E. coli cases tied to Vermont restaurant
According to health officials, eight out nine confirmed or probable cases of the disease involved people who had dined at Worthy Burger between late August and mid-September. An unopened package of ground beef tested positive for the Shiga toxin, which is associated with contamination by E. coli. In lab testing, officials found that the samples from the beef were a slightly different strain than that found in patients.
Despite this, Vermont Department of Health Surveillance Epidemiologist Bradley Tompkins said contaminated beef is the likely culprit.
The restaurant said uses local sources for beef and other products. In light of the recent cases, the restaurant closed for five days and has changed vendors.
E. coli that produces the Shiga toxin typically presents itself through vomiting, severe stomach cramps and bloody diarrhea and there can be a fever associated with infections. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that typical cases are mild and are resolved within five to seven days. The CDC also said that up to 10 percent of cases can lead to a life-threatening condition, hemolytic uremic syndrome, indicating that the kidneys are not functioning.