Source of tainted spinach identified - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Source of tainted spinach identified

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WASHINGTON - Federal heath officials say they've traced a nationwide E-coli outbreak to a California company, which has agreed to recall its bagged spinach products.

The Food and Drug Administration says the outbreak has been linked to bagged spinach  products distributed by Natural Selection Foods, based in San Juan Bautista, California.

Twenty states are reporting cases of E-coli in which tainted spinach is the suspected source. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the states are: California, Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Wisconsin accounts for about half the cases, including one death. Most of the illnesses are in women.

The outbreak has the feds warning all Americans to throw out all the bagged spinach in their refrigerators. They warn that even washing it wouldn't solve the problem, because the bacteria attaches too tightly.

The warning not to eat the spinach comes in part because officials aren't sure just where it came from. They think it might've been grown in California. Nearly 60 E-coli cases are reported, including one that proved fatal.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)   

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