As of Friday, according to the CDC, 166 people had been sickened by eating spinach contaminated with E. coli since late August. Eighty-eight have been hospitalized. There is one confirmed death and two additional possible deaths.
Food-borne pathogens normally send 325,000 people to the hospital every year in this country, and cause 5,200 deaths, according to the CDC. In other words, one would expect that roughly 25,000-30,000 people have been hospitalized over the last month for eating tainted foods other than spinach, and more than 400 people died. Given those numbers, I’m puzzled as to why spinach has caused a national conniption.