The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

4035.0: Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 9:30 AM

Abstract #70000

Confirming the risk of E.coli O157:H7 transmission in steak/salad bar restaurants

Seth Foldy, MD1, Paul Biedrzycki, MPH, MBA1, Loyce Robinson2, Aijab Singh2, and Stephen Gradus2. (1) Milwaukee Health Department, 841 N. Broadway, room 315, Milwaukee, WI 53202-3653, 414 286 3521,, (2) City of Milwaukee Health Department, 841 N. Broadway, Milwaukee, WI 53202

A large E.coli O157:H7 outbreak involved two nearby franchise locations of a large national chain. The menu emphasized both steaks and extensive salad bar and other self-serve food bars. Diner illness was associated with melon consumption, but no E.coli O157:H7 was isolated from melon. However, isolates were obtained from raw beef, including intact shrink-wrapped whole sirloin tritips, which shared an identical pulse field gel electrophoresis pattern with isolates obtained from ill diners. Cross contamination of raw foods from the butchering of sirloin tri-tips in the restaurant was the most likely chain of contamination. A similar chain of events was previously proposed (but could not be bacteriologically confirmed) in a four outbreaks affecting a restaurant chain with similar characteristics. While ground beef is considered adulturated if contaminated with E.coli O157:H7, whole beef has not been so regulated. There is a risk of cross-contamination related to whole beef processing in restaurants featuring large self-service raw food bars. Inspectional strategies were modified to focus on these risks.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Food Safety, Outbreaks

Related Web page:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Results From Outbreak Investigations: Implications for Public Health Practice

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA