Twenty-nine people infected with the outbreak strains of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported from 12 states: Arizona 4, California 5, Florida 1, Illinois 1, Massachusetts 1, Maryland 1, Missouri 1, New Jersey 1, Oregon 9, Virginia, 2, Washington 2, and Wisconsin 1.
Illnesses started on dates ranging from January 4, 2017, to March 13, 2017. Ill people range in age from 1 to 57 years, with a median age of 8. Twenty-four of the 29 ill people are younger than 18 years. Among ill people, 59% are male. Twelve ill people have been hospitalized, and nine people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome.
Laboratory testing found the outbreak strains of E. coli O157:H7 in I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter collected from the homes of ill people and from retail locations.
The FDA announced last week that on March 28, 2017, the FDA used authorities granted under the 2011 FDA Food Safety Modernization Act to suspend the food facility registration of Dixie Dew Products, Inc. (Dixie Dew) of Erlanger, Kentucky, because products manufactured in this facility may be contaminated.
Soy nut butter manufactured by Dixie Dew and sold under the brand name I.M, Healthy has been implicated in an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7.
On March 7, 2017, The SoyNut Butter Company recalled all varieties of I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butters and all varieties of I.M. Healthy Granola products. On March 10, 2017, The SoyNut Butter Company expanded its recall to include Dixie Diner’s Club brand Carb Not Beanit Butter. On March 23, 20/20 Lifestyle Yogurt Peanut Crunch Bars were recalled because they contain a recalled ingredient.
A manufacturer shuttered and product recalled, but the impact on consumers is still being felt. Here is an email (somewhat redacted) that I received late Saturday night.
Our 11-year old son was diagnosed with E. coli. O157:H7 in January after he was admitted to the __________ Hospital on January 11, 2017. He developed HUS and had multiple system organ failure. He is still in the pediatric ICU on dialysis and a ventilator. We believe that this was caused by I.M. Healthy soy nut butter and would like to discuss the possibility of a lawsuit against the manufacturer.
This outbreak will not really be over – for a lifetime – for some.