Romaine Officially Linked to E. Coli Outbreak

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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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