CDC narrows scope of romaine lettuce links to E. coli
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is narrowing its warning to consumers regarding the links between romaine lettuce and an E. coli outbreak that hit the United States and Canada last month.
The romaine lettuce linked to the outbreak was harvested from the central coastal growing regions of northern and central California, but lettuce grown in other areas of the country is safe, according to the most recent update from the CDC.
The CDC said that romaine lettuce products should be labeled with a harvest location by region, and is advising that consumers check bags or boxes of romaine lettuce for labels indicating where it was grown. Romaine labeled with a harvest region outside of the central coastal growing regions — such as growing regions near Yuma, the California desert region near Imperial and Riverside counties, Florida and Mexico — are not linked to the outbreak.
If you cannot determine where your romaine lettuce was harvested, it should be thrown away. The CDC is also advising that restaurants and retailers ask their suppliers about the source of their romaine lettuce before selling or serving it.
Fourty-three cases of E. coli have already been reported in 12 states — none in Colorado — since the outbreak began on Oct. 8. There have been at least 16 hospitalizations due to the outbreak, including one person who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure due to the illness. Several individuals in Canada have also become ill, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. No deaths have been reported.
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