E. coli tied to lettuce sickens dozens in 11 states

35 sick from E. Coli outbreak traced to romaine lettuce

35 sick from E. Coli outbreak traced to romaine lettuce

An E. coli outbreak linked to potentially contaminated romaine lettuce now has infected 35 people across 11 different states and resulted in 22 hospitalizations.

Symptoms of E. coli infection are varied, but typically include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. Some people may have a low fever, less than 101 degrees Fahrenheit. It can take up to 3 to 4 days for symptoms to appear, meaning more cases may be forthcoming.

Some infections are very mild, but others are severe or even life-threatening. However, illnesses can start anywhere from 1 to 10 days after exposure.

The Centers for Disease Control says a multistate E. coli outbreak that has sickened almost three dozen people is linked to lettuce grown in Arizona.

The CDC, however, has said that "no grower, supplier, distributor, or brand has been identified" as the source at this time.

According to a spokesperson for Covelli Enterprises, which owns more than 300 Panera restaurants, the company has found a new supplier from outside the Yuma, Arizona region to provide romaine. Throw away all chopped romaine lettuce, including salad mixes containing romaine. Sixty-nine percent of ill people are female. These people reported becoming ill in the time period of March 22, 2018 to March 31, 2018.

"It is unrealistic to expect consumers to figure out whether their romaine was produced in Arizona or somewhere else, especially when eating in a restaurant", she says. Most of those people ate salad at a restaurant; romaine lettuce was the common ingredient. There is no information to indicate that whole head romaine lettuce or hearts of romaine are involved in this outbreak.

CDC urged people to check the origin of the romaine lettuce before buying it at a grocery store or ordering it at a restaurant.

A Valley-based restaurant chain is switching things up in response to a warning from the CDC over romaine lettuce. If you can not confirm where it was grown, do not eat it, according to the agency. If you have already purchased products containing chopped romaine lettuce, including bagged salads, salad mixes, or prepared salads, throw them away.

Consumers who have symptoms of STEC infection should contact their health care provider to report their symptoms and receive care. Twenty-two ill people have been hospitalized, including three people who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure.

The current outbreak is not related to a recent multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections from November to December 2017 linked to leafy greens consumption. The outbreak is the same potentially deadly strain of E. coli, 0157:H7, that occurred late previous year in the USA and Canada, but the CDC does not believe it is connected with the earlier outbreak.

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