FDA Warns on Bagged Spinach
Warning Due to 1 Death and Multiple Hospitalizations in E. coli Outbreak
WebMD News Archive
Sept. 15, 2006 --The FDA is advising consumers not to eat bagged, fresh
spinach while it probes a multistate outbreak of E. coli which has reportedly
killed one person and sickened 50 others.
Those numbers were reported to the CDC, according to an FDA news release.
The Associated Press reports that Wisconsin is where the death occurred and
where 20 fell ill, including 11 in Milwaukee.
The FDA is investigating the outbreak, which has been seen in at least 20
states: California, Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan,
Minnesota, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee,
Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Preliminary evidence suggests that bagged fresh spinach may be a possible
cause of the outbreak, says the FDA.
Based on its current information, the FDA is advising consumers not to eat
bagged fresh spinach at this time and to call a doctor if they believe they may
have gotten sick after eating bagged spinach.
"Given the severity of this illness and the seriousness of the outbreak,
the FDA believes that a warning to consumers is needed," says the FDA's
Robert Brackett, PhD, in a news release.
Brackett directs the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.
"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," Brackett says.
About the Outbreak
The outbreak involves E. coli 0157:H7, a strain of the E. coli bacterium
which causes diarrhea, often with bloody
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. It can lead
to serious kidney damage and death.
HUS killed one person and sickened eight others in the current E. coli
outbreak, says the FDA.
The FDA says it will update consumers on the investigation as more
information becomes available.