According to Japanese news sources, at least two children have died and nearly 40 have been sickened by a “highly toxic O-111 strain of the E. coli bacteria.” Apparently, the illnesses are linked to “a Yakiniku barbecue restaurant in Fukui [and] at the chain’s outlets in Toyama Fukui, Ishikawa and Kanagawa Prefectures. … A raw beef dish is believed to be responsible.”
We have had our fair share of E. coli O111 outbreaks in the United States, including one in Oklahoma that sickened over 300. Of course some in the beef industry and at FSIS like to claim that it was not known to be beef – but it sure was deadly.
Today at Food Safety News, Dr. Richard Raymond and Ms. Carol Tucker-Forman both called for FSIS to move on non-O157:H7 STECs and I have petitioned the FSIS to do the same.
Perhaps with these new deaths and illnesses (albeit in Japan), FSIS might be paying attention?