issues E. coli consumer alert
warning on serious food-borne E. coli O157:H7 outbreak
and multiple hospitalizations in several states
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[SEPT. 15, 2006]
ROCKVILLE, Md. --
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is issuing an alert to
consumers about an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 in multiple states.
It 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," said
Dr. Robert Brackett, director of FDA's Center for Food Safety and
Applied Nutrition. "We are working closely with the U.S. Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention and state and local agencies to
determine the cause and scope of the problem."
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. This syndrome 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 eight cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome and one death.
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At this time, the investigation is ongoing. States that reported
the illness as of Thursday were Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana,
Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Wisconsin.
FDA will keep consumers informed of the investigation as more
information becomes available.
[U.S. Food and Drug Administration
news release provided by
NewsEmergency.com as a public health alert]