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									                                 The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
                                  Executive Office of Health and Human Services
                                           Department of Public Health
                                            Food Protection Program
                                 305 South Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130-3597
   MITT ROMNEY
     GOVERNOR
                                       617-983-6712 617-983-6770 - Fax
  KERRY HEALEY
LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR

TIMOTHY R. MURPHY
    SECRETARY

 PAUL J. COTE, JR.
   COMMISSIONER



       To:            Local Boards of Health
                      MA Food Association
                      MA Restaurant Association
                      MA Coalition for Food Safety and Defense

       From:          Priscilla Neves, Acting Director

       DateL          September 15, 2006

       Re:            E.coli O157:H7 Multi-State Outbreak

       Attached is a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) consumer alert received by the Food
       Protection Program this morning warning on a foodborne E.coli O157:H7 outbreak implicating
       fresh bagged spinach.

       FDA is advising consumers not to any eat fresh bagged spinach. No other product information is
       currently available.

       We are not aware of any illnesses in MA at this time associated with this outbreak.

       E.coliO157:H7 is destroyed by thorough cooking (160 ºF). However, FDA is advising that no
       one eat or use fresh bagged spinach. Washing alone may not eliminate all of the E.coliO157:H7
       if present. We are advising that commercial food establishments remove all bagged fresh spinach
       from sale until further notice.

       Suspected illness complaints should be reported to the local board of health. If people suspect
       they are ill, they should be notifying their health care providers. Boards of health should
       immediately notify the Food Protection Program at 617-983-6712 or the Epidemiology Program
       617-983-6800 of any suspect foodborne illness complaints implicating fresh bagged spinach.

       Please share this information with consumers, constituents and anyone that may have questions
       or concerns within your jurisdiction.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
        Media Inquiries:         301-827-6242
P06-131
   Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA
September 14, 2006


             FDA Warning on Serious Foodborne E.coli O157:H7 Outbreak
              One Death and Multiple Hospitalizations in Several States

   The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is issuing an alert to consumers about an
   outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 in multiple states that may be associated with the
   consumption of produce. To date, preliminary epidemiological evidence suggests that
   bagged fresh spinach may be a possible cause of this outbreak.

   Based on the current information, FDA advises that consumers not eat bagged fresh
   spinach at this time. Individuals who believe they may have experienced symptoms of
   illness after consuming bagged spinach are urged to contact their health care provider.

   “Given the severity of this illness and the seriousness of the outbreak, FDA believes that
   a warning to consumers is needed. We are working closely with the U.S. Centers for
   Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local agencies to determine the
   cause and scope of the problem,” said Dr. Robert Brackett, Director of FDA’s Center for
   Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN).

   E. coli O157:H7 causes diarrhea, often with bloody stools. Although most healthy
   adults can recover completely within a week, some people can develop a form of kidney
   failure called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS). HUS is most likely to occur in young
   children and the elderly. The condition can lead to serious kidney damage and even
   death. To date, 50 cases of illness have been reported to the Centers for Disease
   Control and Prevention, including 8 cases of HUS and one death.

   At this time, the investigation is ongoing and states that have reported illnesses to date
   include: Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and
   Wisconsin.

   FDA will keep consumers informed of the investigation as more information becomes
   available.

								
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