E. Coli Outbreak Linked to Bagged Spinach

WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal health officials worked Friday to find the source of a multistate E. coli outbreak and warned consumers that even washing the suspect spinach won't kill the sometimes deadly bacteria.

One person died and dozens of others were sickened in the nine-state outbreak, linked by Food and Drug Administration officials to bagged spinach.

"We need to strive to do even better so even one life is not lost," said Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach, FDA's acting commissioner.

The FDA warned people not to eat bagged spinach and said washing it wouldn't solve the problem because the bacteria is too tightly attached.

"If you wash it, it is not going to get rid of it," said Robert Brackett, director of the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Nutrition.

The original outbreak was reported Thursday in eight states. Ohio became the ninth Friday, with health officials reporting seven cases there.