CDC warns of E. coli infections linked to baby spinach

Health

In response to a multistate outbreak of E. coli O157 infections linked to Josie’s Organics spinach, the CDC have released a food safety alert.

The CDC has released the following information on the case:

Key points:

  • Ten people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported from seven states (Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, South Dakota). Two hospitalizations and no deaths have been reported.
  • Minnesota public health officials found E. coli O157:H7 in a package of leftover Josie’s Organics baby spinach collected from a sick person’s home. Five people in this outbreak reported eating spinach in the week before they got sick and one reported Josie’s Organics brand.
  • CDC is advising people not to eat, sell, or serve Josie’s Organics prepackaged baby spinach with a “best by” date of 10/23/2021.
  • Investigators are working to determine if additional products are contaminated.
  • The true number of sick people in an outbreak is likely higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses. This is because some people recover without medical care and are not tested for E. coli.
  • This product was distributed nationwide.

What You Should Do:

  • Do not eat, sell, or serve Josie’s Organics prepackaged baby spinach with “best by” date of 10/23/2021. Throw it away, even if some of the spinach was eaten and no one got sick.
  • Wash items and surfaces that may have touched the spinach using hot soapy water or a dishwasher.
  • Contact a healthcare provider if you think you got sick from eating this spinach.

About E. coli:

  • Symptoms of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) infection vary for each person, but often include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting. Some people may have a fever, which usually is not very high (less than 101˚F/38.5˚C).
  • Most people get better within 5 to 7 days. Some infections are very mild, but others are severe or even life-threatening.
  • Most people with a STEC infection start feeling sick 3 to 4 days after eating or drinking something that contains the bacteria. However, illnesses can start anywhere from 1 to 10 days after exposure. Contact your healthcare provider if you have diarrhea that lasts for more than 3 days or diarrhea that is accompanied by a fever higher than 102˚F, bloody diarrhea, or so much vomiting that you cannot keep liquids down and  are not peeing much.

Questions about cases in a particular state can be directed at that state’s health department.

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