The Illinois Department of Public Health, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and other state and local health departments, is investigating a multi-state cluster of E. coli infections linked to chopped romaine lettuce. Thirty-two people got sick from that E. coli outbreak, and nine developed kidney failure.
The CDC said that no brand, distributor or supplier has been identified in connection with the E. coli outbreak.
The CDC confirmed the outbreak this week, but said the source of the bacterial infection is still unclear. The age range of those infected ranges from 12 to 84 years old.
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For consumers, CDC said this means any store-bought chopped romaine lettuce purchased for home-made salads and salad mixings is best thrown out. "If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine, do not eat it and throw it away". The restaurants reported using bagged, chopped romaine lettuce.
To keep yourself and your family safe, the CDC recommends avoiding any romaine lettuce products that could be contaminated.
Attorney Brendan Flaherty said, "Before you buy any chopped romaine lettuce, whether it's from a grocery store or in a restaurant, ask if the lettuce came from Yuma, Arizona".
Public health investigators are working to determine the source of an E. coli outbreak that has sickened 17 people.
The investigation is ongoing and CDC will provide updates as this story develops. Some of the patients did eat the lettuce at home. Most people suffer severe and painful stomach and abdominal cramps, accompanied by diarrhea that is bloody and watery.