Coli outbreak, restaurants aim to soothe customers

  • Coli outbreak, restaurants aim to soothe customers

Coli outbreak, restaurants aim to soothe customers

A total of five E. coli illness cases in Washington have been linked to the national outbreak.

What's truly scary about this bout of E. coli sicknesses is that many people have developed a rare kidney disease known as hemolytic uremic syndrome-a phenomena where the kidney fails, and E. coli is the gateway sickness for many of those victims who have since developed what's known as HUS.

The FDA said the restaurants used bagged, chopped romaine lettuce to make salads, and traceback "does not indicate that Harrison Farms is the source of the chopped romaine that sickened these people". But they are also investigating more than two dozen other farms and say that contamination also could have occurred later on in the supply chain. "We are continuing to examine all possibilities, including that contamination may have occurred along the growing, harvesting, packaging and distribution chain before reaching the Alaskan correctional facility", Stic Harris, DVM, MPH, director of the FDA's Coordinated Outbreak Response and Evaluation Network, said during the call.

If you have already bought romaine lettuce or products containing romaine lettuce, including bagged salads, whole heads, hearts, salad mixes or prepared salads, and can not confirm the source, throw them away and do not eat them.

Currently, there is no link between this strain and the one in Canada from December 2017, which sickened at least 17 people, officials said. But that number has soared to 84 as now 19 different states have reported illnesses related to E. coli poisoning stemming from romaine lettuce. That warning remains in effect, the CDC said Friday.

The most recent data from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention shows all romaine lettuce from the Yuma region should not be eaten. If there is any uncertainty as to food products' origin or type, consumers should throw it out.

The issue began when federal inspectors traced the outbreak back to the Yuma, Arizona, region, a robust area of a state that is responsible for a lot of the produce that we eat across the country.

Disclosure: Wise works for the CDC, Harris works for the FDA.