The largest outbreak of E. coli 0111 remains unsolved.   Here’s the latest from state officials:

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) said today that analysis of environmental samples taken from the Country Cottage restaurant in Locust Grove, OK, indicated no disease-causing pathogens were found on the restaurant’s surfaces. The restaurant has been the focus of an ongoing investigation into the source of an E. coli 0111 outbreak in northeastern Oklahoma.

“We found no firm evidence of E. coli 0111 on food preparation and serving surfaces,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Kristy Bradley. “I would caution, however, that it is very challenging to go to the scene of a food-borne illness outbreak and try to retrieve an organism from surfaces that may have been cleaned since any contamination took place.”

E. coli 0111 was identified from laboratory specimens of patients sickened by the outbreak.

Laboratory analysis of foods sampled at the restaurant is continuing.

State officials previously eliminated both well water available for use at the Country Cottage and Locust Grove public water as sources of the outbreak that has killed one 26-year old man and made more than 200 others very sick.

About 1300 people, including many Country Cottage patrons who did not get sick, have been interviewed by health officials.

Check out this headline in today’s Oklahoman for more: Cause of northeast Oklahoma E. coli outbreak still sought