E. coli outbreak in 11 states linked to romaine lettuce

35 sick from E. Coli outbreak traced to romaine lettuce

Last year, an outbreak of 17 E. coli infections were reported in 13 states across the United States, all of which occurred from November 15, 2017 through December 8, 2017.

"Information collected to date indicates that chopped romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region could be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 and could make people sick", the CDC said in the statement, adding the outbreak started on March 22.

The CDC investigation is ongoing to identify the source of the contamination. Restaurants and stores are advised not to serve or sell chopped romaine lettuce.

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The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare says eight Idaho residents became infected after they say they ate romaine lettuce in the 10 days prior. That's all the information the US agency gives in that regard as it adds, "no common grower, supplier, distributor, or brand has been identified". But there have been a few recalls issued in connection with this matter. Three of those patients have a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome, which is often associated with the O157:H7 E.coli strain. Fresh Foods has recalled salads made with chopped romaine, and Freshway Foods has recalled salads as well. The DNA fingerprint of the bacteria in that outbreak is different. So far, the contaminated lettuce can be traced only to the Yuma, Arizona, growing region. If a fever is present, it is usually less than 101°F. Symptoms of this complication include abdominal pain, lethargy, decreased urination, pallor, and small unexplained bruises or bleeding. "Anyone experiencing symptoms of this illness should see a healthcare provider". If it is from Yuma, Arizona, or the retailer doesn't know, do not buy it and do not eat it. Officials also warned about salads and salad mixes containing chopped romaine lettuce.

"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.

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