I know this is way off topic, but I wanted to make sure our US members were aware of it...
[I bet kids all accross the country are saying "Cool, we don't have to eat our spinach now"]
Seriously though, this outbreak has already
Killed one person, and sickened nearly 100[/b]
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Even if you wash the spinach, you still could be at risk.
Sober warnings for salad lovers came from federal health officials Friday as they struggled to pinpoint a multistate E. coli outbreak that killed one person and sickened dozens more.
Bagged spinach -- the triple-washed, cello-packed kind sold by the hundreds of millions of pounds each year -- is the suspected source of the bacterial outbreak, Food and Drug Administration officials said.
The FDA warned people nationwide not to eat the spinach.[/b] Washing won't get rid of the tenacious bug, though thorough cooking can kill it. Supermarkets across the country pulled spinach from shelves, and consumers tossed out the leafy green. (Watch CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta explain why this advisory is significant -- 2:07)
"We're waiting for the all-clear," said Dr. William Schaffner, chairman of preventative medicine at Vanderbilt University. The Tennessee university's medical center was treating a 17-year-old Kentucky girl for E. coli infection.
By Friday, the outbreak had grown to include at least 11 states: Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Utah and Wisconsin. Wisconsin accounted for about half the cases, including the lone death, Gov. Jim Doyle said.
"We are telling everyone to get rid of fresh bagged spinach right now. Don't assume anything is over," Doyle said.
Health officials also were investigating possible cases in California, Pennsylvania and Washington. In all, the bug is known to have sickened roughly 60 people, ages 3 to 84, the majority of them women.
FDA officials said they issued the nationwide consumer alert without waiting to identify the still-unknown source of the tainted spinach.
"Early is good," said Caroline Smith DeWaal, food safety director for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, adding that the alert may have prevented hundreds more cases. (Watch how health officials are scrambling -- 1:11)
Better safe than sorry
for the rest of the story.