BOISE -- The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is urging consumers to check their cabinets as an E. coli outbreak sickens people in neighboring states.
The E. coli infections are linked to the products I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter, I.M. Healthy Granola, and Dixie Diner's Club Carb Not Beanit Butter. The products have been recalled, but illnesses linked to them have been reported in 16 people in nine states, including Oregon and Washington.
So far, no one in Idaho has reported getting sick after eating the products. But health officials say the products can be purchased in Idaho grocery stores or online, and may have already been distributed to daycares, schools, or other instituions.
Residents are encouraged to double-check their cupboards for the affected products. Any variety or size of the I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter, I.M. Healthy Granola, or Dixie Diner's Club Carb Not Beanit Butter found should be sealed in a bag and thrown in the trash to ensure children, pets, or other animals don't eat them.
School administrators and others are also urged to make sure they are not serving the tainted products. The granola and soy nut butter should be thrown away even if some of it has already been eaten without making anyone sick, officials say.
"This type of E. coli, called STEC, can be very dangerous, especially in children and elderly persons,” Medical Director for the Division of Public Health Dr. Christine Hahn said in a press release. “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.”
Symptoms of STEC often include severe stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea and vomiting. The illness typically lasts up to a week, but can be more severe or even life-threatening in some cases. Complications of the infection can sometimes lead to kidney failure.
E. coli can affect anyone, but young children and the elderly are more likely to develop kidney failure or other serious complications. The majority of the illnesses linked to this recall have been in children.
For more information on E. coli, click here.
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