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Spinach Warning: Possible E-Coli Contamination

The Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to eat bagged fresh spinach. The warning comes after an E-Coli outbreak in eight states has left one person dead and at least 50 others sick. Workers at some stores have already started pulling spinach off shelves. The outbreak has affected Wisconsin, Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon and Utah. Officials aren't sure of the source of the outbreak.

For more information on E-Coli and its symptoms, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/submenus/sub_ecoli.htm

News Release from the Food and Drug Administration:

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.


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