Egypt says E. coli O157 caused the death of 2 British tourists

Tests showed that E.coli bacteria were behind the death of two British tourists in a hotel in Egypt’s Red Sea resort of Hurghada, the country’s chief prosecutor said on Wednesday.

The statement by Prosecutor Nabil Sadek came a week after travel company Thomas Cook said that there was a “high level of e. coli and staphylococcus bacteria” at the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel where John and Susan Cooper died Aug. 21 after falling ill in their room in the five-star hotel.

Forensic tests showed that John Cooper, 69, suffered acute intestinal dysentery caused by E.coli, and Susan Cooper, 64, suffered Hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), likely because of E .coli, Sadek said.

He said that tests also showed no links between the couples’ death and the spraying of their neighboring room with lambda-cyhalothrin 5 per cent. The insecticide is safe to use, according to the statement.

The couple’s bodies showed “no criminal violence” and other tests showed no toxic or harmful gas emissions or leaks in their room and tests on air and water at the hotel found nothing unusual, the statement said.

There was not an immediate comment from the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel. Thomas Cook meanwhile said it needs time for their own experts to review the prosecutor’s statement.

E. coli O157 outbreak at Marine base in San Diego and chest thumping

The leading cause of immobilizing U.S. troops?

Foodborne illness.

My former dean was known as Dr. Clorox while serving in Vietnam.

I used to give training sessions to food types headed for Iraq and Afghanistan from Fort Riley (in Manhattan, Kansas) and would sheepishly say, I have no idea what you’re going to face in terms of potable water, but bleach is your friend.

I reported in Nov. 2017 that a bunch of Marines training in San Diego got sick from Shiga-toxin producing E. coli.

The eventual number would be about 220.

Food safety lawyer Bill Marler wrote the other day that the outbreak “seemed to fall a bit below the radar.”

That means below his litigation radar, not the public awareness radar. Yesterday he filed a lawsuit in the Southern District Court of California against Sodexo Inc. on behalf of Illinois resident, Vincent Grano who developed an E. coli O157:H7 infection from food served at the cafeteria and mess hall at a Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego.

Sodexo, a Delaware company, provides food and facility management services for the United States Marine Corps Depot in San Diego. Mr. Grano is represented by Marler Clark, the food safety law firm, and Gordon and Holmes, a local San Diego firm.

Marler also wrote the other day that two of his blogs made the Top 30 Food Safety Blogs, Websites & Newsletters to Follow in 2018 by Feedspot.com.

I don’t pay attention to this kind of shit and wouldn’t unless Marler’s chest-thumping could be heard across the Pacific Ocean.

Maybe he’s like Sarah Palin and looks out and sees me.

It’s nice to be included in some BS list of top-30 food safety bloggers, but it’s better to be #1.

That would be barfblog.com.

And we’re not trying.

‘He would be dead right now’ Canadian family warns parents after 2-year-old contracts E. coli infection

There is so much I want to write about, to get the daily buzz of the blog, but blogs don’t last, and don’t pay the bills.

What’s important to me is the pic, below, and everything I can do to help them succeed.

I’ll work on books (which also don’t pay the bills, but may last longer).

Julian Kolsut of Chek reports that a Parksville family is at the B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver this weekend after their two-year-old toddler contracted an E. coli Infection — that his father Aaron Hughes says was not diagnosed until it was almost too late.

“Be persistent… if we didn’t stick to our guns and react, he would be dead right now,” said Hughes.

It all started when 2-year-old Jaxon starting to act “off” on Tuesday, both of his parents thought he may have had heatstroke and made sure to take him out of the sun and keep him hydrated.

“He was out in the sun and he became really lethargic really fast, didn’t have an appetite, a fever kicked in quickly and then the diarrhea started,” said Aarons wife Jolene Secord.

After contacting the nurse’s line, they were given the same advice, but eventually Jaxon started vomiting. A visit to the walk-in clinic resulted in a different diagnosis, a possible bacterial infection, but while at the clinic they noticed blood in his diaper.

“They did take a swab of his green bowl movements but sent us home,” said Secord.

They were told to continue keeping an eye on him and taking care of him.

The parents say on Wednesday the vomiting and bleeding got worse, and after rushing Jaxon to the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital they were told again it may be a bacterial infection, and that he may have had a torn fissure. After speaking to a nutritionist they were sent home.

Aaron says he couldn’t see the fissure, and was confused the mucus coming out of his toddler’s behind was also bloody.

