Texas Now Among States Reporting E Coli Illness Linked To Romaine Lettuce

Forum News Service file

An E. coli outbreak stemming from romaine lettuce illness has spread to Florida, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.

Florida, Minnesota, North Dakota and Texas have joined the list of states reporting at least one E. coli illness linked to the outbreak.

Rivadeneira says "As long as people have been eating romaine and not knowing where it comes from and they are getting sick and testing positive for E. Coli and it is the same strain of E.coli the FDA and CDC still need to work on their trace back and check where it is definitely coming from because they still do not know". The CDC has not issued a formal recall, but it has urged consumers to avoid all types of romaine lettuce unless they can confirm that it did not come from Yuma.

Romaine lettuce has a 21-day shelf life, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Product labels don't always identify where it was grown. So, if you are not sure, it is better to be safe than sorry.

The Yuma region grows the overwhelming majority of the lettuce and other leafy greens consumed in the United States in the winter months through early April, before shifting to California's Central Valley and Salinas Valley.

One Canadian was hospitalized and no deaths have been reported in Canada. Most people recover in five to seven days with supportive treatment.

Supervalu, which owns the Cub Foods store in Duluth, told the News Tribune on Tuesday that it also has had no lettuce from the Yuma region on its shelves.

"Antibiotics are not recommended for patients with suspected E. coli O157 infections until diagnostic testing can be performed and E. coli O157 infection is ruled out", the CDC said.

Attorneys Fred Pritzker and Brendan Flaherty representing people sickened with E. coli O157:H7 infection and HUS in this romaine lettuce outbreak.

The outbreak has now affected people in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New York and almost half the rest of the USA states. One or two heads of lettuce contaminated with pathogenic bacteria can then contaminate many bags of chopped romaine.

The contaminated romaine distributed by Harrison was harvested between March 5 and March 16.

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