I.M. Healthy Original Creamy SoyNut Butter was recalled on March 4 after being linked to 16 Escherichia coli cases in nine states. Montessori of Alameda preschool in Portland is the latest victim in a multi-state E. coli outbreak caused by the nut-free butter.
According to the Multnomah County Health Department, six children and one adult have been sickened by E. coli bacteria. Four of them have been diagnosed with E. coli O157, a Shiga toxin-producing strain linked to kidney problems, and the same one associated with the I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter outbreak.
The Health Department is currently looking into how the I.M. SoyNut Butter E. coli strain was brought into the Montessori preschool. They've been investigating diarrhea illnesses at the school since March 7, 2017. Yesterday, five preschoolers and one adult were confirmed to have Shiga toxin-producing E. coli. Dr. Jennifer Vines, Multnomah County Deptuty Health Officer, in an interview with Outbreak News, stated:
We are working closely with families, staff, and school administrators to stop the spread of this infection and understand how this outbreak happened.
Shiga toxin-producing E. coli produces symptoms of diarrhea, which can be bloody. Other symptoms include abdominal pain, cramping, nausea, vomiting, and low-grade fever. Most people recover in about a week, but some may have severe or life-threatening infections.
I.M. SoyNut Butter was distributed nationally and could be purchased in stores or through mail order. It was also disbursed to many childcare centers and schools in multiple states.
If you've purchased I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter throw it away or return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers can also contact the company with any questions at 1-800-288-1012.