Category Archives: E.coli O157:H7

Czech Republic – Officials warn of increase in E. coli infections

Food Safety News

A rise in Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) infections has prompted a warning by health officials in the Czech Republic.

The National Institute of Public Health (SZU) reported that in the first six months of this year 25 cases have been recorded and 15 of them occurred in the past two months.

Eight were reported in May and seven in June. That is more than half of all cases so far in 2022. The majority of those sick are children under the age of five. In 2021, 46 cases were recorded.

Sick people come from across the country but mostly Prague, the South Moravian and South Bohemian regions. Twelve infections were caused by E. coli O26 and six by E. coli O157.

People can become infected by contact with animals, eating insufficiently cooked meat, drinking unpasteurized milk, or by contact with an infected person.

Research – Effect of Biltong Dried Beef Processing on the Reduction of Listeria monocytogenes, E. coli O157:H7, and Staphylococcus aureus, and the Contribution of the Major Marinade Components

MDPI

Biltong is a dry beef product that is manufactured without a heat lethality step, raising concerns of whether effective microbial pathogen reduction can occur during biltong processing. Raw beef inoculated with 4-strain cocktails of either E. coli O157:H7, Listeria monocytogenes, or Staphylococcus aureus, and processed with a standard biltong process, were shown to incur a >5-log reduction in 6–8 days after marination by vacuum-tumbling for 30 min in vinegar, salt, spices (coriander, pepper) when dried at 23.9 °C (75 °F) at 55% relative humidity (RH). Pathogenic challenge strains were acid-adapted in media containing 1% glucose to ensure that the process was sufficiently robust to inhibit acid tolerant strains. Internal water activity (Aw) reached < 0.85 at 5-log reduction levels, ensuring that conditions were lower than that which would support bacterial growth, or toxin production by S. aureus should it be internalized during vacuum tumbling. This was further confirmed by ELISA testing for staphylococcal enterotoxins A and B (SEA, SEB) after marination and again after 10 days of drying whereby levels were lower than initial post-marination levels. Comparison of log reduction curves obtained for E. coli O157:H7, L. monocytogenesS. aureus, and Salmonella (prior study) showed that microbial reduction was not significantly different (p < 0.05) demonstrating that even without a heat lethality step, the biltong process we examined produces a safe beef product according to USDA-FSIS guidelines.

