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E. coli Blog

Surveillance & Analysis on E. coli News & Outbreaks

Chicken & Rice Guys E. coli Outbreak Hits 15

The Boston Globe reported last night reported that an E. coli O157: H7 outbreak had shuttered three locations of the Chicken & Rice Guys, as well as its fleet of Middle Eastern food trucks, Boston health inspectors said Tuesday.

Today, that number jumped to 15 with at least 10 people hospitalized.

The department confirmed 15 cases of E. coli O157: H7 stemming from the Chicken & Rice Guys Allston location, which supplies food to the chain’s other outposts. The problems led to the suspension of its operating license.

The company’s four food trucks, which rotate locations around Greater Boston, were taken off the road Tuesday afternoon.

According to Boston Inspectional Services, the city received an anonymous complaint and opened an investigation Tuesday. Public health officials remained at the Allston site throughout the afternoon trying to determine a specific source of the outbreak.

E. coli Outbreak Linked to Soy Nut Butter Expands

Twenty-nine people infected with the outbreak strains of STEC O157:H7 have been reported from 12 states. Arizona 4, California 5, Florida 1, Illinois 1, Massachusetts 1, Maryland 1, Missouri 1, New Jersey 1, Oregon 9, Virginia, 2, Washington 2, and Wisconsin 1.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from January 4, 2017, to March 13, 2017. Ill people range in age from 1 to 57 years, with a median age of 8. Twenty-four (83%) of the 29 ill people are younger than 18 years. Among ill people, 59% are male. Twelve ill people have been hospitalized, and nine people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure. No deaths have been reported.

Laboratory testing found the outbreak strains of STEC O157:H7 in I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter collected from the homes of ill people and from retail locations.

soynut-butter-productOn March 7, 2017, The SoyNut Butter Company recalled all varieties of I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butters and all varieties of I.M. Healthy Granola products. On March 10, 2017, The SoyNut Butter Company expanded its recall to include Dixie Diner’s Club brand Carb Not Beanit Butter. On March 23, 20/20 Lifestyle Yogurt Peanut Crunch Bars were recalled because they contain a recalled ingredient.

CDC recommends that consumers do not eat, and childcare centers, schools, and other institutions do not serve, any variety or size of I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter, I.M. Healthy brand granola, Dixie Diner’s Club brand Carb Not Beanit Butter, or 20/20 Lifestyle Yogurt Peanut Crunch Bars, regardless of the date of purchase or the date listed on the container. Even if some of the product was eaten or served and no one got sick, throw the rest of it away. Put it in a sealed bag in the trash so that children, pets, or other animals can’t eat it.

Canada Health Announced E. coli Outbreak Tied to Flour

The Public Health Agency of Canada is collaborating with federal and provincial public health partners to investigate an outbreak of Escherichia coli, called E. coli O121 that has now been linked to Robin Hood All Purpose Flour, Original. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has issued a food recall warning advising Canadians of the recalled product that has been distributed in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. The investigation is ongoing and it is possible that additional products linked to the outbreak investigation may be identified.

Canadians are advised not to use or eat any Robin Hood All Purpose Flour, Original sold in 10 kilogram bags with a code containing BB/MA 2018 AL 17 and 6 291 548 as these products may be contaminated with E. coli. For additional recall details, please consult CFIA’s recall notice. Restaurants and retailers are also advised not to sell or serve the recalled product, or any items that may have been prepared or produced using the recalled product.

This outbreak is a reminder that it is not safe to taste or eat raw dough or batter, regardless of the type of flour used as raw flour can be contaminated with harmful bacteria such as E. coli.

There have been 25 cases of E. coli O121 with a matching genetic fingerprint reported in four provinces: British Columbia (12), Saskatchewan (4), Alberta (4) and Newfoundland and Labrador (5). The illness onset dates range from November 2016 to late February 2017. Six individuals have been hospitalized. These individuals have recovered or are recovering. No deaths have been reported. The majority (54%) of the individuals who became ill are male with an average age of 24 years.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has issued a food recall warning for Robin Hood All Purpose Flour, Original linked to this outbreak. During the food safety investigation, samples of Robin Hood flour were collected and did test positive for E. coli O121. Several individuals who became ill reported having contact with Robin Hood flour. The investigation is ongoing and it is possible that additional products linked to the outbreak investigation may be identified.

Update: Soy Nut Butter E. coli Outbreak

The CDC this morning updated the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to I.M. Healthy and Dixie Dew Soy Nut Butter to twenty-three people infected with the outbreak strains of E. coli O157:H7 from nine states. Arizona 4, California 5, Maryland 1, Missouri 1, New Jersey 1, Oregon 6, Virginia 2, Washington 2, Wisconsin 1.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from January 4, 2017, to March 5, 2017. Ill people range in age from 1 to 48 years, with a median age of 8. Twenty (87%) of the 23 ill people are younger than 18 years. Among ill people, 61% are male. Ten ill people have been hospitalized and seven people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure. No deaths have been reported. Illnesses that occurred after February 24, 2017, might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported.

