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Adams Farm Slaughterhouse, LLC, an Athol, Mass., establishment, is recalling beef, veal, and Bison products that may be contaminated with E. col iO157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The raw intact and non-intact beef 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.

  • The products subject to recall bear establishment number EST. 5497 inside the USDA mark of inspection and have lot numbers:
    120361, 121061, 121761, 121861, 122161, 122261, 122361, 122461, 122861, 123061, 123161, 123261, 123561, 123661, 123861, 124561, 125261, 125861, 125961, 124261, 120461, 120961, 121161, 121661, 124461, 125061, 126661.
  • The products subject to this recall include:
    WHOLE BEEF CARCASSES, BEEF CUTS, BEEF TRIM, BEEF FOR STEWING, BEEF FLAT IRON, CHUCK ROAST BONE/IN, CHUCK ROAST BONELESS, ROLLED CHUCK ROAST, STANDING RIB ROAST, ROLLED RIB ROAST, RIB EYE STEAK WITH/BONE, RIB EYE STEAK BONELESS, BONELESS RIB EYE STEAK, DELMONICO STEAK, SIRLOIN STEAK, NY STRIP STEAK, SIRLOIN STRIP STEAK, T-BONE STEAK, PORTERHOUSE STEAK, TENDERLOIN STEAK, BONELESS NY SIRLOIN STEAK, SIRLOIN STEAK, NY SIRLOIN STEAK BONE/IN, EYE ROUND ROAST, TOP ROUND STEAK, TOP ROUND ROAST, BEEF KABOBS MADE FROM TOP ROUND, SHOULDER ROAST, LONDON BROIL STEAK CUT FROM THE SHOULDER, BOTTOM ROUND ROAST, FACE RUMP ROAST, TRI TIP ROAST, LONDON BROIL STEAK MADE FROM ROUND, SKIRT STEAK, FLANK STEAK, GROUND BEEF, GROUND BEEF PATTIES, BEEF LOIN NY SHELL STEAK, BEEF CLUB STEAK, BEEF HEART, BEEF LIVER, BEEF OXTAIL, WHOLE LIVER, BEEF BRISKET, WHOLE TENDERLOIN, FACE RUMP, BOTTOM ROUND FLAT, WHOLE CHUCK BONE/IN, WHOLE CHUCK BONELESS, WHOLE RIB EYE, WHOLE SIRLOIN STRIP, TOP BUTT, WHOLE TOP ROUND, AND BEEF SOUP BONES (SHANKS).
  • VEAL WHOLE CARCASS, VEAL CUTS, VEAL TRIM, OSSO BUCO, VEAL STEW MEAT, GROUND VEAL, VEAL SHOULDER, VEAL RIB CHOPS, VEAL LOIN CHOPS, VEAL STEAKS, VEAL ROUND STEAK, VEAL CUTLETS, VEAL TENDERLOIN, VEAL ROAST.
  • The recalled product includes product from Bison slaughtered on August 17:
    BISON CUTS, BISON TRIM, BISON FOR STEWING, BISON FLAT IRON, CHUCK ROAST BONE/IN, CHUCK ROAST BONELESS, ROLLED CHUCK ROAST, STANDING RIB ROAST, ROLLED RIB ROAST, RIB EYE STEAK WITH/BONE, RIB EYE STEAK BONELESS, BONELESS RIB EYE STEAK, DELMONICO STEAK, SIRLOIN STEAK, NY STRIP STEAK, SIRLOIN STRIP STEAK, T-BONE STEAK, PORTERHOUSE STEAK, TENDERLOIN STEAK, BONELESS NY SIRLOIN STEAK, SIRLOIN STEAK, NY SIRLOIN STEAK BONE/IN, EYE ROUND ROAST, TOP ROUND STEAK, TOP ROUND ROAST, BISON KABOBS MADE FROM TOP ROUND, SHOULDER ROAST, LONDON BROIL STEAK CUT FROM THE SHOULDER, BOTTOM ROUND ROAST, FACE RUMP ROAST, TRI TIP ROAST, LONDON BROIL STEAK MADE FROM ROUND, SKIRT STEAK, FLANK STEAK, GROUND BISON, GROUND BISON PATTIES, BISON LOIN NY SHELL STEAK, BISON CLUB STEAK, BISON HEART, BISON LIVER, BISON OXTAIL, WHOLE LIVER, BISON BRISKET, WHOLE TENDERLOIN, FACE RUMP, BOTTOM ROUND FLAT, WHOLE CHUCK BONE/IN, WHOLE CHUCK BONELESS, WHOLE RIB EYE, WHOLE SIRLOIN STRIP, TOP BUTT, WHOLE TOP ROUND, AND BISON SOUP BONES (SHANKS).

