Coli Outbreak Linked to Romaine Lettuce

35 sick from E. Coli outbreak traced to romaine lettuce

For the time being no common grower, supplier, brand or distributor has been identified for this outbreak.

The outbreak is the same potentially deadly strain of E. coli, 0157:H7, that occurred late past year in the USA and Canada, but the CDC does not believe it is connected with the earlier outbreak. Since the outbreak was potentially linked to lettuce grown in Yuma, Arizona, the CDC says only lettuce from these regions should be avoided.

Fresh Food Manufacturing Co., based in Freedom, Pennsylvania, recalled 8,757 pounds of ready-to-eat salad after being notified by their lettuce supplier that it may be contaminated with E. Coli O157:H7, according to the USDA.

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The outbreak has sickened at least 35 people in 11 states, including 22 people who were hospitalized due to severe food poisoning.

Confirmed and suspected cases have been identified in Missoula, Flathead, Lincoln and Ravalli counties and include 3 hospitalizations. Three cases of E. coli in Arizona have been linked to this multistate outbreak.

Restaurants and retailers have been advised not to sell or serve any chopped romaine lettuce and consumers are told to throw away any store-bought lettuce or salad mixes immediately, according to the Montana Department of Health and Human Services.

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People generally get sick from Shiga toxin-producing E.coli around three to four days after ingesting the germ. This takes an average of two to three weeks.

Consumer Reports said it would be hard for buyers to tell where the romaine was grown, which is why they are saying consumers should avoid romaine altogether until the threat passes. This weekend stores here in Page had signs about the information and their pre-made salads were almost sold out- the CDC says the bags of pre-made salad containing romaine are not considered safe either so be on the safe side and toss in the trash and not in a salad. The CDC advises anyone with these symptoms to seek medical attention as E. coli infection is typically diagnosed via a stool sample. Some of its types are pathogenic that can cause illness through exposure to contaminated food or water, or contact with animals or other people.

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