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Experts Investigate E. coli Outbreak tied to Sprouts

Update Date: May 23, 2014 09:25 AM EDT
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The United States health experts have to deal with yet another food safety dilemma. Earlier this week, there were recalls issued for beef, hummus and walnuts. On Thursday, the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced in a press release that people and food companies should throw out their Evergreen Produce brand raw clover, which is currently believed to be the cause of an E. coli outbreak.

According to the CDC's press release, the sprouts have been tied to seven confirmed cases and three probable ones with 50 percent of all the cases requiring hospitalization. No deaths have been recorded. The experts have identified the Shiga toxin-producing E. coli in Idaho and Washington. The experts stressed that even healthy people who do not have compromised immune systems need to throw the sprouts out in sealed packages so that other people, pets or wild animals do not consume them.

The report added that even though cooking food has been known to reduce the risk of foodborne illness, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  stated that there have been many cases in the past when people became sick from eating raw or lightly cooked sprouts. Both agencies stated that it would be best to avoid the produce.

"We are moving quickly to learn as much as possible and prevent additional people from becoming ill," the FDA said reported by FOX News. "We recognize that people will be concerned about this outbreak, and we will continue to provide updates and advice."

The experts reported that the sprouts were eaten at different food outlets. Symptoms of an infection include diarrhea and abdominal cramps. In an extreme case, patients might develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a type of kidney failure. So far, HUS has not been diagnosed in any of the patients. People should seek immediate medical care if these symptoms show up and are unbearable.

The FDA and the CDC will work together to contain the situation.

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