March 24, 2018

Two E. coli Outbreaks In New York Unrelated, Officials Say

An E. coli outbreak linked to spinach sold at Wegmans grocery stores in New York that has sickened 19 people in five counties in the western part of the state is not related to a September outbreak in the same area, Jeffrey Hammond, a spokesman for the New York State Department of Health told Food Poisoning Bulletin.

The spinach E. coli outbreak that since mid-October has sickened 19 people who range in age from 6 to 60 and live in Erie, Monroe, Niagara, Steuben, and Wayne counties is not related to an E. coli outbreak in Livingston and Onondaga counties that sickened 10 people in September, Hammond said. A food source for the September outbreak was never determined, but testing has ruled out that outbreaks are related.

E. coli poisoning can cause severe abdominal cramps and diarrhea that is often bloody. In some cases, a condition called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which leads to kidney failure, can develop. HUS primarily affects young children and seniors. It can be fatal without proper treatment, which often includes dialysis.  Anyone who has eaten the recalled spinach and develops E. coli symptoms should see a doctor. So far, five of the 19 people sickened by the spinach E. coli outbreak required hospitalization.  One person remains hospitalized.

A recall of the spinach has removed the product from shelves at Wegmans stores in New York. The Wegmans  Food You Feel Good About Organic Spinach & Spring Mix was sold in 5 oz and 11 oz plastic clamshell packages.

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