Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fast-food Beef Tacos Blamed For Multi-state E Coli Outbreak

Date:
June 15, 2004
Source:
Infectious Diseases Society Of America
Summary:
Thirteen people from Arizona, California, and Nevada who ate beef tacos from a national fast-food restaurant chain in 1999 became infected with Escherichia coli, according to a study in the June 15 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Thirteen people from Arizona, California, and Nevada who ate beef tacos from a national fast-food restaurant chain in 1999 became infected with Escherichia coli, according to a study in the June 15 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, now available online.

Epidemiologists found that evidence pointed to the ground beef as the problem taco ingredient. A strain of E coli, which can cause people to suffer bloody diarrhea and renal problems, occurs in the manure of some healt hy cattle; any meat that comes into contact with that manure in slaughterhouses can become contaminated. In this study, a slaughterhouse in Idaho was the source of beef that was distributed to several Mexican-style restaurants in California and Nevada. The single Arizona restaurant affected by the outbreak may have been supplied with meat transferred from Nevada.

E coli can be killed by cooking ground meat to at least 160 F. When inspectors examined the restaurants' self-monitored temperature data after being notified of the potential exposure to E coli, the documents showed a flaw in only one of the restaurants' meat handling. However, that doesn't necessarily mean the other restaurants did everything correctly.

"The reality is that by time the illnesses are diagnosed, the reports are submitted to the health department, and the epidemiological study is completed, it could be weeks since the actual exposure to the contaminated food," said Dr. Michele Jay of the California Department of Health Services and lead author of the study. "Additionally, investigators are depending on written records from the food facilities that may be incomplete."

There are, however, potential solutions on the horizon to help combat E coli outbreaks. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service plans to phase in a tracking system over the next five years that would enable the tracing of meat products back to their sources. Such a system would also allow epidemiologists to compare distribution of human illness cases with distribution of the food in question.

In the meantime, doctors need to watch patients for symptoms of E coli and other foodborne illness, which may include bloody or prolonged diarrhea, weight loss, fever, and vomiting, said Dr. Jay. Very old, very young, and immunocompromised patients are more susceptible to E coli, and physicians should be sure to ask about activities that could have put patients at risk for the infection, such as eating raw or undercooked food, drinking unpasteurized milk, coming into contact with farm animals, or visiting a farm.



Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Infectious Diseases Society Of America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Infectious Diseases Society Of America. "Fast-food Beef Tacos Blamed For Multi-state E Coli Outbreak." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 June 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/06/040615075550.htm>.
Infectious Diseases Society Of America. (2004, June 15). Fast-food Beef Tacos Blamed For Multi-state E Coli Outbreak. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/06/040615075550.htm
Infectious Diseases Society Of America. "Fast-food Beef Tacos Blamed For Multi-state E Coli Outbreak." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/06/040615075550.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

AP (July 22, 2014) An 80-year-old agave plant, which is blooming for the first and only time at a University of Michigan conservatory, will die when it's done (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

AP (July 22, 2014) Sounding alarms about the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, CDC Director Tom Frieden warned Tuesday if the global community does not confront the problem soon, the world will be living in a devastating post-antibiotic era. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins