Foodborne Illness Outbreak Database

This database provides summaries of significant food and water related outbreaks occurring since 1984 caused by E. coli, Salmonella, Hepatitis A, Campylobacter and other pathogens. Read more »

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Dole Brand Natural Selection Foods Bagged Spinach 2006

On September 13, public health officials in Wisconsin, Oregon, and New Mexico noted E. coli O157:H7 infections with matching pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) patterns, a genetic fingerprinting technique. These illnesses were associated with eating fresh, bagged spinach produced by Dole Brand Natural Selection Foods. By September 26, infections involving the same strain of E. coli O157:H7 had been reported from 26 states with one case in Canada. The spinach had been bagged and distributed under many brand names. A voluntary recall was issued by the company on September 15. E. coli O157: H7 was isolated from 13 packages of spinach supplied by patients in ten states. Eleven of the packages had lot codes consistent with a single manufacturing facility on a particular day. Two other packages did not have lot codes available but had the same brand name as the other packages. The PFGE pattern of all tested packages matched the PFGE pattern of the outbreak strain. The spinach had been grown in three California counties (Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Clara). E. coli O157:H7 was found in environmental samples collected near each of the four fields that provided spinach for the product as designated by the lot code. However, E. coli O157:H7 isolates associated with only one of the four fields (located on the Paicines Ranch in San Benito County) had a PFGE pattern indistinguishable from the outbreak strain. The PFGE pattern was identified in river water, cattle feces, and wild pig feces on the Paicines Ranch, the closest of which was just under one mile from the spinach field.

  • Outbreak began:
  • August 2006
  • Affected Country:
  • International
  • Affected States/Territories:
  • California, Arizona, New York, Minnesota, Oregon, Utah, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Idaho, Indiana, Maine, Nebraska
  • Organism(s):
  • E. coli O157:H7
  • Vehicle(s):
  • Vegetable, Spinach, packaged
  • Molecular Results Available:
  • Yes
  • Test Results:
  • Pulsenet Pattern EXHX01.0124/EXHA26.0015
  • Location(s):
  • Many
  • Brand Name(s):
  • Natural Selection, Dole, Trader Joe's Salad Products, My Brother's Pizza Salad Products, Chef on the Run, S. T. Produce, Balducci's, Pride of San Juan, Earthbound Farm, Bellisima, Rave Spinach, Emeril, Sysco, O Organic, Fresh Point, River Ranch, Superior, Nature's Basket, Pro-Mark, Compliments, Ready Pac, Jansal Valley, Cheney Brothers, D'Arrigo Brothers, Green Harvest, Mann, Mills Family Farm, Premium Fresh, Snoboy, The Farmer's Market, Tanimura & Antle, President's Choice, Cross Velley, Riverside Farms
  • Product Subject to Recall:
  • Yes
  • Total ill:
  • 238
  • Number ill by Case Definition Known:
  • No
  • Number Laboratory Confirmed Cases:
  • N/A
  • Number Probable Cases:
  • N/A
  • Number Possible Cases:
  • N/A
  • Anyone Hospitalized:
  • Yes
  • Number Hospitalized:
  • 103
  • Any Deaths:
  • Yes
  • Number Dead:
  • 5

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