2022 E. Coli Outbreak Linked to Packaged Salads

Last updated: 01/06/2022 - This page updated Mondays, if needed.

Overview

Status: Ongoing

Food Safety Alert: Simple Truth Organic Power Greens

Washington State Case Information

Case Information
Case Information    

Confirmed cases

6

 
Hospitalized 2  

Developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS)

2

 

Died

1

 

Age range

20 to 70 years old

Sex

Female

Male
6 0
Cases by County of Residence
County Total Cases

Thurston

1

King 1

Whatcom

1

Skagit

1

Pierce

1

Mason

1

Advice to Consumers

  • Do not eat Simple Truth Organic Power Greens or Nature’s Basket Organic Power Greens (this product was not sold in Washington State) with “best if used by dates” through 12/20/2021. Throw it away these items if you have them in your fridge.

  • E. coli infections can cause serious complications. Symptoms include diarrhea, stomach cramps and blood in the stool.

  • If you notice symptoms, especially bloody diarrhea, contact your health care provider right away.

Updates

Updated 1/6/2022 - Since we first reported this outbreak, the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC), the leading agency in this outbreak, changed the case definition. As a result, three people ill with E.coli, including one from Snohomish County and two from other states, were removed from the outbreak investigation. The three people that were removed from this outbreak were infected with E. coli bacteria that were not as closely related genetically to the rest of the cases. None of these people reported eating Organic Power Greens.

Therefore, Washington state now has a total of 6 people ill from this outbreak, rather than the 7 originally reported. There are no additional ill persons reported since the last update.

CDC updated this outbreak’s Food Safety Alert 1/6/2022.

Investigation Details

Updated 1/6/2022 with new CDC information.
The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) confirmed on December 30, 2021 that the state is part of an E. coli outbreak affecting four states.

The six cases of E. coli O157:H7 found so far in Washington are likely linked to Simple Truth Organic Power Greens purchased at QFC and Fred Meyer stores in Washington state. Consumers with Simple Truth Organic Power Greens with best-by dates through December 20, 2021, should discard them to prevent further illnesses.

Infections have also been traced to Oregon, Ohio, and Alaska. The local cases were found in King, Whatcom, Pierce, Thurston, Mason and Skagit counties. One individual from each county became ill in late November and early December. Two were hospitalized and one person developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). No deaths have been reported.

About Shiga Toxin-Producing E. coli (STEC)

E. coli bacteria normally live in the intestines of humans and animals. Many strains of E. coli bacteria exist, and most of them are harmless or beneficial to human health. STEC are strains of E. coli that produce Shiga toxin (such as E. coli O157:H7) and can cause serious illness in people.

  Symptoms of E. coli Infection

People usually get sick from Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) 2 to 8 days (average of 3 to 4 days) after swallowing the germ. Symptoms often include:

  • Severe stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea (often bloody)
  • Vomiting
  • Low grade fever (less than  101ºF/38.5ºC)

Some people with a STEC infection may get a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Symptoms of HUS include decreased urine production, dark or tea-colored urine, and losing pink color in cheeks and inside the lower eyelids
Symptoms of E. coli, CDC

  Prevention

  • Avoid eating high-risk foods, especially undercooked ground beef, unpasteurized milk or juice, soft cheeses made from unpasteurized milk, or sprouts.
  • Use a food thermometer to make sure that ground beef has reached a safe internal temperature of 160° F.
  • Thoroughly wash fresh produce before eating.
  • Wash hands before, during, and after preparing food, after diapering infants, and after contact with cows, sheep, or goats, their food or treats, or their living environment.

Resources

E. coli facts, Foodsafety.gov

E. coli, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Selecting and Serving Produce, FDA

Washington State Department of Health News Release

CDC Outbreak: Packaged salads

Report Foodborne Illness

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