Talk:2006 North American E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in spinach

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Map updates[edit]

Could someone edit the map to include Nebraska and Illinois, which were affected today, and remove Tennessee, which wasn't affected to begin with? - Abcfox 01:09, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

I updated the map yesterday adding Nebraska and Illinois, if any more states are involved ill update it, unless someone esle does it :O--Coasttocoast 04:15, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
There's now a case in Ontario, Canada [1]. If someone wants to put in the provincial border and colour it, that would be appropriate... Radagast 22:32, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

File:Graph Spinich Ecoli Cause.gif[edit]

The image File:Graph Spinich Ecoli Cause.gif is nice, but I believe it cannot be used since it is copyrighted. Quarl (talk) 2006-09-19 20:21Z

File:Graph Spinich Ecoli Cause.gif can be in this article because it is describing the issue at hand and it was released by the Associated Press, a news organization, making it eligible for fair use ChrisRy5 (talk) 2006-09-20 21:37
It fails fair use criterion 1 and probably others. It's just text with a picture of spinach. The image is not needed and unfree, free alternatives are available (i.e. just paraphrase it in the article if the information is important). Quarl (talk) 2006-09-21 05:36Z

E. coli a disease?[edit]

Could this be written better? E. coli is not a disease, but a common bacterium. Many billions are passed through the human digestive tract every day. There are many strains of E. coli, but only certain stratins are toxic. An outbreak of hemorrhagic colitis, for example, might be caused by E. Coli strain E157:H7, which I believe is the likely culprit here.

The media is reporting the strain as E. coli O157:H7, so you are correct. And i agree, it should be made clear that EColi is a harmful bacteria, not a disease. dposse 18:09, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps it could be said that a particular strain of E. coli is causing food-borne illness? -Fsotrain09 02:20, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

This article does a very poor job of helping the reader understand how this particular E. Coli strain came about. It vaguely states that "the Centers for Disease Control speculate that the dangerous bacteria originated from grazing deer or from irrigation water contaminated with cattle feces" and then two paragraphs later says that E. Coli is a common bacteria that is a normal inhabitant of our digestive systems. OK then WTF? What this article, and our government (and the factory-farm industry), seems to be afraid to admit is that the true cause of this particularly virulent strain of this very common bacteria is the unnaturally acidic stomachs of beef and dairy cattle. Cattle on industrial farms are fed grain instead of grass. The residual starches FERMENT in the very long digestive tracts of cows and a killer-strain of E. Coli is born. It is vital that this article reflect these facts. -Laikalynx 00:09, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Someone on talk of the nation said that the grass feeding to prevent virulent strains did not pan out on further research. The guy did not give details. --Gbleem 03:29, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
Laikalynx, I added the part about the CDC's speculations because that was the ONLY official word on the outbreak's origins at that time. Personally, I too had expected the CDC and others to find that the real culprit was waste from factory farmed cattle, but saying so in the article clearly would have been POV and original research, both of which are against Wikipedia policy. I did try to work in some remarks from the New York Times opinion piece that suspected industrial cattle ranching, but it was, after all, an opinion piece, so I ended up leaving it out. Anyway, as it turns out these six months later, the CDC, the CDHS, and the FDA are reporting that the origin was indeed cattle waste -- but from grass-fed cattle living on an organic ranch. So that's what I added last week, worded in neutral POV with solid references. While I myself am not convinced that this is the whole story (grass-fed doesn't mean grass-fed only; were the cattle also fed grain? how many were bred on the ranch vs. sourced from other ranches? are the ranchers/farmers truly committed to organic methods, or did they cheat?), there is NO room in a Wikipedia article for my -- or anybody's -- speculation. --70.184.72.38 20:05, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

references[edit]

can someone clean up the references please? Some of them are streaching the page, and it just doesn't look professional. dposse 21:28, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Is there something i'm missing? The references seem ok to me. I see no stretching of the page! All the references are footnotes using the <ref> </ref> system according to WP:FOOT. All are using the citation templates which is an acceptable style for citation in wikipedia.--Wedian 14:10, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
Looks good to me, too. I removed the call for cleanup. *shrug* - Seinfreak37 21:07, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

This could "kill" Organic Farming[edit]

This kind of thing can literally and actually "kill" the Organic Farming industry and those who are engaged in this practice. Martial Law 23:18, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

