Category Archives: STEC

USA – Torero’s Mexican Restaurant in Renton linked to E. coli Outbreak

Food Poison Journal

Summary

Public Health is investigating an outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (also known as STEC) associated with diarrhea and abdominal pain at Torero’s Mexican Restaurant in Renton.

The investigation is ongoing. At this time, we have not identified how STEC was spread within the restaurant. This is not uncommon for STEC outbreaks, because the bacteria can spread through contaminated food items, environmental surfaces, and from person to person.

Illnesses

Since September 5, 2022, 3 people from 3 separate meal parties reported becoming ill after eating food from Torero’s Mexican Restaurant in Renton on September 3, 2022 and September 7, 2022. All of the people developed one or more symptoms consistent with STEC, including diarrhea (often bloody), abdominal cramping, nausea, and vomiting. We have not identified any ill employees.

USA – CDC says outbreak linked to Wendy’s sandwiches is over with more than 100 sick

Food Safety News

Federal officials have declared that an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections related to romaine lettuce on Wendy’s sandwiches has ended.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting that the total number of confirmed patients is 109, up from the 97 reported in its most recent update on Sept. 1. About half — 52 — of the patients have been so sick they had to be admitted to hospitals. Thirteen of the patients developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a serious often life-threatening condition that can cause kidney failure. No one had died as of this evening.

As of the report tonight from the CDC the specific source of the E. coli could not be 100 percent confirmed. However, 83 percent of 82 patients for whom the information was available reported eating at Wendy’s before becoming ill.

“The true number of sick people in this outbreak is likely much higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not have been limited to the states with known illnesses. This is because many people recover without medical care and are not tested for E. coli,” according to the CDC statement.

Research – Europe sees large drop in E. coli infections in 2020

Food Safety News

There was a big fall in the number of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) infections in Europe in 2020, according to recently published data.

In 2020, 4,824 confirmed STEC infections were reported. This is down from 8,339 in 2019. STEC infection is mainly acquired through consumption of contaminated food or water and contact with animals or their feces.

Data on STEC infections were reported by 29 countries. Notification is voluntary in Belgium, France, Luxembourg, and Spain or based on another type of system in Italy.

Germany with 1,409 and Ireland with 734 had the most infections, accounting for 44 percent of all cases. The highest country-specific notification rates were in Ireland, Malta, Denmark, and Norway.

Research -Microbial safety and sanitary quality of strawberry primary production in Belgium: risk factors for Salmonella and Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC) contamination

Academia Edu

Hepatitis A kswfoodworld

ABSTRACT 
Strawberries are an important fruit in Belgium both in production and consumption, but little
information is available about the presence of Salmonella  and STEC in these berries, the risk
factor in agricultural production and possible specific mitigation options. In 2012, a survey
was undertaken of three soil and three soilless cultivation systems in Belgium.
No Salmonella spp. was isolated. No STEC was detected in the strawberry samples (0 out of 72), but STEC
was detected by qPCR in 11 out of 78 irrigation water and 2 out of 24 substrate samples.
Culture isolates were obtained for 2 out of 11 qPCR positive irrigation water samples and 2
out of 2 substrate samples. Multivariable logistic regression analysis revealed elevated generic  E. coli
numbers (odds ratio (OR) for 1 log increase being 4.6) as the most important risk factor for STEC, together with the berry picking season (elevated risk in summer). Presence of generic  E. coli in the irrigation water (≥ 1 cfu per 100 ml) was mainly influenced by the type of irrigation water (collected rainfall water stored in ponds was more often contaminated than ground water pumped from boreholes (OR = 5.8)) and the lack of prior treatment (untreated water versus water subjected to sand filtration prior to use (OR = 19.2)). The follow-up study in 2013 at one of the producers indicated cattle as the most likely source of 
STEC contamination of the irrigation water.

Research – Increase in food outbreaks by Escherichia coli. How to prevent them

ACSA

In recent months, outbreaks caused by Escherichia coli have increased (Ireland, Scotland, etc.). Recently, in France, pizzas contaminated by this bacterium affected 56 people─ including 55 small children─ and caused two deaths.

This bacterium is naturally present in our digestive microflora. Although most strains of E. coli  are harmless to humans, others can cause infections or carry antibiotic resistance genes. Among the pathogenic strains, shigatoxigenic E. coli is responsible for serious infections in children and the elderly.

Ruminants, especially cattle, are healthy carriers of these bacteria. Therefore, the bacteria present in their excrement can contaminate animal products (meat and dairy) and the environment (soil and water). Contamination occurs, for example, in the meat slaughterhouse (through the remains or after the evisceration of the animals) or at the time of milking the milk of cattle, sheep or goats.