These items were shipped to farmer’s markets, retail locations, and restaurants in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and eastern New York. The products may have been shipped to neighboring states in the immediate area.

FSIS was notified of an investigation of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses on September 16, 2016. Working in conjunction with the Connecticut Department of Public Health, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, FSIS determined that there is a link between beef from Adams Farm Slaughterhouse and this illness cluster. Based on the epidemiological investigation, 7 case-patients have been identified in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia with illness onset dates ranging from June 27, 2016 to September 4, 2016. Traceback information was available for 5 case-patients and indicated that all 5 case-patients consumed beef products supplied by Adams Farms Slaughterhouse. FSIS continues to work with public health partners on this investigation and will provide updated information as it becomes available.

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.

KOMO TV 4 reports that public health officials say they are investigating two cases of E. coli associated with Memo’s Mexican Food in the University District.

One person, a King County resident, ate there on Aug. 18 and Aug. 24. The other, who isn’t from King County, ate there Aug. 24. Health officials first got reports of illness on Aug. 31.

Testing show both persons had the same strain of bacteria. The strain hadn’t been seen in King County before.

The strain is different from the cluster that recently affected several customers of the Matador restaurant in Ballard. The two clusters do not appear to be related, King County Public Health said.

“Our environmental health team performed a field investigation of the restaurant on 9/12/16 and identified factors that may have contributed to this foodborne illness outbreak, including improper cooling, cold holding, reheating of potentially hazardous food and the potential for cross contamination. Inspectors will return to the restaurant within 14 days to ensure continued compliance with the corrective measures that were put in place. The restaurant is working cooperatively with Public Health.”

Persons who have eaten at Memo’s and developed diarrhea within 10 days and anyone who develops bloody diarrhea should consult with their healthcare provider to determine if testing is necessary.

Seattle King County Public Health is investigating a cluster of five E. coli infections caused by Shiga-toxin producing E. coli (also called STEC) associated with Matador restaurant in Ballard. Four people ate on 8/14 and one person ate on 8/22. Public Health received the first report of illness on 8/22/16 and the most recent case was reported on 9/6/16.  All the people developed symptoms including diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Four people developed bloody diarrhea. Three people had been hospitalized with one person developing a type of kidney injury called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). All five people have recovered.

Laboratory testing (molecular fingerprinting) has determined that all five people have the same strain of STEC bacteria.  Our investigation is in progress but due to food processing equipment cleaning and the possibility of cross contamination that were observed during an inspection by our Environmental Health team, Public Health has temporarily suspended Matador’s food business permit to allow time for thorough cleaning and sanitizing. The restaurant is working cooperatively with Public Health.

Persons who have eaten at Matador and developed diarrhea within 10 days and anyone who develops bloody diarrhea should consult with their healthcare provider to determine if testing is necessary.

Due to two recent cases of young children being infected with E. coli, state health officials are reminding Michigan residents of the potential health risks associated with consuming unpasteurized milk or unpasteurized milk products, commonly referred to as raw milk or raw milk products.

The two E. coli O157:H7 cases, which were reported in Oakland and Wayne counties, both involve children who consumed unpasteurized or raw milk prior to their illnesses. Raw milk has been known to be a source of E. coli. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and local health departments are advising people not to consume unpasteurized milk or milk products made from unpasteurized milk.

