Coli romaine lettuce outbreak mystifies scientists

Thursday, 10 May, 2018

Last week, the agency reported that the outbreak had claimed its first life, killing one person in California.

"Product labels often do not identify growing regions; so, do not eat or buy romaine lettuce if you do not know where it was grown", as the CDC site puts it.

Several health officials have tied the outbreak to romaine lettuce in Yuma since most leafy greens are grown in this area during the winter, but officials say do not eat romaine lettuce unless there is a sticker attached to it from the grower and location. "This advice includes whole heads and hearts of romaine, chopped romaine, baby romaine, organic romaine, and salads and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce".

As a result of the outbreak, the the Minnesota Department of Health is now investigating the outbreak with the assistance of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Three people needed to be treated at the hospital. "Our romaine is sourced from Salinas, California, where there have not been any reports of contaminated lettuce". The outbreak has been linked to 64 hospitalizations. "In addition to romaine we now carry five other choices of lettuce". People also should avoid salad mixes that include romaine. "You're going to have a lot of diarrhea, a lot of stomach cramps and staying hydrated is going to be a challenge".

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Ideally, investigators will be able to isolate the E. coli strain from the source and use DNA sequencing to match it with the people who got sick, said Critzer. Left unchecked, it can lead to kidney problems and even death. According to the CDC, 63% of the people who have gotten sick are female.

Texas is among the four new reporting illnesses in a food poisoning outbreak linked to romaine lettuce. Illnesses started on dates ranging from March 13, 2018 to April 25, 2018.

Minnesota typically sees about 135 cases of E. coli each year.

The national E. coli outbreak associated with romaine lettuce has reached Minnesota, as the Minnesota Department of Health has reported multiple cases of illnesses in the state. Cattle wandered into the stream and wild pigs were found running back and forth.