Coli-tainted romaine outbreak spreads to 29 states, sickens 149 people

10 May, 2018, 06:45 | Author: Lillian Steele
  • Minnesota’s Department of Health reports 10 people are sick with E. coli

They are the first cases reported in Minnesota, in a national outbreak of E. coli that has sickened more than 120 people and caused one death.

The FDA is still trying to find an exact source for all cases. "There are many dots to connect - on the human side and the product side", she said. Illnesses that occurred in the last two to three weeks might not yet be reported because of the time between when a person becomes ill with E. coli and when the illness is reported to CDC.

California leads the nation with 30 cases, followed by Pennsylvania with 20, and Idaho with 11.

According to the CDC, 28 more people from 12 states have gotten sick since the last update on May 2.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning people to throw away any lettuce from the region. The Food and Drug Administration then traces the many channels the lettuce took from the field to point of sale, she said.

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Three people needed to be treated at the hospital. Numerous people sickened across the country ate chopped lettuce that had been sold in bagged form to restaurants. Add to that the fact that raw foods have to move fast from the field to the grocery store to remain fresh and you have a complex problem on your hands.

"Investigators must examine all the routes between where the lettuce was grown and where it was sold", said Critzer, requiring them to collect and analyze hundreds of records to narrow the investigation's focus, she said.

Food safety expert at the University of Arizona, Dr. Paula Rivadeneira says it still fits the timeline since the romaine lettuce has a 21-day shelf life, "it still fits the timeline", of being affected by it.

"If you do not know whether lettuce is romaine, do not eat it", the statement said. "The Yuma growing region includes part of western Arizona and extends into the Imperial Valley of southeastern California, but does not include Salinas Valley or other growing regions in California". The CDC warns consumers not to buy romaine unless they can verify the region of production.

Even then, the sleuth work will continue. "So one person has died from hemolytic uremic syndrome, but several other people have [had to] have dialysis, plasmapheresis transplants".

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