Young brothers hospitalized with E. coli in Kentucky

The 1- and 2-year-old grandsons of Ray and Stephanie Bogucki have been in Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati, Kentucky, since Monday, suffering from what appears to be a shiga-toxin producing E. coli.

Ray Bogucki told The Ledger Independent on Thursday, "It is important people know this can happen. …

“The 1-year-old is showing signs of improvement. He has received two units of blood and seems to be getting better. The 2-year-old is on his third unit of blood and has had dialysis treatment. His blood pressure was high and he is being treated for that.”

The strain Bogucki’s grandchildren have is the type attributed to cattle, which could also be related to vegetables grown where cattle manure is used as fertilizer, he said.

“That was what confused us at first, because the 1-year-old is still eating baby food and not any meat,” Bogucki said. ”But the doctors said it can come from anywhere, even a petting zoo. They are farm kids, petting cattle and being around them.”

124 sick, up from 72; five multistate outbreaks of human Salmonella infections linked to small turtles

Turtles in the 1960s and 1970s were inexpensive, popular, and low maintenance pets, with an array of groovy pre-molded plastic housing designs to choose from. Invariably they would escape, only to be found days later behind the couch along with the skeleton of the class bunny my younger sister brought home from kindergarten one weekend.

Maybe I got sick from my turtle.

Maybe I picked up my turtle, rolled around on the carpet with it, pet it a bit, and then stuck my finger in my mouth. Maybe in my emotionally vacant adolescence I kissed my turtle. Who can remember?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports there are now 124 confirmed cases of people, primarily kids, infected with outbreak strains of five different Salmonella outbreak strains in 27 states.

There’s a country-wide love for turtles in 2012, even though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned the sale and distribution of turtles less than 4 inches in size as pets since 1975.

Two new multistate outbreaks linked to small turtles have been identified since the prior update on April 5, 2012. Overall, 5 multistate outbreaks of human Salmonella infection are linked with exposure to small turtles. Results of the epidemiologic and environmental investigations indicate exposure to turtles or their environments (e.g., water from a turtle habitat) is the cause of these outbreaks.

• A total of 124 persons infected with outbreak strains of Salmonella Sandiego ( and B), Salmonella Pomona (A and B), and Salmonella Poona have been reported from 27 states.

• Small turtles (shell length less than 4 inches) were reported by 92% of cases.

• Forty-three percent of ill persons with small turtles reported purchasing the turtles from street vendors.

• 19 ill persons have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported.

• 67% of ill persons are children 10 years of age or younger.

• Small turtles (shell length less than 4 inches) were reported by 93% of cases with turtle exposure. Forty-three percent of ill persons with small turtles reported purchasing the turtles from street vendors.

The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Alaska (2), Alabama (1), Arizona (3), California (21), Colorado (5), Delaware (3), Georgia (3), Illinois (1), Indiana (1), Kentucky (1), Massachusetts (3), Maryland (6), Michigan (2), Minnesota (1), Nevada (4), New Jersey (7), New Mexico (3), New York (24), North Carolina (1), Ohio (2), Oregon (1), Pennsylvania (9), South Carolina (3), Texas (12), Virginia (3), Vermont (1), and West Virginia (1).

The complete update is available at

More raw milk, more kids sick; 3 ill in Oregon

Oregon health officials say three children under the age of 15 have been hospitalized with E. coli linked to raw milk from a small farm in Clackamas County.

The state Public Health Division said Friday that Foundation Farm has voluntarily stopped distributing milk.

Officials say lab tests confirm that a fourth child also has E. coli but has not been hospitalized. Health officials say other customers of the dairy are reporting recent diarrhea and other symptoms typical of the bacteria.

Grocery stores cannot sell raw, unpasteurized cow’s milk in Oregon. Officials say Foundation Farm distributed to 48 households that were part of a "herd share" — an arrangement in which people own one or more animals from a herd.

A table of raw milk related outbreaks is available at:

9 sick in Missouri, 2 kids in hospital, but raw milk faithful rally to the cause

Food to many is an evangelical calling.

Some find faith in monotheism, some in nature, some in the sports shrine (I prefer ice hockey, especially now that the playoffs have started and the cathedral once known as Maple-Leaf-Gardens-whatever-the-corporate-home-of-Toronto’s-disgrace-is-now is out of the theological debate), and some in the kitchen.

For some faiths, like creationism, biology don’t matter much.

So the headline in today’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch, harking to centuries of food hucksterism, is not surprising: “Illnesses don’t dissuade raw milk fans.”

