E. Coli outbreak and symptoms

  1. I read on a healthy food blog about a recall of organic spinach due to possible e. Coli contamination. There are all kinds of people responding to the blog that they ate spinach last night and had stomach cramps afterwards and that must be why.

    My BS monitor is going off.

    I have no first hand experience with e. coli type infections other than UTIs/pylonephritis. I understand that a GI type infection of the shiga-producing type is pretty serious, but doesn't usually show up until 3-4 days after ingestion. I really question if these people who experienced stomach cramps and maybe some vomiting or diarrhea a few hours after eating raw spinach are experiencing e. coli or something else. These people don't seem to be experiencing symptoms for more than one evening or bad enough to put them in the hospital.

    Does anyone have more knowledge about this kind of stuff? Have you seen in in your nursing practice? Can e.Coli type symptoms come on that quickly and that mildly? Or are these people most likely experiencing something else?
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    About mappers

    Joined: Aug '09; Posts: 447; Likes: 550
    Specialty: Med/Surg/Tele/Onc


  3. by   TX.RN.Shannon
    I was hospitalized a few years ago with a severe gastroenteritis that was related to e.coli (ended up with positive blood cultures). My symptoms started almost 12 hours after eating out.
  4. by   SycamoreGuy
    The incubation period is longer than a few hours. If you get E. coli you aren't going to be writing about it.
  5. by   classicdame
    and if there was a recall the organic food website would not be the only source of information. Short answer: Wash all fresh fruit and veggies
  6. by   nurseprnRN
    A certain number of people are also sensitive to naturally-occurring substances in raw spinach (e.g., in salad) that give those kinds of GI symptoms. There are also the possibilities of pesticide, etc. residue. However, if is perfectly possible to get E. (short for Escherichia, properly capitalized) coli on raw vegetables, because E. coli is found in the guts of all mammals, and field workers often have no toilet facilities. This is why you should wash it if you didn't grow it yourself and can vouch for the garden's cleanliness.

    The very serious E. coli strain that gives you renal failure and hemolysis and all that is serious but the humans who carry it are probably not working in the fields; they are in an ICU somewhere. Its most common vector is cattle/products.
  7. by   HouTx
    I have the unfortunate experience of falling victim to spinach last year! Sudden & severe n/v began ~ 6 hours after ingesting a lovely and 'healthy' salad. A couple of days later, the great spinach recall of 2012 was announced on the news; reportedly contaminated with ecoli. I didn't seek medical attention so I don't have any idea what the causative agent actually was. Recovery took about 12 hours.