Dept. of Health: Chopped romaine lettuce source of E. Coli

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The outbreak sickened at least 35 people in 11 states, with New Jersey having seven confirmed cases. Thirty-two people got sick from that E. coli outbreak, and nine developed kidney failure.

In a Tuesday, April 10 update, the CDC reports the outbreak had further reached the Midwest in OH and Pennsylvania. Illnesses began on dates ranging from March 22 to March 31, and those infected range in age from 12 to 84.

Identifying a common source for E. coli infections is particularly challenging because individuals could potentially eat several meals spanning several places before experiencing symptoms and falling ill.

The source of the outbreak remains unclear, and because of that, the CDC "is not recommending that consumers avoid any particular food at this time". Our E. coli lawyers have litigated E. coli and HUS cases stemming from outbreaks traced to ground beef, raw milk, lettuce, spinach, sprouts, and other food products.

As of Friday afternoon, eight Idahoans had become sick with E. coli infections, an Idaho Department of Health and Welfare news release said.

The Arizona Department of Health Services is advising residents to not eat and dispose of store-bought chopped romaine lettuce, including salads and salad mixes containing chopped romaine lettuce.

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"If you can not confirm the source of the lettuce, do not buy or eat it", the C.D.C. said in a statement.

Photo A romaine lettuce field near San Luis, Ariz.

Restaurants and stores are advised not to serve or sell chopped romaine lettuce. Romaine lettuce was the only ingredient involved in every salad reportedly consumed. State and local public health investigators continue interviewing ill people to determine what they ate and how they might have been exposed.

Symptoms including bloody diarrhea, severe stomach cramps and vomiting commonly appear three to four days after ingesting the harmful bacteria and usually clear up within a week.

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

Restaurants and retailers should ask their suppliers about the source of their chopped romaine lettuce.

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