Southern Nevada Health District confirms E. coli


contamination in spinach product Links bag of spinach to local case, national outbreak

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 28, 2006

LAS VEGAS – September 28, 2006 – The Southern Nevada Health District has received confirmation that samples from a bag of Dole baby spinach, purchased in Clark County on August 22, have tested positive for E. coli O157:H7 and has been linked to the current Nevada case and the outbreak. The Dole brand has been included on the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) website as a Natural Selection Foods, LLC brand. The company issued a voluntary recall of its products that contain fresh spinach on Sept. 15. Additional information and a complete list of affected products can be found on the FDA’s website www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/spinacqa.html.

To date, the Southern Nevada Health District has reported one case of a person infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7.

According to the FDA website, www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/spinacqa.html, the agency is advising that spinach implicated in the current outbreak was grown in the California counties of Monterey, San Benito and Santa Clara, only. Spinach from the rest of the United States has not been implicated in the current E. coli O157:H7 outbreak and the FDA advises the public that spinach grown in the non-implicated areas can be consumed. The FDA is advising consumers to avoid purchasing or consuming fresh spinach if they cannot verify that the product was grown in locations outside the three California counties listed above.

More information about E. coli can be accessed at the health district website: www.southernnevadahealthdistrict.org.

For additional information about the current E. coli outbreak, recalls or FDA advisories, visit www.cfsan.fda.gov.

The Southern Nevada Health District reminds the public that most food borne illnesses can be avoided by adhering to some simple steps. It is important to wash all fruits and vegetable immediately before eating or slicing. Do not use detergents. Scrub firm produce, such as cantaloupe, watermelon or cucumbers with a clean produce brush. Cut away bruised or damaged areas. Fresh fruit and vegetables should be refrigerated within two hours of peeling or cutting. Leftover cut produce should be discarded if left at room temperature for more than two hours. In addition, keep cooked meats at 140 degrees or warmer until served.

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