E Coli Outbreak Empties Romaine Lettuce off Tri-City Shelves

Giant Eagle is recalling multiple items prepared with romaine lettuce after potential E. coli contamination

"It is unrealistic to expect consumers to figure out whether their romaine was produced in Arizona or somewhere else, especially when eating in a restaurant", she says. "If you can not confirm the source of the romaine lettuce, do not buy it or eat it". Three of those patients have a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome, which is often associated with the O157:H7 E.coli strain.

The outbreak has sickened at least 35 people in 11 states, including 22 people who were hospitalized due to severe food poisoning.

CDC investigators don't believe this outbreak is connected to the one that occurred late past year in the United States and Canada, although it is the same potentially deadly strain, E.coli O157:H7.

The agency has not identified a common grower, supplier, distributor or brand.

The FDA, in conjunction with federal, state, and local partners, found that the chopped romaine in question was grown or originated from the winter growing areas in Yuma, Arizona. Most people reported eating a salad at a restaurant, and romaine lettuce was the only common ingredient identified among the salads eaten. Fresh Foods has recalled salads made with chopped romaine, and Freshway Foods has recalled salads as well. But there have been a few recalls issued in connection with this matter.

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This is a different E. coli O157:H7 HUS outbreak from the E. coli outbreak that took place from November to December 2017. At this time, ill people are not reporting whole heads or hearts of romaine.

Symptoms include bloody diarrhea, decreased urination or presence of blood in the urine, seizures, fatigue, bleeding from the nose and mouth, pallor, abdominal pain, vomiting, swelling, high blood pressure, and fever.

The current outbreak is not related to a recent multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections linked to leafy greens. Anyone with these symptoms should see a doctor immediately.

Amid the outbreak, CDC continues to warn consumers to avoid consuming store-bought chopped romaine over concerns they may have purchased contaminated lettuce. "If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine, do not eat it and throw it away", the CDC said. Read CDC's advice to consumers, restaurants, and retailers.

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