Julie Sullivan-Springhetti, Communications Director for Multnomah County Health Department , told Food Poisoning Bulletin in an email that an E. coli outbreak at Montessori of Alameda preschool has sickened six people. Five of those patients are children and one is an adult. In a press release issued yesterday, a Multnomah county press release stated that two of those patients are sick with the I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter E. coli O157:H7 strain. Those patients are not included in the CDC‘s outbreak investigation page as of March 15, 2017.
All six patients in the Montessori of Alameda outbreak have E. coli infections and four have E. coli O157:H7 infections. Officials are waiting on lab tests to confirm the type of E. coli and the H antigen in the remaining two cases. One child was hospitalized in this outbreak; we don’t know if the child has been released from the hospital.
I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter and granola, and Dixie Diner’s Club No Carb Beanit Butter have been recalled in response to this outbreak. Consumers should check their pantries to see if any of them are in their homes. These products have a shelf life of about two years, and are most likely still in consumers’ homes.
The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) confirmed last week that two cases of E. coli O157 infections in that state are part of a national outbreak linked to The Soynut Butter Company’s I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter. Epidemiologists are telling consumers to discard any of I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter and granola products immediately.
Dr. Paul Cieslak, medical director for the Acute and Communicable Disease Prevention Section at the OHA Public Health Division said in a statement, “people need to know that if they have this product in their pantries, they should immediately return it to the store where they bought it, or throw it out. If they ate the product and are experiencing symptoms of an E. coli infection, they should see their health care provider right away.”
National food safety lawyer Fred Pritzker said, “no ready to eat product should ever be contaminated with pathogenic bacteria such as E. coli O57:H7. Patients in this outbreak deserve answers to questions about how this product was contaminated in the first place.”
The two patients in Oregon identified in the state news release are siblings, both younger than 18, who live in Clackamas County. They were not hospitalized, did not develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and are recovering. OHA epidemiologists collected a sample of the I.M. Healthy product from their home. Lab tests revealed E. coli bacteria in the product.
So far, 16 people in 9 states have been identified as part of this outbreak. The CDC has not updated their outbreak investigation page since the afternoon of March 13, 2017.
The symptoms of an E. coli infection include painful abdominal and stomach cramps, diarrhea that may be bloody and/or watery, and a low fever. Patients sometimes experience nausea and vomiting as well. In about 5 to 10% of cases, E. coli patients can develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a serious complication that damages the kidneys. The symptoms of HUS include greatly reduced urine output or no urine output at all, lethargy pale skin, small bruises, and a skin rash. Any person who is experiencing these symptoms should see a doctor immediately.
Pritzker Hageman law firm helps people sickened by contaminated food get answers, compensation and justice. Our lawyers represent families of children in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits against food processors, restaurants, retailers, schools, and others. Attorney Fred Pritzker recently won $7.5 million for young client whose kidneys failed because of hemolytic uremic syndrome.
If you have a comment or question about this outbreak, leave a comment. We will keep you informed about this outbreak.