Raw milk is unavailable for sale in retail stores in Michigan. However, herd or cow share programs exist in the state where members own part of a cow and in return receive raw milk. These programs are not inspected or regulated under Michigan dairy laws. “The public should be aware that raw milk and other unpasteurized dairy products have not been heat treated and, therefore, pose a potentially serious risk to human health,” said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive for MDHHS.

Symptoms of an E. coli infection include severe abdominal cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting. Most people get better within one week, but serious complications can develop. Young children are more likely to develop severe illness and a complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome or HUS. A person with HUS will appear pale, tired, and have a decreased frequency of urination as their kidneys may stop working.

People can prevent infection by avoiding contact with infected animals and their environments and by only consuming pasteurized milk and milk products. Raw milk has not been treated to kill bacteria that can cause illness. Pasteurization is the process in which milk is heated briefly to kill any bacteria that might be present.

Unpasteurized milk can contain pathogens that cause a number of serious diseases, such as E. coli O157:H7, hemolytic uremic syndrome, tuberculosis, listeriosis, campylobacteriosis, salmonellosis, brucellosis, and Q fever. Pasteurization is the process in which milk is heated briefly to kill any bacteria that might be present. For more information about unpasteurized milk, visit http://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/rawmilk/raw-milk-index.html.

PT Farm, LLC, a North Haverhill, N.H. establishment, is recalling approximately 8,800 pounds of raw beef products 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 raw, intact and non-intact beef product items (ground beef, ground beef patties and other sub-primal cuts) were produced between June 6 and June 16, 2016. The following products are subject to recall: [View Labels (PDF Only)]

  • Various weights and various sizes of raw intact and raw non-intact “Chestnut Farms” beef products packed in cardboard boxes.
  • Various weights and various sizes of raw intact and raw non-intact “PT Farm” beef products packed in cardboard boxes.
  • Various weights and various sizes of raw intact and raw non-intact “Miles Smith Farm” beef products packed in cardboard boxes.
  • Various weights and various sizes of raw intact and raw non-intact “Robie Farm” beef products packed in cardboard boxes.

The products subject to recall bear establishment number “M8868” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to retail locations and for institutional use in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.

FSIS was notified of an E. coli O157:H7 illness cluster on July 20, 2016. Working in conjunction with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, FSIS determined that there is a link between the beef products from PT Farm and this illness cluster. Based on epidemiological investigation, 14 case-patients have been identified with illness onset dates ranging from June 15 to July 10, 2016. Most of the 14  illnesses have been reported from New Hampshire (10), with 2 reported from Massachusetts, 1 from Maine, and 1 from Vermont. Traceback for 11 case-patients for whom data was available led back to a single slaughter date at PT Farm. This investigation is ongoing. FSIS continues to work with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services on this investigation and will provide updated information as it becomes available.

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. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) is investigating an outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 (E. coli) associated with ground beef. Since June, 12 people have been infected with the same strain of E. coli after eating ground beef. Investigations are underway to determine the source of the ground beef. The safety of ground beef in the United States is regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which is assisting DPHS with the investigation.

“The Division of Public Health Services is working with our federal partners to investigate the source of the ground beef that is causing people in New Hampshire to become ill,” said Marcella Bobinsky, Acting Director of DPHS. “Ground beef is a known source of E. coli and it is important for people to avoid eating under-cooked ground beef whether at home or at a restaurant. Young children and the elderly are especially vulnerable to severe illness with this infection.”

The people who became ill ate ground beef at a number of different locations. DPHS and USDA are actively working to identify the specific source of the ground beef and will provide updates as they become available. This outbreak does not present a risk to New Hampshire residents as long as they strictly follow food safety best practices. Ground beef should be cooked to a temperature of at least 160°F or 70˚C. It is best to use a thermometer, since color is not a very reliable indicator of ‘doneness.’ People should also prevent cross contamination in food preparation areas by thoroughly washing hands, counters, cutting boards, and utensils after they touch raw meat.

