E. coli O157:H7 ruins nearly everything – lettuce, spinach, swimming and hamburger cookouts. So, I suppose the following announcement should come as no surprise this fine summer morning:

The Virginia Department of Health is investigating an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 at a Boy Scout camp in the Rockbridge County community of Goshen.

Eleven cases of E. coli O157 infection have been confirmed and about 20 other people have reported illness since attending the camp from July 20 to July 26, the department said. Most of those affected live in Northern Virginia or other areas around Washington.

It will be interesting to see once the Pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) genetic patterns are uploaded to PulseNet if the E. coli O157:H7 in the Boy Scouts matches any of the recent hamburger and red meat recalls.

  • I’m not saying this link is related to any e. coli outbreaks, but I think it gives a general idea about how easily meat plants could pass on bacteria. You may have already seen it, but since I just ran across it, maybe others haven’t seen it yet either:
    Iowa meatpacking plant raid uncovers illegal immigrants, underage workers
    “…rounded up 389 illegal immigrants, they found more than 20 under-age workers, some as young as 13”
    “…said he was 16 when he started working on the plant’s killing floors, said he worked 17-hour shifts, six days a week. In an affidavit, he said he was constantly tired…”
    “They have told investigators that they were routinely put to work without safety training…”
    “saw a rabbi who was…throwing meat at employees.”
    “Another Guatemalan, Joel R., who gave his age as 15, said…he worked from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. in a section called ‘quality control,’ a job he described as relatively easy that he got because he speaks English.”