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E. coli outbreak forces spinach recall

By RealJock Staff

Sorry, Popeye. No more spinach for you.

The Food and Drug Administration advises everyone to chuck their bagged spinach in the bin following outbreaks of the deadly E. coli virus in 10 states that killed one and made at lest 58 others ill.

"If you wash it, it is not going to get rid of it," Robert Brackett, director of the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Nutrition, told the Associated Press.

So far, one person has died in Wisconsin from E. coli. Reports of people sick with E. coli come from Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon and Utah. Officials are investigating reports in California and Washington.

The warning applies nationwide as the FDA cannot pin down the source of the infected spinach.

"Typically, we would try to narrow it down as focused as we could," Brackett told the AP. "The fact that it was distributed all over the country, the fact that people are getting seriously ill from this, warranted us to have an abundance of caution and just to say 'OK, stop now until we figure out exactly what's going on.'"

Other bagged vegetables are not affected by the outbreak, the FDA said.

From the intestines of cattle and other animals, E. coli can be present in manure used in fertilizer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 61 people die and 73,000 become ill from E. coli each year in the United States.