Coli outbreak linked to chopped romaine lettuce

Apr 14, 2018, 11:57
Coli outbreak linked to chopped romaine lettuce

In a statement today, April 13, the N.J. Department of Health (DOH) said there are four confirmed cases in Hunterdon County, and one each in Monmouth, Sussex and Somerset counties. That includes salads and salad mixes that contain romaine lettuce.

Officials say the prepared chopped romaine lettuce that ill people ate was likely grown or originated from the winter growing areas in Yuma, Arizona. Other states reporting outbreaks include Idaho, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Ohio and Washington.

Despite narrowing down the food source, no common grower, supplier, distributor or brand has been identified by health officials.

Those most at risk from E. coli are the very young, very old and individuals with compromised immune systems, according to CNN.

The CDC and Department of Health will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available. If you don't know if the lettuce is romaine, throw it away, according to the advisory.

New Jersey has the largest share of people infected, with six cases reported in the state.

You might want to hold off on the lettuce the next time you're ordering at the drive-thru. Currently, New Jersey is the state with the most reported outbreaks, six cases of E. coli-related illness affecting residents. "Laboratory testing is ongoing to link their illnesses to the outbreak using DNA fingerprinting".

Those affected range in age from 12 to 84 and 64 percent of the patients are women. The other East Coast state with a case is Virginia (one).

No deaths have been reported from the current outbreak, CNN said.

In addition, consumers are warned to not purchase or consume any romaine lettuce of unknown origins; if the origins are known, avoid romaine lettuce originating from Yuma, Arizona. Patients typically get sick 2 to 8 days after exposure to the bacteria and recover within 1 week.

The particular strain of E. coli involved in this outbreak can cause bad stomach cramps, vomiting and bloody diarrhea.