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Category: Foodborne

A Primer on E. coli O145: A Little Contaminated Lettuce and a Lot of Different Os

Here is a quick summary of the recent Escherichia coli O145 outbreak associated with Romaine lettuce, and it highlights the amazingly quick FDA actions to prevent additional disease: • On April 16th, public health authorities recognized an outbreak of bloody diarrhea at a university in Michigan that was later confirmed as being due to E. coli Read More >

Posted on by Ali S. Khan7 CommentsTags , , , , , ,

Food-borne Outbreaks Caused By Ingredients: Would You Like Some Pepper With That?

  I often discuss the globalization and complexity of our food supply to highlight both the wonderful diversity of our yummy foodstuffs but also the challenges from contamination. Recently, architectural students in California provided a vivid example when they deconstructed a taco from a street-vendor to see the origin of each of the ingredients (see Read More >

Posted on by Ali S. Khan1 CommentTags , ,

Cookie Dough – Gooey, Sweet, and Seasoned with… Bacteria?!

The possibility that E. coli O157:H7 was a contaminant in cookie dough surprised even the most experienced microbiologists here in CDC’s Enteric Diseases Laboratory Branch. E. coli O157 is a common culprit of a severe diarrheal illness, usually caused by eating contaminated and undercooked ground beef or drinking unpasteurized apple juice. It shouldn’t have even Read More >

Posted on by Gerry Gómez7 Comments

The First Step in Identifying a Foodborne Outbreak… PulseNet

The road to last month’s cookie dough recall started when CDC scientists reviewed information collected through PulseNet, a national network of laboratories that perform DNA “fingerprinting” of foodborne bacteria like E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella, and Listeria. These fingerprints are plugged into a database that CDC and its state partners routinely scan. I’m a PulseNet database Read More >

Posted on by Steven Stroika2 Comments

Not a Typical Spring Weekend: Seven Salmonella Investigations

Foodborne illnesses occur throughout the year and summers tend to be busy with outbreaks. I work in CDC’s Enteric Diseases Epidemiology Branch and we just spent a few busy weeks on an investigation linking E. coli 0157 illnesses to raw cookie dough. See Karen Neil’s blog about that process. Still, even in our busiest times, Read More >

Posted on by Mark Sotir1 Comment

Linking Raw Cookie Dough to an E. coli Outbreak

Contaminated raw cookie dough wasn’t on anyone’s mind as my public health colleagues and I were searching for the cause of a multistate outbreak of E. coli infections. I’m one of the Epidemic Intelligence Service officers in CDC’s Enteric Diseases Epidemiology Branch, which monitors and investigates foodborne diseases together with CDC’s Enteric Disease Laboratory Branch Read More >

Posted on by Karen Neil9 Comments
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