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Published On: Mon, Nov 11th, 2013

CDC announces investigation into multistate STEC O157:H7 outbreak, 26 people infected from three states

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Sunday the investigation into a multistate Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 (STEC O157:H7) outbreak currently affecting 26 people from three states.

To date, a total of 26 individuals infected with the outbreak strain of STEC O157:H7 have been reported from three states. The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Arizona (1), California (22), and Washington (3).

TRADER JOE’S Field Fresh Chopped Salad with Grilled Chicken Image/FDA

TRADER JOE’S Field Fresh Chopped Salad with Grilled Chicken
Image/FDA

According to the federal health agency, who is working in collaboration with public health officials in California, Washington, and Arizona; the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS); and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), epidemiologic and traceback investigations conducted by officials in local, state, and federal public health, agriculture, and regulatory agencies indicate that two ready-to-eat salads, Field Fresh Chopped Salad with Grilled Chicken and Mexicali Salad with Chili Lime Chicken, produced by Glass Onion Catering and sold at Trader Joe’s grocery store locations, are one likely source of this outbreak of STEC O157:H7 infections.

On Sunday, Glass Onion Catering, a Richmond, California firm, voluntarily recalled approximately 181,620 pounds of ready-to-eat salads and sandwich wrap products with fully cooked chicken and ham that may be contaminated with STEC O157:H7.

The products were produced between September 23, 2013 and November 6, 2013 and shipped to distribution centers intended for retail sale in Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Washington.

The CDC says the pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) STEC O157:H7 PFGE pattern in this outbreak is new to the PulseNet database. It has never been seen before.

According to the CDC, an infection with this organism may present with the following signs and symptoms:

  • People usually get sick from STEC 2-8 days (average of 3-4 days) after swallowing the organism (germ).
    • Most people infected with STEC develop diarrhea (often bloody) and abdominal cramps.
    • Most people recover within a week.
  • Some illnesses last longer and can be more severe, resulting in a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).
    • HUS can occur in people of any age, but is most common in young children under 5 years, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems.
    • Symptoms of HUS can include fever, abdominal pain, pale skin tone, fatigue and irritability, small, unexplained bruises or bleeding from the nose and mouth, and decreased urination.
    • People who experience these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately.
  • STEC infection is usually diagnosed by testing of a stool sample.
    • Clinical laboratories are required in some states to send Shiga toxin-positive specimens from ill people to the state public health laboratory for identification of STEC and PulseNet testing.

They advise consumers that have the affected products in their homes to discard them.

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Image/CDC

Image/CDC

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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