The CDC Is Investigating an E. Coli Outbreak Linked to Baby Spinach Sold Nationwide

At least 10 people have been sickened so far.

The CDC is currently investigating an E. coli outbreak that is linked to baby spinach sold across the country. Though no formal recall has been issued yet, the greens in question are Josie's Organics Baby Spinach sold at stores nationwide. The product, which is sold in plastic clamshell containers, has a "Best by" date of October 23, 2021.

According to the CDC, at least 10 people across seven states have fallen ill so far, with two hospitalizations and zero deaths reported. The states impacted so far are: Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and South Dakota.

baby spinach in a bowl
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However, the CDC suspects that the true number of people sickened by this outbreak is likely much higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses. "This is because many people recover without medical care and are not tested for E. coli," the public health agency states on its website. "In addition, recent illnesses may not yet be reported as it usually takes three to four weeks to determine if a sick person is part of an outbreak."

The CDC also notes that officials are currently working to determine if additional products may be contaminated, as the investigation is ongoing.

Minnesota officials discovered the source of this outbreak when they found E. coli O157:H7 in a package of leftover Josie's Organics Baby Spinach collected from a sick person's home. Additionally, five people impacted by this outbreak reported eating spinach in the week before they got sick, and one person mentioned Josie's Organics brand.

The CDC is advising those who may have the contaminated spinach in their homes to throw it away or return it to the place of purchase. The CDC also suggests thoroughly washing any items and surfaces that may have touched the contaminated spinach using hot, soapy water or a dishwasher. Additionally, businesses are being asked to not sell or serve contaminated spinach, and to wash and sanitize items and surfaces that may have come in contact with the greens.

According to the CDC, many E. coli cases will resolve on their own. Symptoms include: severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting. You should contact your health care provider if you have diarrhea and a fever higher than 102 degrees, bloody diarrhea or diarrhea for more than three days that is not improving, or are vomiting so much that you cannot keep liquids down.

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