Three more cases reported in E coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to ConAgra beef

Jul 23, 2002 (CIDRAP News) – Three more cases of Escherichia coli O157:H7 infection have been linked with ground beef recalled by a ConAgra plant in Greeley, Colo., bringing the total to 19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said yesterday.

The government announced Jul 19 that the company was recalling about 19 million pounds of ground beef because of a risk of contamination. The CDC said then that 16 cases of illness had been associated with ground beef that was part of a 354,000-pound ConAgra recall that was announced Jun 30. The Jul 19 recall is the second largest on record, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

The 19 cases all were identified by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the CDC said. Another six cases of E coli O157:H7 infection that may be related to the recalled beef have been identified in California, Michigan, South Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming, the agency said.

"Of these total 25 cases, 6 persons have been hospitalized and 4 have hemolytic uremic syndrome," the CDC said.

The 19 cases all had onset dates between Jun 13 and 30, and isolates from the patients were indistinguishable by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, the CDC said. Epidemiologic investigation and molecular fingerprinting have linked the cases with ground beef that was subject to the Jun 30 recall.

See also:

CDC news release
http://www.cdc.gov/media/pressrel/b020722.htm

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