Date Sent: 08/05/2016 08:44 AM EDT
Sender: Michigan Health Alert Network
Subject: Shiga toxin-producing E coli Infections Linked to Consumption of Grassfields Cheeses
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), and local health departments are investigating an outbreak of six cases of non-O157:H7Shiga toxin-producingEscherichia coli infections in Michigan residents from five counties (Calhoun, Kent, Livingston, St Clair, and Wayne); a seventh case is from out of state. All six cases have been laboratory confirmed at MDHHS and match the outbreak strain. While the investigation is still underway, several of the ill individuals have reported consuming meals containing Grassfields cheese products in multiple restaurant settings. Samples of cheeses have been collected from restaurants and from Grassfields Cheese in Coopersville, MI. Testing of the cheeses at the MDARD Geagley Lab and the MDHHS Lab are underway; one cheese sample isolate matches the outbreak strain by PFGE and preliminary results indicate additional cheeses are positive for Shiga toxinE coli.
Cases range in age from 15 to 37 years (median age, 24) and 71% are female. Illness onset dates range from 3/13/2016 to 7/13/2016. One case was hospitalized but has since been discharged.
Grassfields Cheese LLC issued a nationwide recall on August 3, 2016, of all types and sizes of organic cheese manufactured from December 1, 2015 through June 1, 2016. Cheeses include Gouda, Onion ‘n Garlic, Country Dill, Leyden, Edam, Lamont Cheddar, Chili Cheese, Fait Fras, Polkton Corners and Crofters.
More details about the recall are available: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm515074.htm
Issued by MDHHS, Communicable Disease Division