An 8-year-old San Jose boy was recovering Monday night after suffering from a strain of E. coli he contracted from eating a peanut butter substitute called soy nut butter.
Now his family is suing the product maker I.M. Healthy, which has pulled the product from store shelves, and health officials are issuing stern warnings.
California Department of Public Health Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith warned consumers, especially children, not to eat I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter or granola coated with SoyNut Butter, according to a department release.
“Consumers who purchased Creamy SoyNut Butter or coated granola should dispose of the product immediately, even if it was already eaten and didn’t cause illness,” Smith said in the release.
Reports have surfaced of 11 other people around the U.S. who ate the same nut butter and ended up in the hospital.
A South San Jose family said they almost lost their son, and even though he survived, he could still face years or a lifetime of kidney problems.
"We want the public to know," said Mosby Simmons. "We want this stuff off the shelf because it's dangerous."
Simmons' son Trevor just returned from a monthlong stay in the hospital after eating his favorite sandwich made with soy nut butter.
"He had complete kidney failure and renal failure for one week," Simmons said.
The Simmons family took Trevor to several hospitals to figure out the problem. Ultimately, tests determined it was E. coli from the soy nut butter.
The Centers for Disease Control says it's the same product that has hospitalized 11 others in five states, mainly children, with the same condition.
Now the Simmons family is suing to keep the product off store shelves.
This is the first time Trevor has become ill from the soy nut butter. His recovery is still going slow, his father said.
Mosby Simmons isn't sure if his son will ever fully be the same.
"It was amazingly traumatizing for everyone in the family," he said.
Health officials said symptoms of illness typically include stomach cramps and diarrhea, often with bloody stools. If there is fever, it usually is not very high. People typically become ill three to four days after exposure, but this period can range from one to eight days.