E. coli Cases Grow, SoyNut Butter Recall Expands

Medically Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on March 08, 2017
From the WebMD Archives

Editor’s note: This story was updated on March 13 with more details on the recall expansion.

March 3, 2017 -- A multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 linked to a peanut butter substitute has sickened 16 people in nine states, the CDC says.

Meanwhile, the SoyNut Butter Company expanded its recall to include Dixie Diners' Club brand Carb Not Beanit Butter. It previously recalled all varieties of I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butters and all varieties of I.M. Healthy Granola products. All best-by dates of the products are affected.

“Regardless of Best Buy date or variety, we recommend that you do not consume I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter or I.M. Healthy Granola and return it to the store for a full refund,” the company says on its website.

The CDC, the Food and Drug Administration, and involved states are investigating. The SoyNut Butter Company says it will “do everything we can possibly do to assist.”

The cases were in Arizona, California, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, Oregon, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Washington, the CDC says. Eight people were hospitalized. Five of them -- all children -- developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure and a potentially fatal complication of E. coli O157 infection. No deaths have been reported.

Fourteen of the 16 ill people are younger than 18, the CDC says. The most recent illness began on February 21.

Of the 15 people reached for interviews about what they ate, all reported eating I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter or I.M. Healthy Granola, the CDC says.

Soy nut butter doesn't have peanuts or tree nuts, according to the I.M. Healthy website. Such butters are often used in place of peanut butter in nut-free schools and day cares.

The CDC says schools and day-care centers should not serve the products.

“Even if some of the SoyNut butter or granola was eaten or served and no one got sick, throw the rest of the product away,” the CDC says on its website. “Put it in a sealed bag in the trash so that children, pets or other animals can’t eat it.”

The I.M. Healthy products were distributed in multiple states and may have been bought in stores or through mail order, according to the FDA recall notice. The SoyNut Butters are packaged in 15-ounce jars, individual portion cups, 4-pound plastic tubs, or 45-pound pails. The SoyNut Butter varieties are Original Creamy, Chunky, Honey Creamy, Unsweetened, and Chocolate.

The granola has been packaged in individual serving packages, 12-ounce bags, 50-ounce bags, and 25-pound bulk bags. I.M. Healthy Granola is available in Original, Apple, Blueberry, and Raisin & Cranberry.

Consumers with questions can contact the company at 800-288-2012, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. -5 p.m. Central time.

Symptoms of E. coli include stomach cramps, diarrhea that may be bloody, and vomiting. Most people recover within a week, the CDC says, but some infections may be severe or life-threatening. Very young children and the elderly are more likely to develop severe illness and hemolytic uremic syndrome.

Call your doctor if you or your child has diarrhea lasting for more than 3 days; a high fever; blood in the stool; or if you or your child vomits so much that liquids will not stay down and very little urine is produced, the CDC says.

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News releases, CDC.

I.M. Healthy website.

CDC website.

Recall notices, U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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