When his 18-year-old daughter called him when he was shopping for vaseline for his son in Nanaimo on Thursday and was told Jackson’s symptoms were worse, he told them to call and ambulance at that he would meet them at the hospital.

“We weren’t wasting any time… but they couldn’t find his stools [that were sent in for testing]” said Hughes.

“The doctor then came into the room [the next day] and said, “I think we found the source” and he didn’t look too happy, [the doctor] tracked down the stools and said the test came back positive for E. coli O157:H7.”

He was immediately airlifted to the B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver and currently, among many other issues with his health, does not have any functioning kidneys and has a damaged pancreas.

Jaxon is undergoing dialysis, transfusion and other treatments, and his mom says his state changes by the hour.

“At this point, they don’t see the kidneys waking up… it could be a long-term thing… every hour seems to change for Jaxon,” said Secord. “We will see a positive, we will see a negative, we will see a positive.”

The exact cause is unknown, but the family says they suspect it came from deer feces, as the animal can carry the O157:H7 strain. They think Jackson may have come in contact with it outside.  Contaminated food is also a possibility.

“We almost have a family of deer living [on our property]” said Hughes. “We have apple trees on our property and they [the deers] live off that stuff, and that can transport diseases.”

Both parents also say the unfortunate incident is a reminder to always listen to your gut.

“If we would have stuck to what they were telling us then we would have lost him… and if we waited he could have had brain damage, heart failure,” said Hughes.

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1 dead, 25 sick: No fatal accident inquiry over girl’s E. coli death

BBC reports there will not be a fatal accident inquiry (FAI) into the death of a three-year-old girl from Dunbartonshire following an E. coli outbreak in 2016.

The Crown Office had previously said South Lanarkshire-based Errington Cheese would not face prosecution over the child’s death.

The firm’s Dunsyre Blue was named the most likely source of the outbreak.

The Crown Office said it had considered “all the relevant matters” before ruling out an FAI.

A total of 26 cases of the same strain of E. coli O157 were identified between July and September 2016 as a result of the outbreak, which left 17 people requiring hospital treatment.

A report published by Health Protection Scotland concluded in March 2017 that the source of the infection was consumption of an unpasteurised cows’ milk cheese.

Their incident management team found that potentially pathogenic E. coli were able to enter and survive the cheese production process at the food business.

However, Errington Cheese has repeatedly questioned the quality of the investigation and any suggestion that their product was responsible.

I’m known as the flyslayer around the home: More debate on the role of houseflies in E. coli transmission

The ecology of Escherichia coli O157:H7 is not well understood. The aims of this study were to determine the prevalence of and characterize E. coli O157:H7 associated with houseflies (HF).

 Musca domestica L. HF (n = 3,440) were collected from two sites on a cattle farm over a 4-month period and processed individually for E. coli O157:H7 isolation and quantification. The prevalence of E. coli O157:H7 was 2.9 and 1.4% in HF collected from feed bunks and a cattle feed storage shed, respectively. E. coli O157:H7 counts ranged from 3.0 × 101 to 1.5 × 105 CFU among the positive HF. PCR analysis of the E. coli O157:H7 isolates revealed that 90.4, 99.2, 99.2, and 100% of them (n = 125) possessed the stx1, stx2, eaeA, and fliC genes, respectively.

Large populations of HF on cattle farms may play a role in the dissemination of E. coli O157:H7 among animals and to the surrounding environment.

Association of Escherichia coli O157:H7 with houseflies on a cattle farm

July 2018

Applied and Environmental Microbiology vol. 84 no. 14

Muhammad Alam and Ludek Zurek

doi: 10.1128/AEM.70.12.7578-7580.2004

http://aem.asm.org/content/70/12/7578?ijkey=717a5417861fddb53638f51da6eecec048234a81&keytype2=tf_ipsecsha

Doesn’t matter if your kid has E. coli, US privileged want playground taken down

Tim Sanders claims his family’s neighborhood association wants him to take down the playground he installed for his daughter, who is fighting kidney failure.

“It’s important to have this playground when my daughter gets home from the hospital, because it’s hope,” Sanders said. E. coli led to kidney failure for 6-year-old Ashlin three years ago.

The Sanders family moved to Oconomowoc to be closer to family and Ashlin’s doctors in Madison.

She had a kidney transplant on Father’s Day and is expected to return home soon.

“Today they pulled out a pic-line in her chest where they administer fluids and things of that nature,” Sanders said.

