Bruce Rauner, Governor

State Links Skip to Content Skip to State Links

 Health & Safety
 Family & Home
 About Illinois

Stay Informed

Your Government

Illinois Flag Honors

Inspector General

 IGNN: State/All Press Release

The State of Illinois News page provides access to the Illinois Government News Network and all state press releases.

September 15, 2006

State Public Health Director issues warning about food borne illness linked to fresh spinach consumption
No confirmed cases of E. coli from consumption of bagged fresh spinach in Illinois

SPRINGFIELD – Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director, today issued a warning about an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7, a specific strain of E. coli, in multiple states that may be associated with the consumption of bagged spinach.  Preliminary epidemiological evidence suggests that bagged fresh spinach may be a possible cause of this outbreak.

“To date there are no cases in Illinois of anyone becoming sick with E. coli after eating bagged fresh spinach, but an investigation is on-going,” said Dr. Whitaker.  “We advise people to err on the side of caution and not eat bagged fresh spinach.  Anyone who thinks they may have experienced symptoms of illness after eating bagged fresh spinach are urged to contact their health care provider.”

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has sent a health advisory to local health departments and hospitals alerting health care providers of the severity of this illness and the seriousness of the outbreak. 

E. coli O157:H7 is a virulent strain compared to other strains of E. coli.  It causes diarrhea, often with bloody stools.  Although most healthy adults can recover completely within a week, some people can develop a form of kidney failure called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS).  HUS is most likely to occur in young children and the elderly.  The condition can lead to serious kidney damage and even death.  To date, 50 cases of illness have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including 8 cases of HUS and one death.

The U.S. FDA investigation is ongoing and states that have reported illnesses to date include:  Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Wisconsin. 


News Categories

 Governor's Office
 Lt. Governor's Office
 Economic Development
 Flag Honors
 Health/Human Services
 Opportunity Returns

News Resources

 Search the News
 IIS Radio News
 RSS News Feeds
 e-News Subscriptions
 Communications Office
 Privacy Statement


Sign up for an e-news subscription
Copyright © 2017 State of Illinois Site Map | Illinois Privacy Info | Kids Privacy | Web Accessibility | Contact Us