The Minnesota Department of Health Public Health Laboratory have received three isolates of E. coli O157:H7 among members of Salem Lutheran Church in Longville, Minnesota. The church had recently held a funeral luncheon and their monthly summer potluck smorgasbord. Subsequently, multiple individuals reportedly became ill with cramps and bloody diarrhea.
MDA was informed that ground beef used to make meatballs for the smorgasbord was purchased at a grocery store in Longville. The following day, MDH learned that the USDA had recently isolated the outbreak subtype of E. coli O157:H7 from a sample of beef trimmings collected from a beef processing plant.
MDA attempted to trace back the beef received by the grocery store to see if it was the kind used to produce the ground beef that was purchased by the church. Based on timing and volume, the ground beef used by the church most likely originated from the 1,900 lb shipment of chuck rolls received by the grocery store.
However, the grocery store did not keep grinding records, so although it is highly likely that the contamination originated from the shipment of chuck rolls, there is no decisive proof.