 5, 2013, and distributed to retail stores and restaurants in Arizona, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico and Texas.
FSIS personnel became aware of the problem during a Food Safety Assessment when they discovered that beef trim tested presumptive positive for multiple non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) strains through the company’s testing program. The company inadvertently did not carry the test out to confirmation, and not all affected product was held.
The Public Health Protection Unit of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Health Protection Scotland, Food Standards Agency and Glasgow City Council Environmental Health is investigating these cases.
Initial investigations indicate that there is a link to the Hydro, and an association with the consumption of burgers, but other foods items are also being considered.
The unit said in a statement: “If anyone has attended the Hydro between Friday January 17th and Saturday, January 25th and has experienced, or is continuing to experience, symptoms including stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), nausea and fever they should contact a GP or NHS out of hours service.”
All 11 cases are recovering at home. One case is from Greater Glasgow and Clyde, three are from Lanarkshire, four from Lothian, one from NHS Highland, one from Forth Valley and one from Cumbria.
The BBC reports that seven people – one from Glasgow, two from Lanarkshire, three from Lothian and one from Cumbria – are recovering from E. coli O157:H7 at home after being diagnosed.
Health officials say the cases may be linked to burgers sold at The Hydro.
Anyone who attended the venue between 17 and 25 January, and who feels unwell, is asked to contact their GP.
Symptoms to look out for include stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), nausea and fever.
The seven people who contracted the infection all attended Top Gear Live on 18 and 19 January.
A total of 33 individuals infected with the outbreak strain of STEC O157:H7 were reported from four states. The number of ill persons identified in each state was as follows: Arizona (1), California (28), Texas (1), and Washington (3). At least two developed Hemolytic Uremic Sundrome.
The STEC O157:H7 PFGE pattern combination in this outbreak was new to the PulseNet database.
Epidemiologic and traceback investigations conducted by local, state, and federal officials indicated that consumption of two ready-to-eat salads, Field Fresh Chopped Salad with Grilled Chicken and Mexicali Salad with Chili Lime Chicken, produced by Glass Onion Catering and sold at Trader Joe’s grocery store locations, was the likely source of this outbreak of STEC O157:H7 infections.
On November 10, 2013, Glass Onion Catering voluntarily recalled numerous ready-to-eat salads and sandwich wrap products that may be contaminated with STEC O157:H7.
Read the list of recalled products regulated by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).
Read the list of recalled products regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The North Central District Health Department has reported seven E. coli O157:H7 cases in Windham – Willimantic, Connecticut. The Department of Public Health said it is investigating and believes all of the people were infected between mid-December and Christmas time.
All of them required the patients to be hospitalized, according to the department.
Health officials said five of them were mild cases, but two were a severe form of the bacterial infection known as Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, or HUS. They said the people with the mild cases have already been released, but one of the two with HUS remains in the hospital.
The source of the E. coli O157:H7 has not been found.
The Davidson County Health Department is investigating reports of illness in three children likely due to E. coli infection, the agency said this afternoon.
Two Tyro Middle School students have been hospitalized with recent bouts of severe bloody diarrhea. It is reported that they suffer from hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). A case of E. coli has been identified in a third child who hasn’t been hospitalized and doesn’t attend the same school as the Tyro students, the Health Department says.
“We are asking anyone in the community who has been sick during the month of December with severe or bloody diarrhea to please call the Davidson County Health Department at (336) 242-2300. If you are still sick, please seek medical care.” said Monecia Thomas, the Davidson County Health Department health director.
E. coli are naturally occurring bacteria that normally live in the intestines of people and animals. While most E. coli are harmless, some produce Shiga toxin.
Shiga toxin-producing E. coli are found in animals, especially ruminant livestock, such as sheep, deer, goats and cows. Transmission can occur following contact with these animals or their feces or following consumption of undercooked meats or unpasteurized foods or drinks, according to the Health Department.