Many families are celebrating Halloween this weekend and next, and the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has some safety tips for people making trips to apple orchards and pumpkin patches. The agency says trips to these places can be educational and fun, but it also carries some risks. Bacteria like E. coli, parasitic Cryptosporidiumand many others can be spread by farm and animal contact or drinking unpasteurized liquids. To reduce your risk of potential contamination, be sure to clean any apples or produce before eating them, check that any milk, juice or cider is pasteurized before drinking it and wash your hands with soap and warm water after visiting.
The FDA and the CDC, along with state and local health officials, have been investigating an outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7 infections likely linked to leafy greens. There were 25 cases in 15 states; California (4), Connecticut (2), Illinois (1), Indiana (2), Maryland (3), Michigan (1), Nebraska (1), New Hampshire (2), New Jersey (1), New York (2), Ohio (1), Pennsylvania (2), Vermont (1), Virginia (1), and Washington (1).
Illness onsets were between November 5 and December 12, 2017. Among the 21ill people for whom CDC has information, nine were hospitalized, including one person in California who died. Two people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure.
Since the outbreak was identified, the FDA has been working with CDC and state and local partners on the investigation. The FDA’s role in outbreaks of this nature is to utilize food consumption information gained from interviews with people who got sick, trace those foods back through the distribution chain to the original source, and attempt to identify the source and route of contamination.
In Canada, as of January 10, 2018, there were 42 cases of E. coli O157 illness reported in five eastern provinces: Ontario (8), Quebec (15), New Brunswick (5), Nova Scotia (1), and Newfoundland and Labrador (13). Individuals became sick in November and early December 2017. Seventeen individuals were hospitalized. One individual died. Individuals who became ill were between the ages of 3 and 85 years of age. The majority of cases (74%) were female. There is no evidence to suggest that provinces in western Canada were affected by this outbreak.
Most of the individuals who became sick reported eating romaine lettuce before their illnesses occurred. Individuals reported eating romaine lettuce at home, as well as in prepared salads purchased at grocery stores, restaurants and fast food chains. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency worked with public health officials to determine the source of the romaine lettuce that ill individuals were exposed to. As part of the food safety investigation into the source of contamination, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency tested romaine lettuce for the presence of E. coli. All food samples have tested negative and no source of contamination has been identified.
The FDA has been in regular contact with Canadian health authorities to share information about the traceback investigation. The FDA’s investigation team has also reviewed information from previous outbreaks to see if there are any commonalities between those and the current outbreak. To date, no common leafy green grower source has been identified.
Colorado press reports that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment are investigating an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 in Aurora. The outbreak was reported at Pho 75, an Aurora restaurant located at 2050 South Havana Street.
So far, four ill people have been identified, but as with any outbreak, it is possible that there are more sick than reported, as some might not go to the doctor. One of the four ill was hospitalized.
The Tri-County Health Department is working with the restaurant during the investigation. Pho 75 voluntarily closed yesterday. According to the state, typically when a restaurant closes in this kind of situation, a list of requirements must be met before they are allowed to reopen.
Forty-five people infected with the outbreak strain of STEC O26 have been reported from 6 states. The majority of illnesses have been reported from Washington and Oregon. The number of ill people reported from each state is as follows: California (2), Minnesota (2), New York (1), Ohio (1), Oregon (13), and Washington (26).
Among people for whom information is available, illnesses started on dates ranging from October 19, 2015 to November 8, 2015. Ill people range in age from 2 years to 94, with a median age of 22. Fifty-eight percent of ill people are female. Sixteen (36%) people reported being hospitalized. There have been no reports of hemolytic uremic syndrome and no deaths.
The epidemiologic evidence available to investigators at this time suggests that a meal item or ingredient served at Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants at several states is a likely source of this outbreak. The investigation has not identified what specific food is linked to illness. Chipotle Mexican Grill is assisting public health officials with understanding the distribution of food items served at locations where ill people ate and this work is ongoing.
State and local public health officials are interviewing ill people to obtain information about foods they might have eaten and other exposures in the week before their illness started. Forty-three (96%) of 45 people interviewed reported eating at a Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant. The investigation is ongoing to identify common meal items or ingredients causing illness.
Department spokesperson Laura McCasland told Food Safety News that four of the seven who tested positive for E. coli first exhibited symptoms for the pathogen.
McCasland said department investigators do not believe they are dealing with an ongoing outbreak. While the source has not yet been identified, they have no evidence that any retail grocery store is involved.
Food Safety News first learned of the Sacramento County outbreak from a reader who claims to have two children among the infected individuals. That source said that there are three hemolytic uremic syndrome, or HUS, cases among the seven individuals.