In interviews, ill people or their family members answered questions about the foods they ate and other exposures in the week before they became ill. Twenty (87%) of the 23 people reached for interview reported either eating I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter at home (14 people) in the week before they became ill, attending a facility that served I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter (2 people), or attending childcare centers that served I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter and I.M. Healthy brand granola coated with SoyNut Butter (4 people). SoyNut Butter is a nut-free substitute for peanut butter. Investigators have reported to CDC two more ill people who either developed HUS or had test showing they were infected with the E. coli O157:H7 bacteria.

Laboratory testing identified E. coli O157:H7 in opened containers of I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter collected from the homes of ill people in California, Oregon, and Washington. Officials in California also isolated E. coli O157:H7 in unopened containers of I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter collected from retail locations. Further testing using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) showed that the E. coli O157:H7 in all of these containers of SoyNut Butter had the same DNA fingerprints as the E. coli O157:H7 isolates from ill people.

Boneless Beef Recalled Over E. coli

H & B Packing Co., Inc., a Waco, Texas establishment, is recalling approximately 73,742 pounds of boneless beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O103, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The boneless beef items were produced on March 6, 2017. The following products are subject to recall:

  • 60-lb. box containing boneless beef with case code 69029 and production date 03/06/17.
  • Multiple combo bins containing 73,682-lbs of boneless beef with case code 69029 and production date 03/06/17.

The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. M13054” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to food manufacturers within the state of Texas.

The problem was discovered when FSIS was notified by the State of Texas’ Meat Safety Assurance Unit about a positive non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli sample.

There have been no confirmed reports of illnesses due to consumption of these products.

Many clinical laboratories do not test for non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), such as STEC O103 because it is harder to identify than STEC O157. People can become ill from STECs 2–8 days (average of 3–4 days) after consuming the organism. Most people infected with STEC O103 develop diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting. Some illnesses last longer and can be more severe. Infection is usually diagnosed by testing of a stool sample. Vigorous rehydration and other supportive care is the usual treatment; antibiotic treatment is generally not recommended.

Most people recover within a week, but, rarely, some develop a more severe infection. Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is uncommon with STEC O103 infection. HUS can occur in people of any age but is most common in children under 5 years old, older adults and persons with weakened immune systems. 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 customers’ freezers.

Customers who have purchased these products are urged not to use them.

16 with E. coli in 9 States

CDC, multiple states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating a multistate outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coliO157:H7 (STEC O157:H7) infections.

Sixteen people infected with the outbreak strains of STEC O157:H7 have been reported from nine states.

Eight ill people have been hospitalized. Five people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure, and no deaths have been reported.

Fourteen of the 16 ill people in this outbreak are younger than 18 years old.

Epidemiologic evidence indicates that I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter is a likely source of this outbreak. I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 and could make people sick.

On March 7, 2017, The SoyNut Butter Company recalled all varieties of I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butters and all varieties of I.M. Healthy Granola products.

CDC recommends that consumers do not eat, and childcare centers, schools, and other institutions do not serve, any variety or size of I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter, or I.M. Healthy granola coated with SoyNut Butter, regardless of the date of purchase or the date listed on the container.

Even if some of the SoyNut Butter or granola was eaten or served and no one got sick, throw the rest of the product away. Put it in a sealed bag in the trash so that children, pets, or other animals can’t eat it.

SoyNut Butter Linked to E. coli Outbreak

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is warning consumers not to eat “I.M. Healthy” brand soy nut butter and soy nut butter-containing products from “The SoyNut Butter Company” until further notice because of possible contamination with E. coli O157 bacteria.  This strain of E. coli can cause disease by making a toxin called Shiga toxin. These bacteria are referred to as Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, or STEC.

Health and Mental Hygiene is working with other states, CDC, and the FDA to investigate a multistate cluster of E. coli O157 infections.  These infections are closely related genetically, indicating a likely common source, such as food.  The investigation is ongoing, however, the Maryland patient consumed “I. M. Healthy” soy nut butter prior to becoming ill and cases in other states might also be associated with this product.

Some types of STEC frequently cause severe disease, including bloody diarrhea and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a type of kidney failure. Sometimes infection causes non-bloody diarrhea or no symptoms. Symptoms typically begin within 3 to 4 days, but can range from 1 to 10 days, after exposure. Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is a serious complication that occurs in some infected people, particularly children under 5 and the elderly. In this syndrome, red blood cells are destroyed and kidney failure occurs.  Anyone suspecting STEC infection should contact their healthcare provider.

The I.M. Healthy soy nut butter and soy nut butter-containing products have been distributed to a range of stores in Maryland and are also available for purchase online. Due to their long shelf life, consumers should check for these products and not eat these products until further notice.

