Published: Sat, April 14, 2018

Public Health Officials: E. coli Infections Linked to Romaine Lettuce from Arizona

Public Health Officials: E. coli Infections Linked to Romaine Lettuce from Arizona

Health officials have identified romaine lettuce out of Arizona as the culprit in an E. coli outbreak that has sickened 35 people in eleven states, including seven in New Jersey in the last few weeks.

In January a larger E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce was reported in 13 states, resulting in 58 hospitalizations and one death.

The CDC didn't identify a grower or provider, but it recommends throwing away chopped romaine lettuce from the region and not buying any without knowing its origin. Discard any lettuce if unsure of whether it is romaine. If you have it in your home, throw it out immediately, even if you've eaten some of it and not gotten sick.

The CDC goes on to state that this current E. coli outbreak isn't related to a similar recent multi-state outbreak of the same infections linked to leafy greens. "The lawyers in our firm are investigating this outbreak".

All eight people who have become ill report eating romaine lettuce in the 10 days prior to becoming ill. Officials suspected a restaurant chain.

Twenty-six of 28 people interviewed said they ate romaine lettuce in the week before their illness started.

As for restaurants and retailers, CDC says these establishments should not serve or sell any chopped romaine lettuce, including salads and salad mixes containing chopped romaine lettuce, from the Yuma, AZ growing region. If you don't know if the lettuce is romaine, throw it away, according to the advisory.

New Jersey has reported six cases, Idaho has reported four cases, Pennsylvania and CT have each reported two cases, and Washington, Missouri and OH have each reported one illness.

Those affected range in age from 12 to 84 and 64 percent of the patients are women.

Idahoans are getting sick from eating chopped romaine lettuce. "Among ill people, 65% are female", officials said.

"E. coli O157:H7 is a type of bacteria that can cause bloody diarrhea, severe abdominal cramps, vomiting and low-grade fever", Health and Welfare said in a statement.

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