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The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is continuing to warn consumers not to eat I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter and SoyNut Butter-containing products from The SoyNut Butter Company until further notice because of possible contamination with E. coli O157 bacteria.
Maryland, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), others states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating a multistate outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 (STEC O157:H7) infections. So far, 12 people from five states have been reported infected with the outbreak strain of STEC O157:H7.
Symptoms from some types of STEC frequently can include severe disease, including bloody diarrhea and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a type of kidney failure. Sometimes infection causes non-bloody diarrhea or no symptoms. Symptoms typically begin within 3 to 4 days, but can range from 1 to 10 days, after exposure. Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is a serious complication that occurs in some infected people, particularly children under 5 and the elderly. In this syndrome, red blood cells are destroyed and kidney failure occurs. Anyone suspecting STEC infection should contact their healthcare provider.
The I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter and SoyNut Butter-containing products have been distributed to a range of stores in Maryland and have been available for purchase online, through such retailers as Amazon. Due to their long shelf life, these products should not be consumed until further notice. Childcare centers, schools or other institutions should not serve the products. Even if some of the SoyNut Butter or granola was eaten or served and no one got sick, on previous instances, Marylanders are urged to discard the rest of the products. In discarding the products, put them in a sealed bag in the trash -- to prevent children, pets or other animals from consuming the foods.
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