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Old 09-15-2006, 10:36 AM   #11
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
P06-131
September 14, 2006
Media Inquiries:
301-827-6242
Consumer Inquiries:
888-INFO-FDA


FDA Warning on Serious Foodborne E.coli O157:H7 Outbreak
One Death and Multiple Hospitalizations in Several States
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is issuing an alert to consumers about an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 in multiple states that may be associated with the consumption of produce. To date, preliminary epidemiological evidence suggests that bagged fresh spinach may be a possible cause of this outbreak.

Based on the current information, FDA advises that consumers not eat bagged fresh spinach at this time. Individuals who believe they may have experienced symptoms of illness after consuming bagged spinach are urged to contact their health care provider.

“Given the severity of this illness and the seriousness of the outbreak, FDA believes that a warning to consumers is needed. We are working closely with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local agencies to determine the cause and scope of the problem,” said Dr. Robert Brackett, Director of FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN).

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: Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Wisconsin.

FDA will keep consumers informed of the investigation as more information becomes available.

Grocery stores across the country are pulling bagged spinach from shelves because of this E. coli outbreak. If you've got a bag of fresh spinach in your refrigerator, don't eat it. It could make you very sick or even kill you.

Officials are issuing the warning nationwide because they don't know where the spinach comes from or how widely it is distributed. Reports of infections are growing.

Investigators are trying to see if there is any kind of a link to a specific growing region, grower, brand or supplier.

One person has died in Wisconsin and at least 49 others have become ill.
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Old 09-15-2006, 10:41 AM   #12
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There are a t least 4 people hospitalized with severe liver failure.

The people who became sick are from states all over the us.
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Old 09-15-2006, 11:10 AM   #13
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It's the plastic BAGGED fresh spinach that this has been traced to. Not fresh BUNCHED spinach, or FROZEN spinach.

My local market had absolutely gorgeous huge bunches of fresh spinach, & I bought two & plan to wash & cook them up "Indian style" tonight for dinner. (So if you don't here from me again after that, you can all say "I told you so". ) Spinach is one of my very favorite vegetables, & I'm certainly not going to stop enjoying it - so long as it's bunched or frozen - because of this newest e-coli outbreak.

[removed do to political content]. The environment in which the food we consume is handled makes one wonder why we're all not sick &/or dying from it on a regular basis.
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Old 09-15-2006, 11:27 AM   #14
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We have eaten spinach salads this week (Great) I threw the rest of the salad and bagged spinach out this morning. Really, everyone who bought the spincah should get a refund. This kind of makes you nervous about all store bought produce. Most of the time I try to get packaged veggies at the store, because I get sort of grossed out by thinking about all the people that handle the stuff that is loose. So much for that theory. We usually eat what we have in the garden, but September is really not spinach season in Tennessee, I'm considering going back to just eating what is in season.
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Old 09-15-2006, 11:55 AM   #15
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Exclamation Fresh and raw spinach warning

The FDA and the CDC have issued a consumer warning regarding fresh spinach. There has been an outbreak of EColi from contaminated spinach that includes washed and unwashed spinach, cello bag spinach, baby spinach, head spinach. They are suggesting that baby greens and mesculn also be included in the warning. However, the warning is specifically aimed at all fresh and raw spinach at this time.

The following states have already confirmed cases of EColi poisoning, and there has been one EColi related death to date. (sorry, I don't know which state reported the death). Connecticut, Idaho, Indianna, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Wisconsin.

The FDA is not prepared to confirm that simply cooking the raw spinach will eliminate the contamination. More testing will have to be done first.

Please take it from your resident pathogen police....please discard any raw spinach you may have, regardless of which state you live in. As you can see, it's not limited to any one region of the states.
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Old 09-15-2006, 11:55 AM   #16
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Most bagged spinach is washed, but not all, which leads me to think it is contamination at a processing plant rather than from the fields, but that is for the investigators to find out.

re: bunched product. I look for dirt on my produce. This indicates that few steps are involved and few human hands have touched my food. I can wash it to my satisfaction. Yes it takes longer, but I'm into cooking and that prep work is part of my passion.

However, until we know a bit more, I'll be choosing chard or kale or collards. I like all the dark green leafy vegies! btw: kale goes real well into a lazagna, and is very Italian.
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Old 09-15-2006, 11:58 AM   #17
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VeraBlue, how about other dark greens? Kale Chard etc? any warnings? THis sounds like salad processing issues.
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Old 09-15-2006, 12:01 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo410
VeraBlue, how about other dark greens? Kale Chard etc? any warnings? THis sounds like salad processing issues.
I'll have to check into my emails for any other greens. All I've heard at this time is spinach, and possibly baby greens.

Since these leaves are so delicate, they are handled differenty than something hardy, like kale. Let me look further into my emails. I sent this here as soon as I got the first email.
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Old 09-15-2006, 12:10 PM   #19
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My information comes from Dr. Robert Brackett, director of FDAs center for food safety and applied nutrition (CFSAN). At this time, the concentration is spinach, and specifically bagged fresh spinach (cello bags), although all fresh and raw spinach is being investigated.
My company has directed that we dispose of all fresh and raw spinach and all baby greens and mesclun.

I do not see any indication that any other greens are affected.

If anyone would like the symptons of E.Coli printed here, I can do that. (although I am at work now ...and I really shouldn't even be on this site!) Most healthy adults can recover within an week, some people can develop a form of kidney failure called Hemolytic Uremic syndrome. This can lead to serious kidney damage and death.

Please discard all fresh spinach
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Old 09-15-2006, 12:11 PM   #20
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Verablue - our 12 noon news here just a few moments ago said specifically that only BAGGED fresh spinach is being considered here as the cause. That other forms of spinach are not being included in this outbreak.
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