Baby Spinach May Be Linked to E. Coli Food Poisoning Outbreak in Multiple States, CDC Warns

No recall yet announced, as investigation into the cause of the outbreak is currently ongoing

A multistate E. coli outbreak linked to tainted baby spinach has sickened at least 10 people nationwide, including at least two severe illnesses that resulted in hospitalization, according to a new warning from federal health officials.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a food safety alert on November 15, warning consumers not to eat Josie’s Organics Baby Spinach, because it may be the source of the E. coli food poisoning outbreak.

To date, illnesses have been reported across seven different states, including Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, Minnesota, Missouri, Michigan, and South Dakota. While severe illnesses have been reported, no deaths have been linked to the baby spinach.

Suspicions fell on Jose’s spinach products after Minnesota officials found a package of leftover Josie’s organics baby spinach collected form the home of a person who had become sick. Subsequently, laboratory data indicated the spinach was contaminated with E. coli.

Five people reported eating spinach in the week before they became sick, and one person reported specifically eating the Josie’s brand spinach.

Researchers indicate the outbreak may be much larger than currently reported, as some people have not become severely sick and recover at home without seeking medical attention or reporting it to health officials.

Josie’s Organics Baby Spinach is sold at stores nationwide. Affected packaged have a “Best by date” of October 23, 2021. The spinach is sold in plastic clamshell containers. A recall has not been issued as the investigation into the outbreak and its source is still underway.

An investigation is currently underway. Health officials are collecting different samples and other data to determine if additional products may be contaminated.

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E. coli is a foodborne bacteria which lives in the intestines of people and animals and can become pathogenic, causing severe bowel pain and diarrhea when exposed outside of the human intestinal tract. The bacteria are commonly transmitted through contaminated water or uncooked food, or through contact with animals and infected persons.

Typically, the infection causes mild to severe diarrhea and abdominal cramps, bloody stools, and sometimes minor fevers lasting between five and 10 days. For individuals like young children, the sick and the elderly, the consequences may be more severe due to weakened immune systems, potentially resulting in the infection causing a serious condition known as Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), which may lead to kidney failure or even death.

Consumers who believe they are experiencing symptoms of an E. coli infection are encouraged to contact their healthcare provider and write down what they ate in the week before they got sick.

While the cause of the outbreak is still under investigation, the CDC advises consumers not to eat Josie’s Organic Baby Spinach. The CDC calls on consumers to throw unused product away or return it to the store where it was purchased, and to make sure to wash surfaces that the spinach may have touched with soap and water.

1 Comments

  • GabrielMarch 10, 2022 at 1:32 pm

    I bought baby spinach from a Ralphs in Van Nuys California then got Salmonella poisoning and giardia. I received a notice that I may have been exposed to tainted baby spinach, I was sick for months and it turned into a rare deadly form of Crohn’s disease. I was found unresponsive and taken to the hospital and was given two weeks to live. When I didn’t die I was transferred to my family back home i[Show More]I bought baby spinach from a Ralphs in Van Nuys California then got Salmonella poisoning and giardia. I received a notice that I may have been exposed to tainted baby spinach, I was sick for months and it turned into a rare deadly form of Crohn’s disease. I was found unresponsive and taken to the hospital and was given two weeks to live. When I didn’t die I was transferred to my family back home in Montana and I spent five years on chemo and biological therapy to get it under control it has been the most severe case of Crohn’s disease that any doctor that the case has been reviewed by in the nation so far.

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