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September 17, 1997

Escherichia coli O157:H7 Infections Associated With Eating a Nationally Distributed Commercial Brand of Frozen Ground Beef Patties and Burgers—Colorado, 1997

JAMA. 1997;278(11):891. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550110029013

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THE COLORADO Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) recently identified an outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections associated with eating a nationally distributed commercial brand of frozen beef patties and burgers. This report describes the preliminary findings of the ongoing investigation of this outbreak and the product recall of six lots of Hudson Foods frozen ground beef patties and burgers.

On August 7, 1997, CDPHE's state public health laboratory reported that 15 (56%) of 27 E. coli O157:H7 isolates submitted for routine molecular subtyping since June 1 were characterized by highly related pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) patterns; the PFGE patterns of 13 (87%) of 15 isolates were indistinguishable (outbreak strain). The patterns of the remaining two isolates were indistinguishable from each other and differed from the outbreak strain by only one band. These isolates were cultured from stool specimens obtained from 15 patients who had onsets of

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