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Dozens more sick from E. coli linked to romaine lettuce

Dozens more sick from E. coli linked to romaine lettuce

On Friday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expanded its warning from just chopped romaine to any and all forms of the lettuce-whole romaine, romaine in mixed salads, etc. As of April 20, the E. coli strain had sickened 53 people in 16 states, including two in MI.

This warning now includes whole heads and hearts of romaine lettuce, in addition to chopped romaine and salads and salad mixes containing romaine.

-Do not serve or sell any romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region.

To this point, 31 people nationwide have been hospitalized as a result of the outbreak, including five who have developed kidney failure. Thus far, 53 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported from 16 states.

The multistate E. coli O157:H7 HUS outbreak linked to romaine lettuce has now grown to include 84 sick in 19 states. Therefore, consumers should throw out any romaine lettuce in their homes, even if partially eaten, and avoid eating romaine at restaurants unless the establishment can confirm that the lettuce is not from Yuma.

All 10 Idahoans who have become ill reported eating romaine lettuce in the 10 days prior to experiencing symptoms, according to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. Though the CDC says it's certain that the outbreak originated around Yuma - about 90 percent of the nation's romaine is grown there - it still can't pinpoint s single source. However, at this time, no common grower, supplier, distributor, or brand has been identified.

That is significantly higher than a standard survey, in which 46% of people said they ate romaine lettuce the week before.

At this moment, Hoyer said neither the CDC nor Panhandle Health has been able to pinpoint a solid timeframe for when romaine will be safe to eat again and advised customers to remain vigilant.

Alaska, California, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri and Virginia have also reported one case each.

If you're thinking about having a salad tonight for dinner, you may want to re-think your greens. Arizona has five. OH has three.

Usually, illness sets in "an average of three to four days after swallowing the germ".

McKillip said E. coli can make its way into foods due to cross-contamination and are most prominent within fresh and undercooked foods like produce, meat and milk.

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