Chopped romaine lettuce grown in the Yuma, Arizona, area is to blame for an E. coli outbreak in 11 states, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.
People "who have bought romaine lettuce - including salads and salad mixes containing 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 New Jersey Department of Health said.
A similar multi-state outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections last fall infected 25 people in 15 states. Two people have developed kidney failure from the infection.
A total of 17 cases have been reported across Connecticut, Idaho, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington. An investigation points toward romaine lettuce originating from Arizona as the cause, but at this point no specific brand, grower, supplier, or distributor has been identified.
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CDC suggests the outbreak is not over with illnesses after March 27, 2018, not yet included in the count. Ages of the sick range from 12 to 84.
The state has not named any eatery involved in the outbreak.
Health experts are holding their breath in the midst of a unsafe food-borne bacterial outbreak that has sickened many people but so far has not caused any deaths.
Investigators do know that many of those sickened ate the chopped romaine at restaurants in Idaho and other states.
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And the CDC adds that restaurants should avoid buying and serving romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona region. The CDC also advised restaurants against selling any romaine lettuce from Yuma.
"If you can not confirm the source of the lettuce, do not buy or eat it".
Most healthy people said the chopped romaine lettuce was an ingredient in a restaurant salad. Most people suffer severe and painful stomach and abdominal cramps, accompanied by diarrhea that is bloody and watery.
Downes said the Department of Public Health is assisting the CDC in their investigation.
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