Sanders says the former neighborhood president approved the playground and trees. An email says “permission was granted for the rainbow playground set.” It goes on to say trees were also allowed.

“We are not breaking codes. Everything was permitted,” Sanders said.

Sanders said the new HOA board wants him to take everything down “in order to obtain and maintain harmony in appearance,” according to a letter.

Suburbia, I smile and wave.

Raw is risky: ‘Not aware this was remotely possible’ Father of toddlers critically sickened by E. coli linked to raw milk in Tenn.

I started the Food Safety Network (the original FSN) as an incoming graduate student in 1993 in the wake of the Jack-in-the-Box outbreak, combining my science and journalism learnings, and because a constant refrain I observed was, I never knew foodborne illness could be so serious.

That’s why I continue to do it as a form of community service (I haven’t been paid since 2016).

There are now at least 15 children sick with E. coli in Tennessee that has now been linked to consumption of raw milk from French Broad Farm.

According to Kristi L Nelson of Knox News, Jordan and Stephanie Schiding wanted to give their children every health advantage.

That’s the reason the Schidings, two months ago, signed up for a local cow-share program after they read about the health benefits of unpasteurized milk.

Instead, 18-month-old Genevieve and 3-year-old Anthony contracted an illness caused by E. coli bacteria and ended up with kidney failure in the pediatric intensive care unit at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital — two of 12 local children hospitalized with E. coli since the end of May.

Knox County Health Department staff told the Schidings the E. coli infection was likely linked to the consumption of raw milk from French Broad Farm. On Thursday, the health department lifted its directive that requested French Broad Farm temporarily cease operations. But health department Director Dr. Martha Buchanan reiterated that consuming raw milk is always risky and health officials recommend the public consume only pasteurized milk and dairy products.

Jordan Schiding said he and his wife knew there was “potential” for food poisoning from unpasteurized milk, which both adults drank with seemingly no serious effects, but “we were definitely not aware that anything like this was remotely possible.”

The Schiding children seem to have turned a corner, he said, with Anthony discharged Friday afternoon and Genevieve still hospitalized but out of intensive care.

But what started as a supposed stomach bug May 31 turned into a terrifying experience that traumatized both the children and their parents, who had to watch them suffer.

Schiding said the family brought Genevieve to the emergency room at Children’s Hospital May 31 after she became seriously dehydrated with diarrhea and vomiting. As she was being admitted, Anthony also began vomiting.

The hospital rehydrated the children and discharged them a few hours later. Schiding believes they were among the first children related to the current cluster of E. coli cases to come to Children’s Hospital.

Two days later, after both children continued to get sicker, the Schidings brought them back to the hospital. This time, hospital staff took a stool sample from Genevieve, which tested positive for E. coli, and then from Anthony, who also tested positive. Both children were admitted, and Knox County Health Department contacted the couple the next day, he said.

The Schidings knew little about E. coli; certain strains produce a toxin, Shiga, that can cause a chain of reactions in the body — hemolytic uremic syndrome — resulting in clots in the small blood vessels in the kidneys that cause kidney failure. The very young, the very old and people whose immune systems are already compromised are more susceptible to HUS.

Four children admitted to Children’s so far have had HUS, including Genevieve and Anthony. Though Anthony wasn’t quite as sick as his sister, both had surgery to implant central lines so they could get fluids, dialysis and blood transfusions, Schiding said. Anthony had three days of dialysis, Genevieve seven.

In addition, Anthony’s central lines became infected with staph, Schiding said, but the antibiotics typically prescribed to treat staph are too hard on the kidneys to give a child with HUS, so doctors had to use a less common medication, which has seemed to work.

“Obviously, we were freaked out a little bit,” Schiding said. “It seemed like he had started turning the corner” until he spiked a fever of 104.9 and tested positive for staph.

Schiding said his family no longer will consume raw milk.

Bugs be passed around on leafy greens

Several outbreaks of foodborne illness traced to leafy greens and culinary herbs have been hypothesized to involve cross-contamination during washing and processing. This study aimed to assess the redistribution of Salmonella Typhimurium LT2 during pilot-scale production of baby spinach and cilantro and redistribution of Escherichia coli O157:H7 during pilot-scale production of romaine lettuce.

Four inoculated surrogate: uninoculated product weight ratios (10:100, 5:100, 1:100, and 0.5:100) and three inoculation levels (103, 101, and 10−1 CFU/g) were used for the three commodities. For each of three trials per condition, 5-kg batches containing uninoculated product and spot-inoculated surrogate products at each ratio and inoculation level were washed for 90 s in a 3.6-m-long flume tank through which 890 L of sanitizer-free, filtered tap water was circulated. After washing and removing the inoculated surrogate products, washed product (∼23, 225-g samples per trial) was analyzed for presence or absence of Salmonella Typhimurium or E. coli O157:H7 by using the GeneQuence Assay.

For baby spinach, cilantro, and romaine lettuce, no significant differences (P > 0.05) in the percentage of positive samples were observed at the same inoculation level and inoculated: uninoculated weight ratio. For each pathogen product evaluated (triplicate trials), inoculation level had a significant impact on the percentage of positive samples after processing, with the percentage of positive samples decreasing, as the initial surrogate inoculation level decreased.

The weight ratio of contaminated: noncontaminated product plays an important role: positive samples ranged from 0% to 11.6% ± 2.05% and from 68.1% ± 33.6% to 100% among the four ratios at inoculation of 10−1 and 101 CFU/g, respectively.

To our knowledge, this study is the first to assess the redistribution of low levels of pathogens from incoming product to leafy greens during processing and should provide important data for microbial risk assessments and other types of food safety analyses related to fresh-cut leafy greens.

Transfer and redistribution of Salmonella typhimurium LT2 and Escherichia coli O157:H7 during pilot-scale processing of baby spinach, cilantro, and romaine lettuce

Journal of food Protection vol.81 no. 6 June 2018

HALEY S. SMOLINSKI,1 SIYI WANG,1 LIN REN,1 YUHUAN CHEN,2 BARBARA KOWALCYK,3 ELLEN THOMAS,3 JANE VAN DOREN,2 and ELLIOT T. RYSER1*

https://doi.org/10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-17-420

http://jfoodprotection.org/doi/abs/10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-17-420

5 dead, 197 sick from E. coli O157 linked to romaine lettuce

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports there are now five people dead and 197 sick from E. coli O157:H7 linked to romaine lettuce.

  • 197 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported from 35 states.
  • 89 people (48%) have been hospitalized, including 26 people who have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome.
  • 5 deaths have been reported from Arkansas (1), California (1), Minnesota (2), and New York (1).
  • Illnesses started on dates ranging from March 13, 2018 to May 12, 2018.
  • Ill people range in age from 1 to 88 years, with a median age of 29.
  • Sixty-eight percent of ill people are female.

The Public Health Agency of Canada has identified people in several Canadian provinces infected with the same DNA fingerprint of E. coli O157:H7.

It takes two to three weeks between when a person becomes ill with E. coli and when the illness is reported to CDC. Most of the people who recently became ill ate romaine lettuce when lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona, growing region was likely still available in stores, restaurants, or in peoples’ homes. Some people who became sick did not report eating romaine lettuce, but had close contact with someone else who got sick from eating romaine lettuce.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the last shipments of romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region were harvested on April 16, 2018, and the harvest season is over. It is unlikely that any romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region is still available in people’s homes, stores, or restaurants due to its 21-day shelf life.

The traceback investigation indicates that the illnesses associated with this outbreak cannot be explained by a single grower, harvester, processor, or distributor. While traceback continues, the FDA will focus on trying to identify factors that contributed to contamination of romaine across multiple supply chains.  The agency is examining all possibilities, including that contamination may have occurred at any point along the growing, harvesting, packaging, and distribution chain before reaching consumers. 

The FDA has identified Harrison Farms of Yuma, Arizona, as the grower and sole source of the whole-head romaine lettuce that sickened several people in an Alaskan correctional facility, but has not determined where in the supply chain the contamination occurred.

On May 31, 2018 the FDA released a blog with updated information on the traceback investigation (for additional information, visit FDA Update on Traceback Related to the E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak Linked to Romaine Lettuce).

A listing of 78 outbreaks linked to leafy greens since 1995 is posted here.

A tale of two outbreaks: Farmers have to get ahead of the public conversation because they lose

I don’t like counting outbreak tolls or square mileage affected – in the absence of meaningful information – because it seems like accounting, and I have an accountant to do that.

Numbers numb and go past the story: Stalin said, “One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic.”

None of us wants to be a statistic.

Whether it’s E. coli in Romaine lettuce in the U.S. or Listeria in rockmelon in Australia, producer groups have failed the farmers they are supposed to represent.

Step up. It’s a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll.