Packaged salads tied to E. coli outbreak in 6 states

Check your packaged salad greens: More than a dozen people have been infected by a strain of E. coli in six U.S. states, health officials report.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a food safety alert linking the outbreak to Simple Truth Organic Power Greens and Nature’s Basket Organic Power Greens. The greens may be contaminated with E. coli and may be making people sick, the CDC said.

The 13 known people known to be infected include four who were hospitalized. One had a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome. No deaths were reported.

The reports of illness came from Washington state, Oregon, California, Alaska, Ohio and Mississippi, though the true number of infections is likely much higher and in additional states, the CDC said in a news release. Many people recover without medical care and are not tested for E. coli.

The CDC advises that you not use the greens with a “best if used by” date through Dec. 20, 2021. Although expired, the products may still be in people’s homes. Investigators are working to determine if additional products may be contaminated.

Check your fridge, then throw any suspected products away. Clean your refrigerator and any containers or surfaces that may have touched the recalled salads using the CDC’s steps for sanitizing spaces exposed to E. coli. Those can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/communication/clean-refrigerator-steps.html.

People usually get sick from Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) two to eight days after swallowing the contaminated food. The average is three to four days.

Symptoms often include severe stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhea, often with blood. Some people may have a fever, which usually is lower than 101 degrees F. Some will have kidney failure.

Talk to your doctor if you feel sick and write down what you ate the week before you got sick, the CDC advises.