Health Care

PA Hit Hardest in E. Coli Outbreak Linked to Romaine Lettuce

PA Hit Hardest in E. Coli Outbreak Linked to Romaine Lettuce

An E. Coli outbreak believed to be linked to chopped romaine lettuce from Yuma, Arizona has now spread to 16 states, including a couple of cases in OH, reports WCMH.

Eighteen people from five states have been added to the CDC's romaine lettuce investigation since the agency first alerted the public to the E. coli outbreak on Friday, bringing the total to 53 people sickened in 16 states. If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine, do not eat it and throw it away, according to the CDC.

On a positive note, no deaths have been reported.

Of the 35 illnesses reported in this outbreak, nine people were in Pennsylvania, eight in Idaho and seven people in New Jersey.

The CDC had previously reported cases in Idaho, Washington state, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Missouri, Virginia, and IL. If you can not confirm the source of the romaine lettuce, do not buy it or eat it. In 2006, a nationwide outbreak involving contaminated baby spinach sickened more than 200 people.

Health officials had issued a warning for residents and restaurants about chopped romaine lettuce grown in the Yuma, Arizona, area last week.

Usually, illness sets in "an average of three to four days after swallowing the germ". The recalled items were labeled "Great to Go by Market District" and were shipped to retailers in Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

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Symptoms of E.coli poisoning include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting.

"Fresh Foods Manufacturing Co., received notification from their romaine lettuce supplier that the romaine lettuce used by the establishment in the products was being recalled due to E. coli O157:H7 concerns".

Forty-one of 43 people interviewed by health officials reported eating romaine lettuce in the week before their illness started.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service has identified the region of origin for the tainted romaine as Yuma, Arizona.

Romaine lettuce is sometimes packed in the fields and shipped directly to restaurants or grocery stores.

Written by Nicole Chavez for CNN.


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