Coli update: You can now safely eat romaine again

Faith Castro
May 17, 2018

Any romaine lettuce being sold now is nearly certainly not from the Yuma, Arizona region and so unlikely to carry the E. coli bacteria that's been making people sick, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. It is unlikely that any romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region is still available in stores or restaurants due to its 21-day shelf life. If you can not be certain a salad is free of romaine lettuce, do not eat it.

- Although more states are reporting cases of people sickened by tainted romaine lettuce, the CDC implied that romaine is probably safe to eat again.

In fact, the agency said the newest cases all occurred among people who first reported becoming ill two to three weeks ago.

The person could have consumed the romaine lettuce at home, at a local restaurant or somewhere outside the area, Rooney said.

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Officials with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services said Wednesday, May 16 there is one new case of E. coli linked to romaine lettuce in the state of Wisconsin. Last week, the outbreak was reported in just 29 states. Of the 157 cases reported with good information, 75 (48 percent) have resulted in hospitalization, and 20 people have developed a unsafe form of kidney failure.

The Public Health Agency of Canada has identified people in several Canadian provinces infected with the same DNA fingerprint of E. coli O157:H7. The CDC also noted that 75 people have been hospitalized.

So far there has only been one death recorded, in California. Most strains of E. coli are harmless and serve an important role in the digestive system.

Romaine lettuce of all varieties from the Yuma, Arizona, region has been blamed as the source of this outbreak. However, some strains of E. coli are pathogenic, meaning they can cause illness in humans.

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