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Tests Show Odwalla Juice Caused Death

November 14, 1996|Times Staff and Wire Reports

Odwalla Inc.'s apple juice was responsible for the death of a 16-month-old girl last week, Colorado health officials said. Blood tests performed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control show that the E. coli that caused the toddler's food poisoning was the same strain found in Odwalla apple juice, said Richard Hoffman, epidemiologist for the state's Department of Public Health and Environment. Half Moon Bay, Calif.-based Odwalla recalled 16 of its 25 juices Oct. 30 after health officials said the company's juices, which aren't pasteurized, were responsible for an outbreak of food poisoning in several states. Colorado released the statement after the stock market closed. Shares of the company have fallen 30% since closing at $18.375 the day before revelations of the E. coli outbreak, though they've recovered somewhat since hitting a 52-week low of $10.375 on Friday. The stock gained 87.5 cents to close at $12.875 on Wednesday on Nasdaq.

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