About E. coli

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About E. coli Blog

Freshway Foods Lettuce is “missing link” in E. coli O145 cases in Michigan, Ohio and New York

Over the last few weeks as Ohio, Michigan and New York health officials (along with the CDC) have tracked the source of the ongoing E. coli O145 outbreak to lettuce that has sickened over 50 people near college campuses at The Ohio State in Columbus, University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and Daemen College in Buffalo to Freshway Foods an Ohio distributor of produce.  No announcement has been made as to where the lettuce was grown.

Leafy Green outbreaks are not unusual.  Here is a sample platter:

Here is a list of lettuce and other leafy green outbreaks since 1993:

1. August 1993 – E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to a salad bar; 53 reported cases in Washington State

2. July 1995 – Lettuce (leafy green; red; romaine) E. coli O157:H7; 70 reported cases in Montana

3. September 1995 – Lettuce (romaine) E. coli O157:H7; 20 reported cases in Idaho

4. September 1995 – Lettuce (iceberg) E. coli O157:H7; 30 reported cases in Maine

5. October 1995 – Lettuce (iceberg; unconfirmed) E. coli O157:H7; 11 reported cases in Ohio

6. May-June 1996 – Lettuce (mesclun; red leaf) E. coli O157:H7; 61 reported cases in Connecticut, Illinois, and New York

7. May 1998 – Salad E. coli O157:H7; two reported cases in California

8. February.-March 1999 – Lettuce (iceberg) E. coli O157:H7; 72 reported cases in Nebraska

9. July-August 2002 – Lettuce (romaine) E. coli O157:H7; 29 reported cases in Washington and Idaho

10. October 2003-May 2004 – Lettuce (mixed salad) E. coli O157:H7; 57 reported cases in California

11. April 2004 – Spinach E. coli O157:H7; 16 reported cases in California

12. September 2005 – Lettuce (romaine) E. coli O157:H7; 32 reported cases in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Oregon

13. September 2006 – Spinach E. coli O157:H7; 205 case (five deaths) nationwide

14. November 2006 – Lettuce E. coli O157:H7; New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania; 71 sickened

15. December 2006 – Lettuce E. coli O157:H7; Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin; 81 ill

16. May 2008 – Lettuce E. coli O157:H7; Washington; 9 ill

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