The Federal Department of Agriculture (FDA) announced that the will be testing for additional strains of E.coli. Last Fall, Kayla Boner, an Iowa teenager died of a common E.coli bacteria that the FDA does not routinely test for. Since the early 1990’s, the FDA’s testing has been for the 0157:H7 strain of the bacteria. Since Boner’s death, the FDA has decided to test for other strains including the 0111 bacterial that killed Boner.
The Centers for Disease Control estimates that E.coli 0157 infections sicken 73,000 people a year and kills about 60. Other strains, however, can also be deadly. The FDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced that they will begin to focus on six other E.coli bacteria: 026, 0111, 0103, 0121, 045 and 0145. FSIS executive associate, Elizabeth Hagen, says these groups of E.coli may be responsible for up to 75% of the non-0157:H7 illness.
The start date for the new testing has not yet been announced.
Foodborne illness can cause serious illness and sometimes death, especially in pregnant women, young children, people with compromised immune systems and the elderly. Complications can include severe hydration and shutdown of major organs like the kidneys.
If you or a loved one has been hospitalized or become severely ill due to food poisoning, you should contact a personal injury attorney with expertise in the field. The Farber Law Group has more than 40 years experience in representing victims of foodborne illness. Contact us today for a free consultation.