Escherichia coli O157:H7 is bacteria that causes severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting. If there is fever, it usually is not very high. Most people get better within 5–7 days. Some infections are very mild, but others are severe or even life-threatening. Very young children and the elderly are more likely to develop a potentially life-threatening complication known as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Antibiotics should not be used to treat this infection because they may increase the risk of HUS.

For further information visit the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/general/index.html, or to report a suspected case contact the DPHS Bureau of Infectious Disease Control at 603-271-4496.

recalled-General-Mills-flour-406x250As of June 28, 2016, 42 people infected with the outbreak strain of STEC O121 have been reported from 21 states – Alabama 1, Arkansas 1, Arizona 2, California 2 (up 1), Colorado 4, Iowa 1, Illinois, 4, Indiana 1 (New), Massachusetts 2, Maryland 1, Michigan 4, Minnesota 3, Missouri 1, Montana 2 (up 1), New York 1, Oklahoma 2, Pennsylvania 2, Texas 2, Virginia 2, Washington 3 (up 1), and Wisconsin 1.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from December 21, 2015 to June 8, 2016. Ill people range in age from 1 year to 95, with a median age of 18. Eighty-one percent of ill people are female. Eleven ill people have been hospitalized. No one has developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure, and no deaths have been reported.

In June 2016, laboratory testing by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) isolated STEC O121 from samples of General Mills flour collected from the home of an ill person in Oklahoma. The STEC O121 isolated from the flour sample has the same PFGE pattern, or DNA fingerprint, as the outbreak strain. The flour collected in Oklahoma was not included in the initial General Mills recall.

In the same month, FDA identified STEC O121 in an open sample of General Mills flour collected from the homes of ill people in Colorado and Arizona. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) showed that the STEC O121 isolates from the flour samples were closely related genetically to the STEC O121 isolates from ill people. The flour sample that was tested came from lots of flour included in the initial recall announced by General Mills.

On July 1, 2016, General Mills expanded the recall to include some flours sold under the same brand names included in the initial recall: Gold Medal Flour, Gold Medal Wondra Flour, and Signature Kitchens Flour. CDC recommends that consumers, restaurants, and retailers do not use, serve, or sell the recalled flours.

Carbon-thumb-640xauto-954656The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) has identified an outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), impacting at least 25 Chicago residents. As part of the CDPH investigation, Carbón Live Fire Mexican Grill located at 300 W. 26th Street has been linked to the outbreak. Following a request from CDPH, Carbón closed voluntarily and is fully cooperating with the investigation. At least 5 individuals have been hospitalized as part of this outbreak. One of the leading symptoms caused by STEC is diarrhea, including bloody diarrhea. Infection can also lead to more serious complications.

CDPH recommends anyone who recently ate at the restaurant in question and is suffering these symptoms to see a medical provider for testing and inform them of the possibility of STEC.

“This is a serious condition that is treatable,” said CDPH Commissioner Julie Morita, M.D. “Anyone who believes they may be symptomatic and ate at this restaurant should see their medical provider immediately. CDPH is taking every precaution as part of our robust response in order to limit the impact of this outbreak.”

STEC can be transmitted through consumption of contaminated foods including undercooked beef, unpasteurized juice, raw milk and unwashed, raw produce. The menu items responsible for this outbreak have not yet been identified and the investigation is ongoing. Health officials continue to be onsite at the 300 W. 26th Street location and are also interviewing patients to rule out other possible exposures.

CDPH has also issued an alert to area physicians of the outbreak, providing medical guidance. Medical providers who suspect STEC should submit specimens for testing. Antibiotics and anti-diarrheal medicines should not be used to treat STEC as they may worsen symptoms. Medical experts instead encourage supportive medical care, including intravenous fluids, where necessary. Chicago providers must report diagnosed cases to the Chicago Department of Public Health.

General Mills Inc. has initiated a nationwide recall of three brands of flour, totaling about 10 million pounds, in response to a 20-state E. coli outbreak that has sickened 38 people.

