Surveillance and outbreak reports Open Access
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In October 2007, an outbreak of verocytotoxin-producing Escherichia coli (VTEC) O145 and E. coli O26 occurred among consumers of ice cream produced and sold in September 2007 at a farm in the province of Antwerp (Belgium). The ice cream was consumed at two birthday parties and also eaten at the farm. Five children, aged between two and 11 years, developed haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS), and seven other co-exposed persons contracted severe diarrhoea. In three of the five HUS cases VTEC O145 infections were laboratory confirmed, one in association with VTEC O26. Identical isolates of E. coli O145 and O26 were detected with PCR and PFGE in faecal samples of patients and in ice cream leftovers from one of the birthday parties, in faecal samples taken from calves, and in samples of soiled straw from the farm at which the ice cream was produced. Ice cream was made from pasteurised milk and most likely contaminated by one of food handlers.


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