Sweden has been hit by two different outbreaks of E. coli, with one of them affecting more than 100 people. A pizza ingredient is suspected, but investigations are ongoing.

An outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 has 105 confirmed cases while 13 people have been infected with E. coli O26.

A spokeswoman for Folkhälsomyndigheten (Public Health Agency of Sweden) told Food Safety News it hopes that both enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) outbreaks are over, with the latest illness onset date being in August.

EHEC is also known as Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) or Verocytotoxin-producing E. coli (VTEC).

The majority of
Continue Reading Sweden reports two E. coli outbreaks; more than 100 ill

Thirteen people have been infected with Salmonella across Norway but the source has not yet been identified.

Folkehelseinstituttet (The Norwegian Institute of Public Health) said Salmonella Enteritidis infection has been detected in people living in several counties.

The agency is investigating with local authorities, Veterinærinstituttet (Veterinary Institute) and Mattilsynet (Norwegian Food Safety Authority).

Patient samples were taken in late July and early August. Bacteria with similar DNA profiles have been detected in all 13 individuals suggesting a common source.

There are seven women and six men affected, aged 10 to 73 years. They live in Oslo, Nordland, Troms, Finnmark, Rogaland,
Continue Reading Norway investigates Salmonella outbreak; source unknown

The number of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) cases in Scotland decreased slightly in 2017 but remains high compared to other UK countries, according to Health Protection Scotland.

A total of 167 cases of E. coli O157 were reported to the agency compared to 181 in 2016. Non-O157 STEC declined from 63 in 2016 to 59 last year.

The Health Protection Scotland (HPS) surveillance report found E. coli O157 is the most commonly detected STEC serogroup and its potential to cause large outbreaks is exacerbated by its low infectious dose. Although large foodborne outbreaks have occurred in Scotland, sporadic infection
Continue Reading Scottish STEC cases decline but rates still high

Taylor Farms Retail, Inc. is recalling select Organic Baby Spinach products over concerns they may be contaminated with (EHEC) Enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli. Symptoms of the diseases caused by EHEC include abdominal cramps and diarrhea that may in some cases progress to bloody diarrhea. Fever and vomiting may also occur. According to a company press release distributed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the products being recalled are as follows: -Central Market Organics 0rganic baby spinach in 16 oz. trays UPC number is 0-41220-18534-4 with a best by date of February 24, 2013 – this product was distributed in TX.
Continue Reading Organic Baby Spinach Recalled Nationwide Over E. coli Concerns

The report from the so-called “supershedders” conference on the future of enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) research — held recently in Scotland — is out. It identifies key knowledge gaps and recommends areas for future research. The workshop stemmed from the controversial 2005 E. coli outbreak in South Wales and was organized by the Food Standards Agency in Scotland, the Knowledge Transfer Network Biosciences and the University of Edinburgh. The report focusing on the future of E. coli research was published by Scotland’s Food Safety Agency. The workshop’s goal was to reduce the health impact of the pathogen on humans by
Continue Reading E. coli Conference: Research Should Focus on the Source

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced a bill late last week aimed at reforming food safety at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

meat-poultry-pork406.jpgThe 67-page bill, introduced Thursday in the U.S. Senate with no cosponsors, widens the definition of ‘adulterated’ meat, poultry, and egg products and adds criminal penalties for food manufacturers that knowingly introduce contaminated food into commerce.

“Recent events demonstrate that the food safety system administered by the [USDA] Food Safety and Inspection Service needs modernizing to fully control hazards in regulated food; and these events have adversely affected consumer confidence,” reads the bill.

The legislation also points to emerging

Continue Reading Bill Would Broaden USDA Definition of 'Adulterated'

According to the CDC, E. coli O157:H7 causes 73,000 illnesses and 50 deaths every year in the United States. Another six E. coli strains – O26, O45, O111, O121, O145, and O103 – are considered less pervasive, sickening “only” an estimated 37,000 people a year and killing nearly 30. E. coli O157:H7 is considered an adulterant in beef by the USDA (particularly ground beef); the other six strains are not.

rodecolired-350.jpg

Under 21 U.S.C. § 601 … (m), the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA), the term “adulterated:”

shall apply to any carcass, part thereof, meat or meat food product under one

Continue Reading Publisher's Platform: A Bit(e) of E. coli History