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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Fancy Cutt Farms Mesclun Lettuce 1996

This was the first reported multistate outbreak of E.coli O157:H7 associated with the consumption of lettuce. At first cases were identified in Connecticut and Illinois. Separate case control studies implicated the consumption of mesclun lettuce as a risk factor for illness. The mesclun lettuce had been purchased from multiple retail outlets, suggesting a central point of contamination. Trace-back of the implicated lettuce led to a single company. Lettuce was found to be growing next to cattle pastures. Well water supplied the cattle and provided crop irrigation. Unclean water was used to process the lettuce. There were no handwashing facilities for field staff. The lettuce had been shipped to five states, California, Florida, Connecticut, Illinois, and New York. California and Florida did not identify any cases matching the outbreak strain, however New York subsequently found sixteen cases that matched the outbreak strain.

  • Outbreak began:
  • May 1996
  • Affected Country:
  • US
  • Affected States/Territories:
  • New York
  • Organism(s):
  • E. coli O157:H7
  • Vehicle(s):
  • Vegetable, Lettuce, Mesclun, Leafy Greens
  • Molecular Results Available:
  • Yes
  • Test Results:
  • Unknown
  • Location(s):
  • Grocery stores
  • Brand Name(s):
  • Product Subject to Recall:
  • Unknown
  • Total ill:
  • 61
  • Number ill by Case Definition Known:
  • Yes
  • Number Laboratory Confirmed Cases:
  • 29
  • Number Probable Cases:
  • 32
  • Number Possible Cases:
  • 0
  • Anyone Hospitalized:
  • Yes
  • Number Hospitalized:
  • 21
  • Any Deaths:
  • Unknown
  • Number Dead:
  • Unknown

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