According to Food Safety News, the outbreak strain has been found at a farm that supplied the milk used to make Mrs Kirkham’s unpasteurized cheese, which was linked to an E. coli outbreak in the UK.

In total, 36 confirmed and one probable Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) O145 infections have been reported, with 29 in England and eight in Scotland since late July 2023, with most falling ill in November. The last reported primary patient had symptom onset on Dec. 23, 2023.

Twenty patients were female, with ages of all cases ranging from 7 to 81. Of the 31 patients with available information, 20 had bloody diarrhea, 15 were admitted to the hospital, and four also attended the hospital for their symptoms. One person developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and later died.

An investigation into the outbreak by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), the local authority, Public Health Scotland, Food Standards Agency (FSA), Food Standards Scotland (FSS) and the Animal Plant Health Agency (APHA) is nearly completed.

During an APHA visit to the farm, 28 environmental samples were collected, including fresh and aged cattle feces from various locations on site, and two water trough sediment samples. Two cattle fecal samples tested positive for STEC O145. These isolates were genetically indistinguishable from the outbreak strain detected in human cases.