CDC warns of serious E. coli outbreak in lettuce

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The outbreak has been linked by the U.S. Food and Drug administration to romaine lettuce from Yuma, Arizona, the primary supplier of lettuce this time of the year.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), romaine lettuce is likely the cause of the latest E. coli outbreak, which has affected several people in the United States and even sent some to the hospital. A spokeswoman for New Jersey's health department did not comment on questions about Panera Bread, but county officials told NJ.com that they're investigating a cluster of E. coli cases that are potentially linked to local Panera Bread restaurants. Three days later she began to experience bloody diarrhea and was hospitalized with a form of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome. No deaths have been reported. "At this time, ill people are not reporting whole heads or hearts of romaine", the report states.

Farmers across the state primarily produce butterhead lettuce. If so, and you live in Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania or West Virginia, you should go to your fridge and check to see if the mix contains romaine lettuce.

"Most people reported eating a salad at a restaurant, and romaine lettuce was the only common ingredient identified among the salads eaten".

"A lot of people get bagged lettuce and they assume it's ready to eat out of the bag", Hofmann said. "If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine, do not eat it and throw it away", The CDC also advised restaurants not to serve, and stores not to sell chopped romaine lettuce unless it could be confirmed as not grown in the Yuma growing region.

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If you or a family member became ill with an E. coli infection or HUS after consuming food and you're interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark E. coli attorneys for a free case evaluation.

Food safety advocates, such as Consumer Reports, are advising consumers to avoid all romaine lettuce for now.

The CDC released an official document containing advice for consumers, restaurants, and retailers on how to protect themselves from this latest E. coli outbreak.

The investigation has tied the bad crop to winter growing areas in Yuma, and that anyone with chopped romaine lettuce in their homes throw it out, even if no one has gotten sick yet.

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