E. coli related food poisoning is a major public health concern. Certain strains, including Shiga-toxin producing O157:H7, cause about 73,000 illnesses every year, leading to over 2,000 hospitalizations and 60 deaths. Over the last decade, hundreds of outbreaks of food poisoning have involved E. coli.
Need a Texas E. Coli Lawyer? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one was injured, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit in Texas.
E. Coli Outbreaks
- September 24, 2016 — Adams Farm Slaughterhouse
- August 3, 2016 — Grassfields Cheese / Whole Foods
- July 27, 2016 — PT Farm Ground Beef
- July 9, 2016 — Krusteaz Blueberry Pancake Mix
- May 31, 2016 — Flour (General Mills Gold Medal and Signature Kitchens)
- February 19, 2016 — Alfalfa Sprouts from Jack & The Green Sprouts
What is E. Coli?
Escherichia coli is a family of bacteria that normally live in the intestines of humans and animals. Most strains are harmless or beneficial, but some strains cause severe gastrointestinal illness. The most notorious strain of E. coli is O157:H7, which produces Shiga toxin.
How Do Outbreaks Occur?
Many outbreaks of E. coli involve meat — especially ground beef, which can contain meat from hundreds of cows. During the slaughtering process, E. coli in the intestines of cows may come into contact with meat. Even a microscopic amount of E. coli can contaminate millions of pounds of ground beef.
Outbreaks can also occur from contaminated water. Lakes and beaches are sometimes closed due to E. coli. It is especially dangerous when contaminated water is sprayed on fresh fruit or produce, because these foods are normally eaten raw.
The symptoms start about 7 days after you are infected with E. coli. The illness typically begins with watery diarrhea for about a day. This is followed by bright red, bloody stools because infection causes sores in the intestines. Bloody diarrhea typically lasts 2-5 days.
Symptoms of E. coli food poisoning:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Severe abdominal cramps, discomfort, or pain
- Diarrhea (often very watery or bloody)
- Pale skin
The most serious complication of E. coli infection is Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure that occurs when damaged red blood cells clog the filtration system in the kidneys. It is most common in children under five years old. About 5-10% of cases are deadly.
Diagnosis of E. coli is performed with a stool culture. This culture must be taken within the first 48 hours after bloody diarrhea starts. A doctor will examine the culture and look for E. coli bacteria.
Most healthy adults recover without needing special treatment. However, in some cases, people who are infected with E. coli will need to be hospitalized. This is often the case when it causes dehydration due to fluid loss.
Resources & Additional Information
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