Don't Buy or Eat Romaine Lettuce Right Now, Consumer Reports Warns

35 sick from E. Coli outbreak traced to romaine lettuce

35 sick from E. Coli outbreak traced to romaine lettuce

"We're finding a common relationship and that people have all eaten a specific type of lettuce so not all types of lettuce, but romaine lettuce", said Chief Medical Executive Dr. Eden Wells from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Illnesses that occurred after March 27, 2018, might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill with E. coli and when the illness is reported.

Laura Gieraltowski, Ph.D., M.P.H., who leads the Foodborne Outbreak Response Team at the CDC, predicts there will be more reports of illness in the days and weeks ahead.

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. The CDC also recommends that if consumers have already purchased bagged or chopped lettuce, it should be thrown away immediately.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report an additional 35 cases in 11 states, with 22 hospitalizations. 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. Ill people range in age from 12 to 84 years, with a median age of 29.

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People generally get sick from Shiga toxin-producing E.coli around three to four days after ingesting the germ. Twenty-six (93%) of 28 people interviewed reported consuming romaine lettuce in the week before their illness started.

- 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.

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.

Consumer Reports said it would be hard for buyers to tell where the romaine was grown, which is why they are saying consumers should avoid romaine altogether until the threat passes.

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