Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Markets | By Josh Butler

Coli linked to chopped Romaine lettuce

Coli linked to chopped Romaine lettuce

In the past two weeks, 35 people in the US have become ill and one person in the USA has died in the multi-state outbreak, according to Consumer Reports.

The outbreak resulted in almost 36 people becoming ill to varying degrees, including 11 in Washington state.

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.

Some local grocers, such as Albertsons and Safeway, removed bagged salads and deli items containing romaine lettuce from stores, Albertsons communications and community relations manager Kathy Holland wrote in an email.

"E. coli can cause serious illness, so it is critical that everyone take precautions by not eating store-bought chopped romaine lettuce, even if you or someone from you family has consumed the product and did not get sick", said Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services.

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Health officials have confirmed E. coli cases in Missoula, Flathead, and Ravalli counties, including three hospitalizations.

Most people can recover within a week but there is a risk of more severe illnesses in young children below 5 years old, older adults, and those who have a weakened immune system. The outbreak has affected about 35 people spread across 11 states of which 22 are hospitalized. Those states are Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington.

CDC urged people to check the origin of the romaine lettuce before buying it at a grocery store or ordering it at a restaurant.

This recommendation goes beyond the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation, which is to confirm that any bagged romaine didn't originate in the Yuma area before purchasing. Some of its types are pathogenic that can cause illness through exposure to contaminated food or water, or contact with animals or other people. The symptoms include loss of appetite, fatigue, severe abdominal cramping, diarrhea and fever.

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