1 dead, dozens sickened after romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak

Romaine lettuce may be linked to E. coli infections Consumer Reports warns

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating an outbreak of E. coli in 13 states, including MI, officials announced.

The CDC says 17 people in 13 states, including in Washington, have gotten E. coli infections.

Health authorities tracked down romaine lettuce in Canada as the source of the E. coli outbreak, and USA officials are also taking caution.

For now, Consumer Reports' food safety experts are advising that everyone stops eating romaine lettuce until the cause of the outbreak is identified.

According to food safety experts at Consumer Reports, a consumer-advocacy group, everyone in the USA and Canada should avoid eating any new or previously purchased romaine lettuce.

That complication is usually hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a type of kidney failure.

"It's perplexing, given the number of people sick over a long period of time, that the public doesn't have more clarity", Marler said. Another has died in Canada. Infections with E. coli O157 can be life-threatening, especially for the elderly, the very young and immune-compromised people, such as cancer patients, Williams said.

Keep in mind that the United States is still investigating and can't say with 100 percent certainty that romaine lettuce is the cause of the infection here. The agency says they can not yet link the outbreak of E. Coli to a certain type of food.

Symptoms of E. coli include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting and a slight fever 1-3 days after exposure, sometimes as late as 10 days later.

Romaine lettuce is typically not cooked prior to consumption, so foodborne bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella increasing the risk of illness, officials said. "This investigation is ongoing, and more information will be released as it becomes available", according to the CDC statement.

As lettuce is used in different food items and doesn't undergo any process like boiling, it can be a cause of your illness. Anyone concerned that they might have an E. coli infection should talk to their health care provider, he said.



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