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Commissary Agency Warns Customers to Avoid Bagged Fresh Spinach

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 15, 2006 – In response to an alert from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Defense Commissary Agency is advising its customers not to eat any bagged fresh spinach. The FDA alert, dated yesterday, warns that the bagged spinach “may be a possible cause” of the confirmed outbreak of E. coli.

“The health and safety of our patrons and employees is always a top priority with the Defense Commissary Agency,” Patrick B. Nixon, the agency’s director, said. “We urge everyone to take this alert seriously and avoid any consumption of bagged spinach. We also advise everyone to continue to monitor their local media and the Food Safety area of our Web site, www.commissaries.com, for more information.”

As a precaution, in light of the FDA advisory, DeCA has directed its commissaries to immediately remove from their shelves all fresh spinach and any salad mix that contains spinach as an ingredient.

E. coli O157:H7 can cause diarrhea and, in some cases, lead to kidney failure through a condition known as Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome. HUS particularly affects young children and the elderly. In more severe cases, HUS can lead to serious kidney damage and possible death. Thus far, one death and eight cases of HUS have been linked to the E. coli outbreak. In all, some 50 cases of illness have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The FDA has identified the outbreak in eight states: Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Wisconsin.

Anyone who feels they may have symptoms of illness related to eating bagged spinach should contact their local health care provider immediately.

(From a Defense Commissary Agency news release.)

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Related Sites:
Food and Drug Administration alert
Defense Commissary Agency

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