A new route of transmission for Escherichia coli: infection from dry fermented salami

Am J Public Health. 1996 Aug;86(8):1142-5. doi: 10.2105/ajph.86.8_pt_1.1142.


Objectives: This study evaluated the production of dry fermented salami associated with an outbreak of Escherichia coli O157.H7 infection in Washington State and California.

Methods: Facility inspections, review of plant monitoring data, food handler interviews, and microbiological testing of salami products were conducted.

Results: Production methods complied with federal requirements and industry-developed good manufacturing practices. No evidence suggested that postprocessing contamination occurred. Calculations suggested that the infectious dose was smaller than 50 E. coli O157:H7 bacteria.

Conclusions: Dry fermented salami can serve as a vehicle of transmission for O157:H7 strains. Our investigation and prior laboratory studies suggest that E. coli O157:H7 can survive currently accepted processing methods.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • California
  • Child
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Escherichia coli / classification
  • Escherichia coli Infections / microbiology
  • Escherichia coli Infections / transmission*
  • Female
  • Fermentation
  • Food Handling / methods*
  • Food Handling / standards
  • Food Inspection*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meat / microbiology*
  • Serotyping
  • Washington