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article imageRomaine lettuce E. coli outbreak gets worse – Still no source

By Karen Graham     Apr 28, 2018 in Health
As of April 27, 2018, there are 98 confirmed cases of E. coli infection across 22 states linked to romaine lettuce grown in the Yuma region of Arizona. Ten of the sick people have developed kidney failure, including three children.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the CDC say the Yuma, Arizona, growing region is the source of the E. coli contaminated romaine lettuce, and the FDA has identified one farm there as the source of whole-head romaine that sickened eight inmates at a correctional institution in Alaska.
The growing season in Yuma is at an end and the farm in question is not growing any more lettuce, say health officials who are still investigating close to two dozen other farms in the region, as well as other businesses all along the national supply chains.
The farm in question is Harrison Farm in Yuma, said Stic Harris, director of the FDA’s Coordinated Outbreak Response and Evaluation Network, according to Food Safety News. However, FDA inspectors have not yet visited the farm and have not been provided details such as the specific location of the field where the implicated romaine was grown.
romaine lettuce
romaine lettuce
muffet/flickr
It is important to note that most of the illnesses in this outbreak are not linked to romaine lettuce from Harrison Farms. The agency is investigating many other fields as potential sources of the chopped romaine lettuce and will share information as it becomes available.
Most people reported eating a salad at a restaurant, and romaine lettuce was the only common ingredient identified among the salads eaten. The restaurants reported using bagged, chopped romaine lettuce to make salads.
Latest data available the on outbreak
There are now 22 states in the multi-state outbreak with the addition of Mississippi, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. A total of 98 people are infected with the same strain of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 (E. coli O157:H7), up from 84 cases reported on Wednesday.
The states and number of illnesses include: Alaska (8), Arizona (5), California (16), Colorado (2), Connecticut (2), Georgia (1), Idaho (10), Illinois (1), Louisiana (1), Michigan (3), Mississippi (1), Missouri (1), Montana (8), New Jersey (7), New York (2), Ohio (3), Pennsylvania (18), South Dakota (1), Tennessee (1), Virginia (1), Washington (5), and Wisconsin (1).
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CDC
Again, the CDC and FDA are warning consumers to not eat or buy romaine lettuce unless you can confirm it is not from the Yuma, Arizona, growing region.
This advice includes whole heads and hearts of romaine, chopped romaine, baby romaine, organic romaine, and salads and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce. If you do not know if the lettuce in a salad mix is romaine, do not eat it.
If you think you may be ill from consuming romaine lettuce, contact your family doctor or a healthcare professional. This strain of E. coli is particularly dangerous, with 46 of the 98 cases requiring hospitalization and 10 people who have developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome.
More about Romaine lettuce, E coli, 22 states, 98 illnesses, CDC