Category Archives: STEC

Austria -Dr. Oetker Chocolate Cookies -STEC E.coli


Product recall Dr. Oetker Schoko Ausstech Cookies
Opinion of the Dr. Oetker GmbH on the test report of the Institute for Food Safety Innsbruck with the order number 2112838.

Villach (OTS) – Object of
investigation Dr. Oetker Schoko
Cookie Cutter Lot / Batch / Best before: L169

When a sample was taken by the Innsbruck Institute for Food Safety, Vero / Shiga toxin-forming Escherichia coli were detected in the above-mentioned object of investigation.

Although according to the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) in its opinion no. Oetker, who learned of the examination results on November 26th, 2021, received batch L 169 from Dr. Oetker chocolate cookie cutters back.
We would like to point out that E.Coli proof would only be possible in the raw dough, but baked biscuits can be enjoyed without hesitation.

Item No. 1-01-870700

GTIN EVE 4000521013288

Article description Chocolate cookie

cutter Best before 02.2023

The product concerned was placed on the Austrian market from September 2021. He was informed immediately. To avoid health risks, consumers are asked to return the recalled goods to the shop where the product was purchased. The purchase price will be refunded. Dr. Oetker apologizes to its customers for any inconvenience this may cause.

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Verotoxin-producing Escherichia coli (VTEC)

Research – Evaluation of the use of ampicillin- and streptomycin-resistant Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli to reduce the burden of background microbiota during food safety studies

Wiley Online

Tracking artificially seeded foodborne pathogens in foods with high background microbiota is challenging. Wheat flour and its subsidiary products are known to carry a high native microbial load, which could interfere with tracking and enumeration of target organisms in such matrices. Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) serogroups O26, O121, and O157:H7 were transformed with the pGFPuv plasmid encoding ampicillin resistance (+Amp) and green fluorescent protein and were additionally conferred resistance to streptomycin (+Amp + Strep) through exposure to incremental concentrations of the antibiotic. Growth characteristics of these antibiotic-resistant strains were compared to those of the nonresistant native strains (NR). The supplementation of ampicillin and ampicillin + streptomycin in growth media was evaluated for its ability to suppress growth of the native microbial load of three different commercial cake mixes. Antibiotic supplementation in growth media was successful in suppressing the native microbiota of the cake mixes, while the growth characteristics of the +Amp + Strep variants of the three STEC strains did not differ significantly from the NR strains (p > .05). These results indicate that STEC strains with ampicillin and streptomycin resistance markers have improved trackability over their wild-type counterparts when isolated from food matrices with high background microbiota. These strains would be advantageous for use in laboratory experiments on STEC survival in wheat and wheat derived products as their detection and enumeration can occur without interference from native microbial load.

USA – Outbreak Investigation of E. Coli O157:H7 – Spinach (November 2021)


Outbreak Investigation of E. Coli O157:H7 in Spinach (November 2021): Sample Image of Josie's Organics Baby Spinach

The FDA and CDC, in collaboration with state and local partners, are investigating illnesses in a multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7. According to the CDC, as of November 15, 2021, 10 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported from 7 states. Illnesses started on dates ranging from October 15 to October 27, 2021. Five people in this outbreak report eating spinach in the week before becoming sick and one person reported Josie’s Organics brand.

On November 15, 2021, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture reported that, as part of this outbreak investigation, a sample of Josie’s Organics Baby Spinach collected from the home of an ill person tested positive for E. coli O157:H7. This sample had a “Best If Used By” date of October 23, 2021 and is undergoing Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) analysis to determine if the strain of E. coli O157:H7 present in the product sample matches the outbreak strain.

As WGS analysis of the sample is underway, FDA is tracing back the supply of the baby spinach in the positive product sample. Thus far, FDA has traced supply chains for this product back to a small number of farms in two different geographic regions and is deploying investigators along the supply chains of interest.

FDA and state partners are working with the firm to determine if additional products could be affected. This is an ongoing investigation and additional information will be provided as it becomes available.


Consumers, restaurants, and retailers, should not eat, sell, or serve Josie’s Organics Baby Spinach with a “Best If Used By” date of October 23, 2021. Josie’s Organics Baby Spinach is sold in a clear plastic clamshell with the Best If Used By Date on the top label.

Although this product is past expiration and should no longer be available for purchase, consumers should check their homes for product and discard it. If consumers froze fresh Josie’s Organics Baby Spinach, they should discard it.

Case Count Map Provided by CDC

Outbreak Investigation of E. Coli O157:H7 in Spinach: Case Count Map Provided by CDC (November 15, 2021)

Case Counts

Total Illnesses: 10
Hospitalizations: 2
Deaths: 0
Last Illness Onset: October 27, 2021
States with Cases: IA (1), IN (3), MI (1), MN (2), MO (1), OH (1), SD (1)

Research – Attachment of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli (STEC) to Pre-Chill and Post-Chill Beef Brisket Tissue


Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) has caused numerous foodborne illness outbreaks where beef was implicated as the contaminated food source. Understanding how STEC attach to beef surfaces may inform effective intervention applications at the abattoir. This simulated meat processing conditions to measure STEC attachment to adipose and lean beef tissue. Beef brisket samples were warmed to a surface temperature of 30 °C (warm carcass), while the remaining samples were maintained at 4 °C (cold carcass), prior to surface inoculation with an STEC cocktail (O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, O145, and O157:H7). Cocktails were grown in either tryptic soy broth (TSB) or M9 minimal nutrient medium. Loosely and firmly attached cells were measured at 0, 3, 5, and 20 min and 1, 3, 8, 12, 24 and 48 h. TSB-grown STEC cells became more firmly attached throughout storage and a difference in loosely versus firmly attached populations on lean and adipose tissues was observed. M9-grown STEC demonstrated a 0.2 log10 CFU/cm2 difference in attachment to lean versus adipose tissue and variability in populations was recorded throughout sampling. Future research should investigate whether a decrease in intervention efficacy correlates to an increase in firmly attached STEC cells on chilled carcasses and/or subprimals, which has been reported. View Full-Text

USA – IDHP final report on Jackson County Shiga-toxin E. Coli / HUS cases

Food Safety News

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has completed a final report on last May’s Shiga-toxin E. coli outbreak in a Jackson County childcare facility.  Pursuant to Iowa Open Records law, IDPH has shared its findings with Food Safety News

The onset of the E. coli illnesses occurred from May 6 to May 22.  IDPH and Jackson County Public Health learned, through the reportable disease system, of a Jackson County child suffering from Shiga-toxin E. coli.

“Local public health spoke to the healthcare provider and the case’s family to get information for IDPH’s Shiga-toxin investigation form,” according to the final report. “JCPH learned the child attended local childcare and placed the child under an exclusion order to exclude the child from childcare until resolution of diarrhea and two consecutive tested negative for Shiga-toxin E. coli.”

Research – Biofilms are a concern across the entire food supply chain

Food Safety News

kswfoodworld biofilm

Biofilm, which is a cluster of pathogens encased in a protective matrix, is a common enemy across diverse food manufacturing industries.

From dairy, produce, meat, poultry, ready-to-eat deli foods and other products, biofilm is a concern at the farm level and at processing and manufacturing plants.

The protective layers generated by pathogens that create the biofilm, known as extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), resist sanitation efforts and are adept at spreading in moist environments, through a process known as “seeding dispersal.” According to Sterilex Industries, which offers products to treat biofilms and the pathogens they harbor, seeding dispersal is similar to a dandelion releasing seeds to encourage species growth.

Although forming biofilm is a natural process that pathogens — including those commonly leading to foodborne illness outbreaks, such as Shiga-toxin producing E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella — use to survive, industry food safety plans and government regulations don’t necessarily focus on biofilm and how to eradicate it.

RASFF Alerts – STEC E.coli – Puff Pastry – Tuna Salad – Romaine Lettuce


Verotoxin-producing E. coli in fresh puff pastry from Austria in Germany


Shigatoxin-producing Escherichia coli (stx1+, stx2 + /25g) in tuna salad from the Netherlands in Belgium


Shigatoxin-producing Escherichia coli (stx1 +, stx2 + /25g) in romaine lettuce from the Netherlands in Belgium

USA – 5 E. Coli cases confirmed from the Georgia National Fair


Five children have been diagnosed with E. Coli connected to the fair. Georgia Department of Public Health says it’s trying to figure out the source of where the bacteria came from.

“Our epidemiologists immediately started looking through our syndromic surveillance, which is just a database that medical providers just dump information into, and you can query certain symptoms,” said Carle Coley, an Environmental Health Director with Georgia DPH. “Once they began to query those symptoms, within 30 minutes we were able to find other cases across the state.”

Georgia DPH put out a survey Thursday and has received 800 responses so far. The investigation should only take a few weeks if it continues to get responses to their survey.

Even if you did not get sick after the fair, DPH is asking you to fill out their survey here:!dynamicsurvey.surveypublicprompt?pQATemplateId=14259.

Research – Occurrence of the seven most common serotypes of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli in beef cuts produced in meat-processing plants in the state of São Paulo, Brazil


Healthy cattle are considered the main reservoir of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains, so in some places in the world, products derived from beef are the most common source for disease outbreaks caused by these bacteria. Therefore, in order to guarantee that the beef produced by our slaughterhouses is safe, there is a need for continuous monitoring of these bacteria. In this study, 215 beef cuts were evaluated, including chilled vacuum-packed striploins (151 samples), rib eyes (30 samples), and knuckles (34 samples), from March to June, 2018. These meat samples were collected from the slaughter of unconfined cattle, being arbitrarily collected from eight meat-processing companies in São Paulo state, Brazil. Each sample was examined for the presence of STEC toxin type ( stx 1 and/or stx 2 genes) and also the E. coli attaching-and-effacing ( eae ) gene, which were determined by a multiplex PCR assay. Here we show that the major seven STEC strains (O serogroups O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, O145, and O157) are not detected in any of the analyzed beef cut samples; however, three of them presented the virulence eae gene. Therefore, the absence of STEC strains in the beef samples may be an indication of the low prevalence of this pathogen in the cattle herd on the farm, associated with good hygiene and handling practices adopted by the meat industry.

RASFF Alert – STEC E.coli – Valencay Cheese – Camenbert


E.COLI producers STEC in Valencay cheese from France in Italy


Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli in Camenbert from France in Germany