The United States Food and Drug Administration has just issued an alert about a potential E. coli outbreak in several states. The FDA alert, of course, comes as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported at least 12 E. coli O157 infections across Arizona, California, Maryland, New Jersey, and Oregon. So far, six people have been hospitalized while four others have developed hemolytic uermic syndrom, which is a type of kidney failure; fortunately, no deaths have been reported.
The E. coli bacteria naturally lives in the intestines of humans and animals. Some strains of the bacteria, though, can cause intestinal illness which can lead to serious symptoms like dehydration, abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, fever and kidney failure.
This alert has caused Glenview, IL-based I.M. Healthy to recall its Original Creamy SoyNut Butter with a best by date of 8-30 or 8-31.
Illinois Department of Public Health (IDHP) Director Nirav D. Shah, MD, advises, “Some infections of E. coli are mild, but others can be severe or even life-threatening, especially for young children. If you have recently purchased soy nut butter, please check the label for the brand and throw it out if it is part of this recall.”
As such, the IDPH recommends that people should refrain from eating any size or variety of I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter (or granola that has been coated with SoyNut Butter produced by SoyNut Butter Company). Of course, the IDHP also made sure to warn that schools, child care centers, and other related institutions should refrain from serving I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter or granola coated with SoyNut Butter.
On Friday, the CDC advised: “Even if some of the SoyNut Butter or granola was eaten or served and no one got sick, throw the rest of the product away. Put it in a sealed bag in the trash so that children, pets or other animals can’t eat it.”
Of course, I.M. Healthy has already reported the voluntarily recall the product. The company said, in a statement: “While we are taking the necessary investigative steps in getting the product in question and the supply chain tested, we decided to issue the recall for the sake of food safety,” the company said in a statement. “We take our products integrity seriously and will update all our customers as we receive more information.”