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Coli cases around state linked to romaine lettuce

10 May, 2018, 11:23 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • Forum News Service file

About 135 cases of E. coli are reported in Minnesota each year, according to the MDH.

Federal health officials say six Canadians have been stricken by a strain of E. coli that has a similar genetic fingerprint to romaine lettuce from the USA southwest that has already sickened 149 people in 29 states.

"We are investigating dozens of other fields as potential sources of the [tainted] chopped Romaine lettuce", Harris said.

The outbreak has now affected people in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New York and almost half the rest of the US states.

Minnesota, Florida and North Dakota have also been added to the list.

The latest update to the CDC's alert, which was published on May 2nd, notes that another 23 people have been confirmed infected by this particular strain of E. coli.

The Yuma region grows the overwhelming majority of the lettuce and other leafy greens consumed in the United States in the winter months through early April, before shifting to California's Central Valley and Salinas Valley.




The CDC continues to urge consumers to avoid eating or buying any kind of romaine lettuce from the Yuma region.

Food safety expert at the University of Arizona, Dr. Paula Rivadeneira says it still fits the timeline since the romaine lettuce has a 21-day shelf life, "it still fits the timeline", of being affected by it.

Symptoms of E. coli infection typically include stomach cramps and diarrhea, or bloody stool.

One person has died. The outbreak has caused 64 hospitalizations, and 17 of those who were hospitalized developed a type of kidney failure.

Though the contaminated lettuce is thought to come exclusively from the Yuma area, another two dozen farms are under investigation, and the FDA now believes that only the Alaska illnesses were related to Harrison's romaine. Most times, product labels do not identify where the lettuce was grown.

"This advice includes whole heads and hearts of romaine, chopped romaine, baby romaine, organic romaine, and salads and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce", the CDC said.

The contaminated romaine distributed by Harrison was harvested between March 5 and March 16.

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