Milwaukee Second Steakhouse Shut in E. Coli Scare : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread


Friday August 4 2:39 PM ET

Second Milwaukee Steakhouse Shut in E. Coli Scare

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (Reuters) - A second Sizzler steakhouse in the Milwaukee area was closed after two patrons fell ill from E. coli infection, lifting the number sickened in the outbreak to more than 50, authorities said on Friday.

The second Sizzler franchise in the Milwaukee suburb of Wauwatosa was shut this week when a man and a young child both fell ill after eating there, a spokesman for Culver City, California-based Sizzler International Inc. (NYSE:SZ - news) said.

A 3-year-old girl died last week from kidney failure caused by the infection related to the toxic strain of E. coli 0157:H7, which she apparently contracted from eating at another Sizzler restaurant in Milwaukee.

The Milwaukee Health Department traced the initial outbreak to either contaminated watermelon or beef served at the Milwaukee restaurant in mid-July.

Both restaurants affected are franchise outlets for the chain, which owns 65 steakhouses and 200 franchises.

E. coli bacteria outbreaks are not uncommon, causing an estimated 73,000 illnesses a year in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. The illness, often a cause of bloody diarrhea and sometimes of kidney failure, is most often associated with eating undercooked, contaminated beef.

The strain of E. coli 0157:H7 is the same that tainted the water supply of the Canadian farm town of Walkerton in May, causing or contributing to at least six deaths.

-- Rachel Gibson (, August 05, 2000

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