Coli cases linked to Arizona lettuce go beyond CDC estimates

Coli cases linked to Arizona lettuce go beyond CDC estimates

Consumer Reports said it would be hard for buyers to tell where the romaine was grown, which is why they are saying consumers should avoid romaine altogether until the threat passes.

The Centers for Disease Control reported that the accounted cases transpired between March 22-31, so additional instances of infection could be forthcoming.

People infected range in age from 12 to 84 years old with a median age of 29.

People typically get sick three to four days after eating contaminated food, according to the CDC. Till now, no deaths have been reported.

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"Consumer Reports is making this recommendation given the potentially fatal consequences of E. coli, the fact that there are still several unknowns about this outbreak, and that no type of romaine has been ruled definitively safe by government officials", Consumer Reports Director of Food Safety Research and Testing James E. Rogers, Ph.D., said. This takes an average of two to three weeks. However, illnesses can start anywhere from 1 to 10 days after exposure. This percentage is significantly higher than results from a survey [787 KB] of healthy people in which 46% reported eating romaine lettuce in the week before they were interviewed. If you do not know if the chopped lettuce is romaine, do not eat it and throw it away. At this time, ill people are not reporting whole heads or hearts of romaine.

Investigations are continuing to track the source from where the chopped romaine lettuce supplied to all the restaurant where these ill people ate it.

The CDC has not been able to identify a common grower, supplier, distributor or brand of romaine lettuce.

Those who want to purchase romaine salad at grocery stores should first confirm that it was not grown in Yuma, Arizona, according to the CDC. The following Monday, the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) announced three confirmed and four pending cases were likely linked to chopped romaine lettuce sourced from the winter growing areas in Yuma, bringing the nationwide total to at least 45 cases. Read CDC's advice to consumers, restaurants, and retailers.

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