Wednesday, 23 May, 2018

Don't eat any romaine lettuce, CDC warns, as E. coli outbreak grows

State officials urging caution with romaine lettuce after E. coli outbreak Yuma E. coli outbreak: 5 confirmed cases in Arizona, new warnings issued
Judith Alexander | 21 April, 2018, 13:51

CDC officials previously warned of certain types of romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona, region, attributed to a multistate E. coli outbreak.

Federal authorities are urging people who bought chopped romaine lettuce in the United States to throw it away because it could get them sick.

Seven cases have been reported here, including three in Flathead County, two in Missoula County and one each in Lincoln and Ravalli counties.

The 16 states included in the outbreak are: California, Washington, Alaska, Montana, Idaho, Arizona, Missouri, Louisiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The exact source has not been identified, but the outbreak's origination is believed to be in the Yuma, Arizona area just north of the border with Mexico. Five people who ate contaminated romaine have developed kidney failure, the CDC said.

To avoid E. coli, wash your hands regularly and thoroughly, cook meat completely, wash fruits and vegetables, avoid raw milk and don't prepare food when you're sick. Most recover within one week but there is a chance of kidney failure.

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The CDC noted that product labels often don't identify growing regions; any lettuce not marked should be tossed, even if part of it has been eaten and nobody became ill.

The warning stems after investigators discovered that inmates from the facility in Alaska grew to become ill immediately after ingesting lettuce "from the region that was affected; out of heads of romaine lettuce & rdquo, " the CDC explained.

As of Friday, April 20th, that strain has been confirmed to have sickened 53 people across 16 states, with 31 of those cases requiring hospitalization.

According to the Mayo Clinic, O157 E.coli symptoms include diarrhea, which could be bloody, as well as abdominal cramping or pain, and in some people, nausea. The CDC warning at that time also directed consumers to not eat any romaine served by restaurants or buy any chopped romaine sold in grocery stores unless they were assured it was not grown in Yuma.

The CDC has the full details on the outbreak warning here.

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