The U.S. Centers for Disease Control activated a "war room" of health experts at its Atlanta headquarters Saturday to deal with a nationwide outbreak of the E.coli bacteria on leafy fresh spinach that has killed at least one person, sickened more than 100 and caused restaurants and groceries across the nation to pull the vegetable from shelves and menu choices, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Fresh spinach products from Natural Selection Foods / Earthbound Farm in San Juan Bautista, Calif., have been linked to a widespread outbreak of illness from E. coli bacteria.
The outbreak has hit 19 states, with 102 cases, of which 52 were hospitalized, and 16 developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure. Children with HUS have a higher death rate than adults, about 5 percent. It’s likely that more than 200 people have been sickened nationwide.
Natural Selection is known for its Earthbound Farm brand, which claims to have pioneered the retail market in pre-washed, bagged salads in 1986. It says its spinach and other products are in 74 percent of U.S. grocery stores. Other companies’ products could be implicated, the FDA said.