USA – FDA Core Outbreak Table

FDA

Date
Posted
Ref Pathogen or
Cause of Illness

Product(s)
Linked to
Illnesses

(if any)
Total
Case Count

Status
6/29/

2022

1076 Not Yet Identified Frozen Food 107 adverse event reports Active
6/22/

2022

1075 Salmonella
Braenderup
Not Yet Identified 42 Active
6/22/

2022

1072 Salmonella
Paratyphi B var. L(+) tartrate+
Not Yet Identified 14 Active
6/15/

2022

1070 Listeria
monocytogenes
Not Yet Identified 12 Active
6/8/

2022

1068 E. coli
O157:H7
Not Yet Identified 10 Active
6/1/

2022

1066 Hepatitis A Virus Strawberries See Outbreak
Advisory
Active
5/25/

2022

1067 Salmonella 
Senftenberg
Peanut Butter See Outbreak Advisory Active
4/20/

2022

1064 Not Yet
Identified
Dry Cereal 558 adverse
event reports
Active
4/13/

2022

1057 Listeria
monocytogenes
Not Yet
Identified
22 Active
3/30/

2022

1060 None
Identified
Meal Replacement
Drink
6 adverse
event reports
Closed
3/16/

2022

1055 Salmonella
Saintpaul
Not Identified 60 Closed
2/17/

2022

1056 Cronobacter
sakazakii
Powdered
Infant
Formula
See
Advisory
Active (IMG)
2/9/

2022

1040 Listeria
monocytogenes
Not Identified 20 Closed
2/2/

2022

1054 Enteroinvasive
E. coli
O143:H26
Not
Identified
16 Closed
1/10/

2022

1050 E. coli
O121:H19
Romaine 4 Closed

USA – FDA Core Investigation Table Update

FDA

Date
Posted
Ref Pathogen or
Cause of Illness

Product(s)
Linked to
Illnesses

(if any)
Total
Case Count

Status
6/22/

2022

1075 Salmonella
Braenderup
Not Yet Identified 40 Active
6/22/

2022

1072 Salmonella
Paratyphi B var. L(+) tartrate+
Not Yet Identified 13 Active
6/15/

2022

1070 Listeria
monocytogenes
Not Yet Identified 12 Active
6/8/

2022

1068 E. coli
O157:H7
Not Yet Identified 10 Active
6/1/

2022

1066 Hepatitis A Virus Strawberries See Outbreak
Advisory
Active
5/25/

2022

1067 Salmonella 
Senftenberg
Peanut Butter See Outbreak Advisory Active
4/20/

2022

1064 Not Yet
Identified
Dry Cereal 558 adverse
event reports
Active
4/13/

2022

1057 Listeria
monocytogenes
Not Yet
Identified
21 Active
3/30/

2022

1060 None
Identified
Meal Replacement
Drink
6 adverse
event reports
Closed
3/16/

2022

1055 Salmonella
Saintpaul
Not Identified 60 Closed
2/17/

2022

1056 Cronobacter
sakazakii
Powdered
Infant
Formula
See
Advisory
Active (IMG)
2/9/

2022

1040 Listeria
monocytogenes
Not Identified 20 Closed
2/2/

2022

1054 Enteroinvasive
E. coli
O143:H26
Not
Identified
16 Closed
1/10/2022 1050 E. coli
O121:H19
Romaine 4 Closed

USA – FDA Core Investigation Table Update

FDA

Date
Posted
Ref
#
Pathogen or
Cause of Illness

Product(s)
Linked to
Illnesses

(if any)
Total
Case Count

Status
6/15/

2022

1070 Listeria
monocytogenes
Not Yet Identified 12 Active
6/8/

2022

1068 E. coli
O157:H7
Not Yet Identified 10 Active
6/1/

2022

1066 Hepatitis A Virus Strawberries See Outbreak
Advisory
Active
5/25/

2022

1067 Salmonella 
Senftenberg
Peanut Butter See Outbreak Advisory Active
4/20/

2022

1064 Not Yet
Identified
Dry Cereal 558 adverse
event reports
Active
4/13/

2022

1057 Listeria
monocytogenes
Not Yet
Identified
21 Active
3/30/

2022

1060 Not Yet
Identified
Meal Replacement
Drink
6 adverse
event reports
Closed
3/16/

2022

1055 Salmonella
Saintpaul
Not Identified 60 Closed
2/17/

2022

1056 Cronobacter
sakazakii
Powdered
Infant
Formula
See
Advisory
Active (IMG)
2/9/

2022

1040 Listeria
monocytogenes
Not Identified 20 Closed
2/2/

2022

1054 Enteroinvasive
E. coli
O143:H26
Not
Identified
16 Closed
1/10/

2022

1050 E. coli
O121:H19
Romaine 4 Closed

Research – A bacteriological survey of fresh minced beef on sale at retail outlets in Scotland in 2019: three food-borne pathogens, hygiene process indicators and phenotypic antimicrobial resistance.

Journal of Food Protection

The health and economic burden of foodborne illness is high, with approximately 2.4 million cases occurring annually in the United Kingdom. A survey to understand the baseline microbial quality and prevalence of food-related hazards of fresh beef mince on retail sale could inform risk assessment, management and communication to ensure the safety of this commodity. In such a survey, a two-stage sampling design was used to reflect variations in population density and the market share of five categories of retail outlets in Scotland.  From January to December 2019, 1009 fresh minced beef samples were collected from 15 Geographic Areas. The microbial quality of each sample was assessed using Aerobic Colony Count (ACC) and generic E. coli count. Samples were cultured for Campylobacter and Salmonella and PCR was used to detect target genes (stx1 all variants, stx2 a-g, and rfbO157) for Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC). The presence of viable E. coli O157 and STEC in samples with a positive PCR signal was confirmed via culture and isolation. Phenotypic antimicrobial sensitivity patterns of cultured pathogens and 100 generic E. coli isolates were determined, mostly via disc diffusion. The median ACC and generic E. coli counts were 6.4 x 105 (Inter-quartile range (IQR):6.9 x 104 to 9.6 x 106) and <10 cfu per gram (IQR:<10 to 10) of minced beef respectively. The prevalence was 0.1% (95% confidence interval C.I. 0 to 0.7%) for Campylobacter, 0.3% (95% C.I. 0 to 1%) for Salmonella, 22% (95% C.I. 20% to 25%) for PCR positive STEC and 4% (95% C.I. 2 to 5%) for culture positive STEC. The evidence for phenotypic antimicrobial resistance (AMR) detected did not give cause for concern, mainly occurring in a few generic E. coli isolates as single non-susceptibilities to first-line active substances. The low prevalence of pathogens and phenotypic AMR is encouraging but ongoing consumer food-safety education is necessary to mitigate the residual public health risk.

USA – New E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak Added to FDA CORE Investigation Table

Food Poisoning Bulletin

A new E. coli O157:H7 outbreak has been added to the FDA’s CORE Outbreak Investigation Table. At least 10 people are sick. We do not know the states where the ill persons live, their age range, illness onset dates, or if anyone has been hospitalized. Traceback has been initiated, but no recall has been issued, there has been no on-site inspection or sample collection, and no analysis of any product has started. This new E. coli O157:H7 outbreak is probably associated with an FDA-regulated food.

