SoyNut Butter E. coli Outbreak: Final Report Confirms 32 Illnesses, with 2 more Probable Cases, in 12 States to Consumption of SoyNut Butter Products
In light of the fact that no new cases have been reported since April 18, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has cautiously announced that the outbreak is over. They did so cautiously only because SoyNut Butter products can remain on the shelves in victims’ homes or schools for many months if the recall fails to reach all the consumers of the product.
“CDC recommends that consumers do not eat, and childcare centers, schools, and other institutions do not serve, any of the recalled products. Even if some of the product was eaten or served and no one got sick, throw the rest of it away. Put it in a sealed bag in the trash so that children, pets, or other animals can’t eat it.”
The investigation was thorough and conclusive, with 100% of the individuals who were interviewed (25) reporting having eaten a SoyNut Butter product. The CDC also reports finding the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 in I.M. Healthy brand soy nut butter products distributed by SoyNut Butter Co. that were found in victims homes in California, Oregon, and Washington. The manufacturer of the products, Kentucky’s Dixie Dew Products, Inc., was closed after a number of violations were noted. The company issued its own recall of all soy nut butter products manufactured by Dixie Dew, including Yogurt Peanut Crunch and Live Styles brand protein bars.
“Officials in California also isolated (E. coli) O157:H7 in unopened containers of I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter collected from retail locations. Whole genome sequencing showed that the (E. coli) O157:H7 in all of these containers of SoyNut Butter were closely related genetically to isolates from ill people, providing more evidence that people in this outbreak got sick from eating I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut butter.”
The victims included 26 children, with 9 cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) among the 12 that required hospitalization. Each case of HUS is serious and potentially life-threatening, but so far no fatalities have been reported.