A second E.coli outbreak at the Chipotle has food safety experts perplexed. NPR’s Linda Wertheimer talks to reporter Joanne Silberner about why it’s been so hard to identify the contamination source.
Public Health – Seattle & King County’s Food Safety Program closed the Chipotle Mexican Grill at 212 Westlake Ave. N today for repeated food safety violations.
Last month, forty-three Chipotle restaurants in Washington and Oregon voluntarily closed their doors when they became linked with an E. Coli outbreak.
In order to re-open their facilities, restaurants were required to perform a top-down cleaning and sanitation, discard all produce, and pass an inspection by our health inspectors.
On November 1o, all seventeen King County Chipotle restaurants met criteria to reopen their doors.
In the time since, Public Health has continued to closely monitor Chipotle and has conducted inspections at all King County locations.
The South Lake Union restaurant closed today has received red violations on three consecutive visits, including the inspection today (its second inspection since the E. coli outbreak).
Red violations indicate improper practices or procedures identified as the most prevalent in contributing to foodborne illness.
In each one of these inspections, the total red violation points were between 25-33 points out of 400 possible points, well below the 90 point threshold for a closure.
However, because this location showed repeated violations, the health department closed the restaurant.
Public Health food program staff are working with Chipotle to correct these problems, and the restaurant will be allowed to re-open pending an inspection.
A U.S. federal agency has yet to identify the source of an E. coli outbreak that sickened at least 19 people in seven states who may have been infected after eating rotisserie chicken salad sold at Costco Wholesale Corp.
A U.S. Food and Drug Administration laboratory analysis did not confirm the presence of E. coli in a sample of celery and onion mix collected from a Costco store in Montana, the agency said on Tuesday.
An outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections linked to rotisserie chicken salad sold at Costco stores may have been caused by contamination of celery and onions used in making the salad, according the US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention
The presence of the bacteria was discovered in sample of celery and onion diced blend collected from a Costco store by the Montana Public Laboratory.
The blend was used to make the Costco rotisserie chicken salad eaten by ill people in this outbreak.
Preliminary results indicated the presence of E. coli O157:H7. Laboratory testing is ongoing to isolate the E. coli bacteria and then determine the DNA fingerprint to confirm the link.
As a result of the preliminary laboratory results, on November 26, 2015, Taylor Farms Pacific, Inc., voluntarily recalled multiple products containing celery because they may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.
Escherichia coli O157:H7 is a bacterium that causes a diarrheal illness often with bloody stools. Although most healthy adults can recover completely within a week, some people can develop a form of kidney failure called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS).
HUS is most likely to occur in young children and the elderly. The condition can lead to serious kidney damage and even death.
As of November 23, 2015, 19 people in seven states have been reported to be infected with a strain of E coli that has been linked to chicken salad sold at Costco, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday. The strain is known as known as Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 (STEC O157:H7).
Five have been hospitalized, and 2 have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure. No deaths have been reported, the CDC said.
Evidence available at this time suggests that rotisserie chicken salad made and sold in Costco Wholesale stores in several states is a likely source of this outbreak.
Fourteen of 16 people purchased or ate rotisserie chicken salad from Costco in the week before illness started.
The ongoing investigation has not identified what specific ingredient in the chicken salad is linked to illness.
Costco reported to public health officials that the company had removed all remaining rotisserie chicken salad from all stores in the U.S. and stopped further production of the product until further notice.
Consumers who purchased rotisserie chicken salad from any Costco store in the United States on or before November 20, 2015, should not eat it and should throw it away.
Even if some of the rotisserie chicken salad has been eaten and no one has gotten sick, throw the rest of the product away.
This product has a typical shelf life of 3 days and is labeled “Chicken Salad made with Rotisserie Chicken” with item number 37719 on the label.
By Lindsay Bosslet
Public Health – Seattle & King County
The Washington State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in conjunction with local health officials, are currently investigating a cluster of E. coli O157:H7 cases that has been connected to Costco chicken salad.
One case has been reported in Washington state. This person, a King County resident, is a teen male who was not hospitalized. He reported eating the implicated product, which he purchased from the Shoreline Costco.
For more information on this outbreak, read this press release from Washington State Department of Health.
If you purchased this product (number 37719) from a Washington Costco, discard it and do not eat it.
People who have eaten this product and feel ill should consult with their health care provider. People usually get sick 2-8 days after getting E. coli.
PHOTO: E coli courtesy of National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease
From Washington State Department of Health
Chicken Salad made with Rotisserie Chicken” from Costco has been connected with at least one case of E. coli O157:H7 in Washington. Consumers who purchased this product – item number 37719 – from any Washington Costco location should discard it.
The Department of Health, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other western states, are investigating E. coli illnesses from chicken salad purchased from various Costco stores in late October. Washington has confirmed one case of E. coli O157:H7 from King County, who became ill in late October. This confirmed case was not hospitalized.
Others states with confirmed E. coli cased linked to Costco chicken salad include Colorado, Montana, and Utah.
Others states with confirmed E. coli cased linked to Costco chicken salad include Colorado, Montana, and Utah. In addition to CDC, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture are working with Costco to determine the source of the contamination. Continue reading
From the Washington State Department of Health
Food safety and disease investigation staff from the Washington State Department of Health are still working to investigate the cause of an outbreak of illnesses linked to 27 cases of E. coli O26 illnesses in Washington.
The first round of test results did not find E. coli bacteria in food samples taken from several Chipotle restaurants according to officials at the Food and Drug Administration.
The 27 cases, connected in this outbreak include people from Clark (11), Cowlitz (2), Island (2), King (6), Skagit (5), and Whatcom (1) counties.
