E. coli Infection Outbreak

chopped romaine

E. coli Infection Outbreak Related to Romaine Lettuce

(updated 4/20/2018)

Information collected to date indicates that all types of romaine lettuce (bagged, chopped, mixed, whole heads and hearts) from the Yuma, Arizona growing region could be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 and could make people sick.

The expanded warning is based on information from newly reported illnesses in Alaska. Ill people in Alaska reported eating lettuce from whole heads of romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region.

At this time, no common grower, supplier, distributor, or brand has been identified.

> This outbreak includes Idaho.


Advice to Consumers

> Do not buy or eat romaine lettuce at a grocery store or restaurant unless you can confirm it is not from the Yuma, Arizona, growing region.

> Unless the source of the product is known, consumers anywhere in the United States who have any store-bought romaine lettuce at home should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick. Product labels often do not identify growing regions; so, throw out any romaine lettuce if you’re uncertain about where it was grown. This includes whole heads and hearts of romaine, chopped romaine, and salads and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce. If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine, do not eat it and throw it away.


Advice to Restaurants and Retailers

> Restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell any romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region. This includes whole heads and hearts of romaine, chopped romaine, and salads and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce.

> Restaurants and retailers should ask their suppliers about the source of their romaine lettuce.


Outbreak in Idaho

> As of 4/20/2018 10 Idaho residents have become become ill with E. coli infection

> 2 residents have developed kidney failure linked to the E. coli infection

> Anyone who has recently consumed romaine lettuce and has diarrhea and severe abdominal cramps should seek medical attention.

> The type of E. coli in this outbreak is a strain of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7, and this outbreak has been characterized by a high rate of hospitalization in Idaho and nationally.

> To view the CDC's map of cases by state, click HERE.

Local and state public health officials are working with the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to investigate the cause of the illnesses.

Public health officials advise people who haveromaine lettuce from Yuma or an unknown source to throw it out, even if they have previously consumed the romaine without becoming ill.



What is E. coli?

E. coli O157:H7 is a type of bacteria that can cause bloody diarrhea, severe abdominal cramps, vomiting and low-grade fever.

People usually get sick from Shiga toxin-producing E. coli 2-8 days (average of 3-4 days) after swallowing the germ.

Most people infected with E. coli develop diarrhea (often bloody), severe stomach cramps and vomiting.

Most people recover within one week.

Some illnesses last longer and can be more severe, resulting in a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).

HUS can occur in people of any age but is most common in young children under 5 years, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems.

Symptoms of HUS can include fever, abdominal pain, pale skin tone, fatigue and irritability, small, unexplained bruises or bleeding from the nose and mouth, and decreased urination.

People who experience these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately.

E. coli infection is usually diagnosed by testing a stool sample.