Nineteen people in Oregon are ill from E. coli contamination, which has been traced to the consumption of raw milk from Foundation Farm, near Wilsonville, OR. Of the nineteen people reporting the illness, eleven have confirmed E. coli 0157 infections. Fifteen of the nineteen individuals are children aged nineteen or younger, and four of these children have been hospitalized with kidney failure. A thirteen year old girl in Portland is reportedly in critical condition.
Sickness related to this outbreak was first reported on April 10th after an eighteenth-month-old child was admitted to a Portland area hospital with hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), a form of kidney failure which can be a symptom of E. coli infection. After admitting their child, the family explained that the child had consumed raw milk from Foundation Farm. The farm is not a retail dairy, but operates as what is known as a “herd-share”, an arrangement in which individuals buy a share of the herd and have ownership rights to the cow(s) and milk produced. 48 Oregon families belong to the Foundation Farm herd share.
On April 11, the Oregon Public Health Division along with the Oregon Department of Agriculture sent staff members to the farm to collect samples of the milk for testing. All of the samples tested positive for E. coli 0157. E. coli 0157 is a potentially fatal strain of the bacteria.
Symptoms of E. coli infection, specifically abdominal pain and diarrhea that can turn bloody, usually develop two to eight days after the tainted food has been consumed. When the illness is severe, kidney failure may occur. Children, the elderly, and others with compromised health are most likely to develop serious health conditions after becoming infected.
“EMSL Analytical is a leading national provider of E. coli testing services,” states EMSL’s National Food Microbiology Supervisor, Joy Dell’Aringa, M.S., R.M. (N.R.M.), C.F.S.P. “Our experienced microbiologists and laboratory professionals use validated testing methodologies to detect E. coli in food and environmental samples.”
For more information regarding EMSL’s food testing services, visit www.EMSL.com or www.FoodTestingLab.com, call 800-220-3675, or e-mail info@EMSL.com.