Multistate Outbreak of E. coli Infections Linked to Chopped Romaine Lettuce

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(Courtesy CDC)

Eighteen more ill people have been added to this investigation since the last update on April 13, 2018. Five more states have reported ill people: Alaska, Arizona, California, Louisiana, and Montana. Nine more hospitalizations have been reported, including two people who developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome.

According to the CDC, information collected to date indicates that chopped romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region could be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 and could make people sick. At this time, no common grower, supplier, distributor, or brand has been identified.

Consumers anywhere in the United States who have store-bought chopped romaine lettuce at home, including salads and salad mixes containing chopped romaine lettuce, should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick. If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine, do not eat it and throw it away. 

Before purchasing romaine lettuce at a grocery store or eating it at a restaurant, confirm with the store or restaurant that it is not chopped romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region. If you cannot confirm the source of the romaine lettuce, do not buy it or eat it.

Restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell any chopped romaine lettuce, including salads and salad mixes containing chopped romaine lettuce, from the Yuma, Arizona growing region. Restaurants and retailers should ask their suppliers about the source of their chopped romaine lettuce.

CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are investigating a multistate outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 (E. coli O157:H7) infections.

53 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported from 16 states, including Virginia.

31 people have been hospitalized, including five people who have developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome.

No deaths have been reported.

This investigation is ongoing, and CDC will provide updates when more information is available.