With regard to plants, this contamination can occur during the spreading of manure or livestock effluents on farmland, or during the use of contaminated irrigation water.

The main foods implicated in outbreaks of shigatoxigenic E. coli infections are undercooked minced beef, non-pasteurized dairy products (raw milk and raw milk cheeses), raw vegetables (salad, young shoots, sprouts), unpasteurized fruits or vegetables and contaminated drinking water .

Throughout the food chain, the management of this risk is based on the application of effective self-controls and the verification of the effectiveness of the measures implemented.

With regard to the consumer, the prevention of infections through food is based on the application of the following measures:

  • Wash hands with soap and water when leaving the toilet, before preparing and eating food, and after handling raw or non-raw food.
  • Wash and peel the vegetables, if possible; and also fruits and aromatic herbs, especially those that are eaten raw.
  • For sensitive populations (young children and the elderly), thoroughly cook ground meat and ground meat products (70°C), avoid consumption of raw milk and raw milk products (except for cooked pressed cheeses), and of raw or undercooked flour.

USA – Could the Wendy’s E. coli Outbreak have sickened over 2,600?

Food Poison Journal

According to the CDC, as of September 1, 2022, a total of 97 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported from six states – Indiana 11, Kentucky 1, Michigan 58, New York 1, Ohio 24, and Pennsylvania 2.  It is expected, according to the NCBI database, that the actual numbers of ill will be 115 or more shortly.  Interestingly, according to the CDC, for E. coli O157:H7, there is an underreporting rate of 26.1 – meaning for everyone 1 person counted by the CDC another 26.1 were actually sickened.

UK – Nearly 200 sick in UK E. coli O157 outbreak.

Food Safety News

Public health officials in the United Kingdom are investigating an outbreak of E. coli O157 that has sickened almost 200 people in a month.

Since early September, 192 genetically linked cases of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) O157 have been identified in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

The majority of people sick are adults but there have been no deaths linked to the incident.

No source for the rise in infections has yet been identified but patients are being interviewed to help find the vehicle of infection.

There have also been no cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) reported. HUS is a type of kidney failure associated with E. coli infections that can result in lifelong, serious health problems and death.

Dr. Lesley Larkin, head of surveillance, gastrointestinal infections and food safety at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said a rise in E. coli cases notified to public health surveillance systems had been seen in recent weeks.

Nestlé eyes November re-opening of E. coli-hit Buitoni plant

Just Food

Nestlé is lining up the return of production at a Buitoni factory in France at the centre of a fatal E. coli outbreak earlier this year.

The world’s largest food maker said the site, located in Caudry in northern France, could see output resume in November, subject to the approval of local officials.

France’s national public health agency, Santé Publique France, made its first statement on rising cases of haemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) or Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) on 25 February.

Japan – Escherichia coli O157 outbreak in Kyoto Prefecture, Japan.

Minyu

Kyoto Prefecture announced on the 15th that a woman in her 90s who complained of diarrhea and abdominal pain after eating beef yukhoe sold by MEAT & FRESH TAKAMI, a meat dealer in Uji City, Kyoto Prefecture, died. Enterohemorrhagic E. coli O157 was detected in the woman’s stool.

In addition, 22 men and women between the ages of 9 and 87 who ate yukhoe and roast beef at this restaurant complained of similar symptoms, and O157 was detected in 12 people including asymptomatic people. The prefectural government determined that these foods were the cause of the food poisoning.

 On August 27, the deceased woman ate yukhoe sold as “rare steak” at home, and developed symptoms on September 2. She died in hospital on the 15th. Twenty-two ate from August 21-26.

Research – Prevalence and Characterization of Shiga Toxin Producing Escherichia coli Isolated from Animal Feed in Croatia

MDPI

A survey on prevalence and number of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia (E.) coli (STEC) in animal feed was carried out over a period of nine years in the Republic of Croatia. A total of 1688 feed samples were collected from feed factories and poultry farms. Analysis included two standard procedures: sample enrichment and (a) immunomagnetic separation and plating on two selective media; or (b) plating on two selective media. Confirmation of STEC included morphological examination, biochemical tests, serotyping, and polymerase chain reaction. Morphological and biochemical characterization revealed 629 E. coli strains. Further serological screening method revealed 78 STEC and EPEC serotypes, while only 27 strains were confirmed as STEC with PCR. All positive samples (1.6%) originated from poultry farms and contained combination of virulence genes: eaeA, stx1, and/or stx2. Since the presence of stx (especially stx2) and eae are identified as risk factors for development of severe diseases in humans, results of this survey indicate that avian sources of STEC infections might be one of those “undefined sources” of human illnesses. Further research is necessary for evaluation of risks posed by contaminated feed, poultry, and environment.