FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) are investigating illnesses in a multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7. According to the CDC, as of November 15, 2021, 10 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported from seven states (Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and South Dakota), with two hospitalizations.
Illnesses started on dates ranging from October 15 to October 27, 2021. Five people in this outbreak report eating spinach in the week before becoming sick and one person reported Josie’s Organics brand.
On November 15, 2021, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture reported that, as part of this outbreak investigation, a sample of Josie’s Organics Baby Spinach collected from the home of an ill person tested positive for E. coli O157:H7. This sample had a “best if used by” date of October 23, 2021 and is undergoing whole genome sequencing (WGS) analysis to determine whether the strain of E. coli present in the product sample matches the outbreak strain.
As WGS analysis of the sample is underway, FDA is tracing back the supply of the baby spinach in the positive product sample. Thus far, FDA has traced supply chains for this product back to a small number of farms in two different geographic regions and is deploying investigators along the supply chains of interest.
FDA and state partners are working with the firm to determine if additional products are affected. This is an ongoing investigation and additional information will be provided by FDA and CDC as it becomes available.