E. Coli Outbreak Was Worst on the East Coast

February 17, 2013
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The E. coli outbreak that sickened dozens and was traced back to a produce supplier in Chelsea was one of the worst outbreaks on the East Coast in 2012 according to the CDC.

The outbreak was linked to pre-packaged leafy greens produced by Chelsea based  State Garden.

A total of 33 people were infected with this E. coli outbreak strain and was reported in five states. The number of ill people identified in each state with the outbreak strain was two in Connecticut, three in Massachusetts, 26 in New York, one in Pennsylvania,  and one in Virginia.

According to the CDC illness onset dates ranged from October 18, 2012 to November 12, 2012. Ill persons ranged in age from 4 years to 66 years, with a median age of 24 years. Sixty-three percent of ill persons were female. Among 28 ill persons, 13 (46%) were hospitalized.

Two people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure but no deaths were reported.

State public health officials interviewed the ill people infected to obtain information regarding foods they might have eaten and other exposures in the week before illness.

Thirty (97%) of 31 ill people reported eating pre-packaged leafy greens. Fifteen (48%) of 31 the people reported eating Wegmans brand Organic Spinach and Spring Mix blend in the week before becoming ill.

In total, 25 (81%) of people for reported eating a variety of different brands of pre-packaged leafy greens produced by State Garden.

On November 2, 2012, Wegmans voluntarily recalled its 5-ounce and 11-ounce clam shell packages of Organic Spinach and Spring Mix blend, a product produced by State Garden. State Garden issued a consumer advisory regarding the product packaged on October 12 and 13, 2012.

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