FDA and CDC investigating multistate E. coli outbreak

Posted: 6 December 2021 | | No comments yet

The FDA and CDC are investigating an outbreak of E.coli In multiple US states which is thought to have been caused by organic spinach.

E. coli on lettuce

It's thought the outbreak is linked to organic spinach

Public health authorities in the US are warning consumers not to consume a certain brand or organic spinach after multiple cases of E.coli were detected in several different states.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in collaboration with state and local partners, are investigating the outbreak. According to the CDC, as of November 15, 2021, 14 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported from nine states. Illnesses started on dates ranging from October 13 to October 27, 2021. 10 people in this outbreak report eating spinach in the week before becoming sick and six people reported Josie’s Organics brand.

On November 15, 2021, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture reported that, as part of this outbreak investigation, a sample of Josie’s Organics Baby Spinach collected from the home of an ill person tested positive for E. coli O157:H7. This sample had a “Best If Used By” date of October 23, 2021 and Whole

Genome Sequencing (WGS) analysis determined that the strain of E. coli O157:H7 present in the product sample matches the outbreak strain.

As a result, the FDA has advised consumers, restaurants, and retailers, should not eat, sell, or serve Josie’s Organics Baby Spinach with a “Best If Used By” date of October 23, 2021. Josie’s Organics Baby Spinach is sold in a clear plastic clamshell with the Best If Used By Date on the top label.

Although this product is past expiration and should no longer be available for purchase, the FDA says consumers should check their homes for product and discard it. If consumers froze fresh Josie’s Organics Baby Spinach, they should discard it.

The FDA traced the supply chain for this positive product sample back to a small number of farms in two different geographic regions and deployed investigators along the supply chains of interest. The FDA is continuing its efforts to trace back reported spinach exposures to identify if spinach from additional farms could have been implicated.

The authorities are working with the firm to determine if additional products could be affected.

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