Coli Outbreak Linked to Romaine Lettuce

35 sick from E. Coli outbreak traced to romaine lettuce

Consumer Reports has warned the public to avoid eating romaine lettuce again after another outbreak of E. coli was tracked back to romaine grown in Arizona.

States that have reported people infected with the E. coli strain include Washington, Idaho, Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and MI. Friday's Centers for Disease Control update on the E. coli outbreak placed nine E. coli illnesses in Pennsylvania, the most of any state, and seven in neighboring New Jersey.

Consumers anywhere in the US who have store-bought chopped romaine lettuce, including salads and salad mixes, should not eat it and throw it away - even if you have eaten some of it already. Numerous cases so far were contracted from salad mixes used in restaurants, but some cases have been linked to bagged romaine purchased in stores. Most will get better within a week, but the symptoms can last longer and be severe. Some people may have a low fever, less than 101°F/38.5°C. Some of its types are pathogenic that can cause illness through exposure to contaminated food or water, or contact with animals or other people. Most people with an E. coli infection start feeling sick three to four days after eating or drinking something that contains the bacteria.

So far, federal officials haven't identified a source, but on April 14 Fresh Foods Manufacturing, based in Freedom, Pa., voluntarily recalled ready-to-eat salads after receiving notification that its supplier was recalling romaine lettuce over E coli concerns. The earliest symptoms began on March 22. And by the end of her two weeks in the hospital, she had undergone three blood transfusions.

This is a different E. coli O157:H7 HUS outbreak from the E. coli outbreak that took place from November to December 2017.

Symptoms of E. coli O157 infection vary for each person, but often include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting.

A lawsuit to be filed in federal court says a woman who suffered kidney failure in a romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak names Panera Bread and its romaine lettuce supplier Freshway Foods as defendants.

Over the weekend, stores such as Walmart, Sam's Club, and Giant Eagle issued recalls for romaine lettuce products, including those sold in the catering, restaurant, and salad bar areas.

State and local health department officials are investigating multiple reports of E. coli infections likely linked to chopped romaine lettuce.

The restaurants reported using bagged, chopped romaine lettuce to make salads.

The FDA recommends that consumers ask restaurants and other food service establishments where their romaine lettuce originated, and avoid chopped romaine lettuce that originated from Yuma, Arizona.

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