Romaine Officially Linked to E. Coli Outbreak

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and stage agencies have confirmed that the current multistate E. coli outbreak can be traced to bags of shredded romaine lettuce (not organic) distributed by Sydney, OH-based Freshway Foods.

As of Tuesday, there were 23 confirmed and 7 probable affected patients in Michigan, New York, Ohio and Tennessee—12 of whom have been hospitalized and 3 with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a potentially life-threatening condition.

With HUS, the body’s blood-clotting mechanisms are altered, causing blocked circulation and/or bleeding in the brain or kidneys.

Based on available data, illnesses presented between April 10 and 26. Infected patients range in age from 13 to 31, with a median age of 19; 66% are male.

The recall of potentially contaminated products continues, and investigators are attempting to determine the supply-chain point where contamination occurred. They’re taking samples from Freshway’s processing facility, as well as a farm in Yuma, AZ, that grew the lettuce.

Graphic courtesy of the CDC

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  • C.S. Bell  May 17, 2010 at 5:53 am

    I’m not sure if people really know how deadly this bacteria is. I remember one case where they had to remove a large portion of a kids intestines after contacting it in raw hamburger meat. Poor kid almost died. It also raises concerns over the mishandling of our foods. It’s pathetic that in America, we have such unsafe food. For the extreme poor who can’t afford the REAL stuff which is all organic food is- real, it’s sad that economic status determines how truly healthy a person can be. This has to stop. Scary.

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