OutbreaksE. coli outbreaks are mostly heard about in agricultural products such as meat and crops and are still the leading hosts of foodborne illness outbreaks. The first outbreak was reported in 1982 and was found in ground beef whereas produce was first reported in 1991. The last E. coli outbreak from ground beef was this year in March 2019 when officials in Kentucky and Georgia brought it to the CDC’s attention. Ending on June 19th, the final count of infected persons was 209 people in 10 different states from restaurants or meat cooked at home. 29 of which were hospitalized, 2 cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome (kidney failure) were reported and luckily 0 deaths. Investigations concluded that “Ill people in this outbreak ate ground beef from many sources. No single supplier, distributor, or brand of ground beef was identified that could account for all of the illnesses” (CDC, P.1, 2019). In 2017, RV-ers in Julian, CA at the KQ Ranch Campground, unknowingly ingested water that had been tested positive for E. coli. The County of San Diego, Department of Environmental Health issued a “Boil Water Order” where the CDC recommends water be brought to a rolling boil for AT LEAST one minute in low altitudes, and should be boiled for 3 minutes or more if the altitude is above 6,561 FT. (McAllister, p.1, 2017). E. coli outbreaks happen all over the Nation as you hear so often on the news! Whether it be from Lettuce, Beef or even a popular chain fast food restaurant, the best prevention is HAND WASHING before handling/cooking raw meat and after touching raw meats. The CDC also suggests thoroughly cooking your meats and not swallowing water while swimming.
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Sources and further readings:
McAllister, Toni – Julian Campground Drinking Water System Tests Positive For E.coli, 2017
Communicable Branch – Diseases & Topics, 2019
Epidemiology Of Escherichia Coli O157:h7 Outbreaks, United States, 1982–2002 – Volume 11, Number 4-april 2005 – Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal – Cdc
Outbreak Of E. Coli Infections Linked To Ground Beef, 2019