E. coli O157 outbreak linked to worker at Michigan eatery

The Western Upper Peninsula Health Department in Michigan is, according to the Minning Gazette, investigating a cluster of E. coli O157 cases that originated at a Houghton restaurant.

Dr. Terry Frankovich, WUPHD medical director, told the Mining Gazette the incidence of E. coli O157:H7 occurred at the Ambassador Restaurant on Shelden Avenue during Christmas. Seven people became ill and four were hospitalized with no deaths occurring. The seven people who became ill were not sitting together. Two of the people were from Dickinson County and Wisconsin, with the rest from the Copper Country.

Frankovich said the O157:H7 strain when found in laboratory testing is reportable to the health department.

Frankovich said after getting the information about the E. coli illnesses, health department environmental health staff went to the Ambassador Restaurant to talk to the managers and to determine whether the source was food or an employee.

"What we identified as a source was an ill food handler," Frankovich said.
The restaurant is open for business, and there is no anticipated risk for further exposure, she said.