615plate 006.jpgI have learned that the E. coli outbreak in Germany, that has killed at least three and sickened some 400, dozens with Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, has been caused at least in part by an E. coli other than O157, specifically E. coli O104, stx2 positive and eae negative.

I wonder if this German outbreak has caught the eye of USDA/FSIS and FDA officials? It is not like we have not had an E. coli O1O4 outbreak in the U.S.:

Montana Milk 1994, E. coli O104:H21

Milk from a Montana dairy was implicated in an outbreak of E. coli O104:H21. No specific formulation of milk was singled out in the epidemiolgic investigation. An inspection of the dairy was conducted. The dairy plant’s records for internal, microbiologic, quality-control showed that the coliform counts of the milk had exceeded the state’s regulations. Cultures from selected post-pasteurization piping and equipment in contact with finished milk yielded fecal coliforms, however no E. coli O104:H21 was dectected. Testing of cows providing the raw milk for the plant did not yield E. coli O104:H21. This organism was a sorbital fermenter and would not readily have been detected with then commonly available laboratory methods used to detect the presence of E. coli O157:H7. Shiga-like toxin testing was not yet routinely available to screen for organisms such as this one.