Health chiefs: Don't eat bagged spinach
POSTED: 6:59 a.m. EDT, September 15, 2006
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Consumers nationwide should not eat fresh bagged spinach, say health officials probing a multistate outbreak of E. coli that killed at least one person and made dozens of others sick.
Food and Drug Administration and state officials don't know the cause of the outbreak, although raw, packaged spinach appears likely. "We're advising people not to eat it," said Dr. David Acheson of the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.
Eight states were reporting a total of 50 cases of E. coli, Acheson said Thursday.
The death occurred in Wisconsin, where 20 people were reported ill, 11 of them in Milwaukee. The outbreak has sickened others -- eight of them seriously -- in Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon and Utah. In California, state health officials said they were investigating a possible case there.
The outbreak has affected a mix of ages, but most of the cases have involved women, Acheson said. Further information on the person who died wasn't available.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Wisconsin health officials alerted the FDA about the outbreak at midweek. Preliminary analysis suggested the same bug is responsible for the outbreak in all eight states.
The warning applied to consumers nationwide because of uncertainty over the origin of the tainted spinach and how widely it was distributed. Health officials did not know of any link to a specific growing region, grower, brand or supplier, Acheson said.
Amy Philpott, a spokeswoman for the United Fresh Produce Association, said that it's possible the cause of the outbreak won't be known for some time, even after its source is determined.
"Our industry is very concerned," she said. "We're taking this very seriously."
Reports of infections have been growing by the day, Acheson said. "We may be at the peak, we may not be," he said."
E. coli can cause diarrhea, death
E. coli causes diarrhea, often with bloody stools. Most healthy adults can recover completely within a week, although some people -- including the very young and old -- can develop a form of kidney failure that often leads to death.
Anyone who has gotten sick after eating raw packaged spinach should contact a doctor, officials said.
Other bagged vegetables, including prepackaged salads, apparently are not affected. In general, however, washing all bagged vegetables is recommended. Thorough cooking kills the bacterium.
"We're telling people if they have bagged produce and they feel like it's a risk, throw it out," Michigan Department of Community Health spokesman T.J. Bucholz said. "If they feel like they have to eat it, wash it first in warm water."
E. coli lives in the intestines of cattle and other animals and typically is linked to contamination by fecal material. It causes an estimated 73,000 cases of infection, including 61 deaths, each year in the United States, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Sources of the bacterium include uncooked produce, raw milk, unpasteurized juice, contaminated water and meat, especially undercooked or raw hamburger, the agency says on its Web site.
In December 2005, an E. coli outbreak sickened at least eight children in Washington state. Officials traced the outbreak to unpasteurized milk from a dairy that had been ordered to stop distributing raw milk.
Last October, the FDA warned people not to eat certain Dole prepackaged salads that were connected to an outbreak of E. coli infections in Minnesota. At least 11 people were sickened.
In 1993, a major E. coli outbreak sickened about 700 people and killed four who ate undercooked Jack in the Box hamburgers in Washington state. That outbreak led to tighter Agriculture Department safety standards for meat and poultry producers.
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09-15-2006, 07:21 AM #1
- Join Date
- May 2001
- Recently relocated to Baltimore County, MD
Bagged Spinach = E Coli Problem says FDATom
Never Forget 9-11-2001
Stay safe out there!
09-15-2006, 09:25 AM #2
Well, blow me down!
I'm strong to the finish, 'cause I eats me spinach...out of a can!!!"Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”
--General James Mattis, USMC
09-16-2006, 12:53 AM #3
Here we have it...vindication for every child who has ever hated spinach!!...South of the James...By Invitation Only!
09-16-2006, 06:00 AM #4
Made lots of dirt. Big Tick.
Made lots of Compost. Big Tick.
Used no Poisons. Big Tick.
Mixed Dirt and Compost Big Tick.
Planted seeds. Big Tick.
It isn't that hard. Adan is 2 1/2 and has never had the Flu or other bugs going through the neighborhood. Simple really.Psychiatrists state 1 in 4 people has a mental illness.
Look at three of your friends, if they are ok, your it.
09-16-2006, 11:12 AM #5
I wonder how the stuff gets contaminated?
Look closely at the salad below the red band on the package.Steve Gallagher
"I don't apologize for anything. When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes
09-16-2006, 12:12 PM #6
September 11th - Never Forget
- Join Date
- May 2002
- Now in Victoria, BC. I'm from beautiful Jasper Alberta in the heart of the Can. Rockies - will always be an Albertan at heart!
I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.
IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
RAY WAS HERE FIRST
09-18-2006, 03:53 PM #7
It gets contaminated when our cheap-food-obsessed market demands the cheapest possible labor to harvest our food, in the country that can produce it the cheapest. That cheap labor in that cheap country picks a few rows, goes to the woods to take a dump, "washes" his hands by smearing them on his pants, and goes back to work.
Solution: GROW A GARDEN."Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”
--General James Mattis, USMC
09-18-2006, 04:35 PM #8
- Join Date
- Jul 2004
- The merry old land of Oz
It just proves what I've always thought ... when your mother said "eat your spinach" she was trying to kill your *****.
09-18-2006, 05:32 PM #9
- Join Date
- Apr 2005
- Las Vegas,Nevada
Don't eat, breathe or drink because it's all contaminated! ???? Holy cow they figured out how to control the world population.
09-18-2006, 05:52 PM #10
- Join Date
- Sep 2006
- Pinellas county
It's the terrorists.
'Spinach? We don't need no stinkin' spinach!'
Last edited by Schwaa; 09-18-2006 at 06:20 PM.
09-18-2006, 07:50 PM #11
I work as a fulltime EMT in a pretty busy area....so I was just waiting for it...and sure enough I got it twice today. Respond to *** Main street for the stomach pain. Patient was vomiting...bowel movements etc....and made sure to tell me she ate spinach last night....2hrs later....same thing....minus the vomiting....sure enough..." I ate some spinach with dinner last night" Well people just crack me up.....you know theres something going on but yet you continue to eat it...even the ER nurses were sayin WHY?? 98% sure neither of those 2 patients illnesses were related to consuming spinach....so my question is...how many other fellow EMT's out there have gotten some spinach calls too?Andrew
09-19-2006, 07:16 AM #12Originally Posted by Engine58
Wash your food, wash your hands. Hapatitis A is passed the same way - the good ol' fecal-oral route.
Oh yeah, E. coli is in your bowels a natural gut flora. The problem is when you ingest new E. coli.
Badness, but self-limiting provided you maintain hydration."Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers
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