In Wisconsin, 21 of the 67 ill in 2019 and 47 of the 205 in 2006 – what gives?
The good news/bad news of being in the middle of leafy green E. coli outbreaks for the last few decades is that you can remember random facts. I was struck yesterday by the fact that nearly a third of the ill in the recent outbreak came from Wisconsin. I then recalled how much time I spent in Wisconsin in 2006 and 2007 working with the families of most of the 47 of the 205 sickened by spinach from Salinas tainted with E. coli.
Anyone have an answer?
According to the CDC, since the previous update on November 22, an additional 27 ill people have been reported. As of November 25, 2019, a total of 67 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported from 19 states: Arizona (3), California (4), Colorado (1), Idaho (3), Illinois (1), Maryland (4), Michigan (1), Minnesota (3), Montana (1), Nebraska (1), New Jersey (1), New Mexico (2), Ohio (12), Oregon (1), Pennsylvania (3), Texas (2), Virginia (2), Washington (1) and Wisconsin (21).
Illnesses started on dates ranging from September 24, 2019, to November 14, 2019. Ill people range in age from 3 to 89 years, with a median age of 25. Sixty-seven percent of ill people are female. Of 50 ill people with information available, 39 hospitalizations have been reported, including six people who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure. No deaths have been reported. One case has been reported in Canada
Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback evidence indicate that romaine lettuce from the Salinas, California, growing region is the likely source of this outbreak. This includes Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, San Benito, and Monterey counties in California.
On September 14, 2006, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that a nationwide E. coli outbreak had been associated with the consumption of bagged baby spinach. For fear of E. coli contamination, all bagged spinach was recalled nationwide, and on September 19, 2006, the FDA announced that all spinach implicated in the outbreak had been traced back to Natural Selection Foods, a company located in California’s Salinas Valley.
FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed 205 E. coli illnesses associated with the spinach E. coli outbreak, including thirty-one cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome, 104 hospitalizations, and four deaths.
Victims of the E. coli outbreak were identified in 26 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Wisconsin was the state hardest hit in the outbreak, with 49 confirmed cases of E. coli. Canada reported one confirmed case.
A joint trace-back by FDA and the State of California revealed that four spinach fields were the possible source of the E. coli contamination. The outbreak strain of E. coli was isolated from cattle fields nearby the implicated spinach fields, as well as from a wild boar that was killed in one of the fields.
On March 23, 2007, The California Department of Health Services and the United States Food and Drug Administration released its report, “Investigation of an Escherichia coli O157:H7 Outbreak Associated with Dole Pre-Packaged Spinach (redacted).” (PDF) and, “Recommendations in follow up to the Investigation of an Escherichia coli O157:H7 Outbreak Associated with Dole PrePackaged Spinach.” (PDF) The report and recommendations follow the 2006 E. coli outbreak that was traced to pre-packaged Dole spinach that was produced in California’s Salinas Valley and sold nationwide.
Hmm, seem like some damn good ideas 13 years later.
Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of E. coli outbreaks and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The E. coli lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of E. coli and other foodborne illness infections and have recovered over $700 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation. Our E. coli lawyers have litigated E. coli and HUS cases stemming from outbreaks traced to ground beef, raw milk, lettuce, spinach, sprouts, and other food products. The law firm has brought E. coli lawsuits against such companies as Jack in the Box, Dole, ConAgra, Cargill, and Jimmy John’s. We have proudly represented such victims as Brianne Kiner, Stephanie Smith and Linda Rivera.
If you or a family member became ill with an E. coli infection or HUS after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark E. coli attorneys for a free case evaluation.