Death By Strawberries

E. coli found in fresh strawberries from Washington County farm

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Strawberries have caused ten people to become sick and the death of one person. Don't be alarmed though because health officials have it all under control.

Escherichia coli (E. coli) is a bacteria found in the intestines. Most strains are not dangerous, but few can cause severe abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea, vomiting and even death. The health officials in Oregon have found a harmful strain, E. coli O157:H7, in specific batches of strawberries.

"Jaquith brand strawberries before August 1st should not be eaten."

Oregon Public Health officials became alarmed when people became ill last month from an infection caused by E. coli O157:H7. They traced the source back to Jaquith Strawberry Farm, which is located in Newberg, Oregon.

The strawberry season has already ended, but some of the strawberries were sold to buyers who then resold them to roadside stands, farm stands and farmer's markets.

Any person that may have bought this particular brand of strawberries should immediately discard them. Even if they are frozen or turned into uncooked jam - throw it all out, Paul Cieslak, M.D., from Oregon Public Health Division, warns.

Don't be alarmed if you have:

  • Any berries other than strawberries
  • Strawberries purchased after August 1
  • Strawberries from a supermarket
  • Strawberries picked at Jaquith Strawberry Farm
  • Strawberries grown in southwest Washington state

All fruits and vegetables should be thoroughly cleaned before eating. Raw foods should not be handled with fruits and vegetables. Hands should be washed after handling raw foods, using the toilet and changing diapers.

Wash your hands before you eat as well to be on the safe side.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
August 10, 2011
Last Updated:
August 12, 2011