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CDC expands warning in E. coli outbreak from tainted lettuce

22 April 2018

"Throw out any romaine lettuce if you're uncertain about where it was grown". Ill people in Alaska reported eating lettuce from whole heads of romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region.

While the lettuce has been infected with E.Coli in the USA - in an outbreak that has sent 31 people to hospital in recent weeks - no traces of the bacteria appears to have affected Canadian produce, the agency said.

No one should eat romaine lettuce - or any lettuce at all - unless they can be sure it's not from Arizona, federal health officials said Friday.

Based on this new information, the FDA is advising that consumers avoid all romaine lettuce from Yuma. An earlier warning did not include whole heads or hearts; the latest warning covers everything. Since then, 53 people in 16 states have fallen ill - no one in Wisconsin.

The initial outbreak was reported April 10, with 17 people from seven states affected.

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If romaine lettuce has been present in consumers' refrigerator shelves, they should follow the CDC's five steps to sanitize their fridge.

No common grower, supplier, distributor or brand has been identified, according to the CDC. This includes whole heads and hearts of romaine, chopped romaine, and salads and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce.

Some kinds of E. coli cause disease by making a toxin called Shiga toxin.

The CDC advises individuals with symptoms of E. Coli infection to speak with their healthcare provider, make a list of the foods they consumed during the week before getting sick, report their illness to the health department, and answer health investigators' questions.

Most people recover within one week although some illnesses can be more severe, resulting in a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The CDC says people in the previous outbreak were infected with a different DNA fingerprint of E. coli O157:H7 bacteria.

CDC expands warning in E. coli outbreak from tainted lettuce