Tainted spinach is not the only source of E. coli to infect local residents in a recent outbreak, reports the Green Bay Press-Gazette. Five of the seven E. coli cases being investigated by the Manitowoc County Health Department may have been caused by exposure to animals at the county fair.
The Food and Drug Administration has linked an outbreak of E. coli that has killed one person and sickened at least 108 others around the country to fresh spinach from Salinas, California-based Natural Selection Foods LLC, the country’s largest grower of organic produce. The company has recalled 34 brands of fresh spinach sold at stores around the country.
However, the E. coli infections that sent four Manitowoc County people to the hospital and have been linked to the death of Marion Graff, 77, of Manitowoc may be tied to the Manitowoc County Fair.
Wergin said test results have been returned from the State Lab of Hygiene for five of the six remaining Manitowoc County cases, with the final test result expected later this week. Local investigators have determined that four people in those cases reported attending the fair in late August.
The health department is investigating whether the fair could be a source of the infection.