ATLANTA (CBS13) – The E. Coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce grown in the Yuma, Arizona region may be ending.

The latest update released by the Centers for Disease Control on Wednesday updates advice to consumers.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the last shipments of romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region were harvested on April 16, 2018 and the harvest season is over. It is unlikely that any romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region is still available in stores or restaurants due to its 21-day shelf life.

The last shipments of romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona region were harvested April 16.

23 more people from 3 additional states have become sick; however, it takes 2-3 weeks from when a person becomes ill with E. Coli and when the illness is reported to the CDC so that number is expected to increase. The most recent illnesses reported to the CDC started when romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizon region was still available.

39 people in California have gotten sick, including 1 who died. That person’s location is not being disclosed.

Since the outbreak started in March:

  • 172 illnesses
  • 32 states
  • 75 people hospitalized 
  • 20 of those hospitalized had developed kidney failure
  • 1 death in California
  • Ill people range in age from 1 to 88

The Public Health Agency of Canada has identified people in several Canadian provinces infected with the same DNA fingerprint of E. coli O157:H7.

The Food and Drug Administration identified one farm, Harrison Farms, as the source of the whole-head romaine lettuce that sickened several people at a correctional facility in Alaska; however, the agency doesn’t know where in the supply chain the contamination occurred. All of the lettuce was harvested from March 5-16 and is now past its 21-day shelf life.

Most of the illnesses in the outbreak are not linked to the romaine lettuce grown at that farm. Many of the other illnesses are linked to chopped romaine lettuce. The agency is still investigating dozens of other farms to find the source of that E. Coli outbreak.

The 32 states involved in the outbreak are: Alaska (8), Arizona (8), California (39), Colorado (3), Connecticut (2), Florida (1), Georgia (4), Idaho (11), Illinois (2), Iowa (1), Kentucky (1), Louisiana (1), Massachusetts (3), Michigan (5), Minnesota (12), Mississippi (1), Missouri (1), Montana (8), Nebraska (1), New Jersey (8), New York (5), North Dakota (2), Ohio (6), Oregon (1), Pennsylvania (21), South Dakota (1), Tennessee (3), Texas (1), Utah (1), Virginia (1), Washington (7), Wisconsin (3).

Consumers are being reminded to wash your hands before and after preparing fruits and vegetables; wash and scrub all fruits and vegetables before eating, cutting, or cooking; refrigerate cut, peeled, or cooked fruits and vegetables within 2 hours (1 hour if it’s 90 degrees or hotter.)


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