Throw out your chopped romaine lettuce — CDC ALERT

Romaine lettuce contaminated with E. coli sickens 53 nationwide

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning to consumers saying not to consume romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region. The CDC says lettuce package often does not include where it was grown, so if you have any romaine lettuce at home bought from a store. you should throw it away as a precaution.

Basically, if you can't confirm romaine lettuce didn't come from near Yuma, don't buy, sell or eat it. While most strains are harmless, the one found in recent patients - 0157:H7 - is a specific strain that can cause serious illness. According to the Alaska Department of Health, the state's eight E. coli cases were among inmates at the Anvil Mountain Correctional Center in Nome.

The CDC has the full details on the outbreak warning here. The restaurants told the CDC that they used bagged, chopped romaine lettuce. Some individuals may develop a severe illness called hemolytic uremic syndrome, which can be life-threatening, although most people recover in a few weeks.

The CDC reported 12 cases in Pennsylvania and 10 cases in Idaho.

People usually get sick from Shiga toxin-producing E. coli 2-8 days (average of 3-4 days) after swallowing the germ. The CDC says of the 31 hospitalizations in this outbreak, 5 people have developed this type of kidney failure.




The Yuma area is under investigation because romaine lettuce is harvested there this time of the year. They can last from five to seven days and be as mild as bloody diarrhea, vomiting and stomach cramps. If you have it, report it to your local health department.

The many routes that food takes from farm to table make it hard to pinpoint where the contaminated lettuce originated, Kistler said. In 2016, there were 17 harmful cases of E. coli infections in the Lehigh Valley, out of 246 cases statewide, according to a state database.

"Most people reported eating a salad at a restaurant, and romaine lettuce was the only common ingredient identified among the salads eaten".

This outbreak is particularly unsafe because it involves a strain of the bacteria that produces the potentially deadly Shiga toxin. The bacteria live in the intestines of cows, pigs and other ruminants. The CDC advises anyone with these symptoms to seek medical attention as E. coli infection is typically diagnosed via a stool sample.

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