Veal recalled over E. coli

Gold Medal Packing Inc., a Rome, N.Y. establishment, is recalling approximately 4,607 pounds of boneless veal products that may be contaminated with E. coli O26 and O45, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.Screen Shot 2016-12-23 at 4.01.50 PMThe veal trim and top bottom sirloin (TBS) products were produced and packaged on August 16, 2016, and October 25, 2016. The following products are subject to recall:

  • 60-lb. boxes containing “BONELESS VEAL”.
  • 2,387-lb. bin containing “TBS”.

The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. 17965” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The “BONELESS VEAL” items were shipped to a warehouse in California and the “TBS” items were shipped to distributor locations in Pennsylvania.

The problem was discovered during routine sample testing. There have been no confirmed reports of illness or adverse reactions due to consumption of these products.

Many clinical laboratories do not test for non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), such as STEC O26 or O45, because they are harder to identify than STEC O157. People can become ill from STECs 2–8 days (average of 3–4 days) after consuming the organism. Most people infected with STEC O26 or O45 develop diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting. Some illnesses last longer and can be more severe. Infection is usually diagnosed by testing of a stool sample. Vigorous rehydration and other supportive care is the usual treatment; antibiotic treatment is generally not recommended.

Most people recover within a week, but, rarely, some develop a more severe infection. Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is uncommon with STEC O26 or STEC O45 infections. HUS can occur in people of any age but is most common in children under 5 year’s old, older adults and persons with weakened immune systems. 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.

Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them.

Adams Farm Slaughterhouse E. coli Outbreak Over

Eleven people infected with the outbreak strain of STEC O157:H7 were reported from five states. A list of the states and the number of cases in each can be found on the Case Count Map page.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from June 27, 2016 to September 10, 2016. Ill people ranged in age from 1 year to 74, with a median age of 32. Forty-five percent of ill people were female. Seven ill people were hospitalized. One ill person developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure, and no deaths were reported.

Epidemiologic, traceback, and laboratory evidence indicated that beef products produced by Adams Farm Slaughterhouse in Athol, Massachusetts, were the likely source of this outbreak.

In interviews, ill people answered questions about the foods they ate and other exposures in the week before they became ill. Seven (100%) of the seven people reached for interview reported eating ground beef in the week before they became ill. Traceback information indicated that six (86%) of these seven ill people ate ground beef produced by Adams Farm Slaughterhouse.

The Connecticut Department of Public Health collected leftover Adams Farm Slaughterhouse ground beef from an ill person’s home and from a restaurant for testing. Test results showed the outbreak strain of STEC O157:H7 in both samples of leftover ground beef.

On September 24, 2016, Adams Farm Slaughterhouse recalled various cuts of beef, veal, and bison products due to possible E. coli O157:H7 contamination. The products originated from animals slaughtered on July 15, 25, and 27, 2016 and August 3, 8, 10, 11, 17, 24, and 26, 2016, and further processed and packed on various dates between July 21 and September 22, 2016. These items were shipped to farmers’ markets, retail locations, and restaurants in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and eastern New York. The products may have been shipped to neighboring states. The products subject to recall have establishment number EST. 5497 inside the USDA mark of inspection and include several lot numbers and cuts of meat. The full list can be found on the USDA-FSIS website.

This outbreak appears to be over. However, the recalled beef, veal, and bison products may still be in freezers. Consumers who don’t know about the outbreak could continue to eat recalled products and get sick.

Sliver Springs E. coli Recall Expands.

Silver Springs Farms, Inc., a Harleysville, Pa. establishment is recalling approximately 7,970 pounds of ground beef and burger products, as well as an undetermined amount of sandwich steak products that may be adulterated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The ground beef items were produced on August 19 and 20, 2016. The exact production dates for the various sandwich steak products are unknown at this time, but are believed to have been produced between August 19 and September 19, 2016. The following products are subject to recall: [View Labels (PDF only)]

  • 20-lb. cases containing 4 packages of 5-lb ground beef 80/20.
  • 10-lb. packages of “Camellia Beef Pattie 80/20,” with package codes 6235 and 6242.
  • 10-lb. packages of “Silver Springs Farm Beef Pattie 80/20,” with package codes 6242 and 6237.
  • 10-lb. packages of “Silver Springs Farm Beef Pattie 80/20 Flat,” with package code 6237.
  • 10-lb. packages of “Silver Springs Farm Gourmet Beef Burger Flat,” with package code 6235.
  • 10-lb. packages of “Silver Springs Farm Gourmet Beef Burger 80/20,” with package code 6237.
  • 10-lb. packages of “Silver Springs Farm Gourmet Beef Pattie 80/20,” with package code 6242.
  • various sandwich steak products produced by the recalling firm.

The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. 4771” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to a distributor in Virginia and institutional food establishments in New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland.

The problem was discovered during a routine verification sampling performed by Silver Springs Farms, Inc. There have been no confirmed reports of illness or adverse reactions due to consumption of these products.

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.

Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them.