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A Second Bag of Spinach With E. Coli Is Found

September 25, 2006|From Reuters

A second bag of spinach contaminated with toxic E. coli bacteria has been found in Utah, and regulators hope it will offer clues about an outbreak that has sickened 173 people and killed as many as three.

A bag of spinach found in New Mexico last week helped experts pinpoint suspect farms in three counties in California's Salinas Valley. The Food and Drug Administration said spinach grown outside of those counties is safe to eat.

In a statement Sunday, the FDA said the Utah and Salt Lake Valley health departments confirmed that E. coli O157:H7 was found in a bag of Dole baby spinach with a use-by date of Aug. 30.

The FDA said 173 cases of illness due to E. coli have been reported to the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including 27 with a serious type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome.

There have been 92 hospitalizations and one death in 25 states. Health officials also said they strongly suspected the deaths of a 2-year-old boy in Idaho and an 86-year-old woman in Maryland were caused by the outbreak, but samples that would prove a connection were not available.

E. coli O157:H7 causes an estimated 73,000 cases of infection and 61 deaths in the United States each year.

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