Medicine

Romaine lettuce outbreak sickens 98 people in 22 states

Romaine lettuce outbreak sickens 98 people in 22 states

Officials at the CDC and the FDA said the strain of E. coli causing this outbreak is a nasty one.

Multiple national agencies instituted a blanket ban on romaine lettuce almost a week ago.

The CDC repeated its advice that people not eat or buy romaine lettuce, which is commonly used in salads, unless they can confirm it is not from the Yuma growing region.

Fourteen more people fell ill from an E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce, US health officials said on Friday, bringing the number of people affected to 98 across 22 USA states. Forty-six people have been hospitalized, including 10 with kidney failure.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Wednesday that related cases of food poisoning had cropped up in three new states.

The outbreak has been blamed on E. coli bacteria in romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, Arizona.

The government now has reports of 98 people who got sick in 22 states.




We'll update this article with more information as it becomes available, but today's CDC update is a reminder: Stay away from romaine lettuce. However, there are more than two dozen other farms under investigation as possible parts of this latest outbreak.

"The agency is examining all possibilities, including that contamination may have occurred at any point along the growing, harvesting, packaging, and distribution chain before reaching the Alaska correctional facility where it was served", the FDA said in a statement.

Matthew Wise, deputy branch chief for Outbreak Response at CDC, said on a call with reporters that it can be hard for consumers to tell where romaine lettuce was grown.

The Food and Drug Administration has identified Harrison Farms of Yuma, Arizona, as the grower and sole source of the whole-head romaine lettuce that sickened several people in an Alaska correctional facility. If there is any uncertainty as to food products' origin or type, consumers should throw it out.

The issue began when federal inspectors traced the outbreak back to the Yuma, Arizona, region, a robust area of a state that is responsible for a lot of the produce that we eat across the country.

Disclosure: Wise works for the CDC, Harris works for the FDA.