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Romaine lettuce outbreak tied to contaminated canal water

02 July 2018

On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that the E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce was over.

They previously connected the illnesses with romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, Arizona, which supplies most of the romaine sold in the US during the winter, the Associated Press reported.

"The E. coli O157:H7 found in the canal water is closely related genetically to the E. coli O157:H7 from ill people", the CDC said in a final update on the outbreak.

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A recent deadly e-coli outbreak was linked to romaine lettuce keeping people from being able to enjoy the vegetable when it was pulled out of produce aisles and temporarily off restaurant menus.

This was the largest E. coli food poisoning outbreak in the U.S.in more than a decade.

Although the government did not issue a recall, health officials were advising people to avoid eating romaine lettuce. Single deaths were reported from Arkansas, California and NY, and two people died in Minnesota. Two hundred people got sick and five died in the recent outbreak - two in Minnesota and one each in Arkansas, California, and NY.

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Yuma-sourced romaine is no longer in the marketplace.

Alarm over the outbreak was relaxed somewhat in late May, after regulators confirmed that the harvesting season for romaine in Yuma had passed, and that the main US source for romaine had shifted to California's Salinas Valley. Many of those hospitalized developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome, according to the CDC. It is also unclear how the pathogen contaminated the canal water. It's believed that cattle contaminated a nearby stream, and wild pigs spread the contamination to fields, the AP reported.

None of the people who received the vaccine became ill, according to the Congolese health ministry, The Times reported. Other kinds of E. coli cause urinary tract infections, respiratory illness and pneumonia.

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This outbreak was discovered on April 4, 2018, when the FDA learned about an E. coli O157:H7 cluster among people in two states.

Romaine lettuce outbreak tied to contaminated canal water