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Elaine Mandel
Elaine Mandel
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E. coli-infected Spinach Causes Deaths, Illness

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Fresh spinach containing E. coli bacteria has caused sickness and death in 21 states. Over 100 people have gotten sick, and one has died. Now farmers, whose business has taken a hit, are upset that the FDA is warning the public not to eat fresh spinach.

California farmers are protesting the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) recommendation that people stay away from fresh spinach after one person has died and people in 21 states have become infected with the E. coli bacteria. Since last week, over 100 people in 21 states have become sick after eating fresh spinach.

The E. coli bacteria has been traced to River Ranch Fresh Foods and Natural Selection Foods, both in California, according to the FDA. Because E. coli can be deadly, the FDA has tried to protect consumers by recommending against eating fresh, uncooked spinach. Farmers have lost lots of money as a result. The farmers, who’ve been hard-hit by the E. coli outbreak, claim that the FDA is being overly harsh.

Twenty-one states have now reported E. coli cases. At least 60 people have been hospitalized, and 16 have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a condition that can lead to kidney failure.

At least one death has occurred — a 77-year-old woman from Wisconsin. Investigators were determining whether another death in Ohio was connected to the national outbreak.

E. coli outbreaks are nothing new – in the past, there have been similar problems with Odwalla juices, and McDonald’s and Wendy’s fast food products, among others.

Your food should be safe and not infected with bacteria. Claims can be brought for people who have been injured due to eating unsafe food. Sometimes, claims can’t be brought – like if you choke on a chicken bone in a chicken enchilada – if the substance that caused the injury is inherent in the food. But if the item that caused you to be injured – like E. coli in spinach or a piece of glass in your food – then you have the right to make a claim for your injuries due to eating tainted food.