I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter Co. recalled nut-free Soy Nut Butter after E. coli infected 12 people in Arizona (4), California (4), Maryland (1), New Jersey (1) and Oregon (2).
One of the victims was a 13 year-old girl in New Jersey. No deaths have been reported, but six victims were hospitalized (50%). All but one outbreak victim is under 18 years old.
The Centers for Disease Control said four victims suffered Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure that occurs in 5-10% of E. coli infections. It is more common in younger victims.
According to the CDC warning:
CDC recommends that consumers do not eat, and childcare centers, schools, and other institutions do not serve, any I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter varieties and sizes, or I.M. Healthy brand granola coated with SoyNut Butter.”
The outbreak was identified on March 2, 2017 by health officials in Maryland who interviewed a person who confirmed eating SoyNut Butter in the week before falling ill.
All nine (100%) of people who were interviewed reported eating SoyNut Butter. Four of the victims ate it at daycare where SoyNut Butter or granola coated with it was served.
The first illness occurred on January 6 and the most recent illness was reported on February 15. It usually takes 2-4 weeks for new illnesses to be reported, so the case count may grow.
The outbreak is caused by E. coli O157:H7, a Shiga-toxin producing strain of the common food poisoning bacteria. The symptoms of infection appear within 1-10 days, and may include:
- Diarrhea (watery, bloody)
- Severe abdominal pain
- Stomach cramps
- Low fever
- Less frequent urination