Romaine Lettuce E. Coli Outbreak Has Resulted In A Death

A death in California is the first fatality due to an the E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona, growing region.

25 states have been affected by the outbreak.  A chart of those states is here.  Iowa has not been impacted but Kentucky, Massachusetts and Utah are the latest states to report illnesses.

Health officials have not been able to identify a single grower, farm, manufacturer, supplier or brand as the source of the E. coli contamination.

Although Iowa is NOT on the list of states affected by the outbreak, I am sure that romaine lettuce SALES are a disaster in all 50 states.  People are catching the news about "romaine lettuce," and definitely talking about it and I assume most folks are not saying, "oh, well, no issue in Iowa....."  The only thing that will help growers is getting an "all clear" from the US Centers for Disease Control.

For now, the CDC is saying:

"Do not serve or sell any romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona, growing region. This includes whole heads and hearts of romaine, chopped romaine, baby romaine, organic romaine, and salads and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce. Restaurants and retailers should ask their suppliers about the source of their romaine lettuce."

CNN reports that nearly half of those reporting illness, 52, have been hospitalized, which is a higher-than-usual hospitalization rate.  Symptoms, which develop three to four days after consuming the bacteria, include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. Most people recover in five to seven days. Some individuals may develop a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome, which can be life-threatening, although most people recover in a few weeks.

In this outbreak, 14 of the hospitalized patients have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome.

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