CDC warns public of E.coli outbreak in romaine lettuce

Michele Moreno
April 14, 2018

In January a larger E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce was reported in 13 states, resulting in 58 hospitalizations and one death.

New Jersey has identified six E. coli cases in Somerset, Hunterdon, Middlesex and Warren counties that may be linked to Panera. Romaine lettuce was the only ingredient involved in every salad reportedly consumed.

"But at this time we're recommending people who have any store-bought chopped romaine lettuce at home to go ahead and throw it away", she said.

Chopped romaine lettuce from Yuma, Arizona, is likely to blame for an E. coli outbreak in New Jersey and 10 other states.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the states where cases have been reported are: Pennsylvania (9); Idaho (8); New Jersey (7); CT (2); NY (2); OH (2); Virginia (1); Washington (1); Missouri (1); MI (1); and IL (1).

Brittany Behm is a spokesperson for the CDC, and she said they have not been able to identify a common grower, supplier, distributor or brand. Officials advise against eating chopped lettuce from Yuma until more information is known.

"If you can not confirm the source of the lettuce, do not buy or eat it", the C.D.C. said in a statement.

The people who have been confirmed sickened in the outbreak fell ill in late March, according to the CDC. The patients are between 12 and 84 years old. "Laboratory testing is ongoing to link their illnesses to the outbreak using DNA fingerprinting". Six of those infected have been hospitalized. Effects include diarrhea, severe stomach cramps, and vomiting. These symptoms appear a few days to a week after exposure to the bacteria. Anyone who is experiencing any of these symptoms should see a doctor as soon as possible. The strain can potentially cause people to become dangerously ill. The Department of Health also has a website with more information on E. coli, including frequently asked questions.

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