About E. coli

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About E. coli Blog

Glendale Heights Portillo’s linked to at least four E. coli cases

Four cases of a toxin producing the bacteria and one case of a resultant blood syndrome stemmed from customers eating at the Portillo’s at 235 E. North Ave. in Glendale Heights on July 16 and 17, IDPH wrote in a health alert.

The “possible issue” came from four customers during that time period, Portillo’s spokeswoman Sara Wirth wrote in a Saturday statement. She said the company reexamined its food safety protocols after learning of the outbreak.

“Across Portillo’s, we have extensive sanitary and food handling guidelines in place, including daily deep cleanings of all restaurants,” Wirth said. “Once notified, we moved quickly and began assisting with the investigation and revisiting our food safety best practices with our team members to mitigate potential future risk.”

The health department is urging doctors to consider an E. coli diagnosis in symptomatic patients who have recently eaten at the location.

With an average incubation period of one to 10 days, the condition can include cramps and diarrhea and, in children and older adults, kidney failure and red blood cell destruction, IDPH said.

E. coli Outbreak linked to cake mix

As of July 27, 2021, 16 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O121 have been reported from 12 states. Illnesses started on dates ranging from February 26, 2021 to June 21, 2021.

Sick people range in age from 2 to 73 years, with a median age of 13, and 100% are female. Of 16 people with information available, 7 have been hospitalized. One person has developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), and no deaths have been reported.

State and local public health officials are interviewing people about the foods they ate in the week before they got sick. Of the eight people interviewed, six (75%) reported tasting or eating raw batter made with a cake mix. People reported buying different varieties and brands of cake mix.

FDA is conducting a traceback investigation using purchase records from locations where sick people bought cake mix to try to determine a common cake mix brand or production facility.

CDC advises people not to eat raw cake batter, whether made from a mix or homemade. Eating raw cake batter can make you sick. Raw cake batter can contain harmful bacteriaBacteria are killed only when raw batter is baked or cooked.

15 sick in 11 states with E. Coli O121

Food Safety News reports that the CDC is working with other public health agencies to investigate an 11-state outbreak of E. Coli O121 infections.

As of July 15 a total of 15 patients had been confirmed with infections, a CDC spokesperson told Food Safety News. No other information from the agency was available for release.

The Food and Drug Administration reported on July 14 that it was investigating an E. Coli O121 outbreak involving 15 patients, but the agency did not release any other details except to say that no traceback or sample testing had been initiated.

Few details were available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We are working to determine a source of the infections. If we identify a source and an ongoing risk to the public, we will issue an outbreak notice,” the CDC spokesperson told Food Safety News.

More ill with E. coli linked to Yogurt

On May 12, 2021, The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) announced a multi-county outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 that began as a Public Health-Seattle & King County investigation involving several children with E. coli. The outbreak is likely linked to PCC Community Market brand yogurt produced by Pure Eire Dairy.

Public health message

If you have PCC Community Market brand yogurt or Pure Eire yogurt at home, do not eat it and throw it away.

E. coli infections can cause serious complications. Symptoms include diarrhea, stomach cramps and blood in the stool.

If you notice symptoms, especially bloody diarrhea, contact your health care provider right away.

Case information

DOH is reporting confirmed cases infected with bacteria that have been genetically linked. Local health jurisdictions may report higher numbers for their counties that include cases still under investigation and may provide additional detail on their cases.

Linked product information

On May 15, DOH announced a likely link to PCC Community Market brand yogurt produced by Pure Eire Dairy. Pure Eire Dairy issued a voluntary recall of affected products and PCC removed the products from shelves. Anyone who has PCC Community Market or Pure Eire brand yogurt at home should not eat it and should throw it away.

The investigation is ongoing, and we may identify additional links to products as we continue to gather information from new cases. DOH will provide updates as the investigation progresses.

State health officials link yogurt to multi-county E. coli outbreak

OLYMPIA – During the ongoing investigation into an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) has identified a likely link to PCC Community Market brand yogurt produced by Pure Eire Dairy.

Pure Eire Dairy is working with the state Department of Agriculture to identify and recall all affected products. Anyone who has PCC Community Market brand yogurt at home should not eat it and should throw it away.

The outbreak now includes 11 confirmed cases, including six children under the age of 10, infected with bacteria that have been genetically linked. Counties with cases include Benton (1), King (8), Snohomish (1) and Walla Walla (1). Seven people have been hospitalized. Three people have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a serious complication of E. coli infection.

Symptoms of an E. coli infection include diarrhea, stomach cramps and blood in the stool. There is usually no fever. If you notice symptoms, especially bloody diarrhea, contact your health care provider right away. E. coli O157:H7 infections can cause serious complications.

DOH and partner agencies are continuing to test food samples and gather case information in this ongoing investigation. DOH will provide more information as it becomes available.