“Raw milk enthusiasts say an E. coli outbreak in Missouri won’t change their preference for unpasteurized dairy products.

“At least nine people in five counties in central and western Missouri have been sickened by E. coli since late March. Health officials have pointed to raw milk as a possible cause in at least four of the cases, including a 2-year-old from Columbia who remains hospitalized with severe complications.

“MooGrass Farms near Collinsville sells about 200 gallons of raw cow, goat and sheep milk each week, mostly to families from the St. Louis area, said the farm’s manager, Kevin Kosiek.

“His customers appreciate the taste of whole raw milk as well as the lack of heat processing that kills some of the nutrients.

"This is not a fad," Kosiek said. "People are going back to where people used to get their food, and that’s farmers doing natural, organic things."

“Kosiek and several other raw milk distributors said they doubt the E. coli outbreak will be ultimately linked to unpasteurized dairy products.”

Faith and biology don’t have to conflict. Facts are important, but never enough. It’s a religious thing.

A table of raw milk related outbreaks is available at:

7 now sick from E. coli linked to raw milk in Missouri

Two more cases of E. coli in central Missouri were confirmed Tuesday, bringing the total to seven people in the area who have recently been sickened by the same bacterial strain, state health officials said.

The patients include a 2-year-old from Boone County who is hospitalized with complications from the infection; a 17-month-old has also developed life-threatening complications affecting the kidneys. The other patients are all adults, health officials said.

5 sick, 2 kids with HUS; raw milk common theme in Missouri E. coli outbreak

The Columbia Tribune reports a Boone County, Missouri, 2-year-old infected with E. coli remained hospitalized this morning in Columbia as one of five Central Missouri residents battling the bacteria.

Geni Alexander, public information officer for the Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services, said the 2-year-old is one of three Boone County residents with either a confirmed or suspected case of the illness.

Alexander said health officials have determined that consumption of raw dairy products was the only common link for possible exposure among the three Boone County victims. She did not disclose the gender of the victims.

"Each person was identified as a raw dairy consumer," Alexander said, "but we can’t say they all got it from the same place."

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is investigating an increase in cases of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli in Central Missouri from late March through early April. In addition to the Boone County 2-year-old, state health officials reported Thursday that a 17-month-old toddler also developed symptoms of hemolytic uremic syndrome, or HUS, a severe condition that can lead to permanent kidney damage in some who survive the illness.

Alexander said the victims of the three Boone County cases range in age from 2 to 31. The 17-month-old victim is not a Boone County resident, she said.

"In public health, we always advise to stay away from those raw dairy products," she said.

A table of raw milk related outbreaks is available at

Reminder from German scientists: seasoned minced meat and raw minced pork are not for little children

A recent study by the Robert Koch Institute found that even small children in Germany eat raw meat more often than expected, so the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) decided to remind Germans that raw meat for children is a bad idea.

"Raw animal foods are often contaminated with pathogens", explains Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel, president of BfR. "For this reason, especially vulnerable sections of the population, such as small children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with a weakened immune system, should as a rule not eat these foods raw."

Raw meat can transmit, among other things, salmonella, Campylo¬bacter, E. coli including EHEC, Yersinia, Listeria and also viruses and parasites.

A recent study by the Robert Koch Institute published in the Epidemiological Bulletin has shown that raw minced pork is the most important risk factor for contracting yersiniosis. Yesiniosis is a gastro-intestinal disease which is notably caused by the bacterium Yersinia enterocolitica. Yersinia are predominantly spread through food, especially raw pork. Pork, for example minced pork and seasoned minced meat, is often eaten raw in Germany. One of the surprising findings of the published study was the high number of children who had eaten raw minced pork. Even of children who were one-year-old or younger it was reported that almost 30% of those who had fallen ill (and 4 % of the control persons) had eaten raw minced pork.

In Germany and other European countries, Campylobacter is now the most prevalent bacterial pathogen for enteric infections in humans. In the year 2011, more than 70,000 human campylobacteriosis cases were reported.

Campylobacter bacteria are notably found in raw or insufficiently heated poultry meat, but also in raw meat of other animals as well as raw milk and hen’s eggs.
The number of reported salmonellosis cases in humans, especially from Salmonella Enteritidis, has fallen significantly in the last three years.

In contrast, human infections with Salmonella Typhimurium have decreased to a lesser extent. SalmonellaTyphimurium are especially common in turkey meat and pork. As part of zoonosis monitoring, salmonella, most frequently Salmonella Typhimurium, were detected in 5 % of minced meat samples in 2009. This finding confirms that raw minced meat can be a source of infection for humans.

