E. Coli Outbreak Linked To Romaine Lettuce Spreads To 29 States


Twenty-eight more illnesses caused by an E. coli outbreak tied to tainted romaine lettuce were reported by US health officials on Wednesday.

Two Canadians reported travelling to the USA before getting sick and eating romaine lettuce while they were there. We don't know exactly where in Texas that person lives.

The CDC is still advising consumers to avoid eating or buying any romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region.

"Do not eat or buy romaine lettuce unless you can confirm it is not from the Yuma growing region", the CDC warned.

The current outbreak is the worst since 2006, when E. coli contaminated spinach killed three people and sickened 199 others across 26 states.

The problem stems from bacteria-tainted romaine lettuce grown near Yuma, Arizona.

The CDC also reported 28 additional cases of illness, bringing the total to 149 since the outbreak began in March.

Sixty-four people have been hospitalized, the CDC said, and 17 of those have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a form of kidney failure.

"This is a higher hospitalization rate than usual for E. coli O157:H7 infections, which is usually around 30 percent", the agency said. These include stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting.

The most recent illness started on April 25, said the CDC, noting that illnesses since then may not have been reported yet to the agency. With supportive treatment, most people recover in a matter of five to seven days. Others ate romaine lettuce in the home, or in prepared salads bought at grocery shops, restaurants and fast food chains, even before their ailments happened. CDC's warning applies to whole heads and hearts of romaine, chopped romaine, baby romaine, organic romaine, and salads and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce.