Category Archives: STEC

France- Escherichia coli O26: HUS increases investigated in France

Outbreak News Today

Public Health France is currently investigating an increase in the number of children with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).

As of May 6, 2019, 16 children infected with Escherichia coli serogroup O26 are being investigated by Public Health France and the National Reference Center (CNR) E. coli  and its associated laboratory (Institut Pasteur, Paris, and Laboratoire de microbiology of Robert Debré Hospital, Paris). Fifteen children had HUS and one child had uncomplicated diarrhea.

RASFF Alert – STEC E.coli – Soft Cheese


RASFF – shigatoxin-producing Escherichia coli (vtx1, eae+) in soft cheese (Chaource) from France in Belgium

Research – Comparison of Antimicrobial Treatments Applied via Conventional or Handheld Electrostatic Spray To Reduce Shiga Toxin–Producing Escherichia coli on Chilled Beef Outside Rounds

Journal of Food Protection


The purpose of this study was to compare the efficacy of different antimicrobial interventions applied via either conventional spray (CS) or handheld electrostatic spray (ESS) to reduce Shiga toxin–producing Escherichia coli (STEC) on fresh beef surfaces. Hot-boned outside rounds (ORs) were inoculated within 1 h after harvest with a cocktail of eight isolates consisting of 8 O157 and non-O157 serogroups of STEC (STEC8). ORs were hung on sterile meat hooks at 4°C for 36 h to simulate a contaminated full carcass side in the chiller. ORs were then treated with lactic acid (LA; 4.5%, w/v), 3.0% lauric arginate ester (LAE), 0.8% cetylpyridinium chloride, 200 mg/L peracetic acid, 3 mg/L chlorine dioxide, 5 mg/L ClO2, or tap water by using CS or ESS. Temperatures of LA and peracetic acid were set at 55 and 42°C before spraying, whereas all other solutions were applied at room temperature (25°C). Pretreatment and posttreatment STEC8-inoculated beef tissue samples were aseptically collected to evaluate the efficacy of interventions by application method (CS or ESS). LA applied with CS achieved the greatest reduction in STEC8 numbers (3.3 log CFU/cm2) compared with all other treatments: 0.2 log CFU/cm2 (tap water) to 2.3 log CFU/cm2 (LAE). Only for LA did a significant difference arise in mean STEC8 reductions between CS and ESS applications (3.2 versus 1.7 log CFU/cm2, respectively). Among the treatments applied with ESS, LAE produced the greatest reduction of STEC8. Antimicrobial interventions applied via conventional wand or cabinet-applied technologies can reduce the O157 and non-O157 STEC on fresh beef carcass surfaces, reducing transmission to beef consumers.

  • We found no advantage in the use of electrostatic spray to reduce STEC8 on cold beef.

  • Greatest reductions in STEC8 were achieved by lactic acid with conventional spray.

  • Lauric arginate ester was the second best antimicrobial agent at reducing STEC8.

  • Lactic acid reduced pH on the beef surface significantly.

  • There was no effect of antimicrobial solution on temperature increase on beef outside rounds.

Research – Response to Questions Posed by the Food and Drug Administration Regarding Virulence Factors and Attributes that Define Foodborne Shiga Toxin–Producing Escherichia coli (STEC) as Severe Human Pathogens

Journal of Food Protection


The National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF or Committee) was asked to report on (i) what is currently known about virulence and pathogenicity of Shiga toxin–producing Escherichia coli (STEC) and how they cause illness in humans; (ii) what methods are available to detect STEC and their specific virulence factors; and most importantly (iii) how to rapidly identify foodborne STEC that are most likely to cause serious human disease. Individual working groups were developed to address the charge questions, as well as to identify gaps and give recommendations for additional data or research needs. A complete list of Committee recommendations is in Chapter 4.

RASFF Alert – Foodborne outbreak suspected to be caused by shigatoxin-producing Escherichia coli (O26) in raw milk cheese


RASFF – foodborne outbreak suspected to be caused by shigatoxin-producing Escherichia coli (O26) in raw milk cheese from France i n France

RASFF Alert – STEC E.coli – Coliforms – E.coli – Black Pepper Cheese


RASFF – shigatoxin-producing Escherichia coli (stx1+ stx2+ /25g) and too high counts of coliforms (>150000 /g) and of Escherichia coli (>150000 /g) in black pepper cheese from Italy in Germany

Ireland – Recall of Saint Marcellin Unpasteurised Cheeses due to the Possible Presence of Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli O26



Fromagerie Alpine is recalling all batches of the below Saint-Marcellin unpasteurised cheeses due to the possible presence of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O26. Point-of-sale recall notices will be displayed in retailers that sold the affected batches advising consumers not to eat the affected cheese.

Nature Of Danger:

Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), also known as Verocytotoxigenic E. coli (VTEC), are a specific group of E. coli.  While most E. coli are harmless and live in the intestines of healthy humans, STEC produce a powerful toxin which can cause severe illness. Symptoms include abdominal cramps and diarrhoea which is sometimes bloody. Usually there is little or no fever, and patients recover within 5 to 10 days.  In some people however, particularly children under 5 years of age and the elderly, the infection can cause a complication called haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS), in which the red blood cells are destroyed and the kidneys can stop working properly.  The time between the initial infection and the first symptoms appearing is typically between 3 and 4 days but can range between 1 and 8 days.

Implicated Cheeses
Photo of Saint Marcellin Cheeses