To protect themselves against often severe cases of foodborne infections, especially vulnerable sections of the population such as children under five, pregnant women, elderly and persons with a weakened immune system should as a matter of principle refrain from eating raw foods. They should therefore avoid consuming raw mince or seasoned minced meat, raw sausage, raw milk and raw-milk cheese, raw fish (e.g. sushi) and certain fishery products (e.g. smoked and gravad salmon) as well as raw seafood (e.g. raw oysters).

All that and no mention of raw sprouts? In Germany? The risk assessors did say consumers can “protect themselves by cooking meat and poultry sufficiently and evenly” and that “such meat must be cooked until the juices run clear and the meat has a whitish (poultry), gray-pink (pork) or gray-brown (beef) color. The inside temperature of the meat should be at least 70 °C for two minutes. If in doubt, consumers can measure this temperature by means of a meat thermometer.”

Some risk assessors. Color is a lousy indicator and consumers should be using a tip-sensitive digital thermometer to erase doubt. And stop making little kids barf.

More rewrite: 16 sick with salmonella in Ottawa schools outbreak; kitchen of interest ‘all suppliers regulated, inspected’ of course

A salmonella outbreak has put three children in the hospital in the past few days and Ottawa’s public health department is investigating a catering company that specializes in serving daycares and schools as a possible source of the contamination.

Dr. Isra Levy, the city’s top public-health official. All the cases are in children between the ages of 15 months and 14 years, Levy said, and are concentrated at three schools and one daycare:

Public Health’s investigation is in its early stages, Levy emphasized, with staff still interviewing children and parents to see what food sources they might have in common. But "one name that has come up" is a service called The Lunch Lady, a caterer that delivers hot meals for kids. It has three kitchens in Ottawa, two of them owned by Jonathan Morris. He said the public-health department is focusing on one of his facilities, on Boyd Avenue near Carling and Clyde.

It’s possible that a particular ingredient was contaminated when it arrived, Morris said, which baffles him because all of his suppliers are properly regulated and inspected.

What’s baffling is Morris’ belief that food like produce is regulated and inspected, and that such regulations and inspections make food safe.

The investigation is homing in on one food item that the kitchen prepared, which Morris wouldn’t specify because he doesn’t want to alarm parents whose children might have eaten it. "If they have a sick child, the thing to do is go to the doctor," Morris said.

Inspectors from Levy’s department have been all over the Boyd Avenue kitchen, he said, "and so far, they’ve found nothing."

The Boyd Avenue kitchen employs about 20 people, including part-timers, Morris said. In five years as a Lunch Lady franchisee, nothing like this has ever happened, he said.

According to public inspection reports from the city, Morris’s Boyd Avenue kitchen has been in full compliance with health regulations in its last three inspections, including one on Monday – the one conducted after the health department knew about the salmonella outbreak – and one as recently as Feb. 21.

Shawn Ward, who runs the other Lunch Lady franchise in Ottawa, said her kitchen has been visited by a public-health inspector and given an all-clear. "None of my schools are involved," Ward said.

16 kids sick, 3 in hospital in Ottawa salmonella outbreak, catering service suspected

Rewrite. Someone get me rewrite.

CBC News is reporting that 16 kids are sick in that Ottawa-area salmonella outbreak, and that a lunch catering service is being investigated.

CBC News has confirmed the outbreak involves children between the ages of 15 months and 14-years-old at three schools and one daycare.

There are several cases reported at the Tiny Hoppers Daycare in Kanata, and some at Turnbull School on Fisher Avenue and Steve MacLean Public School and École élémentaire catholique Jean-Paul-II in Gloucester.

Tiny Hoppers confirmed to CBC News it had a lunch caterer named "The Lunch Lady" serving for the past couple months, but this is its last week because the daycare has now hired an in-house chef.

The daycare’s director also said health officials were targeting one of the caterer’s kitchens as the possible source of the outbreak.

12 kids sick, 3 in hospital in apparent Ottawa salmonella outbreak

Three children have been hospitalized and another nine have lab-confirmed salmonellosis in the past three days in Ottawa (that’s in Canada; capital, eh?).

Ottawa Public Health will continue monitoring the outbreak, with the goal of trying to identify if there is a common source for the infections.

Local doctors have been advised of the outbreak and asked to be on the watch for new salmonella infections.