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College Station Market Closed For Fumigant

Hunt for Source of E. coli O157:H7 Continues

The popular BCS Asian Market in College Station, TX was closed Tuesday on orders of the Brazos County Health Department and the Texas Department of State Services.  The surprise closure occurred as Brazos County health officials are working overtime to find the source of an April outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 that  left two boys fighting for their lives.

Inspectors from both agencies conducted a joint inspection of the BCS Asian Market and, according to a post on the health department’s Facebook page, “The establishment was closed due to factors affecting public health which resulted in scoring below 70.  During the inspection, the inspectors located a restricted use fumigant (aluminum phosphide) stored with food and other items sold in the market,” according to the post.

The BCS Asian Market will remain closed for a minimum of 24 hours and will be required to pay $500 for re-inspection. Inspectors plan to return today to see if the violations have been corrected.

Brazos County health officials have not yet determined the source of the ten-person, College Station-centered cluster of E. coli O157:H7 cases that occurred from April 15-22. While the adults recovered, two infected College Station boys remain in Texas Children’s Hospital.

Several adult victims are also residents of College Station, home of Texas A&M University.

In consumer reviews on Yelp, BCS Asian Market has been called “a treasure for the Brazos Valley,” with a huge volume of food, including rare and unique vegetables. It specializes in Thai, Japanese, and Chinese foods in addition to Vietnamese, Korean, and Indian fare.

Apparently local residents often think the B/CS stands for Bryan/College Station for two neighboring cities, but according to its Yelp page BCS is for “Better Customer Service.”

Brazos County health officials say the April E. coli illnesses were more likely foodborne than water related. Investigators are trying to find a common link among the eight adults and two children by having them complete lengthy food dairies.

Two brothers, 4-year-old Jack and 18-month-old Noah Melton both fought toxins attacking their kidneys and remain at Texas Children’s in Houston in fair condition after being in critical condition as they underwent dialysis and blood transfusions.

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