Although government officials have reportedly been investigating the outbreak, no state or federal agencies had released any information about it at the point Tuesday when the Minneapolis-based company announced the recall.

These are three of several varieties and brands of flour recalled by General Mills in relation to a multi-state outbreak of E. coli.

“State and federal authorities have been researching 38 occurrences of illnesses across 20 states related to a specific type of E. coli O121, between Dec.21, 2015, and May 3, 2016,” according to a news release from General Mills.

“While attempting to track the cause of the illness, CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) found that approximately half of the individuals reported making something homemade with flour at some point prior to becoming ill. Some reported using a General Mills brand of flour.”

The recall includes six SKUs (stock keeping units or UPC codes) of Gold Medal branded flour, two SKU’s of Signature Kitchens branded flour and one SKU of Gold Medal Wondra branded flour.

Retailers that received shipments of the recalled flour include Safeway, Albertsons, Jewel, Shaws, Vons, United, Randalls, and Acme.

“To date, E. coli O121 has not been found in any General Mills flour products or in the flour manufacturing facility, and the company has not been contacted directly by any consumer reporting confirmed illnesses related to these products,” according to the news release.

“As a leading provider of flour for 150 years, we felt it was important to not only recall the product and replace it for consumers if there was any doubt, but also to take this opportunity to remind our consumers how to safely handle flour,” Liz Nordlie, president of General Mills Baking division, said in the release.

Some of the outbreak victims may have eaten raw dough or batter. Nordlie said in the news release and a separate blog posting that no one, especially young children, should ever eat raw dough or batter because of potential pathogens.

“Consumers are reminded to not consume any raw products made with flour. Flour is an ingredient that comes from milling wheat, something grown outdoors that carries with it risks of bacteria which are rendered harmless by baking, frying or boiling,” according to the news release.

“Consumers are reminded to wash their hands, work surfaces, and utensils thoroughly after contact with raw dough products or flour, and to never eat raw dough or batter.”

The recalled flour can be identified by the following label information:

  • 5-ounce Gold Medal Wondra — Package UPC 000-16000-18980; Better if Used by Dates 25FEB2017 thru 30MAR2017
  • 2-pound Gold Medal All Purpose Flour — Package UPC 000-16000-10710; Better if Used by Dates 25MAY2017KC thru 03JUN2017K
  • 5-pound Gold Medal All Purpose Flour — Package UPC 000-16000-10610; Better if Used by Dates 25MAY2017KC, 27MAY2017KC thru 31MAY2017KC, 01JUN2017KC, 03JUN2017KC thru 05JUN2017KC, 11JUN2017KC thru 14JUN2017KC
  • 10-pound Gold Medal All Purpose Flour — Package UPC 000-16000-10410; Better if Used by Dates 02JUN2017KC,03JUN2017KC
  • 10-pound Gold Medal All Purpose Flour Banded Pack — Package UPC 000-16000-10410; Better if Used by Dates 03JUN2017KC, 04JUN2017KC, 05JUN2017KC
  • 5-pound Gold Medal Unbleached Flour — Package UPC 000-16000-19610; Better if Used by Dates 25MAY2017KC, 27MAY2017KC, 03JUN2017KC, 04JUN2017KC
  • 5-pound Signature Kitchens All Purpose Flour Enriched Bleached — Package UPC 000-21130-53001; Better if Used by Dates BB MAY 28 2017
  • 5-pound Signature Kitchens Unbleached Flour All Purpose Enriched —Package UPC 000-21130-53022; Better if Used by Dates BB MAY 27 2017
  • 2-pound Gold Medal Self Rising Flour — Package UPC 000-16000-11710; Better if Used by Dates 23AUG2016KC

Pizza Ranch desserts containing flour dough have been linked to E. coli O157:H7 food poisonings in nine states, federal officials say. The outbreak started in December, mainly among people who’d eaten at the Iowa-based chain’s restaurants.  The CDC reports that 13 people were sickened in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Jersey, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Minnesota. Nine of the people said they recently had eaten at Pizza Ranches.  Two children, in Kansas and Nebraska, suffered kidney failure (hemolytic uremic syndrome) and had to be hospitalized.

