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Four Central Ohio E-Coli Cases Linked To Tained Fresh Spinach

The Columbus Public Health Department is warning residents about the recent E-Coli outbreaks. Six people in central Ohio and one person in southwestern Ohio have been infected with E-Coli. Authorities have linked other E-Coli outbreaks to bagged fresh spinach. Grocery stores and restaurants are removing fresh spinach from their shelves.

Columbus Public Health spokesperson Jose Rodriguez said there have been no deaths in Ohio, but one person has developed a syndrome that can cause kidney failure. Rodriguez said four cases in Columbus and Franklin County are linked to tainted fresh spinach. Nationwide, one person died and 50 others got sick from the outbreak. Grocery stores are being asked to throw out all fresh spinach products. Laurie Asbeck with the North Market in Columbus said the store has taken most of its spinach products off the shelf.

"We kept our local spinach, so, we have locally grown organic spinach. So we're holding on to that. Maybe we'll be the only people in town with spinach you can eat, I don't know," Asbeck said.

Central Ohio shoppers will otherwise have a hard time finding spinach at large chains like Kroger. Kroger spokesperson, Monica Gordon, said the store is no longer receiving or shipping any fresh spinach.

"We have stopped selling which means we have removed from sale all salad mix blends and kits that include any fresh spinach," Gordon said.

Gordon said fresh spinach products may be returned to the store for a refund.

Restaurants are also affected by the E-Coli outbreak. Hyde Park Steakhouse regional manager, Craig Dime, said the restaurant takes the recent outbreaks very seriously.

"Hyde Park Restaurants has pulled any spinach products immediately pending further notice. So it's an indefinite," Dime said.

Rodriguez said the infected people in Ohio range in age from 15 to 46. Health officials say any one with fresh spinach should not eat it and throw it away.