Category Archives: E.coli O157:H7

Research – Escherichia coli in flour – sources, risks and prevention

Click to access escherichia-coli-in-flour-sources-risks-and-prevention.pdf

Research – Food risk survey shows low awareness of Campylobacter

Food Safety News

There is low awareness of Campylobacter and its impact despite it being the main cause of food poisoning in the UK, according to a project on how people perceive food-related risks.

Results come from a survey by Kantar Public and analysis at the Food Standards Agency (FSA). The study was online and had 1,194 participants in March 2017 but results were only published this month.

The objective was to improve the FSA’s understanding of consumer perceptions on food risk. This could help develop the targeting, messaging and effectiveness of communication with the public, researchers said.

Consumer risk perception on 17 topics identified by FSA and Food Standards Scotland (FSS) including E. coli O157, food allergens, chemicals in food, Campylobacter, norovirus, pesticides, and radioactivity in food were measured.

USA – CORE Investigation Table – Updates





Salmonella Potsdam

Not Yet Identified



Salmonella Miami

Not Yet Identified



E. coli O157:H7

Not Yet Identified



Listeria monocytogenes

Hispanic-style fresh and soft cheese


USA – Feds plan to begin testing research program with romaine lettuce in Arizona

Food Safety News

The FDA is launching a new, temporary testing program for the romaine lettuce from commercial coolers in the Yuma, AZ, growing region. Romaine from the area has been linked to several foodborne illness outbreaks in recent years.

Samples will be tested for Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) and Salmonella spp. as part of ongoing surveillance efforts following the spring 2018 multistate E. coli O157:H7 outbreak of foodborne illness. Since then there have been other outbreaks linked to romaine from the Yuma area and parts of California. Salmonella spp. also commonly causes foodborne illness outbreaks in the United States which have at times been linked to romaine lettuce consumption, according to a statement today from the Food and Drug Administration.

USA – FSIS tells us that Greater Omaha Packing Co (GOPAC) shipped E. coli tainted hamburger

Food Poison Journal

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing a public health alert because raw beef product produced by Greater Omaha Packing Co. Inc., an Omaha, Neb. establishment, may be contaminated with E. coli. O157:H7. A recall was not requested because the affected product is no longer available for purchase.

FSIS is concerned that some ground beef products may be in consumers’ refrigerators or freezers. Consumers who have purchased these products should not consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

The raw beef item was produced by Greater Omaha Packing Co. Inc. on January 14, 2021, further processed into ground beef and sold by Art’s Food Market located in Sandwich, Illinois. The following product is subject to the public health alert:

2-lb (approximately) trays containing raw ground beef labeled with a retail label with “PACKED” dates ranging from JAN 28 2021 through JAN 31 2021.
This item was sold by the single retail location in Sandwich, Illinois.

USA – FDA CORE Response Team Update



USA – Outbreak Investigation of E. coli – Leafy Greens (December 2020)


Total Illnesses: 40
Hospitalizations: 20 (4 Cases HUS)
Deaths: 0

The FDA, along with CDC and state and local partners, investigated a multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections in the fall of 2020. The epidemiology and traceback investigation have determined that the outbreak was linked to leafy greens. The epidemiological and traceback investigations were not able to determine a specific type of leafy green linked to illnesses. On 12/22/2020, the CDC announced that this outbreak appears to be over. This outbreak, announced by FDA and CDC on October 28, 2020, was caused by a strain of E. coli that is genetically related to a strain linked to the fall 2019 romaine outbreak.

The FDA completed a traceback investigation of multiple types of leafy greens identified in patient interviews. Although no single ranch was identified as a common source of the leafy greens, FDA and state partners also conducted on-site investigations on farms of interest.

Teams were deployed to dozens of ranches in the region to conduct large scale environmental sampling. Additionally, no Shiga toxin-producing E. coli were found on leafy greens. As part of the field investigation, teams conducted environmental sampling on and around ranches of interest to identify any factors that could have led to contamination. Samples of soil, scat or animal droppings, compost, water, and other environmental sources were collected and analyzed.

Laboratory analysis of samples is now complete. The analysis has confirmed a positive match to the outbreak strain in a sample of cattle feces, which was collected during follow-up investigations on a roadside, uphill from where leafy greens or other food identified in the traceback investigation were grown. While the finding does not provide definitive information on how E. coli may have contaminated product during the growing and harvesting season, it does confirm the presence of a strain of E. coli O157:H7 that causes recurring outbreaks in a more narrowly defined growing region and a potential, continued source of contamination.

At this time, FDA’s investigational activities have concluded. The FDA continues to review the findings from this outbreak and a detailed report will be released in the near future. This report will include recommendations shaped by the investigation findings.

In the meantime, as recommended in our Leafy Greens Action Plan, the FDA continues to recommend growers assess and mitigate risk associated with adjacent and nearby land use practices, particularly as it relates to the presence of livestock, which are a persistent reservoir of E. coli O157:H7 and other STEC.


CDC has declared this outbreak to be over. There is no recommendation for consumers, retailers, or suppliers.

Research – Evaluation of foodborne pathogen die-off in back-sweetened wine and apple cider models

Journal of Food Protection

Wine and alcoholic apple cider are commonly back-sweetened with unpasteurized juice to produce fresh, natural, and palatable sweetened alcoholic beverages. Foodborne pathogens may be introduced from unpasteurized juice into alcoholic beverages through this back-sweetening process. Although pathogens generally do not survive under low pH conditions or high alcohol environment, the die-off of these pathogens has not been established to ensure the safety of the products. To determine the safety of these back-sweetened beverages, we evaluated the survival of three common foodborne pathogens, E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella enterica , and Listeria monocytogenes in modified white grape juice and apple juice models. White grape juice and apple juice were modified with hydrochloric acid/sodium hydroxide and ethanol to achieve conditions that are similar to the back-sweetened white wine and alcoholic apple cider. Pathogen cocktails were inoculated separately into modified juice models and their survival in the juice models were recorded over a 96-hour period. Our results show that a combination of low pH and high ethanol content resulted in a faster pathogen die-off compared to higher pH and lower ethanol conditions. The holding times required for different combinations of pH and ethanol concentration for each juice model to achieve 5-log reduction were reported. This research provides data to validate pathogen die-off to comply with Juice HACCP 5-log pathogen inactivation requirements for back-sweetened wine and alcoholic apple cider.

USA – Investigations of Foodborne Illness Outbreaks


The following is a list of outbreak investigations being managed by FDA’s CORE Response Teams. The investigations are in a variety of stages, meaning that some outbreaks have limited information, and others may be near completion.




USA – Sources of Foodborne Illness Report Released – IFSAC

Click to access P19-2018-report-TriAgency-508.pdf