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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2002 Outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 Linked to California Alfalfa Sprouts

Five E. coli O157:H7 isolates with indistinguishable pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) patterns were identified and investigated in California. Risk of illness was attributed to the consumption of alfalfa sprouts. A traceback led back to a single sprout-growing facility. Immediately before the outbreak, debris had been removed from a water storage tank at the facility. Subsequently irrigation water from multiple sprout varieties tested positive for E. coli O157:H7.

  • Outbreak began:
  • July 2002
  • Affected Country:
  • US
  • Affected States/Territories:
  • California
  • 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:
  • 5
  • Number ill by Case Definition Known:
  • Yes
  • Number Laboratory Confirmed Cases:
  • 5
  • Number Probable Cases:
  • 0
  • Number Possible Cases:
  • 0
  • Anyone Hospitalized:
  • Unknown
  • Number Hospitalized:
  • Unknown
  • Any Deaths:
  • Unknown
  • Number Dead:
  • Unknown
  • Any References:
  • Yes

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