Deadly E. Coli outbreak causes illness across the U.S. – FDA warns not to eat bagged spinach

There has been an outbreak of E. coli in multiple states associated with the consumption of bagged spinach. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an alert to consumers. The E.coli O157:H7 causes diarrhea, often with bloody stools.

Although most healthy adults will recover within a week, some people have developed kidney failure called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS).

This condition is most likely to occur in young children and the elderly, according to the FDA.

So far there have been 50 cases of illness reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Among those, 8 cases involved HUS. There has been one death. Cases have been reported in Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Wisconsin.

Dr. Robert Brackett said “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.” Brackett is Director of FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN).

So far the evidence is pointing to bagged fresh spinach. The FDA says consumers should not eat any bagged spinach. If you have eaten the spinach and feel ill, contact your physician.