In an article in Clinical Infections Diseases dug a bit deeper into the Nestle Tollhouse Cookie Dough E. coli O157:H7 outbreak of 2009.  Seventy-seven patients with illnesses during the period 16 March–8 July 2009 were identified from 30 states; 35 were hospitalized, 10 developed hemolytic-uremic syndrome, and none died. Sixty-six percent of patients were <19 years; 71% were female. In the case-control study, 33 of 35 case patients (94%) consumed ready-to-bake commercial prepackaged cookie dough, compared with 4 of 36 controls (11%) (matched odds ratio = 41.3; P < .001); no other reported exposures were significantly associated with illness. Among case patients consuming cookie dough, 94% reported brand A. Three nonoutbreak STEC strains were isolated from brand A cookie dough. The investigation led to a recall of 3.6 million packages of brand A cookie dough and a product reformulation.

A more likely source of contamination is that a contaminated ingredient was used in the product. Ready-to-bake cookie dough is not a ready-to-eat food and contains several ingredients, including flour, pasteurized eggs, chocolate chips, molasses, sugar, margarine, baking soda, and vanillin/vanilla extract. The eggs used in brand A products were pasteurized, making eggs a less likely vehicle unless there was a pasteurization failure; this was not identified during the investigation. Molasses, sugar, baking soda, and margarine, which undergo pathogen kill steps during processing, were also considered less likely sources of contamination.

The possibility of contaminated chocolate chips was considered, because most patients reported consuming chocolate chip–containing varieties of brand A cookie dough. Although chocolate has never been linked to past E. coli O157 outbreaks, it has been implicated in Salmonella outbreaks, and Baylis et al, documented survival of E. coli O157 in artificially contaminated chocolate for up to 366 days. However, because chocolate chip varieties comprise the majority of cookie dough sales, it would not be unusual that chocolate chip varieties were reported by most patients. The chocolate chips that company A uses in its ready-to-bake cookie dough and the brand A chocolate chips sold to consumers for home baking are manufactured in the same facility, but there was no evidence of an E. coli O157 outbreak among consumers using these chocolate chips. Study results also support that chocolate chips were not the source of contamination: consumption of a chocolate chip variety of cookie dough was less strongly associated with illness compared with consumption of any cookie dough, whereas consumption of chocolate chips in non–cookie dough products was not significantly associated with illness. Flour, a raw agricultural product (ie, does not undergo processing to kill pathogens), was also considered as a possible source of contamination. Low levels of Salmonella contamination can occur in wheat flour, and flour and flour-based mixes have been implicated in foodborne Salmonella outbreaks. Generic E. coli species have also been found in flour; 1 US study found E. coli in 12.8% of commercial wheat flour samples examined. Although our investigation found no conclusive evidence that contaminated flour was the source of this outbreak, contaminated flour remains a prime suspect for introducing the pathogen to the product. Because flour is frequently purchased in large quantities by manufacturers for use in food products, if contaminated flour were responsible, a single purchase of contaminated flour might have been used to manufacture multiple lots and varieties of dough over a period of time. This would be consistent with UBDs on packages obtained from patients (23 June–11 August 2009), suggesting that product contamination occurred over several weeks.

The State Department of Public Health (DPH) today issued the following update on the E. coli outbreak linked to the Oak Leaf Farm in Lebanon, CT:

DPH is investigating 34 confirmed cases of E. coli O157 infection linked to the farm.  The patients range in age from 10 months to 45 years, with a median age of five years.  The patients include six adults and 28 children 14 years old and under; 18 of the children are age five years or under.  In total, nine patients have been hospitalized with four still in the hospital.  Three of the hospitalized patients have been diagnosed with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a rare but serious illness that affects the kidneys and blood clotting system.

DPH is aware of three patients who did not visit Oak Leaf Farm but became ill with E. coli after having contact with someone with an E. coli infection who did visit the farm. These people are referred to as secondary cases. DPH continues to monitor for additional reports of secondary cases.