The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has posted on its website an after-action review report for the investigation of a 2018 outbreak of E. coli O26 illnesses associated with ground beef. During July–October 2018, public health officials in Florida, Massachusetts, Colorado, Tennessee, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) investigated an outbreak of 18 E. coli O26 illnesses linked to ground beef sold at multiple retailers and sourced from an FSIS-regulated establishment. During this outbreak investigation, two retailers used innovative mechanisms to obtain case-patient purchase histories, which helped identify the source of the implicated ground beef. To view the full report, please visit https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/recalls-and-public-health-alerts/foodborne-illness-investigations/outbreak-ground-beef-2018.
FSIS plans to continue updating its Foodborne Illness Investigations Reports webpage with additional outbreak after-action review reports in the future. The purpose of these reports is to share lessons learned from outbreak investigations with industry and public health partners to help prevent illness and improve response.
Additional resources for public health partners regarding FSIS foodborne illness investigations can be found at https://www.fsis.usda.gov/phpartners.