In a follow-up on the multistate Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) O157:H7 outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports investigating the outbreak that has sickened 12 people in five states since January (Arizona-4, California-4, Oregon-2, Maryland-1 and New Jersey-1).
Six ill people have been hospitalized. Four people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure, and no deaths have been reported. Eleven of the 12 ill people in this outbreak are younger than 18 years old.
Health officials say epidemiologic evidence available at this time indicates that I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter is a likely source of this outbreak. SoyNut Butter is a nut-free substitute for peanut butter.
Nine (100%) of the nine people reached for interview reported either eating I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter at home (five people) in the week before they became ill or attending a childcare center that served I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter or I.M. Healthy brand granola coated with SoyNut Butter (four people).
This has prompted The SoyNut Butter Co. to recall I.M. Healthy Original Creamy SoyNut Butter with the Best By date of 08-30-18 or 08-31-18.
CDC recommends consumers do not eat any I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter varieties or sizes or I.M. Healthy brand granola coated with SoyNut Butter. Childcare centers, schools, and other institutions should not serve I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter or I.M. Healthy brand granola coated with SoyNut Butter. Multiple varieties and sizes of I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut butter and I.M. Healthy brand granola coated with SoyNut Butter are sold nationwide in stores, online, and to institutions. The products have a shelf life of 2 years.
What are the signs and symptoms of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) infection?
- People usually get sick from Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) 2-8 days (average of 3-4 days) after swallowing the germ.
- Most people infected with STEC develop diarrhea (often bloody) and abdominal cramps.
- Most people recover within one week.
- Some illnesses last longer and can be more severe, resulting in a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).
- HUS can occur in people of any age but is most common in young children under 5 years, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems.
- Symptoms of HUS can include fever, abdominal pain, pale skin tone, fatigue and irritability, small, unexplained bruises or bleeding from the nose and mouth, and decreased urination.
- People who experience these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately.
- STEC infection is usually diagnosed by testing a stool sample.