Food Outbreak Scan for Dec 12, 2013

E coli salad outbreak over
;
Botulism in Texas

E coli outbreak linked to chicken salads declared over

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) yesterday declared that an Escherichia coli outbreak linked to chicken salad and wrap products from Glass Onion Catering is over after affecting at least 33 people in four states.

Seven of the patients required hospitalization, and two developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a potentially deadly kidney complication. No deaths were reported.

California had 28 cases, Washington had 3, and Arizona and Texas each had 1. The final outbreak total is one more case than listed in the CDC's previous update on Nov 21. That case was from California.

Illness-onset dates ranged from Oct 13 to Nov 5. Patient ages range from 2 to 78 years.

The CDC said that Field Fresh Chopped Salad with Grilled Chicken and Mexicali Salad with Chili Lime Chicken, made by Glass Onion Catering of Richmond, Calif., and sold at Trader Joe's stores was the likely source of the E coli O157:H7 infections.

On Nov 10 Glass Onion recalled numerous ready-to-eat salads and sandwich wraps that might have been contaminated with theoutbreak strain.
Dec 11 CDC statement

 

Four probable botulism cases reported in Amarillo

Amarillo, Tex., public health officials have identified four probable cases of botulism, the Amarillo Globe-News reported yesterday.

Definitive test results should be known by the end of the week, but in the meantime the patients—all adults from Amarillo—are receiving medical treatment, including an antitoxin for two of them.

"All the patients are improving,” said Roger Smalligan, MD, MPH, health authority for the City of Amarillo Department of Public Health (DPH). "One patient required mechanical ventilation, but they've been taken off. Another is still on a ventilator, but is improving."

"We haven’t found any common source ... most likely it came from ingesting tainted food," he told the Globe-News.

"All four patients know at least one of the other ill patients; three have had social contact at a local residence," Smalligan said in an Amarillo DPH news release. "No definitive link between the cases and a specific restaurant, workplace, school, or church has been identified. Nor has any specific food or contaminant been identified to date."

Local officials are communicating daily with state health officials and the CDC, he said.

The United States sees an average of 145 botulism cases a year, about 15% of which are foodborne, according to CDC data. The disease is caused by a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.
Dec 11 Amarillo Globe-News story
Dec 11 Amarillo DPH news release
CIDRAP comprehensive botulism overview

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