Monday, 23 April, 2018

Romaine lettuce to blame for E. coli outbreak in 11 states

Giant Eagle is recalling multiple items prepared with romaine lettuce after potential E. coli contamination Giant Eagle is recalling multiple items prepared with romaine lettuce after potential E. coli contamination
Anna Jefferson | 16 April, 2018, 22:14

As of April 12, 2018, 35 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported from 11 states.

Restaurants and stores are advised not to serve or sell chopped romaine lettuce.

Fresh Food Manufacturing Co., based in Freedom, Pennsylvania, recalled 8,757 pounds of ready-to-eat salad after being notified by their lettuce supplier that it may be contaminated with E. Coli O157:H7, according to the USDA.

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

The federal response to this outbreak stands in contrast to the E. coli outbreak this past winter, when investigators at the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration did not make definitive consumer recommendations.

Health officials warned the public to stay away from chopped romaine lettuce.

"Individuals with this infection usually get better within about 5 to 7 days, however some illnesses can be serious or even life-threatening", Dr. Shereef Elnahal, commissioner of the state Department of Health, said in a statement.

Illnesses have been reported in CT (2), Idaho (8), IL (1), MI (1), Missouri (1), New Jersey (7), NY (2), OH (2), Pennsylvania (9), Virginia (1), and Washington (1). Illnesses started on dates ranging from March 22, 2018 to March 31, 2018. However, preliminary information indicates that the chopped romaine lettuce was from the Yuma, Arizona growing region.

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Numerous cases so far were contracted from salad mixes used in restaurants, but some cases have been linked to bagged romaine purchased in stores.

This is not the first time romaine lettuce were linked to the spread of E. coli.

The farms in the Yuma, Arizona region supplies romaine lettuce to the country during March through November of each year.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the outbreak spiked last week on April 10 when it added 18 people from nine states to the infected list.

The outbreak resulted in almost 36 people becoming ill to varying degrees, including 11 in Washington state.

Symptoms usually vary from person to person.

Symptoms of E. coli infection include diarrhea, severe stomach cramps and vomiting.

One of those people added to the infected list in the CDC's most recent update is a MI resident.

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