E Coli Outbreak Empties Romaine Lettuce off Tri-City Shelves

35 sick from E. Coli outbreak traced to romaine lettuce

The CDC has not been able to identify a common grower, supplier, distributor or brand of romaine lettuce.

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.

Last year, an outbreak of 17 E. coli infections were reported in 13 states across the United States, all of which occurred from November 15, 2017 through December 8, 2017.

The CDC and the FDA are advising people that before they eat lettuce from a restaurant to confirm that the product used to prepare the meal is not chopped romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region.

"A packaged romaine lettuce that's chopped, I'd recommend that you either take it back to the store or throw it out, do not consume it", Phillips said.

Officials said laboratory testing confirms three cases are linked to a multi-state outbreak and four more are suspected while further testing is pending.

Nine people in Pennsylvania have gotten sick in a national e. Coli outbreak from contaminated chopped romaine lettuce, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Individuals with this infection usually get better within about 5 to 7 days, however some illnesses can be serious or even life-threatening", Dr. Shereef Elnahal, commissioner of the state Department of Health, said in a statement. Twenty-two hospitalizations have occurred as a result of the outbreak, though luckily no deaths have been reported.

Restaurants and retailers have been advised not to sell or serve any chopped romaine lettuce and consumers are told to throw away any store-bought lettuce or salad mixes immediately, according to the Montana Department of Health and Human Services. Most people with a E. coli O157 infection start feeling sick 3 to 4 days after eating or drinking something that contains the bacteria.

Epidemiologic evidence collected to date indicates that chopped romaine lettuce is the likely source of this outbreak.

Symptoms of E. coli infection vary for each person, but often include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody) and vomiting.

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