Youve heard it before, but now you have another reason to save your credit card receipts: E. coli.
And you thought credit card receipts were just for taxes
In an article in the April 15, 2009 issue of the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, authors describe that an outbreak of shiga toxin-producing E. coli in Danish children was traced back to beef sausages using receipts from credit card purchases. Between February and March 2007, Danish officials identified 20 genetically related cases, all of which were relatively mild and in which the patients recovered. But as the interviews with the childrens parents did not reveal any typical food suspects, investigators relied on the parents credit card information and a list of supermarkets where they shopped.
Complete lists of items purchased were obtained for seven families, five of which had purchased a particular brand of fermented, organic beef sausage, says a news release about the article, which is now available online. A sixth family was linked to the sausage through shopping records from the kindergarten their two affected children attended. Sausages recovered from unopened packages tested positive for the outbreak strain, STEC 026.
Not only was this the first time this strain of E. coli has been identified, the authors say, but the outbreak would most likely never have been found without credit card and supermarket database information.
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