At least 19 people in Ohio, New York and Michigan have become sick from an E. coli outbreak that is possibly linked to tainted romaine lettuce. There has been a recall issued after twelve of the affected people were hospitalized, three of them suffered from life threatening symptoms according to the Food and Drug Administration. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claim that there are at least 10 other cases that are more than likely linked to this
The investigation by the FDA is focused on lettuce frown in Arizona as a source of the E. coli outbreak.
E. coli can cause symptoms like mild diarrhea and stomach upset or other more severe complications including kidney damage. The three patients who were hospitalized with life threatening conditions were diagnosed with hemolytic uremic syndrome which can cause bleeding in the brain and/or kidneys. Healthy adults generally recover from E. coli illness in about a week, but young children and the elderly have a more difficult time and often develop life threatening HUS.
The most common strain of E. coli found in the U.S. is E. coli O157; this is not the strain that is linked to the lettuce related E. Coli outbreak. This is E. coli 0145 which is more difficult to identify and may not be reported as E. coli.
“E. coli O145 is one of the deadly E. coli’s, like E. coli O157:H7 that makes up the bulk of most outbreaks. However, we do not really know the prevalence of E. coli O145, because government and industry seldom test for it.” According to Bill Marler of Marler Clark. The nation’s foremost law firm with a practice dedicated to representing victims of food poisoning.
Freshway Foods of Sidney, Ohio announced on Thursday that it is recalling products that contain romaine lettuce that has been sold under the Freshway and Imperial Sysco brands in more than 20 states due to a possible link to E. coli contamination.
There recalled lettuce has a use by date of May 12th at the latest. The recall also covers grab and go bagged salads hat are sold in Kroger, Giant Eagle, Ingles and March grocery stores.
If you live in Alabama, Connecticut, D.C., Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia or Wisconsin do not eat romaine lettuce that falls under the Freshway or Imperial Sysco umbrella that is dated use by May 12 or earlier.