Category Archives: E.coli

RASFF Alert – STEC E.coli – Chilled Spelt Dough


RASFF – shigatoxin-producing Escherichia coli (stx1-, stx2+ /25g) in chilled spelt dough from Austria in Germany

RASFF Alerts – E.coli – Betel Leaves – Sweet Basil


RASFF – high count of Escherichia coli in betel leaves from Malaysia in the UK

RASFF – high count of Escherichia coli (up to 680 CFU/g) in sweet basil from Thailand in Norway

USA -Outbreak Investigation of lllnesses caused by E. coli O157:H7 November 2019


November 20, 2019


Consumers are advised not to eat Ready Pac Bistro® Chicken Caesar Salad, lot #255406963, UPC  0 77745 27249 8, “Best By” date Oct. 31, 2019, purchased from Sam’s Club stores in Maryland. State testing of unopened salad purchased by an ill person identified the presence of E. coli O157 in the romaine lettuce.  It should be noted that the “Best By” date was almost 3 weeks ago, so this product is not likely in stores. Consumers should not eat this specific product, regardless of where it was purchased.


Chicken Caesar Salads

FDA, CDC and state health authorities are investigating an outbreak of illnesses caused by E. coli O157:H7  in the U.S.

According to the CDC, as of November 18, 2019, 17 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported from eight states. The case patients report that illnesses started on dates ranging from September 24, 2019 to November 8, 2019.

Two cases reported from Maryland have been linked to this outbreak by Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS), through analysis of clinical samples taken from those patients. The Maryland Department of Health identified E. coli O157 in an unopened package of Ready Pac Bistro® Chicken Caesar Salad collected from a ill person’s home in Maryland which was purchased from a Sam’s Club in that state. Preliminary information indicates that romaine lettuce used in the product that tested positive was harvested in mid-October and is no longer within current expiration dates. To date, the food sample has not yet been definitively linked to the Maryland cases or other E. coli O157 illnesses in the multi-state outbreak. WGS analysis is currently underway for this sample to determine if it is closely related genetically to the E. coli found in people in this outbreak.

As analysis is underway, FDA is tracing back the supply of the romaine lettuce in the Caesar salad. FDA has identified possible farms in Salinas, California. FDA is deploying investigators to the farms in question to determine the source and extent of the contamination. More information will be forthcoming as the investigation proceeds.

Although the ill people interviewed in Maryland reported eating Ready Pac Bistro® Chicken Caesar Salad, at this time, ill people in other states have not reported eating this particular salad. Therefore, exposure to this product alone does not fully explain other cases in the outbreak.

State and local public health officials are interviewing ill people to determine what they ate and other exposures of interest in the week before their illness started.

USA- Romaine in the cross-hairs – FDA to test lettuce for pathogens

Food Poison Journal

The FDA is conducting a small, focused assignment to collect samples of raw agricultural commodity (RAC) romaine lettuce to test for Salmonella spp. and pathogenic Escherichia coli (also known as Shiga Toxin-producing E. coli or STEC), microbial hazards repeatedly linked to foodborne illnesses associated with romaine lettuce consumption. The assignment begins this month (November 2019) and is expected to last one year.

USA – MD E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak Linked to Ready Pac Chicken Caesar Salad

Food Poisoning Bulletin

A MD E. coli O157:H7 outbreak may be linked to Ready Pac Bistro® Bowl Chicken Caesar Salad that was purchased from several Sam’s Club locations in that state, according to the Maryland Health Department. Seven people are sick. One person has been hospitalized and no deaths have been reported.

The health department is recommending the consumers not eat Ready Pac Bistro® Bowl Chicken Caesar Salad. The lot number on the product is 255406963, and the best by date is October 31, 2019.

USA – As many as 20 possible E. coli cases in Wisconsin – lettuce a suspect

Food Poison Journal

According to press reports, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services is investigating what it calls a “significant increase” in the number of E. coli reports throughout the state.

Since November 13, officials say they are investigating 20 cases, three involving children. They say the cases are scattered across the state and are not isolated in any one region. The source remains a mystery.  However, officials are treating it as an outbreak.

Research -First report of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in ready-to-eat sushi.

Europe PMC

AIMS:The aim of this study was to evaluate the microbiological quality of commercially prepared ready-to-eat (RTE) sushi by enumerating aerobic mesophilic bacteria (AMB) and thermotolerant coliforms (TC) and detecting Escherichia coli and Salmonella ssp. An isolate was identified as E. coli O157:H7 which was evaluated for its virulence and antimicrobial resistance profiling as well as its ability to form biofilms on stainless steel. METHODS AND RESULTS:There were four sampling events in seven establishments, totalling 28 pools of sushi samples. Mean AMB counts ranged between 5·2 and 7·7 log CFU per gram. The enumeration of TC varied between 2·1 and 2·7 log MPN per gram. Salmonella ssp. were not detected, and one sample was positive for E. coli and was identified as E. coli O157:H7. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of E. coli O157:H7 in sushi samples in the world literature. This isolate presented virulence genes stx1, stx2, eae and hlyA. It was also susceptible to 14 antimicrobials tested and had the ability to form biofilms on stainless steel. CONCLUSIONS:There is a need to improve the good hygiene practices adopted in establishments selling sushi in the city of Pelotas, Brazil. In addition, the isolated E. coli O157:H7 carries a range of important virulence genes being a potential risk to consumer health, as sushi is a RTE food. This isolate also presents biofilm formation ability, therefore, may trigger a constant source of contamination in the production line of this food. SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY:The increase in the consumption of sushi worldwide attracts attention regarding the microbiological point of view, since it is a ready-to-eat food. To our knowledge, this was the first time that E. coli O157:H7 was identified in sushi samples.