CDC Advice for Consumers on the Multistate Outbreak of E. coli From Fresh Spinach
October 6, 2006
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The following is advice for consumers about this outbreak:
- Consumers should not eat, retailers should not sell, and restaurants should not serve spinach implicated in the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak. Products implicated in the outbreak include fresh spinach and spinach-containing products from brands processed by Natural Selection Foods. The October 4 Food and Drug Administration (FDA) press release lists the brand names that have been the subject of recalls.
- If consumers cannot tell if a brand of fresh spinach was implicated in the outbreak and the package has a "use-by date" of October 1, 2006 or earlier, they should not eat it.
- E. coli O157:H7 in spinach can be killed by cooking at 160° Fahrenheit for 15 seconds. (Water boils at 212° Fahrenheit.) If spinach is cooked in a frying pan, and all parts do not reach 160° Fahrenheit, all bacteria may not be killed. If consumers choose to cook the spinach, they should not allow the raw spinach to contaminate other foods and food contact surfaces, and they should wash hands, utensils, and surfaces with hot, soapy water before and after handling the spinach.
For FDA recommendations related to proper storage of fresh produce see the October 4 FDA press release.
Page last modified October 6, 2006
Content source: National Center for Infectious Diseases