Sixteen people in nine states, including Washington and Oregon, have become seriously ill after eating a soy nut butter product linked to a nationwide illness outbreak and food recall. To date, no illnesses linked to the outbreak have been reported in Idaho, but Idaho health officials are urging Idahoans to double-check their cupboards for I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter and other related products recalled after people who ate them became ill. These products may have been purchased in grocery stores in Idaho or on the Internet and distributed to schools, childcare centers, and other institutions.
State health departments, working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are investigating an ongoing outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) O157:H7 illnesses reported from several states.
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 served or eaten, regardless of the date of purchase or the date listed on the container.
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 https://www.fda.gov/Food/RecallsOutbreaksEmergencies/Outbreaks/ucm544964.htm.
”This type of E. coli, called STEC, can be very dangerous, especially in children and elderly persons”, says Dr. Christine Hahn, medical director for the Division of Public Health. “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.”
The symptoms of STEC infections vary but often include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting. Most people get better within 5–7 days, but some infections are severe or even life-threatening. Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), 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 years old. At least eight children have been hospitalized.
CDC has details about the multi-state illness investigation on its outbreak website at https://www.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.
Niki Forbing-Orr, Public Information Manager
Chris Smith, Public Information Officer