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You can eat romaine again; CDC: tainted lettuce likely gone

17 May 2018

Now, the CDC is warning consumers not to buy or eat romaine lettuce at a grocery store or restaurant unless you can confirm it's not from the Yuma, Arizona area. If you can not be certain a salad is free of romaine lettuce, do not eat it. Iowa and OR also reported their first lettuce-related E. coli cases in the past week.

Health officials say there is a lag time of two to three weeks between when someone falls ill and when it's reported to the CDC.

The outbreak has made 172 people sick in 32 states, and one person has died, the CDC said. Of 157 people with information available, 75 have been hospitalized, including 20 people who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, which is a type of kidney failure.

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The last romaine lettuce shipments from the Yuma growing region, the source of the latest E. coli outbreak, were harvested on April 16.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's information about the outbreak, there have been 64 hospitalizations and one death during the months of March and April. The outbreak has killed one person and sickened almost 150 others.

The agency also warned restaurants not to serve romaine lettuce to customers.

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While most strains of the bacteria E. coli are harmless, others can cause serious illness.

This is the biggest Shiga-toxin producing E. coli outbreak since a 2006 outbreak linked to spinach grown in the Salinas Valley in California, Wise said recently. The Health Department may never be able to pinpoint the specific source of the infection. Product labels often do not identify growing regions; so, throw out any romaine lettuce if you're uncertain about where it was grown.

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You can eat romaine again; CDC: tainted lettuce likely gone