Coli linked to chopped Romaine lettuce

Coli linked to chopped Romaine lettuce

The move comes after a warning late last week by the CDC warning that chopped romaine lettuce was linked to an E. coli outbreak in 11 states which had left at least 35 people sick, including two Mahoning County women.

The Food and Drug Administration said Friday that the outbreak, which began in mid-March, may have been caused by bagged and pre-chopped romaine lettuce grown in the Yuma, Arizona, region, near the border to Southern California, and distributed to retailers across the country.

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

"Consumers anywhere in the United States who have store-bought chopped romaine lettuce at home, including salads and salad mixes containing chopped romaine lettuce, should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick", the CDC reports. The CDC also recommends that if consumers have already purchased bagged or chopped lettuce, it should be thrown away immediately.

Numerous cases so far were contracted from salad mixes used in restaurants, but some cases have been linked to bagged romaine purchased in stores. Officials also warned about salads and salad mixes containing chopped romaine lettuce. Cases of illness showing E. coli symptoms have been reported in Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington. An investigation is continuing, and no products have been recalled. Almost all of the romaine lettuce now being harvested and shipped throughout the from California growing areas and is safe to consume. There, doctors confirmed diagnosed her with hemolytic uremic syndrome, a serious condition that can cause kidney failure, the lawsuit said.

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"The people who make up the fresh produce industry are keenly interested in finding out what went wrong with our extensive food safety programs", Bob Whitaker, Ph.D., chief science and technology officer at the industry group Produce Marketing Association, said in a statement.

The current outbreak is not related to a recent multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections linked to leafy greens. The outbreak is the same potentially deadly strain of E. coli, 0157:H7, that occurred late previous year in the US and Canada, but the CDC does not believe it is connected with the earlier outbreak.

A 1996 large E. coli O157 outbreak sickened 70 people who were mostly children.

The company closed 43 restaurants in Washington state and OR after health officials linked an E. coli outbreak to six restaurants in the Northwest.

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