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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

CDC Weighs in on National Steak and Poultry E. coli Recall from CA, CO, FL, HI, IA, IN, KS, MI, MN, NV, OH, OK, SD, TN, UT, and WA

I should have waited until 6:00 AM to post what I did below at 2:00 AM.  In any event, the CDC confirmed that it is collaborating with public health officials in several states and the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to investigate a multistate outbreak of human infections due to Escherichia coli O157:H7 (E. coli 0157:H7).  Illnesses amount to 21 persons infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 from 16 states. The number of ill persons who were identified resides in each state as follows: CA (1), CO (1), FL (1), HI (1), IA (1), IN (1), KS (1), MI (1), MN (3), NV (1), OH (2), OK (1), SD (2), TN (1), UT (2), and WA (1).  Now for the cool map:

The CDC also confirmed that the known illness onset dates range from October 3, 2009 through December 14, 2009. Most patients became ill between mid-October and late November. Patients range in age from 14 to 87 years and the median age of patients is 34 years, which means half are younger than 34 years. Forty-three percent of patients are females. There have been 9 reported hospitalizations, 1 case of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), and no deaths.  Now for the cool chart:

Here is an interesting description of the actual investigation performed by local and state health officials with the CDC:

In early December 2009, CDC’s PulseNet staff identified a multistate cluster of 14 E. coli O157:H7 isolates with a particular DNA fingerprint or pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) pattern reported from 13 states. CDC’s OutbreakNet team began working with state and local partners to gather epidemiologic information about persons in the cluster to determine if any of the ill individuals had been exposed to the same food source(s). Health officials in several states who were investigating reports of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses in this cluster found that most ill persons had consumed beef, many in restaurants. CDC is continuing to collaborate with state and local health departments in an attempt to gather additional epidemiologic information and share this information with FSIS. At this time, at least some of the illnesses appear to be associated with products subject to a recent FSIS recall.

Clearly, more work to do.

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