CDC: Romaine lettuce safe to eat

Nora Nguyen
May 18, 2018

Washington has seven cases, while California and Pennsylvania have the most sickened by E. coli.

Till the 15th of May 2018, in the 32 states country wide, 172 people were taken ill. A total of 75 people were sick enough to require hospitalization, with one death in California linked to the outbreak. It takes an average of two to three weeks after the point of infection for the CDC to be notified of an E. coli case.

This outbreak has been particularly risky due to Shiga-toxins, which can cause severe abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea and vomiting and in the most severe cases, kidney failure.

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Consumers are no longer being advised to avoid buying lettuce in connection with the recent outbreak since romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, likely no longer on store shelves.

An update provided by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration confirms that it is now safe to eat romaine lettuce. However, certain E. coli strains may cause illness, such as the O157:H7 strain found in the infected romaine lettuce that produces the Shiga toxin.

Any romaine lettuce which is being sold now is not coming from the ones grown in Yuma, Arizona and is it's therefore unlikely for it to have the E. coli bacteria, which has made several people sick, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The numbers include the Nebraska case.

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The health officials reported that twenty-three more illnesses caused by an E. coli outbreak tied to tainted romaine lettuce on Wednesday in the United States. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb tweeted that "romaine now available for purchase is not part of this outbreak investigation".

The 6-year-old's mother, Taylor Fitzgerald, says a few days after eating the salad her son had bloody diarrhea, fever, and severe cramps. However, the agency explained that stores and restaurants are now likely clear of all contaminated lettuce, providing hope that the outbreak may finally come to an end.

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