Category Archives: escherichia coli

New Research Links Foodborne E. Coli Infections to “Hundreds of Thousands” of UTIs in U.S.

Food Safety Magazine

A new study suggests that Escherichia coli infection from contaminated meat products may be responsible for hundreds of thousands of urinary tract infections in the U.S. each year.

A team of scientists led by George Washington University (GWU) Milken Institute School of Public Health researchers have developed a new genomic approach for tracking the origins of E. coli infections. Using this method, the team estimated that between 480,000 and 640,000 UTIs in the United States each year may be caused by foodborne E. coli strains.

According to GWU, E. coli is the most common cause of UTIs, causing upwards of 85 percent of cases each year. Women are at greater risk of developing UTIs, which can range from simple bladder infections to life-threatening bloodstream infections. At present, only specific types of diarrhea-causing E. coli, such as E. coli O157:H7, are rigorously monitored by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but the new findings from GWU suggest that other strains may also pose serious health risks.

In the study, researchers collected raw chicken, turkey, and pork from major grocery store chains in Flagstaff, Arizona, and isolated E. coli from the meat samples. Simultaneously, researchers collected urine and blood E. coli isolates from patients hospitalized at the Flagstaff Medical Center for UTIs.

Research Imported spring onions related to the first recorded outbreak of enteroinvasive Escherichia coli in Denmark, November to December 2021


Enteroinvasive  (EIEC) is a Gram-negative bacteria causing diarrhoeal disease. EIEC is transmitted via the faecal–oral route, with a usual incubation period of 1–3 days; infections are frequently related to contaminated food and water [1,2]. In Denmark, disease caused by EIEC is mostly observed in returning travellers, but secondary transmission from person-to-person may occur [3]. In Europe, outbreaks of EIEC in 2012, 2014 and 2017 have been reported and, for all of these, contaminated vegetables were suspected as the source [46].

Clinically, EIEC infections present either with watery diarrhoea or dysentery. EIEC invade the epithelial cells of the large intestine in the same manner as  and symptoms resulting from EIEC infection are clinically indistinguishable from shigellosis [7]. Studies have shown that  and  species have high genomic and phenotypic similarity, leading to propose that  species should be reclassified as a subspecies of  [8,9].

Diagnostics of EIEC in Denmark are done locally through 10 different clinical microbiology laboratories situated at hospitals in the five Danish regions. The criteria for carrying out an EIEC diagnostic vary. Some laboratories test all faecal samples for diarrhoeagenic  including EIEC, while others test only faecal samples from suspected patients, based on their age, travel history and presence of bloody diarrhoea. The PCR diagnostic assays target the invasive plasmid gene () shared by both  spp. and EIEC [10]. Culture is required to differentiate the two species, and if culture is not possible or unsuccessful, faecal specimens are considered positive for the combination /EIEC. Detection of /EIEC is voluntarily notified as part of the Danish laboratory surveillance, where episodes are irregularly reported by the clinical microbiology laboratories to Statens Serum Institut (SSI), the national public health institute. All isolates from successfully cultured samples are furthermore routinely sent on a voluntary basis to SSI for further characterisation.

Outbreak detectionOn 10 December 2021, the clinical microbiology laboratory at Slagelse hospital in Region Zealand reported observing an increase between 5 and 8 December of patients diagnosed with domestically-acquired EIEC. During this period, this laboratory had detected a total of five such patients. On the same day (10 December), SSI identified one EIEC isolate with serotype O96:H- and three with serotype O136:H7 (two of which originated from Slagelse hospital), the latter a type never found in human samples from Denmark before. In total, between 6 and 10 December, SSI had received six EIEC isolates from three different regions of Denmark, exceeding the total number of EIEC isolates that were received in the months of December of the 2 previous years. A national outbreak was therefore declared on 13 December.



Cactus is recalling the following product in Luxembourg:

Name Minced beef Toscana
Brand Cactus
Unit about 400g
Use-by date (DLC) 03/23/2023
Batch 17.03.23-01

Danger: Potential presence of E. coli bacteria

Escherichia coli can cause food poisoning which can occur within a week after consumption and result in gastrointestinal disorders often accompanied by cramps. These symptoms may be aggravated in young children, immunocompromised subjects and the elderly. People who have consumed these products and have these symptoms are invited to consult a doctor and report this consumption to him.

Sale confirmed in Luxembourg by: Cactus

Information Source: Cactus Recall Notification

Research – A Systematic Quantitative Determination of the Antimicrobial Efficacy of Grape Seed Extract against Foodborne Bacterial Pathogens



Concerns regarding the role of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in disease outbreaks are growing due to the excessive use of antibiotics. Moreover, consumers are demanding food products that are minimally processed and produced in a sustainable way, without the use of chemical preservatives or antibiotics. Grape seed extract (GSE) is isolated from wine industry waste and is an interesting source of natural antimicrobials, especially when aiming to increase sustainable processing. The aim of this study was to obtain a systematic understanding of the microbial inactivation efficacy/potential of GSE against Listeria monocytogenes (Gram-positive), Escherichia coli and Salmonella Typhimurium (Gram-negative) in an in vitro model system. More specifically, for L. monocytogenes, the effects of the initial inoculum concentration, bacterial growth phase and absence of the environmental stress response regulon (SigB) on the GSE microbial inactivation potential were investigated. In general, GSE was found to be highly effective at inactivating L. monocytogenes, with higher inactivation achieved for higher GSE concentrations and lower initial inoculum levels. Generally, stationary phase cells were more resistant/tolerant to GSE as compared to exponential phase cells (for the same inoculum level). Additionally, SigB appears to play an important role in the resistance of L. monocytogenes to GSE. The Gram-negative bacteria under study (E. coli and S. Typhimurium) were less susceptible to GSE as compared to L. monocytogenes. Our findings provide a quantitative and mechanistic understanding of the impact of GSE on the microbial dynamics of foodborne pathogens, assisting in the more systematic design of natural antimicrobial-based strategies for sustainable food safety.

Research – Inactivation of Escherichia coli in an Orange Juice Beverage by Combined Ultrasonic and Microwave Treatment



The inactivation of Escherichia coli is one of the major issues in the food industry. The present study focuses on the application of a combined microwave-ultrasound system for the optimization of the inactivation of Escherichia coli ATCC 25922 in an orange juice drink. Using response surface methodology (RSM), trials were planned with a Box–Behnken Design (BBD) to maximize the impact of microwave power (A: 300–900 W), microwave treatment time (B: 15–35 s), and time of ultrasound (C: 10–30 min) on E. coli inactivation. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was carried out and E. coli inactivation was expressed with a mathematical equation depending on the factors. The results showed that both the microwave treatment time and the time of ultrasound were effective as independent variables in eliminating the E. coli strain. However, the effect of these two variables, ultrasound and microwave exposure time, in combination was significantly greater than when examined separately. RSM modeling determined that optimal treatment conditions include 900 W microwave power, 33 s microwave treatment time, and 20 min time of ultrasound to achieve an 8-log reduction of E. coli, constituting total inactivation. The results of this study showed that ultrasound-microwave treatment is a potential alternative processing method for an orange juice beverage.

Research – Pseudomonas fluorescens and Escherichia coli in Fresh Mozzarella Cheese: Effect of Cellobiose Oxidase on Microbiological Stability during Refrigerated Shelf Life



Background: Mozzarella cheese possesses a high moisture content (50–60%) and a relatively high pH (around 5.5) and is therefore considered a perishable food product characterized by high quality deterioration and the potential risk of microbial contamination. Moreover, it can be spoiled by Pseudomonas spp. and coliform bacteria, which may be involved in different negative phenomena, such as proteolysis, discolorations, pigmentation, and off-flavors. To prevent these, different methods were investigated. In this context, the present study aims to assess the antimicrobial effect of cellobiose oxidase on Pseudomonas fluorescens (5026) and Escherichia coli (k88, k99) in mozzarella cheese during refrigerated shelf life. Methods: microbiological challenge tests were designed by contaminating the mozzarella covering liquid containing different cellobiose oxidase concentrations with P. fluorescens (5026) and E. coli (k88, k99). The behavior of these microorganisms and the variation of hydrogen peroxide concentrations were then tested under refrigerated conditions for 20 days to simulate the mozzarella cheese shelf life. Results and Conclusions: The data obtained demonstrated the effect of cellobiose oxidase on microbial growth. In particular, E. coli (k88, k99) was inhibited over the entire shelf life, while P. fluorescens (5026) was only partially affected after a few days of refrigerated storage.

Australia – The Yoghurt Shop Caramel Crumble Yoghurt 190g – E.coli


Product information

Purely Natural Yoghurt is conducting a recall of the below product. The product has been available for sale at Coles in SA and NT; IGA in SA and NT; and OTR (On The Run) locations in SA.

Date markings

Best Before date – BB: 23/01/23

The Yoghurt Shop Caramel Crumble Yoghurt 190g


The recall is due to microbial (E.coli) contamination.

Food safety hazard

Food products contaminated with E.coli may cause illness if consumed.

Country of origin


What to do​

Consumers should not eat this product and should return the product to the place of purchase for a full refund. Any consumers concerned about their health should seek medical advice.

For further information please contact:

Purely Natural Yoghurt
(08) 7081 0711

Related links:

Research – Lowest number of recorded Hepatitis A cases, five other food and waterborne diseases rising towards pre-pandemic levels


Hepatitis A cases in 2021 were at their lowest levels since EU-level hepatitis A surveillance began in 2007, while five other food and waterborne diseases are rising towards pre-pandemic levels. The information is revealed in the Annual Epidemiological Report 2021, of which six chapters are published today by ECDC.

The chapters cover diseases causing  the highest number of  food- and waterborne infections in the EU/EEA, namely campylobacteriosis, salmonellosis, yersiniosis, shigatoxigenic Escherichia coli infection, listeriosis, and hepatitis A.  

In the EU/EEA, the hepatitis A notification rate was exceptionally low in 2021, with 0.92 cases per 100 000 population, compared to 2.2 in 2019. This can be attributed primarily to the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions, including reduced international travel.  

However, a sharp decline in the trend of hepatitis A cases has also been evident in the EU/EEA over the last five years. Additional factors contributing to this may be the heightened awareness of hepatitis A transmission, increased preventive measures such as practising good hygiene and increased vaccine uptake among at-risk groups. Increased natural immunity in at-risk groups following a large multi-country outbreak occurring in 2017 and 2018 may also be of importance.  

In 2020, the number of cases of campylobacteriosis and salmonellosis, the two most commonly reported gastrointestinal infections in the EU/EEA, decreased notably due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike hepatitis A, these appeared to increase in 2021, but the levels are still well below those of the pre-pandemic years. This could partly be an effect of reduced travel as travel-related infections were at their lowest in 2021. 

Listeriosis, shigatoxigenic Escherichia coli infections and yersiniosis trends decreased less notably in 2020 and the number of cases returned to the pre-pandemic levels in 2021. This might be due to the more severe symptoms caused particularly by listeriosis and shigatoxigenic Escherichia coli infections, which are then more likely to be diagnosed and reported. Additionally, many of the cases are acquired  within the EU/EEA, and the numbers are not as affected by international travel restrictions.  

In 2021, although the COVID-19 pandemic was still ongoing, the gradual reduction of COVID-19 restriction measures, along with the return to normal daily life (social events, doctor’s visits, travel), the reopening of bars, restaurants and catering facilities (i.e. schools, workplaces), may explain the increase in cases of the five food- and waterborne diseases.   

Viet Nam – Salmonella, Bacillus cereus, E.coli detected in food samples in Nha Trang school outbreak

Outbreak News Today

In a follow-up on the food poisoning outbreak that affected hundreds of schoolchildren at the Ischool Nha Trang in Khanh Hoa province, Vietnam, health officials now report test results from the Pasteur Institute Nha Trang show pathogenic bacteria were found in the fried chicken wings of the meal, causing the outbreak which sickened students at a Ischool Nha Trang.

Specifically, Salmonella sp., Bacillus cereus and Escherichia coli were detected in food samples. In addition, Bacillus cereus was also detected in fish sauce samples.

According to our previous report, some 400 students were sickened including more than 200 hospitalizations and one death was reported in a first grade student after eating a school lunch.

Research – Prevalence and Implications of Shiga Toxin-Producing E. coli in Farm and Wild Ruminants


Shiga-toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) is a food-borne pathogen that causes human gastrointestinal infections across the globe, leading to kidney failure or even death in severe cases. E. coli are commensal members of humans and animals’ (cattle, bison, and pigs) guts, however, may acquire Shiga-toxin-encoded phages. This acquisition or colonization by STEC may lead to dysbiosis in the intestinal microbial community of the host. Wildlife and livestock animals can be asymptomatically colonized by STEC, leading to pathogen shedding and transmission. Furthermore, there has been a steady uptick in new STEC variants representing various serotypes. These, along with hybrids of other pathogenic E. coli (UPEC and ExPEC), are of serious concern, especially when they possess enhanced antimicrobial resistance, biofilm formation, etc. Recent studies have reported these in the livestock and food industry with minimal focus on wildlife. Disturbed natural habitats and changing climates are increasingly creating wildlife reservoirs of these pathogens, leading to a rise in zoonotic infections. Therefore, this review comprehensively surveyed studies on STEC prevalence in livestock and wildlife hosts. We further present important microbial and environmental factors contributing to STEC spread as well as infections. Finally, we delve into potential strategies for limiting STEC shedding and transmission. View Full-Text