I never get used to the phone calls about the death of a client. Last night’s was especially hard because it came from the mother of Abby Fenstermaker who died of E. coli O157:H7 complications nearly one year ago. Now, her father John Strike lost his battle – perhaps not completely due to the E. coli O157:H7 infection that he too experienced – but also because of a broken heart due to the loss of Abby.

E. coli Death

John Strike experienced onset of diarrheal illness on April 14, 2009, and was hospitalized on April 18. Stool samples collected at the hospital confirmed E. coli 0157:H7 infection, and his isolate was forwarded to the Ohio Department of Health, where it was sub-typed by PFGE and identified as part of the 09050H EXH-I cluster. John Strike reported eating ground beef at the VFW on both April 10, and 13. Thus, his history of exposure and the characterization of his isolate clearly make him part of the outbreak associated with Valley Meats. Public health and regulatory officials at the state, local and federal levels all concluded that Mr. Strike’s illness was due to consumption of contaminated ground beef produced by Valley Meats.

Abby’s illness, and her Grandfather’s, were directly linked to a Class I Recall by FSIS in May 2009 – "Illinois Firm Recalls Ground Beef Products Due To Possible E. coli O157:H7 Contamination."