Can you imagine a "Organic Farmer" going broke, because of this sort of thing ?
If the outbreak was to spread to different types of vegetables, and fruits on a mass scale, yes; otherwise unlikely.--ᎠᏢ462090 22:51, 23 September 2006 (UTC)
I don't agree with a number of the practices or ideas of organic farming. I'm not an American so I haven't been following this case but I don't particularly get why you're so sure this has something to do with organic farming. AFAICT, no one really knows the cause of the outbreak and it's not clear that the spinach even originated from organic farms... Nil Einne 07:47, 24 September 2006 (UTC)
Natural Selection have stated that, although they bag both organic and conventionally grown spinach, only their conventionally grown spinach was affected. AFAIK the FDA haven't officially cleared the products, and continue to state that all spinach should be considered tainted - which is fair enough. [2][3] Vashti 02:20, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

If you read my post two sections above this, you will see that the true culprit of this outbreak is INDUSTRIAL FARMING METHODS. Do some research. The Organic farms in question have been cleared of having ever been contaminated. -Laikalynx 00:11, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Except that we now know that the spinach was grown under organic practices and only sold under conventional labels. Paving the way for vegan organic farming in the U.S...? (No manure, no E. coli, no contamination.) --70.184.72.38 20:43, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Scope of outbreak[edit]

The article implies that all spinach is unfit to eat, including cooked spinach. This is not what the FDA said, and anyway is contradicted by other sources.

  • Canned spinach is cooked adequately (250 F) and is this considered safe.
  • You can by raw spinach, take it home and cook it (180 F for 15 seconds is enough).
  • (Frozen spinach needs clarification: is it always cooked first, before being frozen?)

If there's a dispute between alarmists and calmers (or liberals vs. conservatives or journalists vs. scientists or whatever) then Wikipedias should not take a side in the dispute. It should report what both sides are saying.

  1. A dangerous outbreak has taken place, which requires all spinach sales and consumption to be stopped till further notice.
  2. A dangerous outbreak has taken place (confined to uncooked spinach), which requires consumers to avoid salads containing spinach but which allows them to eat cooked spinach (purchased in cans or cooked just before eating)

Let's not take sides, but fulfill NPOV by presenting both sides. --Uncle Ed 14:51, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for bringing this up. I don't think anyone is explicitly claiming cooked spinach is dangerous, at least I didn't see any such claims. Any implications of that are probably inadvertant inaccuracies. Please go ahead and just fix it. Quarl (talk) 2006-09-21 02:20Z

I have to disagree with you. It states quite clearly now that "The outbreak was traced to bagged fresh spinach." dposse 11:23, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

Cause ?[edit]

If the cause is traced to wildlife, expect to see fencing being placed to keep it out, such as chain length fencing w/ chicken wire fencing placed in a manner to keep out all wildlife, except moles, Rabbits As stated above, this outbreak could literally destroy the "Organic Farming" practice. If the cause is not wildlife, but the handlers, this could re-ignite a really bad political situation, since some agricultural workers are "undocumented people". So what could be the cause for the E. coli outbreak ? I watch a lot of Law and Order, other crime and police detective shows. Martial Law 23:31, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

In these shows, you have the incident, usually a violent crime, such as murder, the shows are about how the investigation is carried out, then near the show's end, you have a trial in which the criminal is usually found guilty. In this, we have a incident, which is the E. coli outbreak in the spinach crops. Here are the HARD questions: (1) Is wildlife the cause ? (2) Are the agricultural workers causing it - inadverdantly of course ? (3) Is this a terrorist attack ? There is a LOT of electronic and other scuttlebutt about terrorists attempting to carry out a terrorist plot. (4) What are the other causes of this outbreak ? Martial Law 23:39, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
Here is one possible cause: Farm Water cause of Outbreak ? . The investigations have been launched to determine the cause of the outbreak. Go to Google, input Spinach/E. coli/causes. I've found one possible cause already. Martial Law 23:54, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
Here is a real shocker: Spinach Processor Blamed in E. Coli outbreak. That is what I'm referring to as to how these investigations are conducted. Martial Law 00:03, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
Where can this info be placed ? Martial Law 00:04, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
More info for placement: FDA info on this matter. Martial Law 00:13, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
As stated in the "links" above, the place that is implicated is this: Earthbound Farm, owned by Natural Selection Foods LLC, which has other patient reports of tainted food comming from there. It is located in San Juan Bautista, California. Martial Law 00:20, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
Info came from the link above:Spinach Processor Blamed in E. coli outbreak. Martial Law 00:32, 22 September 2006 (UTC)


