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CDC reports E.Coli infections linked to lettuce distributed from Yuma

15 April 2018

The Illinois Department of Public Health, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and other state and local health departments, is investigating a multi-state cluster of E. coli infections linked to chopped romaine lettuce.

As the investigation continues, public health officials at the CDC and in Idaho are advising against eating pre-chopped romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Ariz., growing region until further information is known.

Consumers who have store-bought chopped romaine lettuce should not eat it and throw it away immediately, the CDC said.

The Shiga toxin-producing E.coli outbreak has seen three people develop the kidney-damaging failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome or HUS.

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Illnesses include nine cases in Pennsylvania, eight cases in Idaho, seven cases in New Jersey, two cases each in Connecticut, New York and OH, and one case each in Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Virginia and Washington. The illnesses occurred between March 22 and March 31.

No common grower, supplier, or distributor has been identified yet.

CDC suggests the outbreak is not over with illnesses after March 27, 2018, not yet included in the count. The age range of those infected ranges from 12 to 84 years old.

The state has not named any eatery involved in the outbreak.

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The agency stated this E. coli outbreak isn't related to the E. coli outbreak that struck the United States and Canada in November and December, for which Romaine lettuce also got blamed.

The state Department of Health has confirmed seven cases of E. coli in New Jersey; four in Hunterdon County, and one each in Monmouth, Sussex and Somerset counties.

"Most people reported eating a salad at a restaurant, and Romaine lettuce was the only common ingredient identified among the salads eaten", the CDC reported.

Restaurants and retailers should ask their suppliers about the source of their chopped romaine lettuce. The restaurants reported they used bagged chopped lettuce. An ongoing investigation is narrowing down the source of the illnesses.

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CDC reports E.Coli infections linked to lettuce distributed from Yuma