Spinach Pulled from Knoxville Shelves

Knoxville (WVLT) - The Food and Drug Administration is working to find the source of a widespread E. coli outbreak linked to bagged spinach.

So far it's blamed for at least one death in Wisconsin.

Dozens of people in eleven states, including four in Kentucky have come down with E. coli related illnesses.

There are none, so far in Tennessee, although a Kentucky woman is being treated for her illness in Nashville.

At this point, there isn't a particular brand or distributor being singled out, but the tainted spinach may have been grown in California.

The FDA recommends staying away from fresh spinach altogether and throw out any you may have on hand.

Until the FDA pinpoints the source of the E. coli outbreak, you may find it difficult to find spinach in stores or even in restaurants.

Volunteer TV's Stacy McCloud brings you a look at what's happening here in East Tennessee to make sure you're safe.

"We do sell a lot of spinach. Especially on the weekend and this weekend it's the Florida game," says Fresh Market Produce Manager Bill Anderson.

Need spinach to make your famous spinach dip or salad? You can probably forget about it.

The spot where spinach once sat here at the fresh market in Knoxville is bare.

Even organic, their specialty, gone, until the FDA says it is safe to put it back.

And not only spinach in bags, which is all the recall specifies, stores are pulling it all, from the recalled bags, to loose greens, the kind in dips or even canned.

"They directly said bagged spinach, but we're pulled anything that deals with spinach. We've pulled it off the shelves for the safety of our customers," says Anderson.

Grocery stores big or small are doing the same. At Food City, lights are out where the leafy greens are sold, with a sign explaining the situation.

Still yet, it's causing confusion for customers, who wonder why they can't buy it, if no ones sick in Tennessee.

The reason is simple. The FDA says as long as the origin of the outbreak is unknown, such as the growing region, brand, or supplier, they'll continue to advice people to throw out any old spinach they currently have and refrain from buying any in the interim.

Officials are warning people nationwide that become sick and have eaten bagged spinach, to see a doctor immediately.

Several area restaurants plan on keeping spinach off the menu until the issue is resolved.


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