On September 14, 2006, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that a nationwide E. coli outbreak had been associated with the consumption of bagged baby spinach. For fear of E. coli contamination, all bagged spinach was recalled nationwide, and on September 19, 2006, the FDA announced that all spinach implicated in the outbreak had been traced back to Natural Selection Foods, a company located in California’s Salinas Valley.
FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed 205 E. coli illnesses associated with the spinach E. coli outbreak, including thirty-one cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome, 104 hospitalizations, and four deaths.
Victims of the E. coli outbreak were identified in 26 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Wisconsin was the state hardest-hit in the outbreak, with 49 confirmed cases of E. coli. Canada reported one confirmed case.
A joint trace-back by FDA and the State of California revealed that four spinach fields were the possible source of the E. coli contamination. The outbreak strain of E. coli was isolated from cattle fields nearby the implicated spinach fields, as well as from a wild boar that was killed in one of the fields.
On March 23, 2007, The California Department of Health Services and the United States Food and Drug Administration released its report, "Investigation of an Escherichia coli O157:H7 Outbreak Associated with Dole Pre-Packaged Spinach (redacted)." (PDF) and, "Recommendations in follow up to the Investigation of an Escherichia coli O157:H7 Outbreak Associated with Dole PrePackaged Spinach." (PDF) The report and recommendations follow the 2006 E. coli outbreak that was traced to pre-packated Dole spinach that was produced in California's Salinas Valley and sold nationwide.
Marler Clark represented 93 victims of the E. coli outbreak, and filed lawsuits on behalf of individuals from Maryland, Michigan, Oregon, Nebraska, New York, Utah, and Wisconsin. The law firm resolved all cases.