Dozens Sickened by E. coli in the Pacific Northwest Results in the Temporary Closure of 43 Restaurants
EMSL Analytical offers food testing services to identify E. coli and other foodborne pathogens to help prevent outbreaks.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that as of November 4th, 39 people in Washington and Oregon have been reported ill from an outbreak of Escherichia coli (E. coli). Of the sick people so far, 14 have had to be hospitalized.
The outbreak is believed to be associated with eating contaminated foods from a national restaurant chain that has responded by temporarily shutting down 43 of its locations in the two states. The Washington State Department of Health and the Oregon Health Authority are investigating the outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O26 (STEC O26) infections. The CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are also assisting with the investigation.
Most people get sick from Shiga toxin-producing E. coli from two to eight days after ingesting contaminated food. Common symptoms include diarrhea and abdominal cramps. While most people recover within a week, some illnesses last longer and can be more severe, resulting in a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). HUS can occur in people of any age, but is most common in young children under five years of age, older adults and people with weakened immune systems.
“In addition to the dozens of reported infections and temporary restaurant closures, at least one lawsuit has already been filed against the restaurant chain,” said Joy Dell’Aringa, M.S., RM (NRM), CFSP, National Food Director at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “To protect the public and help to prevent these types of occurrences from happening, EMSL offers comprehensive testing services to identify E. coli and other microbial contaminants. These services are available to food manufacturers, distributors, retailers, restaurants and even the general public.”
EMSL has sponsored an online video about E. coli that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/Rlyfc-5fVqI. The laboratory also provides an educational poster about Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli that can be found at: http://emsl.com/Page.aspx?ID=501.
To learn more about testing for E. coli and additional microbial pathogens or other food testing services, please visit www.FoodTestingLab.com or www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com .
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, indoor air quality, consumer product and materials testing services and products for professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.
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