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California Spinach Leads to E. Coli Outbreak

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Natural Selection Foods of San Juan Bautista, California issued a voluntary recall of all its packaged products containing fresh greens. The company, also operates under the name Earthbound Farms. Injuryboard member attorneys Paul Kiesel and Kerry Jardine both have informative blogs posted on the recall.

The FDA reports that, to date, 102 cases of illness due to E. coli infection have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including 16 cases of Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS) and one death. Illnesses continue to be reported to CDC

States reporting illnesses include: California, Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

The E. coli infection can cause severe bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps; sometimes the infection causes nonbloody diarrhea or no symptoms. Usually little or no fever is present, and the illness resolves in 5 to 10 days.

In some persons, particularly children under 5 years of age and the elderly, the infection can also cause a complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome, in which the red blood cells are destroyed and the kidneys fail. About 2%-7% of infections lead to this complication. In the United States, hemolytic uremic syndrome is the principal cause of acute kidney failure in children, and most cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome are caused by E. coli O157:H7.