Seek and ye shall find: E. coli O103 found in Waco beef

Waco, Texas will always have a special place in the barfblog.com family.

Amy was a French professor there for one year. She was required to follow a dress code, one that didn’t include beach shorts and loud Hawaiian shirts.

Her car was randomly shot at driving to work one day – which is why she volunteered to go to Iraq as part of a teaching mission, correctly reasoning it couldn’t be much more dangerous than Waco.

Chapman did a duck and hide under the table at a Waco restaurant as one of the regular booms went off to scare away starlings.

I’ve been told many times I look like David Koresh, leader of the Branch Davidians religious sect,

Waco is also home to rare strains of E. coli.

H & B Packing Co., Inc., a Waco, Texas establishment, is recalling approximately 73,742 pounds of boneless beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O103, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).

The boneless beef items were produced on March 6, 2017. The following products are subject to recall:

60-lb. box containing boneless beef with case code 69029 and production date 03/06/17.

Multiple combo bins containing 73,682-lbs of boneless beef with case code 69029 and production date 03/06/17.

The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. M13054” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to food manufacturers within the state of Texas.

The problem was discovered when FSIS was notified by the State of Texas’ Meat Safety Assurance Unit about a positive non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli sample.

There have been no confirmed reports of illnesses due to consumption of these products.

Many clinical laboratories do not test for non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), such as STEC O103 because it is harder to identify than STEC O157. People can become ill from STECs 2–8 days (average of 3–4 days) after consuming the organism.

should seek emergency medical care immediately.

FSIS and the company are concerned that some product may be frozen and in customers’ freezers.

Customers who have purchased these products are urged not to use them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

Waco is also near George W. Bush’s ranch retreat, as Harold and Kumar found out.

E. coli O104 in Germany, 2011, and E. coli O103 in Norway, 2006, highly similar

In 2006, a severe foodborne EHEC outbreak occured in Norway. Seventeen cases were recorded and the HUS frequency was 60%. The causative strain, Esherichia coli O103:H25, is considered to be particularly virulent.

Researchers at the School of Veterinary Science in Oslo, Norway, report in PLoS One that sequencing of the outbreak strain revealed resemblance to the 2011 German outbreak strain E. coli O104:H4, both in genome and Shiga toxin 2-encoding (Stx2) phage sequence.

The nucleotide identity between the Stx2 phages from the Norwegian and German outbreak strains was 90%. During the 2006 outbreak, stx2-positive O103:H25 E. coli was isolated from two patients. All the other outbreak associated isolates, including all food isolates, were stx-negative, and carried a different phage replacing the Stx2 phage. This phage was of similar size to the Stx2 phage, but had a distinctive early phage region and no stx gene. The sequence of the early region of this phage was not retrieved from the bacterial host genome, and the origin of the phage is unknown. The contaminated food most likely contained a mixture of E. coli O103:H25 cells with either one of the phages.

The complete report is available at http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0031413;jsessionid=4E2DA8292226636D48D1FDE0291324D4.

Citation: L’Abée-Lund TM, Jørgensen HJ, O’Sullivan K, Bohlin J, Ligård G, et al. (2012) The Highly Virulent 2006 Norwegian EHEC O103:H25 Outbreak Strain Is Related to the 2011 German O104:H4 Outbreak Strain. PLoS ONE 7(3): e31413. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0031413
Editor: Niyaz Ahmed, University of Hyderabad, India

E. coli O103 and O145 sickens 29 students who prepared deer in Minnesota

A Minnesota high school science project that involved hunting and butchering deer — including one road-kill capture — and turning the meat into venison kabobs backfired when 29 students were sickened with a rare kind of E. coli food poisoning, investigators say.

Linda Carroll of msnbc reports the 2010 incident, just now reported in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases (abstract below) highlights the risks of E. coli contamination, not just from factory-produced meat, but also from small, local providers.

Doctors first knew they had a problem in December 2010 when two kids from the same high school turned up at a Minnesota hospital with abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea. Fearing they had a food poisoning outbreak on their hands, they quickly called in the state’s top-notch public health officials.

Both teens had taken part in a school environmental science and outdoor recreation class that involving hunting, shooting and butchering six white-tailed deer, explained Joshua Rounds, the study’s lead author and an epidemiologist with the Minnesota Department of Public Health. A seventh deer was harvested after being hit by a car, the report says.

The deer were processed on school grounds and then grilled and eaten in class a few weeks before the students got sick.

Epidemiologists interviewed 117 kids in five class periods and found that 29 definitely had become ill, but not with E. coli O157:H7, the strain commonly associated with food poisoning from ground beef.

Rounds suspected the deer might have carried another E. coli strain that also produces poisons known as Shiga toxins. He was right. Samples from the students and the deer meet turned up E. coli O103:H2, which is part of a larger category of non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli bugs, known as STECs.
Scientists also turned up another E. coli strain, E. coli O145:NM that didn’t produce Shiga toxins.

People don’t usually get sick from eating hunks or steaks of muscle meat, Rounds said. In this case, however, the meat had been skewered and cooked only to medium-rare. The skewers had dragged contaminants from the meat’s surface down to the center of the kabobs, which hadn’t been cooked to a high enough temperature to kill the bacteria.

Another factor was hand-washing when handling meat — or the lack of it, Rounds said.

“If you think about high school males, they’re probably not the best when it comes to food safety practices,” he said. “So you can have cross-contamination.”
The case is a reminder, Rounds said, that all meat, no matter where it comes from, should be treated with careful precautions.

Rounds JM, Rigdon CE, Muhl LJ, Forstner M, Danzeisen GT, Koziol BS, et al. 2012. Non-O157 Shiga toxin–producing Escherichia coli associated with venison. Emerg Infect Dis http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid1802.110855Description: xternal Web Site Icon

Abstract

We investigated an outbreak of non-O157 Shiga toxin–producing Escherichia coli at a high school in Minnesota, USA, in November 2010. Consuming undercooked venison and not washing hands after handling raw venison were associated with illness. E. coli O103:H2 and non-Shiga toxin–producing E. coli O145:NM were isolated from ill students and venison.