This week, Spinach was evaporating from supermarket shelves faster than free candy at Halloween. What was the cause? Producers and grocers were pulling pre packaged Spinach due to an E.coli outbreak. As of this writing, the outbreak of E. coli in recently packaged Spinach has spread to 19 states.

The Spinach

The Spinach in question is your new pre-packaged type you purchase in grocery stores. Also at risk is the Spinach from the pre-packages salad mixes in addition to new Spinach served at restaurants. The Spinach is believe to have come from California and polluted in the area Before packaging in accordance with the Center For Disease Control and Prevention. There have been previous contamination of Spinach and Lettuce grown in California.

The outbreak has caused 102 individuals to become sick, 16 of which experienced kidney failure and one fatality as of this writing, a 77 year old woman from Wisconsin that died from kidney failure. Wisconsin accounts for a third of the reported cases. Other states reporting cases were California, Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming, according to the CDC.

Let’s see…

What Should You Do As A Consumer? First, you might want to consider throwing any pre-packaged or new Spinach away, regardless of which state you reside in. Second, The CDC claims that massaging the Spinach may kill the E. coli but that washing it completely won’t remove of the bacteria. What’s E. Coli? E. coli is a kind of bacteria that normally resides in the lower intestines of mammals.

It’s really a beneficial bacteria and significant in the digestive process. However, there’s a single strain of E. coli which realease a toxin that could make people ill and sometimes, like the very young, the elderly or people with weak immune systems, can lead to death. The germ is found in raw beef, unpasteurized milk and juice, and on raw lettuce and sprouts.

Take note

The strain thought to be the offender is these most recent cases is E. coli 0157:H7 — a potentially deadly bacterium that causes bloody diarrhea and dehydration. What Are The Symptoms? E. coli can lead to dehydration, abdominal cramps, severe, often bloody, diarrhea and kidney failure. Many people would conquer E. coli in about ten days.

However, if you suspect you might have been infected, you should see your physician for additional test. Sometimes, particularly with young kids and elderly people, they might have to be hospitalized for kidney failure. Until this latest scare is over and all influenced produce was found and removed, I plan on exchanging the Spinach in my salads for something different.


The sad thing is for those people who love fresh salads is that E. coli can contaminate other leafy foods like lettuce. At this point in time, a Hershey Bar looks like a secure (albeit diet busting) alternative! Donald Lawson is the Webmaster at The Biggest Loser Forums. A site dedicated to the weight loss community and people battling obesity. While there, sign up to become a Charter member on the Forums. Also, browse the 50 Weight Loss & Dieting Tips for information on assisting you to remain on track to attain your weight loss target.