State officials have identified a case of E. coli infection in a Waldoboro food service worker and warn that the illness may have been spread to customers.

The worker handled deli food at Morse’s Sauerkraut in Waldoboro and was infectious from April 1 through May 13, state officials said. The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said the worker had Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, which can cause severe stomach cramps, diarrhea that is often bloody and vomiting in those who are infected.

The time between consuming infected food and feeling sick is usually three to four days, the Maine CDC said, but can be as short as one day or as long as 10 days.

The Maine CDC said that anyone who bought deli items from Morse’s Sauerkraut during the time the worker was infected should watch for symptoms, contact a health care provider to be tested if they exhibit the symptoms and also avoid high-risk activities, such as preparing food for others.

State officials also said customers with any items purchased from the store during the time the worker was infected should throw the food away and officials are working with the business owner and local health care providers to minimize the risk of further exposures.

The Maine CDC said some of the symptoms of the infection are mild, but can be severe for very young children and older people, who may develop a serious condition called hemolytic uremic syndrome.


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