Should a separate article even exist?[edit]

Everything about this is overblown. Only about 160 people got sick. So far, only one died. It's not like its a major disaster that killed thousands of people, or even at least a hundred. The only notable thing about this outbreak is that it happened recently, and the media attention it got. I suppose that is the justification but it seems more at home in wikinews than wikipedia. --Chicbicyclist 22:02, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Yes, it should. Thousands of people do not have to die for an event to be notable. --musicpvm 01:33, 24 September 2006 (UTC)
What it makes it more worthy to exist in Wikipedia than in Wikinews? The wikinews entry is quite good as it is.--Chicbicyclist 01:44, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

Not just The USA.[edit]

This is a problem in canada too. The title is POV. 2006 North American E. coli outbreak would be better. Zazaban 23:41, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

So it is an article of international significance. I agree with the proposed name change. Zazaban, is there sourced information on Canada's anti-contaminated spinach efforts which could be included in the article? -Fsotrain09 23:45, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Well I saw it on TV news. It's kinda sad that there are actually people arguing that it's unknown outside the USA. Zazaban 00:04, 24 September 2006 (UTC)


Then why is the map of US states? this article is very us-centric.

  • I agree it is. doesn't even acknowledge that this is happening outside of the US. someone should fix that. Zazaban 19:46, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

Should be two killed[edit]

If i'm not mistaken a two year old boy in Idaho has died from ingessting tainted spinach as well as the person in Maryland. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 68.67.106.127 (talkcontribs).

As far as I know, that case hasn't been confirmed to be caused directly by this spinach, at least yet. There is another case (elderly woman who died) from Maryland that is still under investigation as well. - Abcfox 04:36, 24 September 2006 (UTC)


One death is confirmed, two more are suspected. (http://www.cnn.com/2006/HEALTH/09/23/tainted.spinach.ap/index.html) Also, CNN quotes the CDC as saying the number of cases is up to 171.


Lifthrasir1 04:34, 24 September 2006 (UTC)


This article is inconsistent in the number of cases reported. I think that whoever updates the number of cases should either update all the figures or confine it to one part of the article, probably the beginning. 4.245.185.171 20:08, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

I suggest we use one consistent reliable source (may be CDC or FDA)for updating number of cases, map...etc and not just newspapers or new agencies articles. I use CDC page on current situation for updating number of cases within US. Regarding, Canada , i suggest we use a similar source. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency website has not confirmed the Canadian case yet. See [4] for latest news. The previous alerts on Sep. 15 and 18 [5] state there are no current illnesses.--Wedian 17:27, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Fresh spinach vs spinach[edit]

This has been discussed before but does not appear to have been satisfactorily addressed. Can anyone provide a reference for the claim the FDA has advised not to eat spinach of any kind? From a quick search, I couldn't. For example [6] and [7] and [8] all make it abundantly clear that it is only fresh spinach and fresh spinach containing products in question. Similarly the CDC [9] who also mentio the kind of cooking needed of fresh spinach. And both make it clear frozen and canned spinach is okay. So unless someone can provide a reference where the FDA says people shouldn't eat spinach of any kind, we should change it to fresh spinach of any kind and also mention that frozen and canned spinach are ok Nil Einne 08:00, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

Oh and I should add the FDA is now also saying it's only spinach from 3 counties mentioned so any spinach definitely not from those 3 counties is okay Nil Einne 08:07, 24 September 2006 (UTC)
[10] "Consumers can safely eat fresh spinach again, federal officials declared Friday, as long as it doesn't come from Northern California."

[11]

"The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has placed a total ban on all U.S. spinach in response to an outbreak of E. coli that has killed as many as three Americans, infected at least 166 and spread to half the U.S. states." dposse 15:24, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

Day to day.[edit]

[12] --Gbleem 17:46, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

$$$$s[edit]

The people affected by this outbreak, especially those sickened by it may actually seek legal action, mainly to pay hospital bills and for "pain and suffering". I see all kinds of "Lawyer Ads" on TV advertising everything from defective products (like this (the tainted spinach) one) to auto wrecks, DUI, to defective drugs, like Viagra (which is back on the market, has the side effect of blinding people who have taken it), investment companies that have embezzled money, etc. Martial Law 00:26, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

