U.S.: First death recorded in lettuce-linked E. coli outbreak

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U.S.: First death recorded in lettuce-linked E. coli outbreak

The first death has been reported in a major E. Coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce grown in Arizona, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

In a May 2 update, the entity said the fatality was recorded in California.

The CDC also said that since the last case count update on April 27, 23 more ill people have been reported, bringing the total to 121 ill people.

Three more states have reported ill people - Kentucky, Massachusetts, and Utah - bringing the total number of affected states to 25.

Fifty-two people out of 102 with available information have been hospitalized, including 14 who developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome. 

The latest reported illness started on April 21, 2018.

The CDC advised people not to eat or buy romaine lettuce unless it can be confirmed that it is not from the Yuma, Arizona growing region.

"If you do not know whether lettuce is romaine, do not eat it. This includes lettuce in a salad mix. Package labels often do not identify growing regions. CDC is advising consumers not to eat or buy romaine lettuce if they do not know where it was grown," it said.

"This advice includes whole heads and hearts of romaine, chopped romaine, baby romaine, organic romaine, and salads and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce."

The Food and Drug Administration has identified Harrison Farms of Yuma, Arizona, as the grower and sole source of the whole-head romaine lettuce that sickened several people in an Alaska correctional facility, but has not determined where in the supply chain the contamination occurred.

“The agency is examining all possibilities, including that contamination may have occurred at any point along the growing, harvesting, packaging, and distribution chain before reaching the Alaska correctional facility where it was served,” the FDA said.

“The remainder of illnesses in this outbreak are not linked to romaine lettuce from Harrison Farms. Most people reported eating a salad at a restaurant, and romaine lettuce was the only common ingredient identified among the salads eaten.”


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