Seattle area E. coli Outbreak sickens seven

Summary

Public Health is investigating a new cluster of seven children infected with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (also known as STEC) in King County. All cases are currently under 15 years of age, and three are under 5 years of age. Cases have been reported during April 22–May 1, 2021.

Our investigation is ongoing. We have identified multiple types of fresh produce, mostly organic, in common among the majority of cases but cannot yet rule out other possibilities. We are still uncertain if these cases share the same source of their infection or not. Updates will continue to be posted when more information is available.

Illnesses

All 7 children developed symptoms consistent with STEC, including diarrhea (often bloody), abdominal cramping, nausea, and vomiting. Illness onsets occurred during April 17–29, 2021. Six children have been hospitalized; this includes two children who developed a type of kidney complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and both are recovering.

Public Health actions

Public Health is conducting interviews with cases and their parents/guardians to help identify any common exposures. We are also working with the Washington State Department of Health to complete further testing, to help identify possible related cases in other counties, and to begin traceback of any products in common.

Public Health message

Fruits and vegetables can sometimes have germs like STEC on them, and many types have been associated with outbreaks in the past. You should always wash all fresh produce well before consuming. See this CDC link on fruit and vegetable safety for more details.

If you or your child develop painful or bloody diarrhea, diarrhea that lasts more than 3 days or is accompanied by a high fever or decreased urine, contact your healthcare provider to see if testing for STEC is indicated.

STEC and other foodborne infections occur throughout the year but may increase in frequency during late spring and summers months.

Anyone ill with suspected or known STEC should not work in or attend childcare or preschool, or work in food handling or healthcare until cleared by Public Health.

Laboratory testing

Six of the cases have preliminary testing indicating infections with E. coli O157 via PCR, and the seventh case has a positive EIA test for STEC. Further testing to confirm the strain and do genetic fingerprinting (whole genome sequencing or WGS) is underway at the Washington State Public Health Laboratory. These WGS results will help determine whether these cases were infected with the same strain of STEC.

E. coli Outbreak sickens 22 – Cause Unknown

As of March 10, 2021, a total of 22 people infected with the outbreak strain were reported from 7 states (see map). Illnesses started on dates ranging from December 18, 2020, to January 12, 2021.

Sick people ranged in age from 10 to 95 years, with a median age of 28, and 68% were female. Of 20 people with information available, 11 were hospitalized. Of 18 people with information, 3 developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). One death was reported from Washington.

State and local public health officials interviewed people about the foods they ate in the week before they got sick. CDC analyzed the interview data and did not identify a specific food item as a potential source of this outbreak. People reported eating a variety of food items, including leafy greens, broccoli, cucumbers, and strawberries. However, none of the food items were reported significantly more by sick people in this outbreak when compared to healthy people in the FoodNet population survey.

More sick with E. coli from unknown source

5 states, 16 sick with 1 death. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) shows cases are likely related to same food.  Previous outbreak with same WGS linked to romaine lettuce, ground beef, and recreational water. 

CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) are collecting different types of data to identify the food source of a multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections.

As of February 1, 2021, a total of 16 people infected with the outbreak strain have been reported from 5 states. This map shows where sick people live.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from December 23, 2020, to January 7, 2021. This chart shows when people got sick. Recent illnesses may not yet be reported as it usually takes 2 to 4 weeks to link illnesses to an outbreak.

Sick people range in age from 10 to 95 years, with a median age of 31, and 88% are female. Of 12 people with information available, 9 have been hospitalized. Of 11 people with information, 3 developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). One death has been reported from Washington.

State and local public health officials are interviewing people to find out what foods they ate in the week before they got sick.

Public health investigators are using the PulseNet system to identify illnesses that may be part of this outbreak. CDC PulseNet manages a national database of DNA fingerprints of bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses. DNA fingerprinting is performed on bacteria using a method called whole genome sequencing (WGS).

WGS showed that bacteria from sick people’s samples are closely related genetically. This means that people in this outbreak likely got sick from eating the same food.

WGS also showed that this outbreak strain has been previously linked to various sources, including romaine lettuce, ground beef, and recreational water. More information is needed to identify the source of this outbreak.

2020 E. coli Outbreaks

 

E. coli – Sprouts

A total of 51 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O103 were reported from 10 states.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from January 6, 2020, to March 15, 2020. Ill people ranged in age from 1 to 79 years, with a median age of 29 years. Fifty-five percent of ill people were female. Of 41 ill people with information available, 3 were hospitalized and no deaths were reported.

Epidemiologic, traceback, and laboratory evidence indicated that clover sprouts were the source of this outbreak.

In interviews, ill people answered questions about the foods they ate and other exposures they had in the week before their illness started. Eighteen (56%) of 32 people interviewed reported eating sprouts. This percentage is significantly higher than results from a survey of healthy people in which 8% reported eating sprouts in the week before they were interviewed.

Seventeen (63%) of 27 people interviewed reported eating sprouts at a Jimmy John’s restaurant. Jimmy John’s LLC reported that all of their restaurants stopped serving clover sprouts on February 24, 2020. Clover sprouts are no longer available at Jimmy John’s restaurants.

Additionally, FDA identified the outbreak strain of E. coli O103 in samples of Chicago Indoor Garden products that contain sprouts. On March 16, 2020, Chicago Indoor Garden recalled all products containing red clover sprouts.

FDA’s traceback investigation showed that a common seed lot was used to grow both the sprouts recalled by Chicago Indoor Garden and sprouts that were served at some Jimmy John’s locations. The same seed lot was also used to grow sprouts linked to an outbreak of the same strain of E. coli O103 infections in 2019.

E. coli – Unknown

As of December 16, 2020, a total of 32 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 were reported from 12 states.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from June 6, 2020, to October 25, 2020. Ill people ranged in age from 2 to 75 years, with a median age of 27 years, and 72% were female. Of 29 ill people with information available, 15 were hospitalized and 1 developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure. One death was reported from Michigan.

State and local public health officials interviewed ill people to determine what they ate and other exposures in the week before they got sick. Ill people reported eating a variety of food items. Several ill people also reported eating at the same restaurant and had eaten multiple common food items. CDC analyzed the interview data and did not identify a specific food item as a potential source of the outbreak. FDA conducted traceback investigations for several of the food items served at the restaurant and did not find a common source in the distribution chain.

E. coli – Leafy Greens

As of December 18, 2020, a total of 40 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 were reported from 19 states.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from August 10, 2020, to October 31, 2020. Ill people ranged in age from 1 to 85 years, with a median age of 33 years, and 60% were female. Of 34 ill people with information available, 20 people were hospitalized and 4 people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure. No deaths were reported.

Epidemiologic and traceback evidence showed that leafy greens were the likely source of this outbreak. Investigators were unable to identify a specific type or brand of leafy greens because people in this outbreak reported eating a variety of leafy greens and because different leafy greens are often grown, harvested, and processed together.

State and local public health officials interviewed ill people to determine what they ate and other exposures in the week before they got sick. Of the 23 ill people interviewed, 22 reported eating or maybe eating a variety of leafy greens, including spinach (16) and romaine lettuce (15).

FDA completed traceback investigations for several types of leafy greens ill people reported eating. Several farms of interest were identified, but no single ranch was a common source of the leafy greens.

FDA and state partners conducted inspections on farms of interest and collected environmental samples. FDA is analyzing the samples and continuing their investigations to identify the root cause of this outbreak.

E. coli – Leafy Greens

As of December 16, 2020, a total of 18 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 were reported from nine states.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from September 2, 2020, to November 6, 2020. Ill people ranged in age from 8 to 71 years, with a median age of 28 years, and 72% were female. Of 16 ill people with information available, 6 were hospitalized. No deaths were reported.

State and local public health officials interviewed ill people to determine what they ate and other exposures in the week before they got sick. Of the 13 people interviewed, all reported eating or maybe eating various types of leafy greens, including romaine lettuce (9), spinach (9), and iceberg lettuce (7).

Laboratory testing identified the outbreak strain in a sample of Tanimura & Antle romaine lettuce in a single-head package, which was recalled on November 6, 2020. However, investigators were unable to determine if any ill people in this outbreak got sick from eating the recalled product. No one specifically reported eating Tanimura & Antle romaine lettuce, and some people got sick before the “packed on” dates for the recalled products.

FDA conducted traceback investigations and worked with state partners to conduct inspections at several farms. However, none of the findings identified a common source in the distribution chain or linked the farms to the outbreak.

Tanimura and Antle recalls E. coli contaminated lettuce linked to illnesses

Tanimura & Antle Inc. is voluntarily recalling its packaged single head romaine lettuce under the Tanimura & Antle brand, labeled with a packed on date of 10/15/2020 or 10/16/2020, due to possible contamination with E. Coli 0157:H7. Packages contain a single head of romaine lettuce with the UPC number 0-27918-20314-9. No other products or pack dates are being recalled. There have been no reported illnesses associated with the recalled product.

The recall is being conducted in consultation with FDA, and is based on the test result of a random sample collected and analyzed by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development as part of their routine sampling program. A total of 3,396 cartons of potentially affected product were distributed in the United States to the following states: AK, OR, CA, TX, AR, OK, IN, NE, MO, TN, WI, NM, SC, WA, NC, OH, VA, MA, PR, and IL.

The potentially affected product was shipped in cases packed in either 12, 15, 18 or 24 heads per case. Retailers and distributors can identify the potentially affected products through the Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) sticker attached to exterior of the case. The PTI codes are 571280289SRS1 and 571280290SRS1.

E. coli O157:H7 causes a diarrheal illness often with bloody stools. Although most healthy adults can recover completely within a week, some people can develop a form of kidney failure called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS). HUS is most likely to occur in young children and the elderly. The condition can lead to serious kidney damage and even death. If consumers are experiencing any of the above symptoms, please contact your physician.

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