In a follow-up on the multistate Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 (STEC O157:H7) linked to I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports four more ill people from four states, bringing the total to 16 cases in nine states.
The additional cases were reported from Missouri, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. The most recent illness started on February 21, 2017.
Two additional hospitalizations and one additional ill person with hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure, have been reported. Fourteen of the 16 ill people in this outbreak are younger than 18 years old.
The SoyNut Butter Co. of Glenview, IL announced today the recall of all varieties of I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butters and all varieties of I.M. Healthy Granola products because they may be contaminated with Escherichia coli O157:H7 bacteria (E. Coli O157:H7).
In related news, the first lawsuit against The SoyNut Butter Company has been filed. The minor child, T.S., of Plaintiffs Mosby and Erin Simmons, residents of Santa Clara County, CA, contracted E. coli O157:H7 after eating SoyNut Butter that originated from the Illinois company. The Plaintiffs, parents of minor child T.S., one of twelve affected by the multi-state outbreak, have filed a lawsuit for damages caused by the illness, from which T.S, is still recovering, and is represented Marler Clark LLP, the Food Safety Law Firm and by Newland & Newland, LLP.
According to the case, the Plaintiffs purchased SoyNut Butter, which T.S. consumed regularly in the days preceding his E. coli illness. On or about January 25, 2017, T.S. developed abdominal symptoms that worsened over the following days. After multiple visits with his treating physicians, T.S. was admitted to Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose, California on January 30, 2017.
His condition continued to deteriorate and he was transferred to Lucille Packard Stanford Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto on February 2, where he would remain until being discharged on February 23, 2017. While there, he was diagnosed with an E. coli O157:H7 infection and treated with dialysis and blood transfusions for life-threatening hemolytic uremic syndrome. T.S. continues to recover at home and faces uncertain future medical complications.
“E. coli O157:H7 is a deadly pathogen, especially harmful to children,” said Bill Marler of Marler Clark, LLP. “Parents should feel confident that the food they purchase and give their children is safe to eat and is free of potentially lethal toxins. This is an unfortunate step backwards.”
An estimated 73,000 cases of E. coli O157:H7 occur each year in the United States. Approximately 2,000 people are hospitalized, and 60 people die as a direct result of E. coli O157:H7 infections and complications, including hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and kidney failure.
Symptoms of E. coli include the sudden onset of abdominal pain and severe cramps, followed by watery, sometimes bloody, diarrhea. Vomiting can also occur, but there is usually no fever.
A severe, life-threatening complication of E. coli O157:H7 is Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Although most people recover from this infection, about 5-10% of infected individuals goes on to develop HUS. E. coli O157:H7 is responsible for over 90% of the cases of HUS that develop in North America.
- Tennessee bird flu update: Virus identified as H7N9 HPAI, not the China virus
- Romania: Measles outbreak tops 3,000, linked to other EU outbreaks
- Deadly raccoon roundworm can infect humans without symptoms, new UGA study finds