Ten of these people were hospitalized; no Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS) complications or deaths have been reported. Most people who are ill report eating at Chipotle restaurants before getting sick.
In Washington, the most recent case reported eating at Chipotle on October 24. While health officials believe the risk for new exposures is very low, the number of cases in the outbreak may rise or fall as pending lab tests determine if more ill people have this specific strain of E.coli infection. In Washington, four tests are still in progress. Continue reading
From Public Health – Seattle & King County
The investigation into an outbreak of E. coli illnesses that may be related to Chipotle restaurants in Washington and Oregon has grown from 19 reported Washington cases to 25 as of today.
The Washington State Department of Health continues working closely with local, state, and federal partners on a disease investigation to learn the extent of the outbreak and possible sources of E. coli bacteria.
In Washington, residents of Clark (11), Cowlitz (2), Island (2), King (6), and Skagit (4) counties have been reported as outbreak cases.
Of the 25 cases, 23 reported having been at Chipotle restaurants before getting sick. Nine of the Washington residents were hospitalized. Cases range in age from five-to-60. No deaths have been reported in this outbreak.
There are five Washington restaurants associated with this outbreak: Hazel Dell, 7715 NE 5th Avenue, Suite 109, in Vancouver; 1404 Broadway Avenue and 4229 University Way NE in Seattle; 512 Ramsey Way 101 in Kent; and 1753 S. Burlington Blvd. in Burlington.
The Oregon Department of Public Health has information on cases in that state. The state health agencies and local health partners are coordinating with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration on the investigation.
Chipotle restaurants are under a voluntary closure. The Washington Department of Health Food Safety Program staff are working to establish criteria for the restaurants in this state to reopen.
From Washington State Department of Health
A cluster of E. coli cases led to the voluntary closure of many Chipotle restaurants this week.
The restaurants under investigation are linked to 19 cases of E. coli illnesses in Washington.
Three more cases were reported from Oregon, also associated with Chipotle restaurants.
Seven of the Washington patients and one Oregon patient were hospitalized; there have been no deaths.
Four cases were reported in King County, nine in Clark County, one in Cowlitz County, and five in Skagit County. Three cases were reported in Oregon residents.
While the outbreak appears to be linked to food served at Chipotle restaurants, the food or other source of contamination hasn’t yet been determined and remains under investigation. Continue reading
Health officials say 19 E. coli cases may be linked to Chipotle restaurants in Wash. and Ore.
By Hilary N. Karasz
Public Health – Seattle & King County
Health officials are currently investigating a multi-state outbreak of E. coli that may be linked to Chipotle restaurants.
Four cases were reported in King County. While the outbreak is currently under investigation, preliminary information is that fourpeople in King County have become ill, two teenagers and two people in their 20s.
One of the teens and one of the people in his/her 20s were hospitalized. In King County, all four ill people ate at a Chipotle between October 19 and 23.
While the outbreak appears to be linked to food served at Chipotle restaurants, the food or other source of contamination hasn’t yet been determined and remains under investigation.
Chipotle restaurants in Washington have voluntarily closed until further information on the cause of the outbreak is available.
The type of E. coli implicated in this outbreak has not been confirmed but is a strain of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli similar to E. coli O157:H7. It can cause bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever, and vomiting. It can sometimes result in severe, life-threatening illness and death. In general, anyone with bloody diarrhea should see a healthcare provider.
Follow Public Health Insider for updates next week and beyond.
By Barbara Feder Ostrov
When a Shigella outbreak at a San Jose, Calif. seafood restaurant sickened dozens of people last weekend, Yelp reviewers were on the case – right alongside public health officials.
“PLEASE DO NOT EAT HERE!!!!” Pauline A. wrote in her Oct. 18 review of the Mariscos San Juan #3 restaurant. “My sister in and brother-in-law along with his parents ate here Friday night and all four of them ended up in the hospital with food poisoning!!!”
Research suggests that Yelp reviews may act as an early warning system or identify potential patients that public health officials might not otherwise have found in their food-borne illness investigations.
From the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
To observe World Animal Day (Oct 4) the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Has launched a redesigned Healthy Pets Healthy People website, with expanded information about diseases people can catch from pets, farm animals, and wildlife.
Users can now search alphabetically by animal and learn which zoonotic diseases they may carry. It is a unique “one-stop shop” where people can learn simple actions to protect themselves – and their pets.
The redesigned website offers:
- An alphabetized list and description of diseases that can spread from animals to humans.
- A list of animal species with the description of diseases associated with the animal.
- Specific groups of people that may be more susceptible to diseases from animals.
- Tips for preventing illnesses acquired from pets and other animals.
- Detailed information about the health benefits of owning a pet.
Six people have been infected with the same strain of E. coli (three have been hospitalized) Everyone who became sick had something in common – they ate food prepared by, a local food vendor called Los Chilangos.
From Public Health – Seattle & King County
Public Health is currently investigating an outbreak of E. coli 0157 – one of the most serious foodborne illnesses you can contract. Our thoughts are with the families affected by this outbreak, and we appreciate the support of the community as we work to protect the health of the public.
A person can get an E. coli O157 infection from many different sources: by eating or drinking something contaminated with animal or human fecal matter, through animal contact, or through contact with another person who has an E. coli infection.
One of our responsibilities at Public Health is to track down these sources. When there are illnesses associated with any one of the more than 12,000 food establishments in the county, we search for contaminated products, ill food workers, or improper food handling.
We follow specific steps to find clues that help us pinpoint the source(s) that may be linked to illness. Here are key steps of this current investigation. Continue reading