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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

E. coli O26 Hits at Least Five in Idaho

Screen shot 2011-07-01 at 12.29.21 PM.pngJohn Stucke of the The Spokesman-Review reported a few moments ago that at least five kitchen workers at Camp Lutherhaven have been sickened by E. coli O26 according to Idaho Panhandle Health officials.

Three more staffers are ill, but lab tests haven’t linked it to the bacterial infection. No one has been hospitalized and the ill workers have been excluded from the kitchen. None of the 300-plus campers has reported getting sick during the first two weeks of summer camp along the shores of Lake Coeur d’Alene.

A review of the camp by health and safety investigators determined that the camp’s food handling procedures were more than adequate. They suspect that the employees may have contracted the infection in their living quarters.

Sounds familiar?  On August 28, 2010, Cargill Meat Solutions Corp., a Wyalusing, Pa. establishment, recalled approximately 8,500 pounds of ground beef products that MAY be contaminated with E. coli O26, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced.

FSIS became aware of the problem on August 5, 2010 when the agency was notified by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources of an E. coli O26 cluster of illnesses. In conjunction with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Maine Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources, the New York State Department of Health, and New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets, two (2) case-patients have been identified in Maine, as well as one (1) case-patient in New York with a rare, indistinguishable PFGE pattern as determined by PFGE subtyping in PulseNet. PulseNet is a national network of public health and food regulatory agency laboratories coordinated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Illness onset dates range from June 24, 2010, through July 16, 2010