Food-product recall data for recalls due to Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) from 2000 to 2012 were obtained for establishments regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Statistical tests were used to assess the factors associated with recovery of product following STEC recalls along with the relationship between cluster detection and jurisdictions. Our results indicated that the percentage of recalled product recovered following a recall action due to STEC was dependent on the complexity of distribution, type of distribution, amount of time between production and recall dates, and the number of pounds of product recalled. Illness-related STEC recalls were associated with a lower percentage of product recovery which was probably impacted by larger amounts of product recalled, broader production scope, and delays from epidemiological and traceback investigations. Further, detection of illnesses related to STEC recalls seemed to be enhanced in states with additional resources and a history of successful foodborne investigations. This makes an argument for additional resources dedicated to public health agencies specifically for the surveillance of foodborne illnesses.
- Escherichia coli O157