E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce grows to 84 cases

11 states have been impacted so far by an E. coli outbreak linked to chopped romaine lettuce. (CNN Photo)

The E. coli outbreak linked to tainted romaine lettuce has grown and sickened 84 people from 19 states, U.S. health officials said Wednesday.

Posted: Apr 25, 2018 9:50 PM

PHOENIX (AP) — The E. coli outbreak linked to tainted romaine lettuce has grown and sickened 84 people from 19 states, U.S. health officials said Wednesday.

At least another 31 cases are believed to be tied to romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, Arizona, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control said.

Those infected range in age from 1 to 88 and more than half of are female. Forty-two people have been hospitalized, including nine battling kidney failure. Symptoms of E. coli infection include diarrhea, severe stomach cramps and vomiting, the agency said.

No deaths have been reported.

The illnesses started between March 13 and April 12, according to agency officials. Pennsylvania has had the most, with 18 cases, followed by California with 13 and 10 in Idaho.

The agency last week issued a warning against eating all romaine lettuce. An investigation is being conducted by the agency and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

FDA spokesman Peter Cassell says a recall cannot be issued because no common supplier or grower has been found. Agency workers are in Yuma sifting through paperwork showing how romaine lettuce was handled and shipped.

“We’re on the paper trail, not onto the sampling yet,” Cassell said.

Lettuce samples will be tested after the workers find evidence of a shared farm or supplier, he said.

Restaurants and supermarkets were also instructed to dispose of romaine lettuce if it came from Yuma or its origin was unknown. Sandwich shop Panera Bread, which has more than, 2,000 U.S. locations, said on its website that all romaine from Yuma was removed when the first warning was issued. The chain says its cafes are now using romaine lettuce harvested in California.

Wildflower Bread Company, an Arizona restaurant chain, said all of its romaine lettuce comes from California, which has no connection to the outbreak.

Cassell said the outbreak will be declared over when health officials are sure romaine lettuce from Yuma is no longer on the market.

The Yuma region about 185 miles (298 kilometers) southwest of Phoenix and close to the California border is referred to as the country’s “winter vegetable capital.” It is known for its agriculture and often revels in it with events like a lettuce festival.

According to the Yuma Fresh Vegetable Association, the outbreak came as the harvest of romaine was about to end. Steve Alameda, the group’s president, said growers haven’t suffered significant economic losses partly because of the timing of the outbreak.

Growers in Yuma typically plant romaine lettuce between September and January. The peak of the harvest season runs from mid-November until the beginning of April.

“At this point, there wasn’t that much romaine left here,” Alameda said.

He said it’s likely more affecting the parent companies of local growers — shippers and processors who make chopped, packaged salads.

Terre Haute
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 75°
Robinson
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 73°
Indianapolis
Broken Clouds
77° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 79°
Rockville
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 70°
Casey
Scattered Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 75°
Brazil
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 75°
Marshall
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 75°
Hot and humid!
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 147251

Reported Deaths: 7020
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook925324627
Lake9954423
DuPage9311475
Kane7856275
Will6923320
Winnebago309196
McHenry211597
St. Clair2017137
Kankakee130765
Madison103669
Rock Island103329
Kendall99621
Champaign94813
Boone60821
DeKalb57819
Peoria55628
Sangamon45032
Jackson33919
Randolph2887
McLean27713
Stephenson2765
Ogle2714
Clinton24217
Macon23522
LaSalle22617
Union19519
Whiteside19515
Grundy1735
Coles17217
Iroquois1625
Tazewell1508
Warren1430
Knox1400
Cass1367
Williamson1324
Monroe13013
Morgan1303
Adams1221
Jefferson10717
McDonough10215
Lee1012
Henry961
Pulaski790
Vermilion782
Marion690
Macoupin583
Perry571
Douglas540
Unassigned540
Livingston522
Montgomery481
Jasper477
Jo Daviess461
Christian454
Ford381
Jersey351
Woodford352
Bureau302
Franklin290
Menard240
Fayette233
Mercer230
Wabash230
Alexander220
Mason220
Carroll212
Washington210
Johnson200
Piatt200
Hancock191
Moultrie190
Shelby191
Crawford180
Effingham181
Logan180
Bond161
Cumberland160
Fulton160
Clark150
Massac150
Wayne141
Schuyler130
De Witt120
Brown100
Edgar100
Marshall100
Greene90
Saline90
Henderson80
White80
Lawrence70
Hamilton60
Richland40
Stark40
Pike30
Clay20
Edwards20
Gallatin20
Calhoun10
Hardin10
Pope10
Putnam10
Scott10
Out of IL00

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 48201

Reported Deaths: 2693
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11624683
Lake5146242
Elkhart328546
Allen2762129
St. Joseph194366
Cass16389
Hamilton1552101
Hendricks1403100
Johnson1278118
Porter72837
Tippecanoe7158
Madison65864
Clark65144
Bartholomew58544
Howard57557
LaPorte57326
Kosciusko5464
Vanderburgh5226
Marshall4924
Noble47828
Jackson4703
LaGrange4708
Hancock44835
Boone44243
Delaware44250
Shelby42525
Floyd37944
Morgan32931
Grant29426
Monroe29428
Montgomery29420
Clinton2892
Dubois2736
Henry26315
White26310
Decatur25032
Lawrence24425
Dearborn23623
Vigo2348
Warrick21429
Harrison21322
Unassigned193193
Greene18832
Miami1822
Jennings17611
Putnam1698
DeKalb1624
Scott1607
Daviess14317
Wayne1386
Orange13623
Steuben1292
Perry1279
Franklin1248
Jasper1212
Ripley1167
Wabash1122
Carroll1102
Fayette997
Newton9810
Starke933
Whitley925
Huntington812
Gibson802
Randolph794
Jefferson722
Wells721
Fulton701
Jay680
Washington671
Knox640
Pulaski641
Clay604
Rush583
Adams501
Benton480
Owen471
Sullivan441
Brown391
Posey390
Spencer381
Blackford372
Crawford320
Tipton321
Fountain312
Switzerland270
Parke230
Martin220
Ohio170
Vermillion140
Warren141
Union130
Pike110