E. Coli Outbreak in 11 States Linked to Romaine Lettuce

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Of the eight infected, three people were hospitalized and two have developed kidney failure.

The latest multistate outbreak of E. coli has sickened 35 people, including seven in New Jersey and nine in Pennsylvania. While the number of those ill continues to grow, no deaths have been reported as of the most recent update from the agency.

Illnesses that occurred after March 27, 2018, might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill with E. coli and when the illness is reported. CDC investigators don’t believe this outbreak is connected to the one that occurred late a year ago in the United States and Canada, although it is the same potentially deadly strain, E.coli O157:H7.

People in the previous outbreak were infected with a different DNA fingerprint of E. coli O157:H7 bacteria. Twenty-six (93%) of 28 people interviewed reported consuming romaine lettuce in the week before their illness started. That includes salads and salad mixes that contain romaine lettuce.

The restaurants said they used bagged, chopped romaine lettuce to make the salads. However, preliminary information indicates that the chopped romaine lettuce was from the Yuma, Arizona growing region. The CDC investigation is ongoing to identify the source of the contamination. “If you can not confirm the source of the romaine lettuce, do not buy it or eat it”, the CDC said. That’s all the information the USA agency gives in that regard as it adds, “no common grower, supplier, distributor, or brand has been identified”.

The FDA, in conjunction with federal, state, and local partners, found that the chopped romaine in question was grown or originated from the winter growing areas in Yuma, Arizona. “It is unrealistic to expect consumers to figure out whether their romaine was produced in Arizona or somewhere else, especially when eating in a restaurant”, she says. “The FDA now does not have information to indicate that whole-head romaine lettuce or hearts of romaine have contributed to this outbreak”.

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