E. Coli Outbreak Linked to Romaine Lettuce

May 2, 2018

Since mid March, there have been several states reporting an E. coli outbreak due to consumption of romaine lettuce that was grown in the Yuma, Arizona region. As of April 9th, 17 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coliO157:H7 have been reported from 7 states. A list of the states and the number of cases in each can be found on the Case Count Map page. Illnesses started on dates ranging from March 22, 2018, to March 31, 2018. Since then, more cases have been reported just days between each other on April 13th, April 18th, April 20th, April 25th, April 27th, and May 2nd. 

 

As of May 2nd, 23 more people from 10 states have been added to the investigation, making almost half of the United States in the count. States include Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. Among the 24 states, 121 people have fallen ill. 

 

To best avoid this bacteria, here are a few tips for consumers: 

  • Do not eat or buy romaine lettuce unless you can confirm it is not from the Yuma, Arizona, growing region.

  • Product labels often do not identify growing regions; so, do not eat or buy romaine lettuce if you do not know where it was grown.

  • This advice includes whole heads and hearts of romaine, chopped romaine, baby romaine, organic romaine, and salads and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce. If you do not know if the lettuce in a salad mix is romaine, do not eat it.

Tips for retailers and restaurants: 

  • Do not serve or sell any romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region. This includes whole heads and hearts of romaine, chopped romaine, baby romaine, organic romaine, and salads and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce.

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

The investigation is still ongoing. To keep up with CDC updates on this issue, visit https://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/2018/o157h7-04-18/index.html

 

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