Foodborne Illness Outbreak Database

This database provides summaries of significant food and water related outbreaks occurring since 1984 caused by E. coli, Salmonella, Hepatitis A, Campylobacter and other pathogens. Read more »

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1997 Outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 Associated with Alfalfa Sprouts

Outbreaks of E.coli O157:H7 occurred in Michigan and Virginia in June and July. Most of the cases shared the same genetic strain of E.coli O157:H7 and were phage type 32. Case control studies done independently in both states found that consumption of alfalfa sprouts was a risk factor for illness. In Michigan, all of the implicated sprouts were produced by a single sprouter. This sprouter had used two different lots of seed to make the sprouts. In Virginia, all sprouts originated from a single producer. This sprouter had used only one lot of seed. This seed lot was one of the seed lots that had been used in Michigan. The common seed lot was supplied by one seed distributor and had been sent to three sprouting facilities. Two were the implicated sprouters in Michigan and Virginia. The third sprouter was also located in Michigan, but reportedly had only sprouted a small amount of the seed.

  • Outbreak began:
  • June 1997
  • Affected Country:
  • US
  • Affected States/Territories:
  • Michigan, Virginia
  • Organism(s):
  • E. coli O157:H7
  • Vehicle(s):
  • Vegetable, Sprouts, Alfalfa
  • Molecular Results Available:
  • Yes
  • Test Results:
  • Unknown
  • Location(s):
  • Unknown
  • Brand Name(s):
  • Product Subject to Recall:
  • Unknown
  • Total ill:
  • 108
  • Number ill by Case Definition Known:
  • Unknown
  • Number Laboratory Confirmed Cases:
  • N/A
  • Number Probable Cases:
  • N/A
  • Number Possible Cases:
  • N/A
  • Anyone Hospitalized:
  • Yes
  • Number Hospitalized:
  • 36
  • Any Deaths:
  • No
  • Number Dead:
  • 0

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