ABSTRACT

A total of 514 raw pork samples (395 ground or nonintact and 119 intact samples) were purchased at retail stores in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey between July and December 2017. All raw pork samples were screened for serogroup O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, O145, or O157:H7 cells of Shiga toxin–producing Escherichia coli (STEC-7) using standard microbiological and molecular methods. In short, 21 (5.3%) of the 395 ground or nonintact pork samples and 3 (3.4%) of the 119 intact pork samples tested positive via the BAX system real-time PCR assay for the stx and eae virulence genes and for the somatic O antigens for at least one of the STEC-7 serogroups. However, none of these 24 presumptive-positive pork samples subsequently yielded a viable isolate of STEC displaying a STEC-7 serogroup-specific surface antigen in combination with the stx and eae genes. These data suggest that cells of STEC serogroups O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, O145, or O157:H7 are not common in retail raw pork samples in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • None of the 514 retail raw pork samples were positive for STEC-7.

  • Four of 514 raw pork samples harbored E. coli of unknown serogroup containing stx and eae.

  • STEC-7 are uncommon in retail raw pork samples in the U.S. mid-Atlantic region.

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