Deadly Burgers and E. coli Are Focus of May 25 'We Were There' Presentation
CDC is proud to announce the fifth installment in the “We Were There” lecture series, “How Deadly Burgers Made Food Safer – The Impact of the 1993 E. coli O157 Outbreak,” on May 25. The series features past and present CDC researchers as they share their personal perspectives on historically important, CDC-led epidemiologic and laboratory investigations. “We Were There” provides insights into the rich past of CDC and gives the audience a chance to hear firsthand accounts from the responders.
In 1993, four children died and more than 700 people in four states were sickened with severe and often bloody diarrhea. Public health investigators quickly linked the disease outbreaks to Escherichia coli O157:H7 (E. coli O157), spread through hamburgers served at fast-food restaurants.
Diligent disease detective work ultimately linked the outbreak to four states: Washington, California, Nevada, and Idaho. Further disease detective work by CDC traced the likely source of the E. coli to multiple slaughterhouses that supplied the ground beef to the restaurants.
The public outcry over the 1993 disaster was swift and fierce and led to important changes in food safety practices, such as increasing the recommended internal temperature in cooked hamburgers. In 1995, E. coli O157 became a nationally notifiable disease.
“How Deadly Burgers Made Food Safer – The Impact of the 1993 E. coli O157 Outbreak” features firsthand accounts of the investigation from Patricia M. Griffin, MD, Robert Tauxe, MD, MPH, Bala Swaminathan, PhD, and Beth Bell, MD. They will address the subsequent changes in food safety regulation, and take part in a question-and-answer session.
The presentation is Thursday, May 25, 1-2:30 p.m. EDT in the Langmuir Auditorium at the Global Communications Center (Building 19) on CDC’s Roybal Campus in Atlanta. It is open to the public. A live webcast will be available on the CDC website. The link will be live five minutes before the presentation. View sessions on our archive page at your convenience. Sessions are archived 3-4 days after each presentation.