July 31, 2014

CDC Declares E. coli 0157:H7 State Garden Organic Spinach Outbreak Over

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has declared that the multistate outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli 0157:H7 infections that are associated with Garden State Organic Spinach and Spring Mix Blend is over. A total of 33 people were infected with the outbreak strain of STEC 0157:H7 in five states. Forty-six percent of ill persons were hospitalized. Two patients developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure. No deaths were reported.

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State, local, and federal public health and regulatory agencies linked the outbreak to pre-packaged leafy greens produced by State Garden of Chelsea, Massachusetts. Traceback investigation identified State Garden as a common producer, but a source of contamination has not been identified. The FDA is continuing to investigate to find the source of the contamination.

The number of ill persons in each state is as follows: Connecticut (2), Massachusetts (3), New York (26), Pennsylvania (1), and Virginia (1). Illness onset dates ranged from October 18, 2012 to November 12, 2012. The age range of patients was 4 years to 66 years, with a median age of 24 years. Sixty-three percent of ill persons were female.

Thirty of 31 ill persons who answered questions reported eating pre-packaged leafy greens. Fifteen of those people ate Wegmans brand Organic Spinach and Spring Blend in the week before becoming ill. In total, 25, or 81% of 31 ill persons reported eating a variety of different brands of pre-packaged leafy greens produced by State Garden. Wegmans voluntarily recalled its Organic Spinach and Spring Mix blend on November 2, 2012.

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