Coli update: You can now safely eat romaine again


Those states include Colorado, Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

The most recent cases reported by the CDC started May 2, part of the 23 new cases across the nation in the last week, bringing the total to 172. The CDC determined that the outbreak was tied to romaine lettuce from Yuma, Arizona, and has advised consumes to avoid buying romaine lettuce from that region for weeks. That means the contaminated lettuce is past its shelf life and is most likely no longer being sold in stores or restaurants.

The CDC added that the last date of harvest for the romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region was April 16th. Product labels often do not identify growing regions; so, throw out any romaine lettuce if you're uncertain about where it was grown. One death has been reported. Of the 157 people who were ill that the CDC has information on, 75 have been hospitalized and 20 have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), the form of kidney failure that can be fatal. Sixty-five percent of ill people are female.

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The reported strain of E. coli, which produces poisonous substances known as Shiga toxins, can cause severe abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea and vomiting.

The Food and Drug Administration has been trying to discover exactly where and when the romaine involved in this latest outbreak was contaminated.