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CDC issues warning about store-bought chopped romaine lettuce after E.coli infections

The Centers for Disease Control says a multistate E. coli outbreak that has sickened nearly three dozen people is linked to lettuce grown in Arizona. (Rainer Zenz / CC BY-SA 3.0)

YUMA, Ariz. (AP) — The Centers for Disease Control says a multistate E. coli outbreak that has sickened nearly three dozen people is linked to lettuce grown in Arizona.

The CDC said Friday that 35 people across 11 states have become ill from chopped romaine lettuce from Yuma.

Twenty-two of them have been hospitalized, including three with kidney failure. No deaths have been reported.

The agency has not identified a common grower, supplier, distributor or brand.

But officials advise that consumers, restaurants and retailers should throw out any chopped romaine lettuce that came from the Yuma area.

Symptoms of E. coli infection include diarrhea, severe stomach cramps and vomiting.

Yuma is about 185 miles (298 kilometers) southwest of Phoenix.

Yuma bills itself as the "winter lettuce capital" and hosts an annual Lettuce Festival.

CDC Advisory:

Information collected to date indicates that chopped romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region could be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 and could make people sick.
At this time, no common grower, supplier, distributor, or brand has been identified.
Advice to Consumers:
Consumers anywhere in the United States who have store-bought chopped romaine lettuce at home, including salads and salad mixes containing chopped romaine lettuce, should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick. If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine, do not eat it and throw it away.
Before purchasing romaine lettuce at a grocery store or eating it at a restaurant, consumers should confirm with the store or restaurant that it is not chopped romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region. If you cannot confirm the source of the romaine lettuce, do not buy it or eat it.
Advice to Restaurants and Retailers:
Restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell any chopped romaine lettuce, including salads and salad mixes containing chopped romaine lettuce, from the Yuma, Arizona growing region.
Restaurants and retailers should ask their suppliers about the source of their chopped romaine lettuce.
CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are investigating a multistate outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 (E. coli O157:H7) infections.
Thirty-five people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported from 11 states.
Twenty-two people have been hospitalized, including three people who have developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome.
No deaths have been reported.
This investigation is ongoing, and CDC will provide updates when more information is available.
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