CDC warns of multi-state E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce

CDC warns of multi-state E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce

CDC warns of multi-state E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce

Romaine lettuce originating from Yuma, Arizona, could be contaminated with E. coli, according to the CDC.

Earlier this week, the CDC said 17 people nationwide had been infected with a potentially severe strain of E. coli - the Shiga toxin-producing E. coli.

Twenty-two of them have been hospitalized, including three with kidney failure.

So far, cases of illness from this outbreak have been reported in Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington.

Niki Forbing-Orr, public information manager for Idaho health and welfare, said most of the people affected are from the Treasure Valley but others also have been sickened in other parts of the state.

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Ages of those in outbreak range from 12 to 84 years of age; and 69 percent are female.

The state has not named any eatery involved in the outbreak. In a race against time, they are trying to figure out exactly what food is causing the multi-state outbreak so they can remove it from the food supply before too many other people become sick or possibly die.

In addition, before buying romaine lettuce at a grocery store or ordering it at a restaurant, check to see if it came from the Yuma, Arizona growing region.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report an E. coli outbreak has spread to seven states. The restaurants reported using bagged, chopped romaine lettuce. "If you can not confirm the source of the lettuce, do not buy or eat it", the CDC said. That includes salads and salad mixes that contain romaine lettuce. Symptoms include stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting, the CDC said.

For consumers, CDC said this means any store-bought chopped romaine lettuce purchased for home-made salads and salad mixings is best thrown out. Restaurant customers should ask the origin of the lettuce before eating it. Traceback investigations are ongoing to find the source of that product and preliminary findings are pointing to the Yuma growing area.

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