New CDC Spinach Advice
CDC Changes Spinach Advice
The following is advice for consumers about this outbreak:
Currently, we are advising consumers to not eat any fresh spinach or salad blends containing spinach grown in the three counties in California implicated in the current E. coli O157:H7 outbreak -- Monterey County, San Benito County, and Santa Clara County. Fresh spinach grown outside these counties can be safely eaten. Spinach grown in these counties is often packaged in other areas of the country. If consumers cannot tell where fresh spinach was grown, they are advised not to purchase or consume the fresh spinach. Frozen and canned spinach can be safely eaten.
E. coli O157:H7 in spinach can be killed by cooking at 160 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 seconds. (Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit.) If spinach is cooked in a frying pan, and all parts do not reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit, all bacteria may not be killed. If consumers choose to cook the spinach, they should not allow the raw spinach to contaminate other foods and food contact surfaces, and they should wash hands, utensils, and surfaces with hot, soapy water before and after handling the spinach.
Persons who develop diarrhea after consuming fresh spinach or salad blends containing fresh spinach are urged to contact their health care provider and ask that their stool specimen be tested for E. coli O157.
Persons who ate fresh spinach or salad blends and feel well do not need to see a health-care provider.
This information obtained from the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. Issued on 9-25-2006