Southern Nevada Health District Confirms Clark County’s
Second E. coli Case
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 3, 2006
LAS VEGAS – October 3, 2006 – A second individual infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 has been reported to the Southern Nevada Health District and meets the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s case definition for the E. coli outbreak.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has advised the public that fresh spinach that is grown outside California and not implicated in the outbreak can be consumed.
In addition to the two reported cases, the health district announced on Thursday, September 28, that it 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 one of the current Nevada cases and the outbreak. The Dole brand has been included on the FDA’s 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.
According to the FDA website, www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/spinacqa.html, the agency is advising that spinach implicated in the current outbreak has been traced back to Natural Selection Foods, LLC of San Juan Bautista, California, which has recalled all spinach products under multiple brand names with a date code of Oct. 1, 2006 or earlier. Spinach processed by manufacturers other than Natural Selection Foods, LLC and grown outside California has not been implicated in the current E. coli O157:H7 outbreak. The FDA continues to advise consumers not to eat raw spinach products or blends that were subject to any of the recalls. In addition, processed spinach, such as frozen and canned spinach, is not implicated in this outbreak. The CDC recommends that if consumers cannot tell if a brand of fresh spinach was implicated in the outbreak and the package has a “use by” date of Oct. 1 or earlier, they should not eat it.
The FDA is further advising consumers that proper storage of fresh produce can affect both quality and safety. Fresh produce should be stored in a refrigerator at a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or less. All produce that is purchased pre-cut or peeled should be refrigerated to maintain quality and safety. Cooking fresh spinach at 160 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 seconds will kill any E. coli O157:H7 present.
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.
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The Southern Nevada Health District serves as the local public health authority for Clark County, Boulder City, Henderson, Las Vegas, Mesquite and North Las Vegas. The agency safeguards the public health of the community’s residents and visitors through innovative programs, regulations, and initiatives focused on protecting and promoting their health and well-being. More information about the Health District, its programs, services, and the regulatory oversight it provides is available at www.SNHD.info.