E. Coli outbreak tied to romaine lettuce gets worse

Apr 28, 2018, 10:54
E. Coli outbreak tied to romaine lettuce gets worse

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated 3 more states- Mississippi, Tennessee and Wisconsin- have actually been struck by the break out, bringing the overall variety of afflicted states to 22. According to the CDC, ages range from 1 to 88. "Restaurants should not be serving any type of romaine lettuce". This is not a time to be tailoring the message to risk groups.

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So far, 53% of people in the outbreak have been hospitalized, compared to the 30% seen in most E. coli outbreaks. Forty-six people have been hospitalized, including 10 with kidney failure, which is an unusually high number of hospitalizations.

The Centers for Disease Control released a new update on the scale of E. coli infections spreading across the country, with almost 20 states now reporting illnesses.

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Romaine lettuce isn't packaged or sold with clear identification of where it was produced, so unless you have a bed of romaine heads in your backyard, the CDC has asked you not to eat romaine lettuce whatsoever. Other products at the farm do not seem to be contaminated. FDA and CDC investigation is ongoing and we have been told includes all parts of the supply chain. Experts have not located the farm or farms responsible for the majority of cases, and don't know if the contamination occurred during the harvesting, packaging, or distribution of the lettuce.

If you already have store bought romaine lettuce in your fridge, the CDC said you're better off not eating and throwing it away.

USA authorities have identified one farm as the sole source of romaine lettuce that affected consumers in Alaska, but there is no common link to other cases other than that the product was grown in Yuma, Arizona.

Disclosure: Wise works for the CDC, Harris works for the FDA.

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The FDA said the restaurants used bagged, chopped romaine lettuce to make salads, and traceback "does not indicate that Harrison Farms is the source of the chopped romaine that sickened these people".

"We haven't been able to guarantee that there's no product coming out of Yuma at this point", said Stic Harris of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration during a briefing for reporters.

The last large E. coli outbreak like this involved spinach grown in California in 2016. "If you have symptoms, including bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and vomiting, we urge you to contact your healthcare provider".

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