Rochester, NY (WBEN) -- The recall of Wegman organic spinach salads has been tentatively linked to illnesses and hospitalizations in Western New York. At least 16 people have fallen ill with E. coli O157:H7 in New York after eating Wegmans brand spinach, the New York State Department of Health has confirmed with Food Safety News. Four patients have been hospitalized, with three of the four now discharged.
The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported that 10 of the 16 illnesses, and three of the four hospitalizations, occurred in Monroe County. The other cases involved Niagara, Wayne, and Steuben Counties.
On Friday, Wegmans recalled 5-ounce and 11-ounce clamshell packages of Organic Spinach and Spring Mix salads sold between Oct. 14 and Thursday. The recall represented about 31,000 pounds of the product.
Wegmans issued a news release saying testing only red-flagged salads with a use-by date of October 23. But the supermarket chain removed the salad mix regardless of code date. Wegmans also checked their Shoppers Club records, and notified customers they knew had purchased the product.
Here is the original press release from State Garden of Chelsea, MA, which packaged the items for Wegmans:
State Garden is providing this consumer advisory regarding its 11-ounce Organic Spinach with Spring Mix blend (Club Pack) produced for Wegmans on October 12 and 13, 2012. The advisory is based on preliminary reports that the product may have been contaminated with Escherichia coli O157:H7. The products in question are the 11-ounce package of Organic Spinach with Spring Mix blend (Club Pack) with use by dates of October 23 and 24, 2012, and have traceback codes of 60832 and 14765. These products are beyond the best by date, and should not be consumed.
Wegmans has announced a voluntary recall for these products. The products were withdrawn from the market by Wegmans on November 1, 2012 out of an abundance of caution, and not at the request of any regulatory agency. Illnesses are being investigated, but no illnesses have been confirmed as related to State Garden products. State Garden is fully cooperating with all federal and state authorities in connection with this matter. The investigation is currently ongoing and, therefore, there is no further information or details that can be provided at this time.
About Escherichia coli O157:H7 bacteria (E. Coli O157:H7)
E. coli O157:H7 causes a diarrheal illness often with bloody stools. Although most healthy adults can recover completely within a week, some people can develop a form of kidney failure called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS). HUS is most likely to occur in young children and the elderly.
Organic Spinach with Spring Mix blend (Club Pack) under this advisory were distributed to Wegmans retail stores in New York State.
SOURCE State Garden