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Food Poison Journal Food Poisoning Outbreaks and Litigation: Surveillance and Analysis

E. coli alerts: 18 ill from Oregon strawberries; more cases, and more meat recalled, in Michigan ground beef outbreak

ecolioutbreak.bmpIt was a busy day in E. coli outbreak news.  Oregon now reports two additional cases of E. coli infection in Clatsop County possibly linked to contaminated strawberries, bringing the case count in the strawberry outbreak to 18.  The Oregon Department of Health issued a warning Monday after 16 people in northwest Oregon, including four in Clatsop County, were sickened with the E. coli O157:H7 bacteria strain believed to have come from strawberries from a Newberg-area farm called Jaquith Strawberry Farm. One of the people infected, a woman in Washington County, has died as a result of kidney failure, which likely happened because the toxins released by E. coli bacteria caused hemolytic uremic syndrome.

In Michigan, Mcnees Meats and Wholesale LLC has recalled an additional 2,200 pounds of ground beef that has caused an E. coli outbreak amongst Michigan residents.  The strain of E. coli involved in the outbreak is called E. coli O157:NM (non-motile). 

A total of five confirmed Shiga-toxin producing E. coli cases and four probable cases have been reported in Lapeer, Genesee, Isabella, and Sanilac counties. Illness onset dates range from July 18-30. Those affected range in age from 15-88. Six have been hospitalized.

Cases have reported consuming ground beef either at local restaurants supplied by McNees or by purchasing beef directly from the company. Michigan Health and Agriculture Departments are working with local health departments and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) on this ongoing outbreak investigation to determine how widely these products are distributed.