An outbreak of E. coli in eight U.S. states has killed one person and sickened dozens of others, prompting federal health officials to warn consumers nationwide not to eat bagged fresh spinach.

FOX Facts: E.coli

Escherichia coli O157:H7 is an emerging cause of food-borne illness. An estimated 73,000 cases of infection and 61 deaths occur in the United States each year

• Infection often leads to bloody diarrhea, and occasionally to kidney failure. Most illness has been associated with eating undercooked, contaminated ground beef

• Person-to-person contact in families and child care centers is also an important mode of transmission

• Infection can also occur after drinking raw milk and after swimming in or drinking sewage-contaminated water

• Consumers can prevent E. coli O157:H7 infection by thoroughly cooking ground beef, avoiding un-pasteurized milk, and washing hands carefully

• Because the organism lives in the intestines of healthy cattle, preventive measures on cattle farms and during meat processing are being investigated

FOX Facts: Spinach

• U.S. consumption of spinach has quintupled since 1972

• Americans eat average of 2.35 pounds of spinach per year

• Americans eat over 671 million pounds of spinach a year

• U.S. spinach consumption increased 66 percent from 1990-92 to 2000-02

• Women consume 14 percent more spinach than do men

• Men and women between ages 40 and 59 are biggest consumers of spinach

• Spinach is believed to be of Persian origin

• Spinach was introduced into Europe in the 15th century

• Spinach is a good source of essential nutrients such as vitamins A and C

• 1/2 cup of cooked spinach provides 20 percent of daily iron requirement

• 1/2 cup of cooked spinach provides 190 percent of daily vitamin A requirement

(Sources: U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention; USDA; 5 a Day)