Romaine lettuce contaminated with E.coli triggers recall

Fourteen more sick people from eight U.S. states were added to an investigation of an E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Friday. The patient age range is from 1 to 88 years.

When you are purchasing romaine lettuce, it's important to look at where the lettuce is coming from. This is not a time to be tailoring the message to risk groups. People generally get sick within a week of eating contaminated food.

The Washington State Department of Health announced Friday the number of total cases of E. coli in the Evergreen state has increased to five, including two cases in Spokane.

No deaths have been reported, but in Pennsylvania, eight people have been hospitalized and one developed the kidney condition called hemolytic uremic syndrome, the state Department of Health reported.

While officials have been able to track the lettuce back to Yuma, AZ, they say they still don't know at what point of distribution the lettuce was contaminated. Dozens of other possible sources are being investigated.

Currently, there is no link between this strain and the one in Canada from December 2017, which sickened at least 17 people, officials said.

Those victims aren't living in one particular area of the United States: Alaska, California, Arizona, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Colorado, Louisiana, Missouri, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Georgia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and CT have reported E. coli sicknesses.


On April 20, the CDC warned Americans to toss out any romaine lettuce they might have bought in stores.

The Yuma region provides most of the romaine sold in the USA during the winter. If there is any uncertainty as to food products' origin or type, consumers should throw it out.

The outbreak is blamed on E. coli bacteria in romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, Arizona.

Disclosure: Wise works for the CDC, Harris works for the FDA. The move is underway, and some farms in Yuma have completed their season, but the FDA said it can not confirm that no more lettuce is being shipped from the region based on the information it has from industry organizations. This particular strain produces a Shiga toxin that causes severe symptoms, such as vomiting and diarrhea, and can also lead to kidney failure.

The advice from the CDC includes whole heads and hearts of romaine, chopped romaine and salads and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce.

This is the most significant Shiga-toxin producing E.coli break out considering that a 2006 break out connected to spinach grown in the Salinas Valley in California, Wise stated.


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