E. coli O26

E.coli O26 might not be a word on everybody’s lips, it certainly isn’t a bacteria that we want inside us that’s for sure. This is a foodborne bacteria which produces hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) which ultimately leads to kidney failure in some. It also causes diarrhea and extreme dehydration. The FDA in the USDA has reported that it is especially dangerous for the elderly, the very young and anyone with compromised immune systems.

The bacteria acn also be found in a variety of food stuffs. In September 2019, it was found in raw flour supplied by General Mills under the Gold medal brand and supplied as unbleached all purpose flour. Full cooking though totally kills the bacteria.

A very recent case in early 2020 has caused sickness in 7 children who ate a cheese made from raw milk. This happens to be the famous soft cheese, Reblochon de Savoie. The ill children are all between 1.5 years and three years of age according to the French Santé publique France and the national reference centre for E.coli at the Institut Pasteur and Hopital Robert Debre in Paris.

The particular cheese is supplied by Fromagerie Chabert in Cruseilles in the department of Haute-Savoie in France. All these cheese have the mark FR 74.096.050 CE. These are sold under a number of brand names. The raw milk tested for making reblichon is a type named as Shiga Toxin producing E.coli (STEC) O26H11 eae+ stx2+. The bacteria is not the same type as the more well-known E. coli O157:H7

The bacteria has also been found in Saint-Félicien and Saint Marcellin cheeses. There was a case in April 2019 of children being taken ill after they had eaten this cheese, manufactured by the Fromagerie Alpine, based in Romans-sur-Isère, a town in the Drôme department in South-eastern France in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region.

The bacteria has also turned up in raw goat’s milk that was being sold in various French markets.

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