Published: Sun, April 22, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Don't eat any romaine lettuce, CDC warns, as E. coli outbreak grows

Don't eat any romaine lettuce, CDC warns, as E. coli outbreak grows

Alberta Health Services says 21 of the lab-confirmed cases are linked to Mama Nita's Binalot restaurant in Edmonton late last month.

It's rare that Consumer Reports and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention call for customers to completely avoid a product.

"This is a higher hospitalization rate than usual for E. coli O157:H7 infections, which is normally around 30 percent", said the agency.

In an earlier outbreak this year, 59 people in the US and Canada became ill from a risky strain of E. coli bacteria connected to romaine. So far, no common grower, brand, distributor, or supplier has been identified as the specific source of the outbreak. Symptoms of infection include bad stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody) and vomiting.

Kidney failure can occur, typically in children under 5 or seniors over 65. Therefore, consumers should throw out any romaine lettuce in their homes, even if partially eaten, and avoid eating romaine at restaurants unless the establishment can confirm that the lettuce is not from Yuma.

The CDC has narrowed the origin of the outbreak to Yuma, Arizona and are warning consumers to not consume any type of romaine from the area.

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Five people sickened in the current outbreak have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome.

According to the latest figures from the CDC, 53 people in 16 states have been become ill, including 12 people in Pennsylvania, 10 people in Idaho, seven people in New Jersey, and two people in NY.

Restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell any romaine lettuce in any form from the Yuma, AZ, growing region. She said she was sickened by contaminated lettuce after eating there and was hospitalized for two weeks.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention asked Americans on Friday to throw away romaine lettuce unless they could clearly identify where it came from.

The initial outbreak was reported April 10, with 17 people from seven states affected.

As with most outbreaks, this one involves the industrial food supply chain. The bacteria can be spread by contaminated water, animal manure or in undercooked beef.

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