USA – Michigan hit hardest in Falafel E. coli Outbreak

Food Poison Journal

As of October 7 2022, 20 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O121 have been reported from 6 states (see map). Illnesses started on dates ranging from July 13, 2022, to September 13, 2022 (see timeline).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sick people range in age from less than 1 to 71 years, with a median age of 31, and 79% are female. Of 14 people with information available, 5 have been hospitalized, including 1 who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a serious condition that can cause kidney failure. No deaths have been reported.

The true number of sick people in this outbreak is likely higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses. This is because some people recover without medical care and are not tested for E. coli. In addition, recent illnesses may not yet be reported as it usually takes 3 to 4 weeks to determine if a sick person is part of an outbreak.

State and local public health officials are interviewing people about the foods they ate in the week before they got sick. Among 18 people interviewed, 15 reported shopping at ALDI stores. Among these 15 ALDI shoppers, 6 reported eating Earth Grown brand frozen falafel purchased from ALDI in the week before getting sick.

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