Health officials are investigating the sources of E. coli infestation, after multiple patients from three different states reported eating “SoyNut Butter” distributed under I.M. Healthy brand name before experiencing declining health. Now, federal and state public health officials have issued warnings to customers nationwide to stop consuming the products until the investigation is concluded.
On Thursday, March 2nd, Maryland’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene was the first to come up with a potential source. Now, state health officials are working closely together with the Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to confirm the association between I.M. Healthy and the source of the illness.
According to CDC officials, the illness spread across four states on Wednesday and researchers are now investigating the foodbourne sources. However, I.M. Healthy spokeswoman, who only goes by Marsha, told reporters that the company had not been contacted by anyone at the FDA or CDC by Thursday morning to signal any issues with the products.
Nevertheless, until further notice, health experts with the CDC say that consumers who have recently come in contact with I.M. Healthy’s products and experience symptoms of E. coli should immediately address their health care providers and tell the physicians about the possible exposure to the pathogen. The researchers said that the first signs of the infection range from severe stomach cramps and bloody diarrhea to uncontrollable vomiting. Fortunately, patients usually recover after five to seven days of treatment. However, it is not unlikely that the infection can get so severe that it becomes life-threatening, noted CDC health experts.
Furthermore, the investigators said elderly people and young children are most predisposed to health complications caused by the infection that could result in patients developing Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), characterized by kidney failure.
Acording to a Seattle attorney specialized in foodborne diseases, Bill Marler, at least two children have developed symptoms of E. coli infection in the past month, after consuming I.M Healthy’s SoyNut Butter. Another child is on dialysis in a Seattle hospital. However, health officials are still unsure whether the case is related with the E. coli infestation due to the SoyNut Butter products.
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