E. coli, Salmonella Updates...

The outbreak has been traced to beef sold in Kroger supermarkets in Michigan and Ohio. The Kroger Co. last month recalled ground beef sold in Michigan and Ohio stores, then this month expanded it to include other states. About 5.3 million pounds of beef was recalled.

The Kentucky patient lives near Ohio, but the New York and Indiana patients did not travel to either of the states where the outbreak began, said Mark Sotir, a CDC investigator working on the outbreak.

All 44 illnesses in the outbreak are attributed to the same type of E. coli, one that causes a potentially deadly bacterial infection. The illnesses began between May 30 and June 24. CDC officials say 21 of the victims have been hospitalized and one developed kidney failure, but no one has died.

With the latest cases reported as of July 4, the nationwide toll from Salmonella Saintpaul now stands at 1,148 people in 42 states, the District of Columbia and Canada, according to the latest figures posted on the Web site of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At least 220 people have been hospitalized.

Statistically speaking, the patients range in age from under 1 to 99 years old; 50 percent are female. The rate of illness is highest among those 20 to 29 years old; it is lowest among adolescents 10 to 19 years old and people over 80.

Officials, meanwhile, appear no closer to zeroing in on the cause. Last week, they broadened the search, which had focused on certain types of tomatoes, to include jalapeno and serrano peppers and fresh cilantro.

While health investigators are hard at work, the CDC said on its Web site, "people often have difficulty remembering exactly what foods they ate, and remembering specific ingredients in those foods is even more difficult.
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Sara - July 21, 2008 10:36 PM

Tomatoes are innocent. It's jalapeno peppers that have the salmonella. From the Wall Street Journal as reported on Dow Jones news this afternoon. A positive id has been made. Well i have been eating tomatoes all along.

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