UPDATED March 3, 2022 -An E. coli outbreak linked to Simple Truth and Nature’s Basket organic power greens has ended with 10 illnesses and 1 death, according to federal health officials. The four-state outbreak hospitalized four people, two of them with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a form of kidney failure that is a complication of E. coli infections.
Nature’s Basket is a Giant Eagle store brand, and Simple Truth is a Kroger brand sold at its family of stores including Baker’s, City Market, Dillons, Food 4 Less, Foods Co, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, Gerbes, Jay C, Food Store, King Soopers, Kroger, Mariano’s, Metro Market, Pay-Less Super Markets, Pick’n Save, QFC, Ralphs and Rule.
The products associated with these illnesses were Simple Truth Organic Power Greens or Nature’s Basket Organic Power Greens with “best if used by” dates through December 20, 2021.
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Symptoms of an E. coli infection, which include abdominal cramps and diarrhea that can be bloody, usually develop within one to three days of exposure. The people in this outbreak, who ranged in age from 26 to 79 years old, reported the onset of illness on dates ranging from November 27, 2021, to December 9, 2021.
E. coli Outbreak Investigation
As part of the outbreak investigation, health officials interviewed patients about the foods they ate in the week before they became ill. Nine of the patients interviewed said they ate prepackaged organic power greens in the week before they got sick. Eight of them reported eating Simple Truth brand power greens, one of them ate Nature’s Basket brand. Shopper records show the purchase of these products.
Both brands of organic power greens contain the same mixture of leafy greens: organic spinach, mizuna, kale, and chard. Several patients said they used the power greens to make smoothies.
Health officials used a DNA fingerprinting method called whole genome sequencing on all of the E. coli cultures from the patients. Test results showed that the E. coli fingerprints for all of the patients are closely related. This suggests that they all got sick from the same food. Tests all showed that all 10 E. coli isolates from patients were resistant to antibiotics. And that the outbreak strain was similar to strains associated with previous E. coli outbreaks including the one in 2018 linked romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, AZ that sickened 210 people, killing five of them.
The number of illnesses reported from each state was: Alaska (2), Ohio (1), Oregon (1), and Washington (6).
Multiple Salad Outbreaks
When this outbreak was announced on December 30, 2021, it was one of four ongoing outbreaks linked to prepackaged salads. The others were: an E. coli outbreak linked to Josie’s Organic Baby Spinach; a Listeria outbreak linked to Dole packaged salads and a Listeria outbreak linked to Fresh Express packages salads.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducted a traceback investigation and discovered that the greens in these contaminated salads were grown in Yuma, AZ and Salinas, CA. Bu the agency was unable to identify a single lot code. Environmental samples collected near the farms in both growing regions were positive for various strains of E. coli, but not the outbreak strain.
Experienced E. coli Lawyers
If you developed an E. coli infection after eating organic power greens and would like a free consultation with an experienced E. coli lawyer, please contact the Pritzker Hageman E. coli Legal Team. You can reach us by calling 1-888-377-8900, sending a text to 612-261-0856, or by completing the form below. There is no obligation and you don’t pay us unless we win.
UPDATE: This post was updated on March 3, 2022, to reflect that the CDC final includes two cases of HUS and 1 death. The FDA report issued yesterday did not.
UPDATE: This post was updated on March 2, 2022, when federal health officials announced the outbreak had ended.
UPDATE: This post was originally published on December 30, 2021, and updated on January 6, 2022, to reflect that the CDC has removed three illnesses from the case total. One case was removed from each of the following states: California, Mississippi, and Washington.