CDC expands warning in E. coli outbreak from tainted lettuce

Staten Island Advance File

Staten Island Advance File

"Based on new information, CDC is expanding its warning to consumers to cover all types of romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Ariz., growing region".

Consumers who may still have chopped romaine lettuce in products purchased before April 14, should throw it out.

"We recommend people throw out and do not consume whole heads and hearts of romaine lettuce, chopped romaine, and salads and salad mixes containing romaine at this time", said Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services.

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The new warning comes after investigators discovered that inmates from a correctional facility in Alaska became ill after reportedly eating lettuce "from whole heads of romaine lettuce" from the affected region, the CDC said. Restaurants may know, but unless the restaurant can assure patrons that their romaine is not from the Yuma, Arizona area, people should not eat it, the CDC said.

Authorities pointed out, folks here at an Alaska reformatory fairly recently revealed feeling sick, soon after consuming romaine lettuce, which was traced back to lettuce heads acquired from Yuma, that is approximately 185 miles south west from Phoenix AZ. Five people who ate contaminated romaine have developed kidney failure, the CDC said. No deaths have been reported, according to the Post. "At this time, no common grower, supplier, distributor, or brand has been identified", an update warning issued by the CDC read. More cases of E. Coli infection may be reported in the coming weeks, since some people may not immediately report the illness. If you think you have been sickened from food, contact your local health professional. Cook steaks and roasts to at least 145˚F and let rest for 3 minutes after you remove meat from the grill or stove. Use a food thermometer to check the temperature of the meat. Wash fruits and vegetables before eating or handling. They include thoroughly washing hands, cooking meats before serving, and properly washing all foods.

Avoid raw milk, other unpasteurized dairy products, and unpasteurized juices.

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