Multistate E. coli Outbreak Caused by Unknown Food Source
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in conjunction with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are in the preliminary stages of investigating a multistate Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 outbreak. As of April 10, the agencies report that 17 individuals in 7 state have become ill.
The outbreak has occurred in Connecticut, Idaho, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington. The sick consumers became ill during the last week of March.
At this point, health officials are not certain what food or product has caused the outbreak. The FDA’s Coordinated Outbreak Response and Evaluation network is working with federal, state, and local partners to determine what people ate before they became ill, where they bought it and consumed it, and to identify the distribution chain of these foods—all with the goal of identifying any common food or points in the distribution chain where the food might have become contaminated. Thus far, the information gathered does not seem to implicate any particular food or point in the distribution chain where contamination could have occurred.
FDA and CDC urge consumers who think they might have symptoms of an E. coli infection should consult their healthcare provider immediately.