USA – FDA Core Outbreak Tabel Update

FDA

Date
Posted
Ref Pathogen
Product Total
Case Count

Status
6/8/

2022

1068 E. coli
O157:H7
Not Yet Identified 10 Active
6/1/

2022

1066 Hepatitis A Virus Strawberries See Outbreak
Advisory
Active
5/25/

2022

1067 Salmonella 
Senftenberg
Peanut Butter See Outbreak Advisory Active
4/20/

2022

1064 Not Yet
Identified
Dry Cereal 558 adverse
event reports
Active
4/13/

2022

1057 Listeria
monocytogenes
Not Yet
Identified
21 Active
3/30/

2022

1060 Not Yet
Identified
Meal Replacement
Drink
6 adverse
event reports
Closed
3/16/

2022

1055 Salmonella
Saintpaul
Not Identified 60 Closed
2/17/

2022

1056 Cronobacter
sakazakii
Powdered
Infant
Formula
See
Advisory
Active (IMG)
2/9/

2022

1040 Listeria
monocytogenes
Not Identified 20 Closed
2/2/

2022

1054 Enteroinvasive
E. coli
O143:H26
Not
Identified
16 Closed
1/10/

2022

1050 E. coli
O121:H19
Romaine 4 Closed

Research – Foodborne Illness Outbreaks Reported to National Surveillance, United States, 2009–2018

CDC

Abstract

Foodborne outbreaks reported to national surveillance systems represent a subset of all outbreaks in the United States; not all outbreaks are detected, investigated, and reported. We described the structural factors and outbreak characteristics of outbreaks reported during 2009–2018. We categorized states (plus DC) as high (highest quintile), middle (middle 3 quintiles), or low (lowest quintile) reporters on the basis of the number of reported outbreaks per 10 million population. Analysis revealed considerable variation across states in the number and types of foodborne outbreaks reported. High-reporting states reported 4 times more outbreaks than low reporters. Low reporters were more likely than high reporters to report larger outbreaks and less likely to implicate a setting or food vehicle; however, we did not observe a significant difference in the types of food vehicles identified. Per capita funding was strongly associated with increased reporting. Investments in public health programming have a measurable effect on outbreak reporting.

Foodborne diseases remain a major public health challenge in the United States, where 31 known pathogens cause an estimated 9 million illnesses, 56,000 hospitalizations, and 1,300 deaths annually (1). Efforts to improve food safety and reduce the burden of foodborne disease rely on data from foodborne disease surveillance and outbreak investigations to help prioritize food safety interventions, policies, and practices. Data from foodborne illness outbreaks reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provide vital information on the foods causing illness and common food–pathogen pairs. Those data are used by the Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration (IFSAC) to inform outbreak-based attribution models that attribute illnesses to specific food categories (2,3).

Foodborne illness outbreaks are investigated by local, state, and territorial health departments, CDC, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the United States Department of Agriculture and are reported to CDC’s Foodborne Disease Outbreak Reporting Surveillance System (FDOSS) through the web-based National Outbreak Reporting System (NORS). Although reported outbreaks are a rich data source, they represent a subset of all outbreaks occurring in the United States; not all outbreaks will be detected, investigated, and reported. Factors influencing which outbreaks are detected, investigated, and reported to CDC include both structural factors associated with the jurisdiction in which the outbreak occurred (e.g., infrastructure and capacity) and characteristics of the outbreak (e.g., size, geographic location, pathogen).

We integrated data from a variety of sources to examine structural factors and describe outbreak characteristics of foodborne outbreaks involving Salmonella, Shiga toxin–producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157, norovirus, and bacterial toxins that were reported to national surveillance. In addition, we assessed the effects of state variation in outbreak reporting on the types of food vehicles identified.

Research – Evaluation of Potential for Butyl and Heptyl Para-Hydroxybenzoate Enhancement of Thermal Inactivation of Cronobacter sakazakii during Rehydration of Powdered Infant Powdered Infant Formula and Non-Fat Dry Milk.

Journal of Food Protection

Prior studies have demonstrated that parabens enhanced the thermal inactivation of foodborne pathogens including Cronobacter sakazakii , Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium, Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Listeria monocytogenes in model systems. However, there have been few studies looking at this phenomenon in actual food systems. The current study evaluated the potential enhancement of thermal inactivation of C. sakazakii by butyl para-hydroxybenzoate (BPB) in powdered infant formula (PIF) and non-fat dry milk (NFDM) before and after rehydration. When PIF was rehydrated with water at designated temperatures (65 – 80 ºC) in baby bottles, BPB did not enhance thermal inactivation. Rehydrated NFDM and lactose solutions with BPB were inoculated and heated at 58 ºC, BPB enhancement of thermal inactivation was negatively associated with NFDM levels in a dose-dependent manner, whereas presence of lactose retained thermal enhancement regardless of its concentration, suggesting an interaction between proteins and BPB. Fluorescence tests further indicated an interaction between BPB and the proteins in PIF and NFDM. Inoculated dry NFDM with and without BPB stored at 24 ºC and 55 ºC for 14 days did not substantially enhance inactivation in the dry state. This study suggests that BPB is not likely to enhance mild thermal inactivation treatments in foods that have appreciable amounts of protein.