Do not eat store-bought chopped romaine salads, CDC warns

April 13, 2018 | By | Reply More

An 11-state outbreak of infections with E. coli O157:H7 has been linked to chopped romaine lettuce from Yuma, Arizona, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.

“Consumers anywhere in the United States 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,” the agency said on its website.

“Before purchasing romaine lettuce at a grocery store or eating it at a restaurant, consumers should confirm with the store or restaurant that it is not chopped romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region. If you cannot confirm the source of the romaine lettuce, do not buy it or eat it,” the CDC said.

To date, 35 people infected with the outbreak strain of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7 have been reported from 11 states, including one case in Washington state.

US map with E coli cases

Twenty-two people have been hospitalized, including three people who have developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome.  So far no no common grower, supplier, distributor, or brand has been identified.

No deaths have been reported.

“Restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell any chopped romaine lettuce, including salads and salad mixes containing chopped romaine lettuce, from the Yuma, Arizona growing region. Restaurants and retailers should ask their suppliers about the source of their chopped romaine lettuce,” the agency said.

People usually get sick from Shiga toxin-producing E. coli 2-8 days (average of 3-4 days) after swallowing the germ. Most people infected with E. coli develop diarrhea (often bloody), severe stomach cramps and vomiting. Most people recover within one week.

Some illnesses last longer and can be more severe, resulting in a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). HUS can occur in people of any age but is most common in young children under 5 years, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems.

Symptoms of HUS can include fever, abdominal pain, pale skin tone, fatigue and irritability, small, unexplained bruises or bleeding from the nose and mouth, and decreased urination.

People who experience these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately.

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Category: E coli, Food-borne illness

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