FOOD OUTBREAK SCAN: E coli outbreak points to lettuce, raw milk E coli alert

Jan 14, 2013

Lettuce implicated in Canadian E coli outbreak
Shredded lettuce used in KFC and KFC-Taco Bell restaurants is the likely source of an Escherichia coli O157:H7 outbreak that has now sickened 26 people in three Canadian provinces, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) said in a Jan 11 statement. The contamination source of the shredded lettuce has not been identified. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has traced the lettuce to a California grower and is working with FreshPoint, Inc., the product's distributor, to recall remaining products. According to the Jan 10 recall notice the lots of recalled product were distributed to KFC and Taco Bell outlets in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec. The PHAC said it received 11 more illness reports since its last update on Jan 8. So far illnesses have been detected in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Ontario. The latest illness onset was Jan 3, and the PHAC said more cases may be identified and linked to the outbreak. So far 11 of the 26 people have been hospitalized, and one patient had hemolytic uremic syndrome, a potentially fatal kidney complication.
Jan 11 PHAC statement
Jan 10 CFIA recall notice

Missouri issues alert for raw milk E coli illnesses
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (MDHSS) has issued an alert to health providers about diarrheal illnesses possibly caused by Shiga-toxin–producing E coli (STEC) that may be related to drinking locally produced raw milk. According to the Jan 11 statement, the MDHSS has learned of several cases from northwest Missouri, including one confirmed as E coli O103. The strain is one of six strains that are said to account for 80% of non-O157 E coli infections and is one of the strains that the US Department of Agriculture recently banned from ground beef. The MDHSS urged people with STEC infection symptoms to seek medical care and reminded health providers to adequately evaluate patients to assess if testing for STEC infection is needed.
Jan 11 MDHSS health advisory

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