Multistate Outbreak of E. coli O157 Infections Linked to Topp’s Brand Ground Beef Patties

CDC reports as of 12 PM (ET) October 18, 2007, 40 cases of E. coli O157:H7 infection have been identified with PFGE patterns that match at least one of the patterns of E. coli strains found in Topp’s brand frozen ground beef patties. Ill persons reside in 8 states [Connecticut (2), Florida (1), Indiana (1), Maine (1), New Jersey (9), New York (13), Ohio (1), and Pennsylvania (12)]. Twenty-nine (88%) of 33 patients with a detailed food history consumed ground beef. Seven illnesses have confirmed associations with recalled products because the strain isolated from the person was also isolated from the meat in their home. The first reported illness began on July 5, 2007, and the last began on September 24, 2007. Among thirty-two ill persons for whom hospitalization status is known, twenty (63%) were hospitalized. Two patients developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS).  We have filed two lawsuits against Topps.  Given the number of ill persons, finding who supplied the product to Topps is becoming an important part of our investigation.