Updated December 3, 2021, with new case totals, states and hospitalizations. An E. coli O157:H7 outbreak has been linked to Josie’s Organics baby spinach sold nationwide. Do not eat this product if you have it at home as it may cause serious illness. The baby spinach E. coli outbreak includes 14 illnesses in nine states and four hospitalizations, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Three people have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a form of kidney failure associated with E. coli infections.


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Since the last CDC update on November 15, 2021, the outbreak has grown to include four more cases, two more states, and two additional hospitalizations. And three of the hospitalized patients have developed HUS.

Health officials have confirmed 14 illnesses, but they say the true number of people sickened is much larger. The people sickened range in age from 2 to 76 years old with a median age of 26. Seven of the patients are female, three are male.

Symptoms of an E. coli infection, which include abdominal cramps and diarrhea that can be bloody, usually develop within three days of exposure. The people sickened in this outbreak reported the onset of symptoms on dates ranging from October 13, 2021, to October 27, 2021.

Josie's organics baby spinach E. coli outbreak

Health officials interviewed 12 of the patients and asked them about the foods they ate the week before they became ill. Ten of them reported eating spinach.

Whole genome sequencing tests performed on the E. coli cultured from each of the patients show the strains are closely related indicating people in this outbreak got sick from the same food. Health officials in Minnesota collected leftover Josie’s Organics baby spinach from a patient’s home. The product had a “best by” date of 10/23/2021. It tested positive for E. coli O157. Whole genome sequencing is being performed on the E. coli found in the spinach to see if it matches the strain cultured from the patients.

The number of illnesses reported from each state is: Indiana (4), Iowa (1), Michigan (1), Minnesota (2), Missouri (1), Nebraska (1), Ohio (1), Pennsylvania (1), and South Dakota (1).

Josie's Organics spinach E. coli outbreak CDC map 12:3:21

In Minnesota, the two patients, who are in their mid-20s, said they first experienced symptoms between October 17 and October 23, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. One of them purchased Josie’s Organics organic baby spinach purchased from HyVee. The other patient bought Fresh Thyme organic baby spinach purchased at Fresh Thyme. Both brands are produced by Braga Fresh.

 

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Updated December 3, 2021-This post was originally published on November 15, 2021. It was updated on December 3, 2021, to reflect an increase in illnesses, hospitalizations, HUS cases and states