Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

FDA says harvest season over for E. coli-linked romaine lettuce

FDA says harvest season over for E. coli-linked romaine lettuce

That was the message Wednesday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and if not exactly a thundering signal of "all clear", it's pretty close.

The last romaine lettuce shipments from the Yuma growing region, the source of the latest E. coli outbreak, were harvested on April 16.

Romaine lettuce has a shelf life of about 21 days.

Romaine lettuce of all varieties from the Yuma, Arizona, region has been blamed as the source of this outbreak.

Unless you know where the lettuce came from, consumers anywhere in the USA who have any store-bought romaine lettuce at home should not eat it and should throw it away. Now, the CDC is warning consumers not to buy or eat romaine lettuce at a grocery store or restaurant unless you can confirm it's not from the Yuma, Arizona area. Since romaine lettuce has a shelf life of several weeks, it is possible some contaminated lettuce may still be in stores, restaurants, or home refrigerators.

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This nasty outbreak has infected 172 people across 32 states, according to the CDC.

Farmers in California reported a drop in romaine lettuce sales since the outbreak was 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.

It's the worst outbreak of E. coli since 2006 when illnesses traced to spinach killed three and sickened more than 270.

The FDA, he tweeted, "ruled out that the contamination was caused by just one farm suggesting it was a complex problem and will take further time to investigate".

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