Ban on Spinach Continues as FDA Investigates Foodborne E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak

To date, 109 cases of illness due to E. coli infection have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including 16 cases of Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS) and one death. Illnesses continue to be reported to CDC. The Food and Drug Adminsitration (FDA) says this is considered to be an ongoing investigation.

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 HUS. HUS is most likely to occur in young children and the elderly. The condition can lead to serious kidney damage and even death.

There are 19 confirmed states: California, Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

The FDA is advising consumers to not eat fresh spinach or fresh spinach-containing products until further notice. If individuals believe they may have experienced symptoms of illness after consuming fresh spinach or fresh spinach-containing products, FDA recommends that they seek medical advice.

The FDA has been informed that River Ranch, of California, is recalling packages of spring mix containing spinach. River Ranch obtained bulk spring mix containing spinach from Natural Selections. The following brands are involved:  Farmers Market, Hy Vee, Fresh and Easy. Products that do not contain spinach are not part of this recall. Natural Selection Foods, LLC, of San Juan Bautista, California, is recalling all of its products containing spinach in all brands they pack with "Best if Used by Dates" of August 17, 2006 through October 1, 2006. These products include spinach and any salad with spinach in a blend, both retail and food service products. Products that do not contain spinach are not part of this recall. Natural Selection Foods, LLC brands include: Natural Selection Foods, Pride of San Juan, Earthbound Farm, Bellissima, Dole, Rave Spinach, Emeril, Sysco, O Organic, Fresh Point, River Ranch, Superior, Nature's Basket, Pro-Mark, Compliments, Trader Joe's, Ready Pac, Jansal Valley, Cheney Brothers, Coastline, D'Arrigo Brothers, Green Harvest, Mann, Mills Family Farm, Premium Fresh, Snoboy, The Farmer's Market, Tanimura & Antle, President's Choice, Cross Valley, and Riverside Farms. The affected products were also distributed to Canada and Mexico. The FDA continues to investigate whether other companies and brands are involved.

Source: FDA

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