Recall: Idahoans warned to avoid eating soy nut butters and granola linked to E. coli illnesses

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TWIN FALLS — Health officials are urging Idahoans to check their cupboards for products associated with a nationwide illness outbreak and food recall.

To date, 16 people in nine states, including Oregon and Washington, have become seriously ill after eating soy nut butter products related to I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter. The products may have been purchased in Idaho grocery stores or online and distributed to schools, childcare centers and other institutions.

So far, no illnesses have occurred in Idaho. But health departments are advising any variety or size of I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter, I.M. Healthy Granola, or Dixie Diner’s Club Carb Not Beanit Butter should not be eaten, regardless of the date of purchase or the date listed on the container.

State health departments, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration are investigation an ongoing outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli illnesses reported from several states.

“This type of E. coli, called STEC, can be very dangerous, especially in children and elderly persons”, Dr. Christine Hahn, medical director for the Division of Public Health, said in a statement. “We urge everyone, including schools and daycare centers, to check to make sure they do not have this product, and if they do, to dispose of it immediately.”

Even if a portion of the products were eaten or served and no one became sick, the remaining product should be sealed in a bag and thrown in the trash so that children, pets, or other animals can’t eat it. More information about the recall can be found on the FDA website at www.fda.gov/Food/RecallsOutbreaksEmergencies/Outbreaks/ucm544964.htm#recall.

The symptoms of STEC infections vary but often include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody) and vomiting. Most people get better within five to seven days, but some infections are severe or even life-threatening. Hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure, is a potentially life-threatening complication of STEC infection.

Very young children and the elderly are more likely to develop severe illness and HUS than others, but even healthy older children and young adults can become seriously ill. The majority of the illnesses confirmed as part of this outbreak are in people younger than 18. At least eight children have been hospitalized.

CDC has details about the multi-state illness investigation on its outbreak website at cdc.gov/ecoli/2017/o157h7-03-17/index.html.

Contact your healthcare provider if you have diarrhea that lasts for more than three days or is accompanied by high fever, blood in the stool or so much vomiting that you pass very little urine and cannot keep liquids down.

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