E. coli-infected food bought at delicatessen in Gunma kills Tokyo girl

Kyodo

The Maebashi Municipal Government in Gunma Prefecture said Wednesday a 3-year-old girl has died after eating fried shrimp and bamboo shoots bought in August at a local delicatessen hit by an E. coli bacteria outbreak.

The girl from Tokyo died in early September after being hospitalized, according to the city government, becoming the first fatality of last month’s outbreak, the cause of which has yet to be determined.

More than 20 people were infected with the O157 strain of E. coli after eating potato salad, marinade and other products purchased at delicatessens run by Fresh Corp. based in Ota, Gunma Prefecture. They suffered symptoms such as stomachaches.

In addition to the girl, 10 other people were infected with E. coli after eating food bought at the Maebashi store on Aug. 11, according to the city government.

Fresh Corp., a group company of Zensho Holdings Co., voluntarily closed all of its 17 delicatessens from Aug. 24, before local authorities issued orders to temporarily close the Maebashi store and another one in Saitama Prefecture.

They reopened last Thursday after authorities concluded there were no problems with the company’s hygiene management, but the Maebashi store voluntarily closed again Wednesday.

Local health authorities inspected the food processing plant that produced the potato salad but no traces of the bacteria were found.