Christine Grant
James S. Blumenstock
Senior Assistant Commissioner

Public Health Alert

September 10, 1999

E. coli 0157:H7

The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) is investigating a major outbreak in which several hundred people were affected by E.coli that has been traced to contaminated well water at a county fairground in Washington County, New York between August 22 and August 29. One fatality has been associated with this outbreak.

No cases have been reported in New Jersey associated with carnivals or fairs. However, the food vendors at the Washington County Fair have dispersed to unknown locations and may be carrying contaminated well water. Local health departments should canvass all carnivals or fairs currently running within their jurisdictions to ascertain whether any of the food vendors operating at these events also operated at the Washington County Fair. We are aware of the following four vendors that operated at the Washington County Fair:

Albert & Kathlene Tremblay, D/B/A "Armidillo Cafe"
Tina Doolan, D/B/A "Banquet in a Bun"
Kevin J. Brick, D/B/A/ "Brick's Concession"
John Curran, D/B/A/ "John & Debbie's Mobile"

If any vendors are operating within your jurisdiction who also operated at the Washington County Fair, their containered water must be discarded immediately into a sanitary sewer and the containers must be disinfected prior to reuse. Furthermore, any beverages made with this suspect water are considered adulterated and must be embargoed or destroyed and all food contact surfaces must be sanitized.

If you have any questions about E.coli 0157:H7, need assistance with laboratory confirmation, or have questions about disease reporting, please call (609) 588-7500.

Please ensure widest dissemination of this information to all Health Officers and Registered Environmental Health Specialists who inspect and license food vendors. Additional medical information is being simultaneously released to all hospitals in New Jersey with copies to local health departments.

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