E. Coli is causing serious concerns across the United States this week after the CDC confirmed seven cases of the infection, along with widespread contaminations, recalls, and illnesses related to the virus.
CDC investigators have traced the likely source to raw clover sprouts produced by Evergreen Fresh Sprouts LLC of Idaho, with all affected patients in either Idaho or Washington. Half of those people have fallen ill or been hospitalized.
The state health departments of both Idaho and Washington are urging consumers not to eat raw clover sprouts produced by the company in question. To combat any spread, Sherman Produce has recalled packed walnuts and Lansal Inc. has recalled nearly 15,000 pounds of hummus and dip products due to possible contamination. No illnesses have been reported in connection to either recall.
This isn’t the first time Evergreen Fresh Products have come under fire for food-borne illnesses. In 2011, the company was involved in a widespread salmonella outbreak from alfalfa and spicy sprouts.
Simultaneously this week, The USDA has announced the recall of 1.8 million pounds of beef products due to possible E. Coli contamination. The agency has named stores in nine states that may have received the tainted beef, sold under a variety of names and styles. Stores in Ohio, Michigan, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Tennessee have been named in the recall, with products all originating from Wolverine Packing Co. in Detroit, Michigan.
Although no deaths have been reported, over 11 people are suspected to have been sickened by the meat. The investigation is still ongoing, and the USDA expects to name more stores and locations involved in the E. Coli tainted beef.
To make matters worse, the city of Portland, Oregon’s drinking water has been contaminated with E. Coli. On Friday The Portland Water Bureau announced the detection, which they say affects around 670,000 people in the Portland area. While officials say health problems leading from this contamination remain unlikely, they are still urging residents city-wide to boil all tap water used for drinking, oral hygiene, ice, or food preparation for at least one minute.
E.coli infections can range from mild to life-threatening. Symptoms of the infection include headache, loss of balance, fever, muscle aches, convulsions, diarrhea, and vomiting.
According to the CDC, most people recover from the infection within a week, but some, particularly children, pregnant women, and the elderly can suffer a type of kidney failure due to severe complications from E. Coli infections.
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