Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

Coli linked to chopped Romaine lettuce

Coli linked to chopped Romaine lettuce

Consumers who purchased romaine lettuce at a grocery store or eat the same at any restaurant should confirm that it is not the chopped romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region. Three people have been hospitalized. Three cases in Montana are confirmed to be linked by laboratory testing to a multi-state outbreak and four more are suspected and further testing is pending.

"Consumer Reports' experts believe that it could be hard for consumers to determine where the romaine they purchase is from, which is why they believe it's best to avoid the lettuce altogether", Consumer Reports said in a release.

The CDC reports that early information points to chopped romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona region as the potential culprit.

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Consumers anywhere in the USA who have store-bought chopped romaine lettuce, including salads and salad mixes, should not eat it and throw it away - even if you have eaten some of it already.

According to the CDC, there are 35 cases of E. coli infection linked to chopped romaine lettuce coming out of Yuma and Division Manager with the Coconino County Public Health Services District, Randy Phillips, said that lettuce could be going anywhere.

Pennsylvania has the highest number of people infected, followed by Idaho and New Jersey. "If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine, do not eat it and throw it away", advises the CDC. It can take up to 3 to 4 days for symptoms to appear, meaning more cases may be forthcoming.

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Over the weekend, stores such as Walmart, Sam's Club, and Giant Eagle issued recalls for romaine lettuce products, including those sold in the catering, restaurant, and salad bar areas.

Colonies of E. coli bacteria grown on a Hektoen enteric (HE) agar plate are seen in a microscopic image courtesy of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Twenty-six (93%) of 28 people interviewed reported consuming romaine lettuce in the week before their illness started.

Those symptoms can include bloody diarrhea, stomach cramps and vomiting.

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The strain can cause severe diarrhea that can lead to kidney damage and other serious complications that can be fatal.

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