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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Columbus Salame Company, Dry-Cured Salami 1994

An outbreak of of E.coli O157:H7 was first detected in King County, Washington, and was linked to the consumption of Columbus Salame Company, dry-cured salami. In King County, the initial cases had purchased the salame from the delicatessens of QFC, grocery store chain. No errors in food handling were detected in the delicatessens. Samples of salami were tested and were confirmed to be contaminated with the same strain of E.coli O157:H7. The implicated salami had been produced on one date, August 25, 1994. These findings prompted a nationwide recall of the product. Additional illnesses related to the product were found in California. Dry-cured salami is not cooked, but undergoes a fermentation process and subsequent drying. E.coli O157:H7 was found to be capable of surviving the fermentation process. Molecular subtyping techniques were helpful in this investigation.

  • Outbreak began:
  • November 1994
  • Affected Country:
  • US
  • Affected States/Territories:
  • California
  • Organism(s):
  • E. coli O157:H7
  • Vehicle(s):
  • Luncheon Meat and Sausage, Not Ham, Dry-Cured Salami
  • Molecular Results Available:
  • Yes
  • Test Results:
  • Unknown
  • Location(s):
  • Grocery Store Delicatessens
  • Brand Name(s):
  • Columbus Salame, San Francisco
  • Product Subject to Recall:
  • Yes
  • Total ill:
  • 24
  • 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:
  • 6
  • Any Deaths:
  • No
  • Number Dead:
  • 0

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