Coli Outbreak Tied to Romaine Lettuce Expands to 16 States

More illnesses reported in E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce

The CDC said Wednesday that all USA consumers should throw away any previously purchased chopped romaine lettuce, including in pre-made salads or salad mixes, even if it's been consumed with no resulting illness.

A slow-growing E. coli outbreak linked to chopped romaine lettuce is continuing to grow, with a new update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealing that an additional 18 individuals are thought to have been hit with the bacteria.

The recommendation by Consumer Reports comes as federal inspectors continue to track down the exact source of E. coli-ridden lettuce coming out of Yuma, Arizona.

Nine people around the country have been hospitalized, including two people who developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome.

The CDC is also advising restaurants and retailers to stop selling or serving chopped romaine lettuce from the Yuma region. These complications are more common in young children under 5, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems.

The 16 states involved in this outbreak, caused by the O157:H7 strain of E. coli, include Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington. This brings the total to 53 cases, 31 of which have lead to people being hospitalized.

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Chopped romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Ariz., growing region appears to be responsible for the illnesses, according to the CDC.

Forty-one of 43 people interviewed by health officials reported eating romaine lettuce in the week before their illness started.

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

Health authorities issued a warning for residents and restaurants regarding chopped romaine lettuce grown in Arizona area last week. If you can not confirm the source of the romaine lettuce, do not buy it or eat it.

The E. coli, which is transmitted through feces, may have come either from a person or an animal. "Most people get diarrhea (often bloody), severe stomach cramps and vomiting", according to the CDC.

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