As a result of eating food at a picnic at Neff’s Lawn Care in Germantown, at least 68 individuals have become ill. Of those, 14 have been hospitalized. Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County is continuing an investigation into the cause of the foodborne outbreak. Estimates are that as many as 300 people may have attended an annual customer appreciation picnic held by Neff’s Lawn Care, 9400 Ekhart Road, on July 3. Of the ill, 16 have been confirmed as being infected by E. coli O157. Three individuals are experiencing hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a disease that destroys red blood cells, and can cause sudden, short-term-acute-kidney failure. Those affected include a 4-year old female, a 14-year old male, and a 73-year old male. All three are in serious medical condition.
One secondary case of E. coli O157 was reported on July 16. This infection was likely passed from an older sister to a younger sister. This case emphasizes the importance of hand washing to prevent the spread of the organism within the family unit.
Symptoms experienced by those who became ill include stomach cramps and bloody diarrhea. If someone attended the picnic and later became ill, they should call 937-225-4460 and report their illness.
Public Health is continuing to gather information through interviews with those who became ill and those who prepared the food. Investigators are also looking at food sources, food handling and storage practices, food temperature controls, and the potential of cross contamination of the food.