Myles Mayfield, 2, of Greenwood, died Sunday night at Greenville Memorial Hospital from medical complications associated with E.coli, coroner Sonny Cox said. Myles died from hemolytic uremic syndrome, a condition associated with E. coli that can lead to kidney failure.
On Monday, Greenwood District 50 officials informed parents and guardians of Springfield Elementary School students in Greenwood that DHEC was investigating a possible Shiga toxin-producing E. coli infection at the school, according to the district website. The school posted information on its website and social media and made robocalls to parents. Springfield officials learned of the possible infection on Monday after dismissal, so the letter could not be sent out until Tuesday.
Investigators have not yet said how Learning Vine Child Development Center is connected to the toddler’s death, but it appears Myles attended the development center.
Consumers, food service establishments, retailers, distributors and manufacturers in Alberta, should not consume, serve, use, or sell certain raw pork products sold by these two retailers/distributors because the raw pork products may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.
The affected raw pork products have only been distributed in Alberta. All raw pork products sold from these locations, during the identified time periods, are affected by this recall.
These raw pork products may have been sold by other retailers. Consumers who are unsure if they have the affected products are advised to check with their retailer.
This recall was triggered by the E. coli O157:H7 foodborne outbreak investigation led by Alberta Health Services (http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/10353.asp) and supported by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) that has sickened 152.
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is investigating 13 cases of foodborne illness associated with a type of E. colibacteria known as E. coli O111. This form of E. coli is in the same family as the more well-known E. coli O157:H7. All of the illnesses were caused by the same genetic strain of E. coli O111, and the ill people do not all share any obvious commonalities; these facts indicate the illnesses resulted from a widely distributed food item.
While seven of the people with E. coli O111 infections reported eating at Applebee’s restaurants in Minnesota between June 24 and 27, there are multiple cases with no apparent connection to the restaurant. Applebee’s is cooperating fully with the investigation, and as a precaution volunteered to remove the Oriental Chicken salad from menus at all its Minnesota restaurants while the investigation continues. The restaurant is also removing specific ingredients of its Oriental Chicken salad from other items on its menu out of an abundance of caution. Health officials are still working with Applebee’s, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, and other regulatory partners to determine the cause of the outbreak.
Symptoms of illness caused by E. coli O111 typically include stomach cramps and diarrhea, often with bloody stools, but only a low-grade or no fever. People usually become ill two to five days after exposure, but this time period can range from one to at least eight days. Most people recover in five to 10 days. Complications from infection are more common among those with weaker immune systems, including young children and the elderly. MDH investigators note that this genetic strain of E. coli O111 has not been seen in the United States previously.
Health officials say anyone who visited a Minnesota Applebee’s since June 20 and has symptoms of E. coli O111 infection (particularly bloody diarrhea) should contact their health care provider immediately and inform them of their possible involvement in this outbreak. MDH also asks that they contact the department’s foodborne illness hotline at 1-877-FOOD-ILL (1-877-366-3455) to report the potential connection.
Four of the 13 people who became ill were hospitalized, and all have recovered or are recovering. Diarrhea associated withE. coli O111 infection should NOT be treated with antibiotics, as this practice might promote further complications. More information on E. coli infection can be found at www.health.state.mn.us. MDH will share more information with the public as the investigation continues.
The Michigan Departments of Community Health (MDCH) and Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) along with local health departments in Kent, Livingston, Oakland, Ottawa, and Washtenaw counties are investigating a cluster of recent illnesses due to the bacteria E. coli O157:H7.
Five confirmed Shiga-toxin producing E. coli O157 illnesses have been reported in adults between 20-41 years of age with symptom onset dates from April 22 – May 1. Three individuals have been hospitalized. None of the ill individuals have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a severe complication of E. coli O157 infection, and no deaths have been reported.
Laboratory results suggest these illnesses are linked to a common source. The investigation is ongoing, and preliminary information collected from ill persons indicates that ground beef is most likely the source. Ill individuals ate undercooked ground beef at several different restaurants in multiple locations. MDARD is working with local health departments and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to determine the source of the ground beef and how widely it was distributed.
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.
The Laughing Goat voluntarily initiated the recall after routine monthly sampling by the Washington State Department of Agriculture discovered contamination. The Laughing Goat dairy has not received any reports of human illnesses associated with the recalled product.
E. coli infections may cause severe diarrhea, stomach cramps and bloody stool. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should contact a health care provider.
The Laughing Goat raw goat milk is sold in pint, quart and half-gallon plastic containers with green caps. Best if used by dates are found on the front label. Refrigerated raw goat milk bearing the best if used by dates of Feb 11 to Feb 19 has been recalled. Recalled milk was sold in western Washington, including Thurston, Pierce, Lewis and King counties.