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Avoid all fresh spinach, FDA says

Fresh spinach poses a hazard to diners and should be avoided until further notice, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Monday. The warning comes in response to an outbreak of E. coli infections in 21 states linked to a California grower.

The produce in question was also distributed to Canada, Mexico and Taiwan, but no illnesses have been reported there yet, the FDA said.

A total of 131 people have been stricken with the infection so far, according to a report released yesterday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The specific strain of E. coli often causes diarrhea, from which most healthy adults usually recover within a week. The very young and the elderly, however, are at greater risk of developing kidney failure, which can be fatal.

To date, one death has been linked to the current outbreak, which has affected California, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Neither canned nor frozen spinach has not been implicated.

For more information, visit the FDA Web site at www.fda.gov.

Photo by iStockphoto.com/© Ashok Rodrigues

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