In a follow-up on the multistate outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7 infections, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says epidemiologic evidence collected to date indicates that chopped romaine lettuce is the likely source of this outbreak. Most people reported eating a salad at a restaurant, and romaine lettuce was the only common ingredient identified among the salads eaten. The restaurants reported using bagged, chopped romaine lettuce to make salads.
To date, no common grower, supplier, distributor, or brand has been identified at this time; however, information collected to date indicates that it could be chopped romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region.
The number of people sickened has grown to 35 from 11 states. Twenty-two people have been hospitalized, including three who have developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome. No deaths have been reported.
Pennsylvania, Idaho and New Jersey have seen the most cases with nine, eight and seven cases, respectively.
CDC recommeneds people 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.
If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine, do not eat it and throw it away. Before buying romaine lettuce at a grocery store or eating it at a restaurant, confirm that it is not chopped romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region. If you cannot confirm the source of the lettuce, do not buy or eat it.
Restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell any chopped romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region. Ask your suppliers about the source of their chopped romaine lettuce.
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