E. coli O26 outbreak at Idaho summer camp

My other youngest daughter is getting ready to go to camp for a month. I told her to watch the 1979 flick, Meatballs, again, for some tips as a councilor-in-training.

But not for food safety.

The Spokesman-Review reports that five kitchen workers at Camp Lutherhaven have been sickened by E. coli O26 Idaho Panhandle Health officials confirmed this morning.

Three more staffers are ill, but lab tests haven’t linked it to the bacterial infection.

No one has been hospitalized and the ill workers have been excluded from the kitchen. None of the 300-plus campers has reported getting sick during the first two weeks of summer camp along the shores of Lake Coeur d’Alene.

A review of the camp by health and safety investigators determined that the camp’s food handling procedures were more than adequate. They suspect that the employees may have contracted the infection in their living quarters.

Sprouts still suck: FDA says do not eat Evergreen Produce brand alfalfa sprouts or spicy sprouts

The FDA is warning consumers not to eat alfalfa sprouts or spicy sprouts from plastic bags labeled “Evergreen Produce” or “Evergreen Produce Inc.”

The sprouts are possibly linked to 20 reported cases, including one hospitalization, of Salmonella Enteritidis in Idaho, Montana, New Jersey, North Dakota and Washington State.

The elderly, infants and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness from Salmonella infection.

Consumers, retailers and others who have alfalfa sprouts or spicy sprouts in plastic bags labeled “Evergreen Produce” or “Evergreen Produce Inc.” should discard them in a sealed container so people and animals, including wild animals, cannot eat them.

Don’t eat sprouts: Idaho version, 19 sick with salmonella

Idaho state public health officials are investigating a number of salmonella cases
believed to be connected to the consumption of alfalfa sprouts.

The investigation is ongoing and includes 19 ill persons from northern Idaho, eastern Washington and western Montana.

Of the persons reported with salmonella infection linked to the outbreak, six have reported consumption of sprouts obtained from a northern Idaho grower, Evergreen Produce, located in Moyie Springs, Idaho.

A listing of international raw sprout outbreaks is available at:

Escherichia coli O157:H7 outbreak associated with rodeo attendance, Utah and Idaho, 2009

Rodeos can be risky — and not just for riders.

As reported by researchers from Utah and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, in summer 2009, the Utah Department of Health investigated an outbreak of Shiga-toxigenic Escherichia coli (STEC) O157:H7 (O157) illness associated with attendance at multiple rodeos.

Patients were interviewed regarding exposures during the week before illness onset. A ground beef traceback investigation was performed. Ground beef samples from patient homes and a grocery store were tested for STEC O157. Rodeo managers were interviewed regarding food vendors present and cattle used at the rodeos. Environmental samples were collected from rodeo grounds. Two-enzyme pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) were performed on isolates.

Fourteen patients with primary STEC O157 illness were reported in this outbreak. Isolates from all patients were indistinguishable by PFGE. Isolates from nine patients had identical MLVA patterns (main outbreak strain), and five had minor differences. Thirteen (93%) patients reported ground beef consumption during the week before illness onset. Results of the ground beef traceback investigation and ground beef sampling were negative. Of 12 primary patients asked specifically about rodeo attendance, all reported having attended a rodeo during the week before illness onset; four rodeos were mentioned. All four rodeos had used bulls from the same cattle supplier. An isolate of STEC O157 identified from a dirt sample collected from the bullpens of one of the attended rodeos was indistinguishable by PFGE and MLVA from the main outbreak strain.

Recommendations were provided to rodeo management to keep livestock and manure separate from rodeo attendees. This is the first reported STEC O157 outbreak associated with attendance at multiple rodeos. Public health officials should be aware of the potential for rodeo-associated STEC illness.

Foodborne Pathogens and Disease. doi:10.1089/fpd.2011.0884
William A. Lanier, Julia M. Hall, Rachel K. Herlihy, Robert T. Rolfs, Jennifer M. Wagner, Lori H. Smith, Eija K. Hyytia-Trees