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E. coli Blog

Surveillance & Analysis on E. coli News & Outbreaks

As Many as 18 with E. coli Linked to Silliman School in Louisiana

Food Safety News reported yesterday that Louisiana’s Silliman Institute students may well be part of an E. coli outbreak. Silliman sent students home last Friday, March 27, resumed classes Monday, March 30, and then called it quits until Monday, April 6.

“There is an outbreak of STEC (Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli) in a school in Region 2 and it is being investigated,” Ashley Lewis, spokeswoman for Louisiana’s Department of Health and Hospitals, told Food Safety News.

“As the investigation progresses, the Department continues to take all necessary preventive measures to protect public health,” Lewis noted, adding, “Louisiana law prohibits the disclosure of the content of epidemiological investigations except to the institutions concerned. The Department would also clarify that any decisions related to facility closure have been made by the facilities themselves.”

The first child sickened in the Louisiana outbreak, a girl, was reportedly hospitalized with the kidney disease known as hemolytic-uremic syndrome, or HUS. The second child, also hospitalized but without HUS, was not being held in a pediatric intensive care unit and was likely going to avoid kidney dialysis.

Today the Department of Health and Hospitals told WBRZ as many as 18 students are exhibiting symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting. The department is testing the cases for E. coli or norovirus. At least one case has been tentatively identified as E. coli. Symptoms began Sunday and have hospitalized some of the ill students. The state is investigating what made them sick, but said it does not appear to be in the water or in the food at school.

E. coli with Beef Cheeks Recalled

A Chicago wholesale meat company is recalling nearly 170,000 pounds of meat products that may be contaminated with bacteria that can cause illness.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture announced the recall Thursday of meat that may be tainted with a dangerous type of E. coli bacteria. The recall affects beef cheek products distributed to stores and restaurants in Chicago by El Cubano Wholesale Meats.

The products are labeled “For Cooking Only” and bear the establishment number “EST. 4653a” inside an inspection mark. They also are labeled “Iowa Best Beef.”

The problem was discovered by Department of Agriculture inspectors. The agency believes some product may be in freezers in restaurants and retail stores.

E. coli Recall for Juici Patties

Juici Patties in Canada is recalling Juici Patties brand Jamaican Style unbaked Chicken Patty from the marketplace due to possible E. coli O157:H7 contamination.

Consumers should not consume the recalled product:

The recalled item is Juici Patties Unbaked Jamaican Style Patty, Chicken, in 1.6 kilogram packages, 12 per pack. The code on the product is 3184 and the UPC number is 6 24819 30012 2. The affected product was distributed in Alberta.

Food contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick. Symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, mild to severe abdominal cramps and watery to bloody diarrhea. In severe cases of illness, some people may have seizures or strokes, need blood transfusions and kidney dialysis.

Washington Beef Recalls 1,620 Pounds of Trim Over E. coli Concerns

Washington Beef, LLC, a Toppenish, Wash., establishment, is recalling 1,620 pounds of boneless  beef trim product that may be contaminated with  E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The following boneless beef product produced on Nov. 28, 2012, is subject to recall:

60 lb. bulk packs of “TRIM 65/35 (FZN)”

The product subject to recall bears the establishment number “EST. 235” inside the USDA mark of inspection.

The problem was discovered during an internal records audit by the company, which notified FSIS. Product was shipped for further processing to a single grinding facility, then on for use in hotels, restaurants and institutions in Oregon and Washington.

E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause dehydration, bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps 2–8 days (3–4 days, on average) after exposure the organism. While most people recover within a week, some develop a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). This condition can occur among persons of any age but is most common in children under 5-years old and older adults. It is marked by easy bruising, pallor, and decreased urine output. Persons who experience these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately.

1 Child Dead, 4 Sickened After Consuming Raw “Bath Milk” in Australia

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Dr Rosemary Lester has issued a warning about the dangers of drinking raw cow’s milk.

Her warning has been prompted by five cases of gastroenteritis illness in children who had drunk unpasteurised milk.

“There have been three cases of Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome (HUS) and two cases of cryptosporidiosis.

“HUS is a rare but serious condition caused by bacteria that affects the kidneys and the bloodstream. Cryptosporidiosis is a parasitic infection that commonly presents as gastroenteritis with watery diarrhoea.

“Only a small number of these pathogens are needed to cause illness. The sale of unpasteurised milk for human consumption is illegal in Victoria,” Dr Lester said.

“However all five cases drank unpasteurised milk which was sold as ‘bath’ or ‘cosmetic’ milk.

“Unpasteurised milk is labelled and sold for cosmetic use only, but the packaging is often very similar to other milk products.

“Unpasteurised milk increases the risk of contracting gastrointestinal illness because it can contain pathogens such as Campylobacter, Cryptosporidium, shiga toxin-producing E. coli and Listeria monocytogenes.

“Since the 1940s it has been compulsory to pasteurise cow’s milk in Australia. Milk is heated for a very short period of time effectively destroying any disease-causing bacteria which may be present in raw milk.

“Everyone is vulnerable to illness caused by the pathogens present in raw milk, but the risks are even greater for young children and for the elderly, those with underlying health problems, immunocompromised or pregnant,” Dr Lester said.

No matter what precautions are taken by dairy farmers during milking, there can be no guarantee that the milk will be free from harmful bacteria, making pasteurisation essential.

 

E. coli Recall: Cargill Recalls Ground Beef From Canadian Walmarts

Cargill Meat Solutions (Est. 700) is recalling Your Fresh Market brand ground beef products from the marketplace due to possible E. coli O157:H7 contamination.

The following products have been sold at Walmart stores in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Brand Name

Common Name

Size

Codes(s) on Product

UPC

Your Fresh Market

Extra Lean Ground Beef Sirloin 475 g Best Before 2014.NO.28 6 05388 18363 7

Your Fresh Market

Extra Lean Ground Beef 475 g Best Before 2014.NO.28 6 05388 18369 9

Your Fresh Market

Medium Ground Beef 475 g Best Before 2014.NO.28 6 05388 18365 1

Your Fresh Market

Lean Ground Beef 475 g Best Before 2014.NO.28 and 2014.NO.29 6 05388 18376 7

Your Fresh Market

Extra Lean Ground Beef 900 g Best Before 2014.NO.28 6 05388 18372 9

Your Fresh Market

Lean Ground Beef 900 g Best Before 2014.NO.28 6 05388 18378 1

Your Fresh Market

Lean Ground Beef 1.6 kg Best Before 2014.NO.28 and 2014.NO.29 6 05388 18379 8

This recall was triggered by test results. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other products. If other high-risk products are recalled, the CFIA will notify the public through updated Food Recall Warnings.

There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of these products.

Food contaminated with E. coli O157 may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick. Symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, mild to severe abdominal cramps and watery to bloody diarrhea. In severe cases of illness, some people may have seizures or strokes, need blood transfusions and kidney dialysis or live with permanent kidney damage. In severe cases of illness, people may die.

Ranchers Legacy Meat Recalls Ground Beef with Possible E. coli O157:H&

Ranchers Legacy Meat Co., of Vadnais Heights, Minn., is recalling 1,200 pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coliO157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

Products subject to the recall are packaged in plastic cryovac sealed packets, and contain various weights of ground beef.  All products produced on Nov. 19, 2014 are subject to recall.

All of the following have a Package Code (use by) 12/10/2014 and bear the establishment number “Est. 40264” inside the USDA mark of inspection. Individual products include:

  • Ranchers Legacy Ground Beef Patties 77/23
  • Ranchers Legacy Ground Chuck Patties 80/20
  • Ranchers Legacy USDA Choice Ground Beef 80/20
  • Ranchers Legacy USDA Choice WD Beef Patties 80/20
  • Ranchers Legacy RD Beef Patties 80/20
  • OTG Manufacturing Chuck/Brisket RD Patties
  • Ranchers Legacy Chuck Blend Oval Beef Patties
  • Ranchers Legacy WD Chuck Blend Patties
  • Ranchers Legacy USDA Choice NAT Beef Patties 80/20
  • Ranchers Legacy NAT Beef Patties 80/20
  • Ranchers Legacy USDA Choice NAT Beef Patties 80/20
  • Ranchers Legacy Ground Chuck Blend
  • Ranchers Legacy Chuck Blend Bulk Pack NAT Patties
  • Ranchers Legacy Chuck Blend NAT Beef Patties

The product was discovered by FSIS inspection personnel during a routine inspection. Products testing positive on November 21, 2014 were held at the establishment.  The products being recalled were produced on the same day and equipment as the positive product.  Products were shipped to distributors for sales nationwide.

E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause dehydration, bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps 2–8 days (3–4 days, on average) after exposure the organism. While most people recover within a week, some develop a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). This condition can occur among persons of any age but is most common in children under 5-years old and older adults. It is marked by easy bruising, pallor, and decreased urine output. Persons who experience these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately.

FSIS and the company are concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers’ freezers. FSIS and the company have received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of these products.

Fond du Lac Reservation E. coli Outbreak Report is Out

According to a recently released report by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDOH), 57 individuals who met the case definition were deemed to be part of the outbreak linked to Jim-N-Joe’s Northland Katering.

Of those ill, 65% were women.  All cases reported diarrhea, 96% cramps, 61% bloody stool, 37% vomiting and 19% fever.  37% sought medical treatment with 16% hospitalized.

After an exhaustive investigation, MDOH concluded that the common server at the five events between July 1 and July 17 on the Fond du Lac Reservation was Jim-N-Joe’s Northland Katering.  MDOH also found that the most common food items were the celery and onions.  Potato Salad, which included celery and onions was found to be tainted with E. coli O157:H7.  Cases were also identified at events where potato salad was not served, but celery was.  The celery was traced back to a field adjacent to a defunct dairy operation near Gonzales, California.

See additional documents at Outbreak Database.

Wolverine Packing E. coli Outbreak Lawsuit – Multi-state (2014)

In late April 2014, public health and agriculture officials at the federal, state, and local levels initiated an outbreak investigation after receiving reports of reports of persons who had lab-confirmed E. coli O157:H7 infections.[1] Ultimately, a total of twelve persons from four states were identified as having been infected with the outbreak strain, which was identified by the PulseNet Pattern Identification Number EXHX01.0096/EXHA26.015. The number of infected persons in each state were as follows: Massachusetts (1 case-patient), Michigan (5 case-patients), Missouri (1 case-patient), and Ohio (5 case-patients).  The dates of illness-onset ranged from April 22 to May 2, 2014. The age of persons infected ranged 16 years to 46 years, with the median being 25 years. Seven patients (58%) were known to have been hospitalized, although no one died. The outbreak investigation was assigned CDC Cluster ID 1405MLEXH-1.

In interviewing the case-patients, public health officials found that eleven of the twelve (92%) reported eating ground beef prepared as a hamburger at a restaurant before becoming ill.  Officials conducted multiple traceback investigations of the ground beef used at restaurants where case-patients had reported dining. These investigations identified ground beef produced by Wolverine Packing Company as the source of the ground beef and thus the outbreak.

On May 19, Wolverine Packing Company recalled approximately 1.8 million pounds of ground beef that was potentially contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.[2]  This was a Class I Recall, which means that FSIS deemed the risk to the public health “High.” The ground beef had been shipped to distributors for retail and restaurant-use nationwide. The recalled ground beef bore the establishment number “EST. 2574B” inside the USDA mark of inspection and had a production date code in the format “Packing Nos: MM DD14” between “03 31 14” and “04 18 14.”

Marler Clark has filed one lawsuit to date.

E. coli:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of E. coli outbreaks and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The E. coli lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of E. coli and other foodborne illness infections and have recovered over $600 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our E. coli lawyers have litigated E. coli and HUS cases stemming from outbreaks traced to ground beef, raw milk, lettuce, spinach, sprouts, and other food products.  The law firm has brought E. coli lawsuits against such companies as Jack in the Box, Dole, ConAgra, Cargill, and Jimmy John’s.  We have proudly represented such victims as Brianne Kiner, Stephanie Smith and Linda Rivera.

If you or a family member became ill with an E. coli infection or HUS after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark E. coli attorneys for a free case evaluation.


[1]           See CDC Final Outbreak Report, http://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/2014/O157H7-05-14/index.html

[2]           See FSIS New Release, “Michigan Firm Recalls Ground Beef Products Due to Possible E. coli O157:H7,” http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/recalls-and-public-health-alerts/recall-case-archive/archive/2014/recall-030-2014 .

Trader Joe’s E. coli Outbreak Lawsuit – California (2013)

Marler Clark represents a dozen of the ill – including two that developed hemolytic uremic syndrome.  Several lawsuits have been filed to date.

In October and November 2013, local, state and federal public health officials investigated an outbreak of E. coli O157 experienced by patients residing in four states, Arizona, California, Texas, and Washington.  Epidemiologic and traceback investigations identified 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 as the source of the outbreak.  On December 11, 2013, the outbreak was declared to be over.  At that time a total of 33 persons with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157 had been identified.  This strain, assigned PulseNet pattern identification numbers EXHX01.0589/EXHA26.3182, had not been seen before.  Thirty two percent (32%) of ill persons were hospitalized.  Two developed hemolytic uremic syndrome.  No deaths were reported.

Public health investigators interviewed ill persons to obtain information regarding foods they might have eaten and other exposures in the week before illness.  Nineteen (86%) of 22 ill persons interviewed reported shopping at different Trader Joe’s grocery store locations.  Twelve (80%) of 15 ill persons reported consuming ready-to-eat salad purchased from Trader Joe’s stores.  The two implicated salads, the Field Fresh Chopped salad with Grilled Chicken and Mexicali Salad with Chili Lime Chicken, were consumed by 12 (80%) of 15 ill persons interviewed.

On November 10, 2013, Glass Onion Catering recalled numerous ready-to-eat salads and sandwich wrap products.  Approximately 181,620 pounds of ready-to-eat salads and sandwich wrap products with fully cooked chicken and ham were recalled to due possible contamination with E. coli O157.  The products were produced between September 23, 2013 and November 6, 2013, and shipped to distribution centers intended for retail sale in Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington.  These were products regulated by USDA FSIS.[1]  In a related recall announcement on November 10, 2013, Glass Onion Catering recalled additional ready-to-eat salads and wraps regulated by the FDA.  These products had “Best By” dates of September 23, 2013 through November 14, 2013.