Proof of statement[edit]

I have found PROOF. These were found on Google Search:"Tainted Spinach/Lawsuits". Sites are:

  1. Science Evidence Reports Lawsuit in Spinach E-coli outbreak]
  2. Pittsford Woman files Lawsuit ]

My ISP screwed up before I could add this evidence. More evidence is on the way. Martial Law 22:30, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

Here is more evidence:

  1. Pittsford Woman Files Lawsuit
  2. Primary source of lawsuit related to the E.coli Spinach outbreak

More on the way. Can someone please place what I had found into the article ? Martial Law 22:40, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

Really appreciate the assisstance. Thanks. Martial Law 22:55, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

Cleaned up errors[edit]

Found and cleaned up the errors. Appreciate your patience, assisstance. Martial Law 00:39, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

Criminal matter ?[edit]

See this link: Tainted Spinach Incident results in criminal probe. Martial Law 21:20, 6 October 2006 (UTC) This states that the FBI is investigating this matter. Martial Law 21:24, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

2nd link is FBI investigates Spinach E. coli incident. Martial Law 21:27, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
Use Google:Feds investigate spinach E. coli outbreak to obtain more info. Martial Law 22:24, 6 October 2006 (UTC)


Truth or Consequences?[edit]

I don't know what the real cause is or if it is possible that human fecal matter is involved, but the utterly scrupulous avoidance of the topic in the news or here on Wikipedia seems dangerous from a public health standpoint. In some cases it is literally a matter of life and death. A cursory googling of "Escherichia coli O157:H7" + "human fecal" yields some articles which state it is possible (but unknown?) for human intestine to harbor the specific disease-causing bacterium and that human to human contact is possible. Even the incidence among cattle is hard to pin down, apparently. Phthalobrew 23:12, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

I'm sure all plausible posibilities will be considered but it seems rather unlikely this came from human fecal matter since to put it bluntly "humans shit in the toilet not on spinach". This could have come from sewarage in which case human fecal matter would be partially involved but generally speaking when we're talking about sewarage we say sewarage Nil Einne 14:04, 15 October 2006 (UTC)

Taco Bell e.coli outbreak[edit]

Do we create a new article, or simply make this article plural: 2006 North American E. coli outbreaks --Stbalbach 15:12, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

I was thinking similarly, but reading a recent New York Times article, they make it clear that it is connected. I think its fine how it is. Wow, I realized I haven't worked on this article since I created/started it. Anyway, I'm gonna do a major update (with NY Times info) and copyedit. Evan(Salad dressing is the milk of the infidel!) 00:30, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
Should they need to be separate areas of concern even though the origin of the problem was in California? Don't we need to included the Wikiproject: Food in on this as well since this a foodborne illness? Chris 02:41, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

While watching TV tonight I saw a commercial featuring a spokesman from Taco Bell stating that it was now safe to eat at Taco Bell restaurants. I live in the Atlanta area. Has anyone else seen this commercial?Mynameisryan812 04:46, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

I saw it though I did not see it in its entirety. I agree with Cavuto of FOX News stating that Taco Bell has botched this in terms of damage control on PR. The food science professors in this country are going to a field day on this investigation. Chris 14:16, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

I cleaned up many of the Taco Bell entries that had been entered contemporaneously, and largely disjointedly, with an overall summary of the number of affected consumers, restaurants and states. I also segregated out the Taco John's incident to stand on its own and added some additional facts specifically related to it. If anyone has objections, let's discuss here. Dreddpirate 01:50, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

I got it[edit]

Does anyone know how I report it? - unsigned

The lab that your doctor had test your samples will report it for you. WAS 4.250 12:30, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Interesting take on the problem[edit]

An interesting take on the problem can be found here at this semi-reliable site. WAS 4.250 13:09, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

deleted press release[edit]

I deleted a press release from Sadex in the timeline section, because it appears to be a promotional release and doesn't add to the discussion of the outbreak.

Deleted portion follows: "On September 27, Sadex Corporation, a Texas-based irradiation company, demonstrated that their irradiation process could have provided a cost effective alternative to the illness and death, as their President Harlan Clemmons and CEO David A. Corbin consumed treated spinach with the knowledge that their process had killed any E.coli that had been present. See Irradiation Could Minimize Future E. coli Outbreaks in Produce."

Mumm's 21:05, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

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