News and Stories

FOOD SAFETY UPDATE: CDC Declares E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak in U.S. Linked to Leafy Greens Appears to be Over

January 25, 2018

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced that the outbreak of E. coli 0157:H7 infections likely linked to leafy greens appears to be over. The last reported illness associated with this outbreak was on December 12, 2017 which indicates that the food causing illness is no longer available in the marketplace or in consumers’ homes. Although the likely source appears to be leafy greens, investigations have not been able to identify a specific type of leafy greens as the source. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) traceback investigation into this outbreak is ongoing, in conjunction with federal, state and local partners to determine what leafy greens made people ill and the place of purchase to determine potential distribution that may lead to the identification of a common source. To date, no common link has been identified.


  • United States
    • A total of 25 STEC O157:H7 infections were reported from 15 States: California (4), Connecticut (2), Illinois (1), Indiana (2), Maryland (3), Michigan (1), Nebraska (1), New Hampshire (2), New Jersey (1), New York (2), Ohio (1), Pennsylvania (2), Vermont (1), Virginia (1), and Washington (1)
    • Illnesses started on dates from November 15 to December 12, 2017
    • Among the 18 ill people for whom CDC has information, nine were hospitalized, including one person in California who died.
      • Two people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure.
    • Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) showed that the STEC O157:H7 strain from ill people in the United States is closely related genetically to the STEC O157:H7 strain from ill people in Canada
      • WGS data alone are not sufficient to prove a link; health officials rely on other sources of data, such as interviews from ill people, to support the WGS link
    • State and local public health officials continue to interview sick people in the United States to determine what they ate in the week before their illness started
      • Of 13 people interviewed, all 13 reported eating leafy greens
  • Canada
    • To date, 41 people from 5 provinces, Ontario (8), Quebec (14), New Brunswick (5), Nova Scotia (1), and Newfoundland and Labrador (13), have been infected with the outbreak strain of E. Coli O157
    • 17 of the ill persons have been hospitalized
    • One death has been reported
    • Illnesses occurred in November and December 2017
    • Individuals who became ill are between the ages of 3 and 85
    • The majority of the cases (73%) are female

For more detailed information regarding this outbreak please feel free to visit the CDC and FDA websites.

Markon is closely following all information related to this outbreak and will update members as soon as any more information is made available.

Angie Ramirez

Food Safety Program Manager

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