FDA warns of E.coli outbreak from Spinach
One death and multiple hospitalizations in several states
September 15, 2006
On Thursday, September 14, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an alert to consumers about an outbreak of E. coli in multiple states that may be associated with the consumption of produce. Preliminary epidemiological evidence suggests that bagged fresh spinach may be a possible cause of this outbreak. Wyoming is now being included in the list of states where illness has been reported.
Based on current information, FDA advises that people not eat fresh spinach or fresh spinach containing-products that are consumed raw. Individuals who believe they may have experienced symptoms of illness after consuming pre-packaged spinach are urged to contact their health care provider.
E. coli O157:H7 causes diarrhea, often with bloody stools. Although most healthy adults can recover completely within a week, some people can develop a form of kidney failure called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS). HUS is most likely to occur in young children and the elderly. The condition can lead to serious kidney damage and even death. To date, 50 cases of illness have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including 8 cases of HUS and one death.
At this time, the investigation is ongoing and states that have reported illnesses to date include: California, Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. The affected products were also distributed to Canada and Mexico.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration