Food Outbreak Scan for Feb 25, 2016

E coli in alfalfa sprouts
More Listeria cases tied to salads

E coli outbreak in upper Midwest tied to alfalfa sprouts

An outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:NM related to alfalfa sprouts has sickened nine people in Minnesota and Wisconsin, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) said yesterday and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed today.

The MDH discovered seven outbreak-related cases of E coli in Minnesota during routine disease monitoring in January and early February. Of the 7 patients, 4 were from the Twin Cities area, and 3 were from greater Minnesota. Two people were hospitalized and have since recovered.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has identified two E coli cases related to the outbreak in Wisconsin. Neither of the Wisconsin patients required hospitalization.

Illness-onset dates range from Jan 17 to Feb 8, the CDC said today, noting that none of the hospitalized patients had hemolytic uremic syndrome, a potentially fatal complication. Patients range in age from 17 to 84 years, and six are female. Of the eight people interviewed, all reported consuming alfalfa sprouts in the week prior to becoming ill, the CDC said.

MDH has linked the outbreak to alfalfa sprouts produced by Jack & The Green Sprouts of River Falls, Wisc. Case-patients consumed sprouts from grocery stores/cooperatives, restaurants, salad bars, and commercial food services.

The outbreak investigation is ongoing, and the MDH cautions people not to consume alfalfa sprouts sold by Jack & The Green Sprouts. The sprouts are typically sold in a plastic clamshell with a brightly colored circular sticker, the MDH said.

The CDC said the E coli outbreak is not related to an ongoing outbreak of Salmonella Muenchen linked to alfalfa sprouts from Sweetwater Farms in Inman, Kan.
Feb 25 CDC report
Feb 24 MDH press release


CDC cites 3 more listeriosis cases in salad-related outbreak

Three more listeriosis cases have been reported in an outbreak tied to packaged salads from a Dole processing plant in Springfield, Ohio, raising the total to 18, the CDC reported today.

The new cases included one in Missouri and two in Ohio. With Ohio's first two cases, the count of affected states increased to nine.

All 18 case-patients in the outbreak were hospitalized, and one patient in Michigan died of the illness, according to the CDC. Tests of Listeria monocytogenes isolates from all 18 patients showed they were closely related. The latest case was diagnosed Jan 31.

Eleven listeriosis cases reported recently in Canada have also been linked to salads from the Dole facility, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).

On Jan 27 Dole recalled all the salads produced at the Springfield plant, the CDC noted. The agency continued to warn against eating, buying, or serving the recalled products, which were sold under various names.

Patients in the outbreak have ranged from 3 to 83 years old, with a median age of 66.
Feb 25 CDC update
Feb 2 PHAC information
about Canadian cases

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