Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Medical | By Marta Holmes

Romaine lettuce finally in the clear — CDC

Romaine lettuce finally in the clear — CDC

But the last shipments of romaine lettuce from Yuma were harvested on April 16, according to the Food and Drug Administration. That means the contaminated lettuce is past its shelf life and is most likely no longer being sold in stores or restaurants. Iowa, Nebraska, and OR have now joined the list of states reporting E. coli cases linked to romaine lettuce.

"The ongoing traceback investigation indicates that the illnesses associated with this outbreak can not be explained by a single grower, harvester, processor, or distributor", the FDA said Wednesday.

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The Center for Disease Control said 23 more cases have been reported in 13 states. In the latest official update, the CDC noted that new cases of E. coli-related food poisoning came from the period when contaminated lettuce might still be in circulation or in home refrigerators. "It takes two to three weeks between when a person becomes ill with E. coli and when the illness is reported to CDC".

The person could have consumed the romaine lettuce at home, at a local restaurant or somewhere outside the area, Rooney said. One death has been reported. Of the 157 people who were ill that the CDC has information on, 75 have been hospitalized and 20 have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), the form of kidney failure that can be fatal.

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It's the worst outbreak of E. coli since 2006 when illnesses traced to spinach killed three and sickened more than 270. Last week, the outbreak was reported in just 29 states.

However, federal health officials are continuing to investigate this outbreak.

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