At least 16 people have fallen ill with E. coli O157:H7 in New York after eating Wegmans brand spinach, the New York State Department of Health has confirmed with Food Safety News. Four patients have been hospitalized, with three of the four now discharged.
Food Safety News is communicating with health departments in states where Wegmans grocery stores are located to verify any other illnesses. Health departments in both Pennsylvania and Maryland have thus far said they have no illnesses to report. Wegmans stores are also located in New Jersey, Virginia and Massachusetts.
Wegmans issued a voluntary recall of their ‘Wegmans Food You Feel Good About Organic Spinach & Spring Mix’ on Thursday due to possible E. coli contamination.
The two recalled products are:
– Wegmans Food You Feel Good About Organic Spinach & Spring Mix, 11oz – UPC: 77890-16411 – ONLY product sold between 10/14/12 and 11/1/12.
– Wegmans Food You Feel Good About Organic Spinach & Spring Mix, 5oz – UPC: 77890-16437 – ONLY product sold between 10/14/12 and 11/1/12.
A spokesman for the New York health department advised consumers who purchased either of these products to discard them immediately.
“Rinsing does not make it safe to eat,” he added.
New Yorker illnesses were found in Monroe, Niagara, Steuben and Wayne counties.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is currently testing the spinach for harmful pathogens and will make any relevant announcements after those tests are complete, agency spokeswoman Lola Russell told Food Safety News Friday.
A lawyer representing State Garden, the spinach distributor, contacted Food Safety News Friday morning and confirmed an investigation involving the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
“Our understanding is that Wegmans voluntarily recalled two sizes of organic spinach as a precaution yesterday,” lawyer Gina Ameci wrote in a statement. “Currently, State Garden is fully cooperating with all federal, state, and local authorities in connection with Wegmans’ voluntary recall. Investigation is currently ongoing, so there is no further information or details that can be provided at this time.”© Food Safety News