Quick Recipes and Easy

And They Said Spinach Was Suppose To Be Good For Us

This week, Spinach was disappearing from grocery store shelves quicker than free candy at Halloween.

What was the cause? Producers and grocers were pulling pre packaged Spinach because of an E.coli outbreak.

Whos’ Affected?

As of this writing, the outbreak of E. coli in freshly packaged Spinach has spread to 19 states. The Spinach in question is the fresh pre-packaged type you buy in grocery stores. Also at risk is the Spinach in the pre-packages salad mixes as well as fresh Spinach served at restaurants.

The Spinach is believe to have come from California and contaminated in the field prior to packaging according to the Center For Disease Control and Prevention. There have been previous contamination of Spinach and Lettuce grown in California.

The outbreak has caused 102 people to become ill, 16 of which experienced kidney failure and one fatality as of this writing, a 77 year ancient lady 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.

What Should You Do As A Consumer?

First, you may want to consider throwing any pre-packaged or fresh Spinach away, no matter which state you live in.

Second, The CDC says that boiling the Spinach may kill the E. coli but that washing it thoroughly WILL NOT eliminate of the bacteria.

What Is E. Coli?

E. coli is a form of bacteria that commonly lives in the lower intestines of mammals. It’s really a beneficial bacteria and vital in the digestive process.

But, there is one strain of E. coli that realease a toxin that can make people ill and in some cases, such as the very young, the elderly or those with weak immune systems, can cause death. The germ is present in uncooked beef, unpasteurized milk and juice, and on raw sprouts and lettuce.

The strain believed to be the culprit is these latest cases is E. coli 0157:H7 — a potentially deadly bacterium that causes bloody diarrhea and dehydration.

What Are The Symptoms?

E. coli can cause dehydration, abdominal cramps, severe, often bloody, diarrhea and kidney failure.

Many people will overcome E. coli in about 10 days. But, if you suspect you may have been contaminated, you should visit your doctor for further test. In some cases, especially with young children and older people, they may need to be hospitalized for kidney failure.

Until this latest scare is over and all affected produce has been found and eliminated, I plot on exchanging the Spinach in my salads for something else. The sad thing is for those of us who like fresh salads is that E. coli can contaminate other leafy foods such as lettuce.

At this point in time, a Hershey Bar looks like a safe (albeit diet busting) alternative!

Donald Lawson is the Webmaster at The Largest Loser Forums. A website dedicated to the weight loss community and those battling obesity. You can find informative articles,

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