An Escherichia coli (E. coli) outbreak in five states has prompted state and federal officials to investigate the origin of the foodborne illness.

So far, 12 cases of illness have been reported. Six ill people have been hospitalized. Four people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome--a type of kidney failure. No deaths have been reported. The five affected states are Arizona, California, Maryland, New Jersey and Oregon.

After conducting an epidemiologic traceback, the outbreak points to one likely source--I. M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter products, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is also involved in the investigation. So far, officials believe that the products may contain Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC).

CDC and FDA continue to investigate the outbreak and will provide updates to the public as they become available.

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