A strain of E. Coli that was found in 12 people, most of them children, has been linked to batches of I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter, health officials said.
Six of the victims have been hospitalized, according to the Centers for Disease Control, resulting in a recall of the product that infected people in five states — Arizona, California, Maryland, New Jersey and Oregon — according to NBC News.
Four of the six hospitalized patients suffered severe, potentially life-threatening kidney damage spurred by the E. Coli bacteria, the CDC said. Altogether, 11 out of the 12 patients were 18 years old or younger.
The CDC recommended that consumers stop eating and serving the I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter, a nut-free substitute for peanut butter manufactured in Illinois.
“Epidemiologic evidence available at this time indicates that I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter is a likely source of this outbreak,” the CDC said in a statement, according to NBC.
“Even if some of the SoyNut Butter or granola was eaten or served and no one got sick, throw the rest of the product away. Put it in a sealed bag in the trash so that children, pets, or other animals can’t eat it,” the CDC said.
E. Coli is an extremely common bacteria that typically causes no harm, but certain strains can cause afflicting illness. The CDC estimates that one in six Americans develop food poisoning as a result of E. Coli, with approximately 3,000 deaths every year.