HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Friday, September 15, 2006

E-Coli Outbreak

Toss out that bagged spinach (which is usually quite tasty and a terrific timesaver)!     According to CNN.Com, the e-coli outbreak has spread to twenty states.  The site reports,

Federal health officials say an outbreak of E. coli has spread to 20 states and sickened 94 people.

The news prompted health officials to warn the public that even if you wash the spinach, you still could be at risk.

Sober warnings for salad lovers came from federal health officials Friday as they struggled to pinpoint a multistate E. coli outbreak that killed one person and sickened dozens more.

Bagged spinach -- the triple-washed, cello-packed kind sold by the hundreds of millions of pounds each year -- is the suspected source of the bacterial outbreak, Food and Drug Administration officials said.

The FDA warned people nationwide not to eat the spinach. Washing won't get rid of the tenacious bug, though thorough cooking can kill it. Supermarkets across the country pulled spinach from shelves, and consumers tossed out the leafy green. (Watch CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta explain why this advisory is significant -- 2:07) . . . .

FDA officials said they issued the nationwide consumer alert without waiting to identify the still-unknown source of the tainted spinach.

I always thought that the triple-washing made the bagged salad greens, including the spinach rather safe.  I have more to learn obviously.

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