The Center for Disease Control is warning every American not to buy any romaine lettuce, unless you know for sure it didn't come from the Yuma, Arizona, growing region.
According to a statement released Friday, the advisory includes whole head and hearts of romaine lettuce, chopped romaine, and salads and salad mixes contain romaine.
It's now recommending that you don't eat, serve or sell ANY romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona region.
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"Talk to your doctor if you have symptoms of an E. coli infection and report your illness to your local health department", the agency said. No Texans have been affected and no deaths have been reported, but the health effects of this particular strain seem to be particularly nasty, which is part of the reason behind the expanded warning. Initially, the CDC said the outbreak was tied to chopped romaine lettuce from this region.
Officials say it is best to throw out all romaine lettuce. Except in one case, he could not find any information about where the greens were grown.
State officials on Thursday announced eight confirmed E. coli cases at Anvil Mountain Correctional Center that they believe are linked to whole heads of romaine from the Yuma area. Anyone who has store-bought romaine lettuce or other unidentifiable lettuce at home should throw it away, unless its source is absolutely known. The CDC has yet to narrow down the contaminated lettuce to a particular brand, common grower, supplier, or distributor.
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The cases appear to be connect to the current outbreak affecting 53 people in 16 states. None is suffering from kidney failure, the most acute response to the pathogen.
William Marler, a Seattle personal injury lawyer who specializes in food-borne illnesses, said a married couple in Flathead County are among the 25 people he is representing.
Earlier this year, romaine was the source of a major E. coli scare in Canada. Symptoms include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. Infections start when someone swallows a tiny amount of human or animal feces through a variety of ways, including contaminated food, consumption of unpasteurized (raw) milk, unclean water or contact with the feces of infected people.
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