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Soy Nut Butter E. coli Outbreak Expands to 23

Tuesday, March 21, 2017 11:00
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big-map-3-17-177 with hemolytic uremic syndrome – 23 with E. coli O157:H7 in Arizona 4, California 5, Maryland 1, Missouri 1, New Jersey 1, Oregon 6, Virginia 2,  Washington 2, Wisconsin 1.

The CDC this morning updated the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to I.M. Healthy and Dixie Drew Soy Nut Butter to twenty-three people infected with the outbreak strains of E. coli O157:H7 from nine states. Arizona 4, California 5, Maryland 1, Missouri 1, New Jersey 1, Oregon 6, Virginia 2,  Washington 2, Wisconsin 1.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from January 4, 2017, to March 5, 2017. Ill people range in age from 1 to 48 years, with a median age of 8. Twenty (87%) of the 23 ill people are younger than 18 years. Among ill people, 61% are male. Ten ill people have been hospitalized and seven people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure. No deaths have been reported. Illnesses that occurred after February 24, 2017, might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported.

In interviews, ill people or their family members answered questions about the foods they ate and other exposures in the week before they became ill. Twenty (87%) of the 23 people reached for interview reported either eating I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter at home (14 people) in the week before they became ill, attending a facility that served I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter (2 people), or attending childcare centers that served I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter and I.M. Healthy brand granola coated with SoyNut Butter (4 people). SoyNut Butter is a nut-free substitute for peanut butter. Investigators have reported to CDC two more ill people who either developed HUS or had test showing they were infected with the E. coli O157:H7 bacteria.

Laboratory testing identified E. coli O157:H7 in opened containers of I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter collected from the homes of ill people in California, Oregon, and Washington. Officials in California also isolated E. coli O157:H7 in unopened containers of I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter collected from retail locations. Further testing using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) showed that the E. coli O157:H7 in all of these containers of SoyNut Butter had the same DNA fingerprints as the E. coli O157:H7 isolates from ill people.

Republished with permission from Bill Marler and Marler Clark. Copyright (c) Marler Clark LLP, PS. All rights reserved.



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