Romaine lettuce finally in the clear — CDC

Pearl Mccarthy
May 17, 2018

Health officials say almost two dozen more cases of a food poisoning outbreak linked to romaine lettuce grown in Arizona have been reported. More cases may get reported, but the shelf-life of romaine lettuce is not long and no more is being harvested from the affected area.

The Centers for Disease Control is reporting the romaine lettuce linked to a current E. coli outbreak should no longer be available for purchase.

The outbreak has made 172 people sick in 32 states, and one person has died, the CDC said.

Avoid buying romaine lettuce unless you can confirm the source is other than the Yuma growing region. This means that any romaine lettuce from the region that found its way to stores or restaurants is likely now past its 21-day shelf life.

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The person could have consumed the romaine lettuce at home, at a local restaurant or somewhere outside the area, Rooney said.

The FDA said it will focus on identifying the factors that led to lettuce being contaminated across multiple supply chains.

The person became ill about three weeks ago and has recovered, said Phil Rooney, a spokesman for the Douglas County Health Department. Of 157 people with information available, 75 have been hospitalized, including 20 people who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, which is a type of kidney failure.

The reported strain of E. coli, which produces poisonous substances known as Shiga toxins, can cause severe abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea and vomiting.

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